We are undeniably living in days that we’ve never seen before, and in what many people believe to be ‘the last days’. These are certainly days when what God says is evil is being called ‘good’, and what He says is good is being called ‘evil’. These are also days when apostasy and lawlessness abound. ( Matthew 24:11-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:3 ) Are you wondering— like Jesus’ disciples did— what will be the signs of the end of the age?
Jesus began his answer to his disciples’ query regarding what the signs of the end of the age would be with these words:
… “Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error]. For many will come in My name [misusing it, and appropriating the strength of the name which belongs to Me], saying, ‘I am the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed),’ and they will mislead many. You will continually hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end [of the age]. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs [of the intolerable anguish and the time of unprecedented trouble]. Matthew 24: 4-8 AMP
Like me, you may have thought of the above scripture with the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, and as you hear of ‘rumors of war’ between Iran and Israel, and China and Taiwan, or any of a number of other nations. Did you realize that since WWII there have been only 14 days when war hasn’t been going on somewhere in the world? Or, that currently there are over 40 different conflicts in nations across the globe? In today’s volatile world, wars between nations could break out almost anywhere at any time, and due to nuclear armaments and the ability to engage in cyber attacks, wars can produce disastrous consequences not only for the nations directly involved in the conflict, but for the world as a whole. It’s interesting to note that many people also thought of the above passage due to the world-wide impact of the Covid 19 virus. Or, they’ve thought of it when they’ve heard of famines across the globe, and learn that according to some seismologists, there’s been over a 2000% increase in earthquakes since 1900.
Whether we’re in the ‘last of the last days’ or not, I think we can all agree that since time moves forward, we’re closer today to the end of the age than we’ve ever been. So, given that we know the end will be coming someday—and it appears closer now than ever— we need to consider how we should live so that we act wisely and make the most of every opportunity while we remain on earth. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
Some Important Don’ts
- Don’t be alarmed, and don’t allow your heart to be troubled. Those were Jesus’ words to his disciples immediately after telling them that there would be ‘wars and rumors’ of wars. They are His words to us today as well.
- Don’t be ignorant of the Enemy’s schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11) Keep in mind that Satan is a deceiver, a liar, and a destroyer, who seeks to separate us from God— Who is the Truth— and from one another. Satan also seeks to stir up fear in us, and he wants us to doubt God’s Word, His promises, and His character— the very things we need to know to defeat the lies of the Enemy.
- Don’t doubt God’s faithfulness and His Word or you’ll be vulnerable to discouragement, despondency, despair, and depression.
- Don’t engage in activities that feed your fears. Reduce or eliminate the activities that cause you to become fearful, such as constantly watching the news, being on social media, or talking with people who are ‘worriers’ if it causes you to be troubled in your spirit and stirs up fear of man and other ‘unholy’ fears.
- Don’t spend your time being consumed with what’s going on in the world to the point that it distracts you from completing the work you’ve been created to do while on earth. Yes, we are to be like the sons of Issachar who ‘understood the times’ (1 Chronicles 12:32), but we also are to make certain that we’re not spending more time and energy focused on what’s going on in the world than we are in spending time building our faith in the Lord and sharing His truth and love with others.
- Don’t ‘run and hide’ and avoid engaging in life and miss out on doing what you’ve been assigned to do until Christ returns.
- Don’t grow weary in well-doing. We are called to have persevering faith at all times, and especially during the latter days when Satan, the Enemy of our souls, is feverishly at work to put on the ‘full court press’ to keep us from finishing our race strong. (Galatians 6:9; James 1:4; Rev. 3:11)
- Don’t fear what man can do to you! People may be able to destroy your body, but they cannot take your soul. Fear God alone who has the power to destroy both body and soul, and trust that if He is for you, who can be against you? (Matthew 10:28; Romans 8:31)
Some Important Do’s
- Do feed your faith by keeping your eyes fixed upon the Lord, and your ears attuned to hearing from Him. You do that by daily renewing your mind in His Word, by communing with Him in prayer, and by regularly gathering with other believers to encourage one another in the faith, especially ‘as you see the Day drawing near’. (Hebrews 12:2; Hebrews 10:24-25)
- Do ‘hide His word in your heart’ so you won’t sin against Him, and so that you’ll be able to stay on the path God has set before you. Memorize scripture, study it, meditate upon it, and cherish it because it is God’s instruction for wise and purposeful living, and it is the nourishment you’ll need to sustain you in the days ahead. (Read Psalm 119 in its entirely, especially verses 105 and 111)
- Do remind yourself of God’s past faithfulness in your life and worship Him for Who He is and His glorious ways. This is a great time to put into practice praying the “ABC’s’ of God’s Names and character attributes. For example, praise Him by worshiping Him as the ’Alpha and Omega, as ‘Beautiful beyond description’, as the ‘Comforter of your soul, as your ‘Deliverer’, as the Eternal One, and continue going down the alphabet to remind yourself of Who He is and how worthy He is of your worship and your ‘all and everything’.
- Do remember that God placed you in the nation where you reside during this period in history; you have been born ‘for such a time as this’. (Acts 17:26; Esther 4:14)
- Do examine your life and ask God to reveal to you how He wants you to use the gifts, talents and abilities He has entrusted to you so that you can be your ‘utmost for His highest’ during these latter days.
- Do understand the ‘urgency of the hour’ and be ‘bold and courageous’ as never before. This is not the time to shrink back, but the time to share more boldly than ever the gospel and to be about the business of ‘making disciples’. Boldly proclaim that salvation is found in Christ alone; that He longs for all to come to Him for forgiveness of their sin; and that salvation is a gift that He purchased with His atoning death and resurrection and that He offers to all who will humble themselves and come to Him and put their trust in Him. (Matthew 28:19-20)
- Do demonstrate the love that Christ has for others by sacrificially ‘laying down your life’ for them. So then, while we [as individual believers] have the opportunity, let us do good to all people [not only being helpful, but also doing that which promotes their spiritual well-being], and especially [be a blessing] to those of the household of faith (born-again believers).Galatians 6:10 AMP
- Do ‘walk by the Spirit so you will not gratify the desires of your flesh’. (Galatians 5:16) Carefully obey God’s commands, and go to Him and confess your sin when you disobey Him, trusting in His faithfulness to forgive you.(1 John 1:9) And, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.( Colossians 3: 12-15)
- Do eliminate from your life every sin that ‘so easily entangles’ and every distraction that hinders you from living a life that will reap a reward for all eternity. (Hebrews 12:1) Remember, the ‘good is often enemy of the best’, so let go of things that keep you from obeying what God has called and created you to do. Turn away from pursuing the deceitfulness of riches and temporary pleasure of this world—remembering that friendship with the world is hatred toward God— and turn to and pursue a relationship with God. (Mark 4:19; James 4:4) Ask Him to give you the discipline and self-control to live every day for His pleasure and glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5-6 ESV) And remember, ‘friendship with the world is hatred toward God’.(James 4:4)
- Do trust that God is Sovereign over all of the affairs of this world and believe that He is working all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, and for the glory of His name. (Romans 8:28)
- Do be ‘wise as serpents and innocent as doves’. You must be discerning during these times when the Lord has warned us that there would be increasing deception and apostasy, and that if possible, even the elect would be deceived. (2 Timothy 4:3-4; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; Matthew 24:24) Be aware that Satan is the ‘Father of Lies’ and he’s on the prowl and will try to ensnare you; his goal is always to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) The only way to keep from being deceived is to know the truth; Jesus is the Truth, and He is revealed to us through His Word, through prayer, and through fellowship with other disciples. It’s critical you don’t just ‘know about Him’, but that you know Him well and believe in Him so you can discern what the Spirit is saying.
- Do ‘fight’ for the souls of those being swept up by the tactics of the enemy in this sinful culture by speaking the truth in love to them and exposing the lies that contradict God’s Word. (Ephesian 4:15; 5:11; Psalm 94:16)
- Do put on the ‘garments of praise’ at all times, for the Lord is worthy of all praise, honor and glory, and especially praise Him when the ‘spirit of heaviness comes upon you’. (Rev. 5:12; Isaiah 61:3)
- Do pray without ceasing! Pray for yourself and other believers that your faith in Christ would be firm and resolute and that you will endure to the end, regardless of the cost. Pray for your lost family and friends to come to the saving knowledge of Christ; that they would come to the ‘end of themselves’ and realize their need for Jesus as their Savior. Pray for the fear of the Lord to consume the world’s leaders, and for protection for believers and salvation for unbelievers across the globe.
- Do remember that in this world there will be tribulation, but you can be of good cheer because Jesus has overcome the world! (John 16:33)
- Do remember that you are never alone and will never be abandoned, for Jesus ‘will never leave you or forsake you’ and that He is with you till the end of the age. (Joshua 1:9; Matthew 28:20)
- Do remember to keep your mind and heart fixed upon the eternal reward that awaits all who know God and are faithful to Him! Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV
- Do remain strong and faithful and ‘occupy’ until Jesus returns, keeping in mind that He is the soon and coming victorious ‘King of Kings and Lord of Lords’! (Luke 19:13; Rev. 19:16) Because Jesus died, was resurrected, and lives in Heaven— as well as in the hearts of those who have received Him as Savior— you can face tomorrow, being assured that death has been swallowed up in victory, and therefore you will live in peace and joy with Him in the place He has prepared for you for all of eternity! (John 14:3-6)
We encourage you to also read and pray through ‘A Prayer for These Days’ found on our website, along with other prayers for various occasions: