Next time someone asks you if we are living in the last days, you can do them one better. Tell them we are living in the last hour. It's time we came to terms with what the Scriptures actually say. We are not in the end time because of that last earthquake or some threatened famine. We are there because the Bible says we have been there for a long time.
Remember Pentecost. Peter quotes the prophet Joel in saying that in the last days God will pour out HIs Spirit on all flesh. Peter uses that quote to explain what is right then happening in 30 A.D. In that early year of the church, the earth was in its last days. The same apostle in his letter frankly states that the end of all things is at hand (I Peter 4:7). That's what the Bible says. Last days? Yes, indeed. Now.
John makes it even more challenging to our faith. In his first letter, chapter two, verse 18, he states without blinking that it is the last hour of history. And he says why. It's because of all the antichrists spreading their poisons. Now, the Scriptures cannot be broken. What the apostles said, came from the Spirit, not human calculation. Let's read them and believe them as they are.
But there is one factor that must be counted when trying to put all this in perspective. Our God never changes His mind, but His mind is forever governed by mercy. Longsuffering. Patience. Compassion for sinners. When God's people pray, the last days last a little longer. When there is heart-felt intercession, the last hour adds a few minutes. God is waiting.
See Abraham stand before a God who has decided to destroy Sodom. Really decided? Definitely. Sodom must go, as all sodoms of our day will go. But Abraham pleads for the staying of the hand of judgment if there are 50 righteous. No, make that 45, 40, 30, 20 ,10. At each change in Abraham, the consistently merciful God says yes.
Who is holding the purposes of God in his hands today? Who has a brother, a nephew, a nation, for which he intercedes with broken heart on his face before God? Saint! Get up! Don't you know it's the last hour? Don't you know I must judge the wickedness of this planet? Yes, Lord, but first, hear my prayer. Don't let Heaven start without Mother, without Sister, without my neighbor. Just a little while Lord!
Oh, the date is circled in heaven, I know. The pre-determined plan of God shall come to pass exactly as it has been seen and known in Heaven before the world began. But built in to that structure of predestination is a man or a woman or a child on his knees begging God to stay the hand of judgment and continue offering, just a little while, the hand of mercy.
God lives in a realm that is not mastered by time, but rather by His love. That's why one day with Him is as 1000 years with us. The day is at hand. These are the last days. It is the last hour. Our last chance to bring souls into His love.
Look for Bob Faulkner's home page on http://sermonaudio.com There you will find a combination of love for the Scriptures and a desire for North Korean believers to have their needs met. There are nearly 300 blogs , ovber 200 Bible teaching MP3's, lists of resources, NK picture albums, and ways to respond to the overwhelming need in North Korea. Let's love Chosun together! Contact me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And who am I? A man found of God over 50 years ago, called to the ministry, serving the Lord as needed in my world. Married, member of a local church in the Chicago area, with full time work in public education. Would love to fellowship with believers who respond .