2007-06-02 - The End Times
1 Peter 4:7, "The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer."
Last Sunday, May 6, 2007, I mentioned in the sermon that we were in the end times. I was not trying to get the congregation hyped up, nor seeking to reconnect them to the Left Behind mindset that captivated Evangelicals several years ago. Rather, I have in mind a simple proposition that, yes, we are in the end times, even right now. My basic point is that every hour, day, year, millennium, in between the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, until His return in glory, is the end times.
The Gospel times are the last days. The Old Testament saints longed for these days and looked expectantly for the time of the Gospel dispensation. The Messiah came, and the expectation was transformed into fulfillment. We now live in the days in which the Gospel of salvation is proclaimed. The message of hope - that Christ has come for sinners, sin and death have been conquered, and there is forgiveness of sin to all who seek it in faith - is to be made known. We are not now to look for any new revelations concerning salvation, because the work of Atonement has been made complete in Christ. These are the last days - they have been since Christ was seated at the right hand of the Father ("He was received up into Heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God," Mark 16:19), and we expectantly wait for the return of our Lord. "Children, it is the last hour...," 1 John 2:18.
The Gospel that we proclaim in these last days is something that overturns and renders void all human wisdom. Human wisdom tells us "do this or that, and you will live," but this is not Heavenly wisdom. It is a works salvation mindset that is seeking to earn the grace of God. We can never earn the grace of God. The wisdom which is from above is, "believe and live." The Gospel comes to us who are full of offense, ruined inside and out, and it says, "Trust in Christ, and you will be saved. All your sins will be forgiven you. You will be given new life. You will be restored to fellowship with God." It is an amazing thing, these last days. The end times are Gospel times, and the Gospel is a message of hope to the hopeless. It is wonderful to live in these days. It is a great privilege, and we should not forget to thank the Lord for His kindness to us. We live in the days that generation after generation before us longed to see. We live in a time when the free offer of God's bountiful grace is proclaimed to all, and all who seek it find His mercy.
It is a blessing to live in such a time as this. Let us be ever thankful to the Lord for His kindness towards us. Let us humble ourselves before the Lord, for His compassion that grips us and will not let us go.
Soli Deo Gloria,