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Staying Strong in the Last Days

09 Dec
Staying Strong in the Last Days

I’m continuing through the Gospel of Luke. For the past few posts, we’ve been going through Jesus’ Last Days teaching. I’ve talked about the things that cause the world to worry and fret about the future. God’s people are not to act like this.

The promises of God don’t go null and void simply because we’re living near the end of the age. We’re still under our covenant with Christ – a better covenant. That’s why we can look to what’s ahead with hope and anticipation.

He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.

“I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

Luke 21:29-33 NIV

This should be an exciting time for the Church of Jesus Christ. The Kingdom is near! That thought should push us forward to greater effectiveness as we work for the Lord.

Jesus does give us a warning, however. That’s the key reason He told this to the disciples. I think that we’ve somehow lost sight of His Word to us.

“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth.”

Luke 21:34-35 NIV

The Lord tells us that there are three things that we should be especially careful about in the last days. The first of these is dissipation. The Greek word literally means tossing-head. It was the common term for a hangover.

We associate this term with drinking, but Jesus wasn’t limiting it to the use of alcohol. Whenever we leave our calling to chase after the world, there’s a wasted period of time while we get back on track again. This is the period of our spiritual “hangover”.

Too many Christians are living most of their lives in dissipation. They’re either giving in to the desire for the things of the world or they’re trying to regain what they’ve lost. Don’t waste most of your life in dissipation.

Then there’s drunkenness. I don’t believe that Jesus is only talking about alcohol here. It could be anything that intoxicates God’s people. We end up chasing things when we should be pursuing the Lord.

The third is the anxieties of life. This is when you’re worried about things you can’t control. When we spend most of our time worrying about finances, health, and relationships, we lose our desire to serve God faithfully.

Put them in God’s hands. If you trust the Lord and follow His plan for your life, then the rest will fall into place. Jesus said that if you seek His kingdom and His righteousness first, then your needs would be taken care of.

Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

Luke 21:36 NIV

This is the bottom line of how to live in the last days. We must be a people who watch and pray. We must spend quality time in the presence of the Lord. This includes praying in the Spirit and listening to hear God’s voice.

In this way, the Holy Spirit will give you insight on how to live. We’re told that living like this will allow us to escape. Escape what? The anguish, perplexity, fainting from terror, and the apprehension that’s coming upon the world.

Isn’t that our ultimate goal; to stand boldly before the Son of Man at His return? If we heed His exhortation to us, then we’ll be unashamed by our life on earth. We’ll finish the race strong, knowing there’s a reward waiting for us. Not in fear, but the faith that Christ is with us.

Question: What do find most exciting about living in the last days?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 

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