Category Archives: Last Days

PENTECOST AND THE LAST DAYS

The outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost signaled the arrival of the “last days”Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:17-21.

The application of the prophecy from Joel in Acts links the outpouring of the Spirit to the commencement of the “last days.” For the book, the Spirit’s activity and presence in the church are programmatic and foundational for its existence, from the Day of Pentecost until the return of Jesus.

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HASTENING THAT DAY

In the interim between Christ’s ascension and return, God has granted humanity the opportunity to repent.

In his second epistle, Peter explains the apparent “delay” in the return of Jesus from heaven. God is characterized by mercy and has no desire for anyone to perish. But the apostle even contends that the conduct of the church may “hasten” that day’s arrival. The relationship of men with God is dynamic, not static, and He responds eagerly to repentance.

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WITNESS TO ALL NATIONS

Jesus declared that the “end” will not come until this gospel of the kingdom is proclaimed to all nations.

When the future return of Jesus is discussed, the question naturally arises – What “signs” will precede it? Will its proximity be marked by wars, earthquakes, and other catastrophes? Fortunately, Jesus provided a definitive answer to this question – The completion of the church’s mission to testify to the whole earth.

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SAINTS, TRIBULATION, AND WRATH

His disciples escape God’s “wrath” but endure “tribulation” to which they have been “appointed”1 Thessalonians 3:1-4.

In the New Testament, the terms “tribulation” and “wrath” are NOT synonymous. “Tribulation” is what disciples endure for the sake of Jesus, but “wrath” is the horrific fate awaiting the wicked at the “end of the age,” the “second death,” which unrepentant sinners and apostates endure on account of their iniquities and betrayals.

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SANCTIFIED WHOLLY

Considering the future arrival of Jesus, Paul summoned believers to become sanctified completely by that day 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

Paul concluded his first letter to the Thessalonians with a series of exhortations summoning believers to righteous living in the interim between their conversion and the “arrival” of Jesus “from heaven,” and ended with a call for their complete sanctification by that day. His final exhortation included verbal links to the preceding sections of the letter.

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SONS OF LIGHT

The Day of the Lord will mean salvation to the “sons of light” who remain ever vigilant and prepared for it 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11.

Rather than provide a list of “signs” whereby believers can ascertain the imminence of the “Day of the Lord,” the Apostle Paul gave instructions on how they must live in anticipation of that day’s sudden and unexpected arrival. It would not overtake the Thessalonians because they “were not in darkness,” but instead, they were “sons of light” and “sons of the day.”

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