For several years now, many have placed emphasis on the ‘last days’ noted in our Bible. They say “we are in the last days” and are seeing or will soon see catastrophic judgements come upon our sinful earth. Many movies even portray an earth-wide destruction of life.
Actually, the Scriptural end of days was experienced 2000 years ago. Assigning the Biblical last days to our day is a mistake that keeps us accepting rather than opposing bad things. We reason, Jesus said it would be so in ‘these’ last days. Let’s examine what the Bible says.
The passages in Matthew 24-25 are generally used to reference ‘our’ last days. As Jesus walked out of the Temple, he spoke about its destruction. Assuming Jesus knew when this would happen, the disciples asked about it with three questions:
“Tell us, when will the destruction be, and what is the sign of your ‘coming’ (Greek parousia – presence), and of the end of the ‘world’ (Greek aion-age)” (Matthew 24:1-3).
Jesus answered the questions in two chapters saying; a great tribulation would come, destructive events would occur, false prophets would arise, and your age (times) will end. What is generally ignored is where Jesus said all these things would happen ‘in this generation’ (a). [see end notes for all Scriptures]
Jesus said the ‘last days’ would happen in ‘that’ generation.
And so they did! After his ascension out of natural sight, Jesus returned as an immersing ‘presence’ of Spirit, to lead and guide believers (b). Empowered to give witness of his words and presence with them, multitudes were drawn into the kingdom experience (c). As followers of Christ became fruitful (d), false prophets arose among them (e).
The great tribulation of that day came as Jews persecuted Christians (f). The end of ‘their world (age)’ came in 70 AD when the Temple and system of worship was destroyed.
All Scripture Agrees
The “last days” are referenced in the Epistles of Peter, James, John, Paul, and Jude. They spoke of the ‘last days,’ ‘last times,’ and ‘last hour.’ It is obvious, they spoke of their times, not ours.
- God…in these last days has spoken to us in His Son (Hebrews 1:2).
- Now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested (Hebrews 9:26).
- …a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:5).
- He was foreknown before…the world, but has appeared in these last times (1 Peter 1:20).
- Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come (2 Peter 3:3).
- It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure (James 5:3)!
- Remember…the apostles…saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers”…But you…building yourselves up on your most holy faith (Jude 1:18).
- This is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: and it shall be in the last days (Acts 2:16-17).
- It is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour (1 John 2:18).
The Biblical ‘last days’ really did happen 2000 years ago as that generation experienced the troublous times when oversight of the spread of God’s influence shifted to followers of Christ.
The Scriptural ‘last days’ really did happen 2000 years ago.
Last Day of Natural Life
Focusing more on the relational Christ, John’s Gospel related the life of Jesus in a more personal way. When John spoke of the ‘last day’ it was singular. He did not speak of the plural historical ‘last days.’ Why? John’s references are insights for our personal last day, as individuals.
…of all (people) that He has given Me [Jesus] I lose nothing, but raise it (them) up on the last day…will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day (John 6: 39-40).
I will raise him up on the last day…He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood (partakes of my life) has (currently) eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day (John 6: 44, 54).
These passages speak of our personal last day, when we leave this natural life. John said each person given to Jesus is raised into eternal existence on their last ‘physical’ day.
Each person given to Jesus is raised into eternal existence on their last ‘physical’ day.
For All Ages to Come
Certainly, we know the eternal principles demonstrated in Scripture apply to all generations. However, assigning the biblical ‘last days’ to our day, is a mistake.
The end times Jesus spoke of referred to the end of Jewish perceptions of God’s kingdom in the earth. He introduced a new kingdom reality for our lives. His reign begins in our willing acceptance and continues to come until it fills the whole earth (g).
Scriptural end of days is not a cessation of time or of this globe.
The Scriptural end of days in not a cessation of time or of this globe (h). It was a time 2000 years ago when God revealed His Kingdom ‘is’ at hand, as Christ among Us” (i).
What an amazing God we experience! His presence is available and with us today. His reign in this natural world is not delayed to a future time or a certain place. With God’s help, we can arise with a renewed energy. We will not passively accept the enemy’s ways, as though they are supposed to come, but be a godly influence in our times and our world!
a) Matthew 24:34; b) Acts 1:5-8; c) Acts 2:41, 47; Isaiah 43:10-12; d) Matthew 21:42-45; e) 2 John 1:7; 1 John 2:18; f) Acts 8:1, 3; g) Daniel 2:31-35, 44-45; h) Ephesians 3:21; i) Mark 1:15; Matthew 10:27; Galatians 3:24
Keith Carroll, “The Relationship Guy”
Relational Gospel Founder