Key #1. We are not awaiting the ‘Last Days’, we are in them!
According to Peter, the Apostle, ‘The Last Days’ began on the Day of Pentecost after our Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection. This Pentecost was the birthday of the church. Peter stood in Solomon’s portico and told the assembled crowd, “This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel.” Acts 2:16, 17 “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; To paraphrase, Peter said, “THIS IS IT! What you are witnessing is the outpouring of The Holy Spirit! The Last Days are here!
These passages (Acts 2:17-21; Joel 2:28-32) conclude with descriptions of the wrath at the end of the age that have not yet occurred.
Key #2. We are not awaiting tribulation, we are in it!
John the Apostle penned Revelation in AD 96. The Church was already undergoing their 3rd great persecution. Can we call these persecutions – tribulation? The Apostle John does. In Rev.1:9, John says, “I, John, who am also your brother and companion in tribulation…”
The ‘Last Days’ is not just a 7 year period when God’s wrath is poured out. Many would agree that our generation may be the last generation before our Lord’s return, but still fail to see that the ‘Last Days’ have been going on for almost 2000 years. The events of the end time are ever growing in intensity and frequency until Christ returns. Jesus describes this in Matthew 24: 4-8. He gives an overview of the ‘last days’ and indicates that the signs will continue until the end; as ‘birth pains’ so grow in intensity and frequency until childbirth.
The tribulation is not just seven years of judgment, but has already lasted 1985 years since the Cross-Resurrection Event! There is coming, however, a ‘Great Tribulation’ that will define the final seven years before Christ’ Second Coming! A correct scriptural view of these two periods of time is essential to a correct interpretation of other events in Revelation.
The one big thing that many are missing in saying that ‘sin is sin’; and that ‘all sins are alike’ is that if they agree it is sin, then where is the repentance, and confession to God, asking for forgiveness? What sin do we demand absolution from without repentance?
For you see, to repent indicates to turn away from the offense. True enough that some have besetting sins, but their desire is to repent and turn away from the sin, not to herald it as OK and demand that everyone accept the sin as normal.
When we are saved, this means we Agree with Jesus concerning our need for a savior; we ASK HIM to forgive us our trespasses and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness; we Believe that He alone provides the cleansing and justification for our sin, and we Confess that He is our Lord! ABC= Ask, Believe, Confess; Simple, yes; but still requiring our agreement with HIM concerning our sin and our need for a savior.
Also true, the sins are not what damns a soul; unbelief and refusing God’s provision is what damns a soul to eternal separation from God. For you are indeed correct, that we all sin. No one is justified by works or keeping the law. All need a savior. But as evidence of becoming a new creation in Christ Jesus, we turn away from sins. It is NOT the desire of a child of God to continue in sin.
Another thing that society is so messed up on is the scripture; “Judge not.”
This does not mean as some interpret, that we cannot call sin what it is unless we are sinless.
To Judge is to declare another’s eternal destiny. We do this all the time and think nothing of it. To say that another person is going to Heaven or Hell is to make a judgment that is beyond our knowledge. We can believe but God is the judge. He is the eternal, righteous judge; what he declares at the Great White Throne of Judgment will be the final declaration.
If you are living in contradiction to the Bible, chances are that you are deceived and are fooling yourself about your eternal home. The Bible teaches that we are spirit beings and as such will live past our time on Earth. Americans like to believe that we’re all going to make it to heaven; that there are many roads, but this is not what scripture teaches. Scripture teaches that ‘broad is the way that leads to destruction and many go in; but narrow the way and narrow the gate that leads to life and few will enter therein. We want to believe that good folks go to heaven and evil people to hell, but the Word tells us that according to God’s reckoning, ‘No one is good”. So the only way to Heaven is by receiving Jesus’ sacrificial death for us on Calvary. That’s it! God loved you so much that He paid the debt…
In conclusion, 1 John 5:11,12,13 gives it straight: “This is the way it is, God has given us eternal life and this life is IN (emphasis mine) His Son. He that has the Son has life and he that has not the Son of God, has not life. These things I have written so that you, who believe on the name of the Son of God may KNOW (emphasis mine) that you have eternal life.”
I say it this way, “God has a gift for you; His gift is eternal Life and this life is in His Son! Receive Jesus, inherit eternal life. Simple, straight forward. Not based on anything we do or don’t do; deserve or don’t deserve. It a gift! Have you opened your gift?