WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 27, 2021
TOPIC: SIGNS OF THE LAST DAYS
BY T. O. BANSO
“You may as well know this too, Timothy, that in the last days it is going to be very difficult to be a Christian” (2 Timothy 3:1 The Living Bible).
The last days is a term used five times in the New Testament in the New King James Version of the Bible. It is also used in the Old Testament. Some people think that “the last days”, especially as it is used in the New Testament, points to the future when certain things the Bible talks about would happen. On the contrary, others believe we are in the last days.
In theological studies, eschatology is an aspect that deals with the study of the events that will happen at the end of history or the final events of history. The last days, latter times, last hours, and end times are most times used to express the same thought.
The first use of the phrase “in the last days” in the New Testament is in Acts 2:17. It says, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh” (New King James Version). The apostle Peter was quoting the prophet Joel who had prophesied in the Old Testament.
Joel had said, “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28-29 New King James Version). His prophecy continued in subsequent verses.
On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down and Peter and the other followers of Christ began to speak in new tongues. Peter, in his sermon to the crowd, who were confused about what was happening, told them it was a fulfilment of what God said through the prophet Joel had He would do in the last days. That was the day the church was born.
The last days began on the Day of Pentecost and will end at the Second Coming of Christ. We are in the last days. Hebrews 1:2 says, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (New King James Version).
Also, talking about Jesus Christ, Peter said, “He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Peter 1:20 New King James Version). These last times refer to the last days. We are in the last days, last hours, last times, or end times.
What are the signs of the last days?
1.There will a universal outpouring of the Spirit of God. We have read this in Acts 2:17 and Joel 2:28-29. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit began on the day of Pentecost. All categories of people, male and female, have been receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit since then with other manifestations such as dreams and visions. Thus, we are in the last days.
2. Perilous times shall come and ungodly behaviours shall be pervasive. Perilous times mean difficult times, times of trouble, grievous times, troublesome times, hard times, or dangerous times. The apostle Paul, writing to Timothy, said, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 New King James Version).
The Living Bible says, “You may as well know this too, Timothy, that in the last days it is going to be very difficult to be a Christian” (2 Timothy 3:1 The Living Bible). Many people will agree that we are in perilous times and there are indications that things would become even worse. For many people, it is becoming increasingly difficult to be a Christian. In addition, all the ungodly behaviours listed in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 abound in our societies, including the love of self, love of money, boasting, pride, and blasphemy. Indeed, we are in the last days.
3. There will be scoffers or mockers. 2 Peter 3:3 says that we should know that scoffers will come in the last days. They will walk according to their lusts and say, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation” (New King James Version).
The Greek word translated is empaiktes. It means a derider, i.e. (by implication) a false teacher: These lustful deriders and false teachers will ridicule or mock the second coming of Jesus. They will laugh at the truth of the second coming of Christ and carry out their evil desires. This is going on already.
4. There will be many false Christs and false prophets. In Matthew 24:3, the disciples of Jesus came to Him privately and asked Him to tell them the sign of His coming and of the end of the age. In His answer, Jesus said, among other things, that they should take heed that no one deceived them, for many would come in His name, saying they were the Christ and would deceive many (verses 4-5).
In Mark 13:21-23, Jesus said, “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand” (New King James Version). Beware of false Christs and false prophets who show great signs and wonders to deceive people.
5. There shall be many antichrists. These are the forerunners of the Antichrist, an adversary of Christ and Christians. They are those who oppose the person and the teachings of Christ and the Kingdom of God.
The apostle John said, “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18 New King James Version).
The last hour also means the last days. Beware! 2 John 7 says, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (New King James Version).
6. The Antichrist shall come. As 1 John 2:18 says, the Antichrist will come but he will be preceded by many antichrists, which is a sign of the last hour. The coming of the antichrist is a sign of the last days. .Beware, don’t be deceived by the Antichrist. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 also talks about the coming of the Antichrist before the second coming of Jesus Christ.
7. There will be many false teachers and many will depart from the faith. Many will turn away from the original teachings they had believed and follow lying spirits and teachings that come from demons.
False teachers teach heresies and lead their listeners astray. The apostle Paul said, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:1-5 New King James Version).
8. There will be wars and rumors of wars and natural disasters. Jesus talked about this in Mark 13:7-8. He said that they are the beginnings of sorrows.
9. There will be persecutions of the saints, family betrayal, and the preaching of the gospel to all the nations. Jesus also talked about this in Mark 13:9-13. He said whoever endured to the end would be saved.
What to do
1. Avoid false teachers and prophets. They are deceivers. Don’t listen to any preacher or minister whose messages are contrary to what the Bible says, no matter how popular he is. No minister’s heresy is superior to the Bible. “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (2 John 9-11 New King James Version).
2. Stand fast and hold on to the original teachings you were taught. Paul told the Galatians, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-9 New King James Version).
Be faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father” (1 John 2:24 New King James Version).
3. Love the truth. Don’t hate the truth and love lies. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 says, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (New King James Version).
4. The elders (pastors) who preach sound doctrine should silence the false teachers and deceivers for the sake of other believers, especially the vulnerable ones. Writing to Titus, Paul said false teachers who by their wrong teaching had already turned whole families away from the truth must be silenced (Titus 1:11). The genuine elders must silence them so that they don’t continue to mislead others, especially the vulnerable ones.
Beware! We are in the last days.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, help me these last days to endure to the end as it becomes very difficult to be a Christian. Let me not fail You. Uphold me and keep me standing. I shall not be deceived by false teachers and prophets, false christs, and the Antichrist in Jesus’ name. I shall not believe another gospel but the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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