Friday, August 26, 2011

What do you think? Are we living in the last days?

"This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'In a little while, I will once more shake the heavens and the earth. I will shake all the nations....I will shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms." (Haggai 2:6-7, 21-22)

In the last few weeks, the U.S. stock markets have tanked. Americans have lost more than $2.3 trillion in personal wealth. 14 million American are out of work. We face a double-dip recession. Our debt is increasing daily. And Washington is frozen in partisan gridlock, arguing over cutting what is essentially pennys in comparison to our debt.
And still Iran is building nuclear weapons unhindered, Syria and Libya are slaughtering thousands, Egypt has imploded, and Israel is increasingly threatened.

More than 100 rockets, mortars and anti-tank missiles have been fired from Gaza at Israeli towns and cities along the south. A suicide bomber also detonated himself near the Israel-Egyptian border. Eight Jews were killed last week when a jihadist attacked an Israeli public bus, and at least 30 were wounded. A rocket hit a home in Beersheva on Saturday night, killing one Israeli and wounded four others. Dozens more Israelis have been hospitalized for shock. Israel has struck back with airstrikes against selected terror targets, but the violence has only escalated.

An very rare and unusual earthquake registering 5.8 struck the eastern coast of the US and a hurricane is bearing down on New York as we speak.

I'm not recapping these recent events to invoke fear. I'm recapping them to invoke Hope. Hope that the end of the age is drawing near.
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of sorrows

Are we in the last days of which Jesus spoke? Could it be this generation that sees His return? My husband and I disagree on this issue, so I'm curious to hear your opinions.


  1. You have forgotten the famine in southern Somalia where by news accounts "tens of thousands" of people have died!
    I think we are in the last days, but of coarse only God knows so I am not worried!!

  2. Fri Aug 26th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    I absolutely, 100%, believe we are living in 'the last days'. Not fearfully though ... as Jesus already has shared what those 'end times' would look like. We're living in it ... now, as we speak. I have no fear, only because ... I 'know' where I am spending Eternity. But the 'messes' of this World are out of control and happening -- everywhere. Almost nothing is surprising me anymore though ... tragedies, endless killing, chaos, natural disasters, financial declines and recession ... it truly cannot get much worse than it already is. And, Israel is being attacked more and more. The Lord is not going to 'strive with mankind' much longer, I feel.
    Okay ... so I'm curious now ... "what" is your opinion/outlook on this subject, MaryLu ?
    Have a great weekend, everyone.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  3. An interesting discussion. I know there were other times in history where people felt the weight of political and financial events, strange weather phenomenon, etc. and felt the same. In New England in the 18th century, there were many earthquakes and Boston sits on a fault line - though it has been dormant for ages. Today we have the "advantage" of technology to make us more aware of the goings on around the globe and even in our own area so that presses the knowledge of these birth pangs on us even more.

    But that being said, we are most definitely living in the last times, getting closer to His coming every day. I think we should always live our lives as if his coming is imminent - the bridegroom is coming for his bride and we should keep our lamps ready.

  4. Oh yes, the famine! Thanks for reminding me. It's sad we don't hear much news about that. How tragic.
    Yes, throughout the ages, people have claimed the imminent return of Christ. But one thing stands out to me in this generation and that is the return of Israel as a nation. God predicted this in the Bible and He also said that when the time of the gentiles (that's us) is done, He will deal with Israel and all of Israel will be saved. He said that the generation that saw all these signs and the restoration of Israel would be the generation that saw His return.
    That's why I think we are that generation. Whether a generation is 40, 80, or 120 years, I don't know. But I think there's a good chance I could be here for the Rapture. Which is exciting!
    We need to keep our eyes on Israel. When Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Russia, Lybia and the Sudan form an alliance, watch out! They will attack Israel and the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob will utterly destory them with the breath of his mouth! See Ezekiel 37-39. Soon after that, I believe the Great Tribulation will start.

  5. I definitely believe that we are living in the last days...although I think it'll still be a few years before the tribulation starts. Things are worsening exponentially as we approach that climax, but I don't see it happening *quite* yet. But who knows - a million horrible things could happen *today*, for that matter.

    I'm also a post-tribber, meaning I believe the Rapture of the church will happen *after* the Tribulation (I'm in the minority, I know)...which I'm actually quite excited about! It would mean getting to see so much prophecy unfold right before our eyes! :-)

    Whatever the case - end times or not, pre- or post-trib...God is in control. :-)

  6. Well, whether or not we are going to be here for the Rapture, I do not know. I believe that the end times are very near. But, our 'sense of time' is so drastically different from Gods. That being said, I would love to experience the Rapture! All we can do is try to save as many souls as possible before we are taken home, whether by Rapture or natural death. I posted this very verse on Facebook after hearing about the earthquake. It is good to get people speculating about the end times. Maybe we need to scare a few people. We need to keep planting those seeds! Thanks for the post, MaryLu.

  7. I think it's best not to speculate on this at all. Here's why:

    In 2 Thessalonians 2 Paul says, "Now, friends, read these next words carefully. Slow down and don't go jumping to conclusions regarding the day when our Master, Jesus Christ, will come back and we assemble to welcome him." He goes on to say don't listen to false reports, but I think we can hear it two ways.
    1 Thessalonians 5,
    I don't think, friends that I need to deal with the question of when all this is going to happen. You know as well as I that the day of the Master's coming can't be posted on our calendars. He won't call ahead and make an appointment any more than a burglar would. About the time everybody's walking around complacently, congratulating each other—"We've sure got it made! Now we can take it easy!"—suddenly everything will fall apart. It's going to come as suddenly and inescapably as birth pangs to a pregnant woman.

    Then later 2 Thessalonians 1 (towards the end),
    Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he's called you to be, pray that he'll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely.
    Then in 2 Thessalonians 2,
    Now, friends, read these next words carefully. Slow down and don't go jumping to conclusions regarding the day when our Master, Jesus Christ, will come back and we assemble to welcome him.
    All quoted from the version "The Message".
    I know a ton of horrible things are happening right now – but it’s always been that way. When Paul wrote his letters they thought Jesus would return in their lifetime, no doubt. And I’m sure on 9/11 people in those towers thought the world was ending (therefore Jesus’ second coming). Or the Great Depression—they must have thought the world would end then. With every catastrophe people believe the world is ending—it’s natural to. …So I have no idea or guess when He’ll come back—I don’t think it’s right to try.


  8. Abigail, I think it's wrong to become obsessed with the Rapture and the second return of Jesus, but I don't think there's anywhere in Scripture that tells us not to think about it, to even get excited about it and to anticipate it!

    I certainly am not trying to guess the day or the hour. I'm just pointing out that I believe the time is close. That excites me! And should motivate all of us to be better disciples and get the Word out to those around us.

    The reason Paul is telling the Thessolonians in chapter 2 to not worry about the rapture is because they had heard reports that it had already happened and were worried that they were left behind. HE was trying to reassure them and give them the signs to look for.

    In 1 Thess 5, Paul is basically telling them that he doesn't have to tell them when the Lord will return. Even though to the world, Jesus will come as a thief in the night, to them and to all Christians, he won't. Here's Paul's own words:

    "But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness."

    So, while I agree we shouldn't be frightened or become obsessed with it, we should definitely be exicted and we should allow it to motivate us to do Good Works for Jesus because the time is short.

  9. Sapphire, I don't think it matters whether we believe in pre-mid-or post trib rapture. As long as we go when Jesus calls us home! Personally, I'd rather not be here for the tribulation. It's going to be really nasty here. :-) But I also think many will get saved during it.
    I agree with Debbie, let's get to work and bring as many souls with us to heaven as we can!!

  10. So, are you saying that there will be a time when Jesus raptures some people up to heaven, and then, later on He will return with them to Earth? I'm not trying to offend anyone, I'm just trying to get people to think about what I believe. The idea of a millennial reign on Earth can't be true. Jesus never claimed to be an earthly king. In fact, He says "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). The "New Heaven and New Earth" mentioned in the Bible is not this Earth on which we live; it is heaven. God also teaches that the final days before Judgment will be full of many distressful things such as what is mentioned in Matthew chapter 24, not 1000 years of peaceful living with Jesus as a king on earth. Besides, the numbers found in Revelation are symbolic, not literal. For instance, 1000 represents completeness, which is fitting, because believers will enjoy the completeness of heaven with God for eternity. There will be no rapture and tribulation, just Judgment Day. Like I said, I'm not trying to argue, just to share.


  11. Eden, thank you so much for dropping in and commenting. You aren't offending anyone. There are many many interpretations out there about the end times and about what Revelation means. I've heard others who believe as you do. And there's nothing wrong with that. I think we should examine all the various beliefs and interpretaions, compare them with Scripture and ask God to show us the truth.
    As for me, I do believe in the Rapture, the tribulation and the 1000 year reign and I believe Scripture backs that up, but hey, I could be wrong. What do any of us really know about the ways of God.
    In the end, it won't really matter, right? We are all believers and whether we are here on earth or up in heaven, it will all work out in the end. I'm looking forward to it.
    And I truly appreciate your viewpoint. Perhaps it will give others something to consider. God Bless!

  12. MaryLu, I didn't mean we shouldn't think about it or let it motivate us-- Paul said for us to do that in all his letters. But saying the end is near, to me isn't true. We don't know that. I hope it is! But eveyone centuries ago thought it to. There could be thousands of years to go....I know He'll come.

  13. Abigail, while I appreciate your point of view (which I do!), I don't see anything wrong with saying that I think the end might be near. I'm just looking at the signs around me, including the birth of Israel, and making a judgment based on what I know from Scripture.
    You're absolutely right. It could be hundreds of years off. I, personally don't think so. But it's just my opinion and we are definitely told in the Bible to read the signs of the times and to expectantly watch for His return.

    You have a different opinion than I do. That's great! I don't have a problem with your opinion. I'm sure you have reasoned it out and come to your own conclusion. And you may very well be right! And I'm very glad you voiced it here. I wanted to hear everyone's thoughts. My husband, by the way, agrees with you! :-)

    All I'm saying it, allow me my opionion as well. I should be able voice it as long as it doesn't go against Scripture or drag anyone away from God or isn't a sin to do so. And I don't beleive any of those are true.
    It isn't fair to the rest of my blog readers who may now be too afraid to say anything because they will be condemned for speculating. I want this to be a forum where everyone's thoughts are heard and respected.

  14. I look forward to Christ's return. I grow weary of the world and of the bad stereotypes given to us Christians. To be able to live in such beautiful and breathtaking peace while glorifying God in heaven is something that helps me through everyday. Its something wonderful to look forward to! I do believe that all of these things ARE the signs of the last days. Just like you said MaryLu, it gives us hope of Christ's return!

  15. Oh, I agree, Eszter! I'm very anxious to leave this world. I know we can't even imagine all that God has for us in eternity! Speaking of Hope, turn in Monday for a post I did on Hope. It has much to do with heaven and eternity.

  16. Sat Aug 27th,
    "Afternoon, MaryLu."
    Well ... I for one, was one of those bloggers ... who was a tad concerned about leaving a comment ... (didn't want to add to all of the blog comments to turn this into a battleground ... and of course,satan would just love that) !
    Anyway .... this comment is NOT Brenda Hurley's -- feelings, thoughts or opinions ... but rather what the Bible has to say about 'the end times'.
    Although Jesus made it totally clear, that no person would know the day or hour of Christ's return .... He also commanded us NOT to be ignorant of the times, but to be aware of what was going on around us. He told us to be very aware of the 'signs of the times' ... and, to be "looking up, for our redemption draweth nigh".
    Prophecies have been being fulfilled all along, and there aren't many left to still be fulfilled. Once they all have .... that is when the Lord will return 'for His bride'.
    I also believe in the rapture of His church, and that it will take place 'before' the tribulation ... according to the Bible. But, "Where", and, "Who" I will be spending Eternity with ... is of far greater importance to me, than nitpicking over 'when', and 'how'.
    And yes, MaryLu ... we are told to keep our eyes on Israel ... and what is happening there. It has everything to do with 'end times'.
    Okay, I've shared now.
    Thanks for listening !
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  17. Well, I'm glad you commented, Brenda. I think it's great that we can all have such different opinions and yet still be able to discuss in love and kindness. I never want anyone to feel as though they will be judged for posting here.
    End times can be a touchy subject. I'm not sure why but I've seen it ruin relationships. My hubby agrees with Abigail that we've got thousands of years left.. and I still love him and we still have a good marriage!
    And I still love you too, Abigail! I hope our different opinions haven't upset you. Not my intention at all.
    Also, like Eden, some people take a more symbolic interpretation of end times. That's okay.
    Like you said, Brenda, it only matters that we will all end up with Jesus. How or when that happens doesn't really matter. And I'm sure none of us will care once we get there!

  18. MaryLu, I love the new look of your blog. It is really pretty and eye catching.

  19. Hi MaryLu! You sure are being gracious about this whole topic, and I wanted to thank you for that. There are so many different views in regards to the end times, and we all obviously cannot be right. I have witnessed so many people getting really aggressive over what will happened during the end times. I believe that Christ will return and judge the world. I have not done enough study on the subject to say I believe it will happen in this manner, or that manner. I just look forward to the day He does return. If it happens when I am alive, praise Him. If it happens several hundreds or thousand years in the future, praise Him! Thanks so much for the friendly discussion! You really have no idea how much I really do appreciate it!! =D

  20. Hi Emma! I love your attitude! All these interpretations and opinions don't really matter, do they? It's fun to speculate and see different interpretations, but like you siad, I'm just looking forward to Jesus's return! And that's something the Bible says we should do!. I couldn't find the Scripture.. but somewhere it says that Jesus is coming back for those who are eagerly waiting for Him. God Bless, and thanks for your comment. :-)

  21. Hey you all i bet we are in the very last days ..and will see the soon return of our LORD AND GOD JESUS CHRIST....

    1. I completely agree with you! Come, Lord Jesus, Come!