See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16
If you're anything like me, you are looking at the world around you and cringing at the evil. Not just the evil you see and know about, but the evil you don't see, the evil you sense in your spirit. Yes, we are living in the last days. I would even venture to say the last minutes of the last day before God rescues His Bride and begins to pour out His wrath on an evil, unrepentant world.
Honestly, I've always looked excitedly for the Lord's return, ever since I first got saved. I just never stopped to think about how bad things would have to get first. Yikes. I'm not just talking about the evil we see in our culture, the intense immorality everywhere we look, the greed, lust, pornography, child molestation, deception, thievery, murders... lies.. deception... etc. That's bad enough. I'm also talking about the evil that has invaded the church. We were told in 2 Thess 2 that there would be a great falling away from the faith, but I always just thought that meant people would denounce Jesus and leave the church. I never thought to see so much false doctrine and evil Inside the church. Honestly, it's very hard to know who to even listen to anymore. Recently, you may have heard about the fall of two very famous figures and leaders in the church, Ravi Zacharius and Max Lucado, whose writings I used to read.
Then, of course there's the false doctrine of HyperGrace that will send many "believers" to hell. The Scripture refutes this false doctrine over and over. And even in Ephesians 5, Paul starts out with a list of sins for which God will judge the "children of disobedience".
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. v 11-12
Paul's urgent words were written the CHURCH at Ephesus, not to unbelievers. He ends the chapter with instructions to be wise, to submit to God, to allow God to sanctify (or change you into His image) you. He uses the illustration of marriage and how husbands and wives should love and submit to one another... yet he ties it all in with the marriage of the church to Jesus.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. v 25-27
We see this beautiful Bride in Revelation with her gorgeous gown. And here we see the gown itself is clean and white and made by the "righteous acts of the saints!"
Let’s rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His bride has prepared herself.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Revelation 19:7-8
Yes, we are at the end. If I were to give my personal opinion, I'd say the Tribulation will start within a year. That is based on what I see happening around me when I compare with Scripture. Regardless, we should be about our Father's business.... which is "Redeeming the time" . In other words, since we don't have much time, we must make the most of that time. How do we do that?
Paul tells us clearly in this chapter, which I encourage you to read. Here's his advice
- Do not commit purposeful sin
- Stay away from those who do
- Walk in the Light
- Be filled with the Holy Spirit and grow some Fruit!
- Find out what the will of God is for your life
- Singing worship songs and making melody in your heart to God
- Give thanks in Everything
- Submit yourselves to one another in the fear of God
- Ask God what "righteous acts" you can do so you won't show up to the Marriage naked!
And I will add. Pray. Pray often and always, and pray for the Lost. I've created a "Salvation List" of people who I pray for every day to be saved. I encourage you to do the same. Prayer is powerful and God hears and answers the prayers of the saints!