What Not to Do in the Last Days
What is the Last Days? Biblically, the Last Days is the time in history between Jesus’ birth and His return (Acts 1:9-11, 1 Thessalonians 5:36). He clearly promised He would come again and that we should be expecting it (Matthew 24, James 3). But what do we do before He splits the sky? How can we tell it’s getting closer to His return?
First, Jesus made it very clear that only God the Father knows when Jesus will return (Acts 1:7). It will come as a “thief in the night,” a surprise to all (James 3:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:2). Our job is not to speculate on an exact date. We can, however, know the season it may come based on signs on the earth (Luke 21:29-33). Through there has always been evil, certain things will increase and happen all at once in greater measures. These will include:
- people doubting Jesus’ return
- sexual immorality
- wars and rumors of wars
- natural catastrophes
- loss of love and increase of hatred among people
- a falling away of believers from their faith
- persecution of Christians
- increase in lawlessness
- increase of sin
- increase in knowledge and travel
- the regathering of Israel
(See Ezekiel 38:8, Daniel 12:4, 2 Timothy 3, Luke 21, Matthew 24)
While it’s commendable that we recognize these events and attitudes in the world today, there is so much more that God expects of us during the Last Days. First, let’s cover what not to do.
Do Not Be Deceived
The devil is the master deceiver and will influence other people and organizations to deceive others during the Last Days. These people will profess to be the Christ; try to convince people that good is bad and bad is good; and will deny the integrity of God’s Word (Luke 21:7-8).
Our salvation depends on our ability to believe the truth, so we must not allow ourselves to be deceived. This takes effort on our part, but it’s worth it considering we will one day stand before Jesus to give account for our lives.
So how do you keep from being deceived? The answer is simple and is the foundation of being a good disciple: study God’s Word, the Bible. The key is to get so familiar with the genuine that you immediately recognize the counterfeit.
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition [Antichrist]…(1 Thessalonians 2:3)
(See also James 3:10-15 and 1 John 4:1-6)
Do Not Fear
As horrific as the signs of the Last Days may seem, God clearly tells us we are not to fear. All through Scripture, He instructs us to be fearless, and the Last Days is no exception. We can live in the Last Days without fear because we know He’s with us, greater than any evil in the earth (James 4:4). We know the outcome of it all—Jesus wins and we will reign for eternity in Heaven with Him. What we see on the earth is temporary and fleeting, but the perfection of eternity with Jesus is forever! (For more on the subject of fear, please see my blog article “Identify the Fear Package” and “18 Reasons Not to Fear.”
“But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately” (Luke 21:9).
(See also Matthew 24:6)
What to Do in the Last Days
Yes, there are things not to do in the Last Days. But if we do what Jesus has instructed, the do nots will come automatically. Again, the dos and don’ts are not for our restriction but for our protection. Jesus wants more than anything to see us live in eternity with Him. But unless we pay attention to the signs of the Last Days and follow His guidelines, we will be lost to an eternity without Him—or at the very least, an eternity with few rewards.
To watch means to keep awake. In a culture of conveniences and subtle deceit, it’s easy to fall asleep at life’s wheel if we’re not careful. We can get so lured to sleep by the pleasures and cares of life that we neglect God’s Word and our relationship with Jesus. The signs of the Last Days can go unnoticed until it takes us by surprise. By then, we’ve become so weakened that it’s a struggle to live undeceived and fearless. On the other hand, if we are watching carefully for the signs of the Last Days and giving diligent attention to our relationship with Jesus, we will navigate through the challenge with strength and no surprises.
“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man”(Luke 21:34-36).
(See also Thessalonians 5:6-11)
Once we know the truth of God’s Word, we must stand on that truth without moving. To fall from His Word means we will be deceived and defeated. But even under persecution, we can grow stronger as we exercise our ability to stand for what we believe.
You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… (2 Peter 3:17, following a description of the Last Days).
(See also 1 Thessalonians 2:15)
Be a Faithful Servant
While waiting for Jesus return, we have the responsibility to be faithful to our relationship with Jesus. Our lives are to represent Him and the Kingdom of God with the characteristic of purity. We should not be found in a lifestyle of sin when Jesus returns. The result of immorality means an eternity without Jesus.
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 24:45-51, following a description of the Last Days, the Tribulation, and Jesus’ Second Coming).
Unlike the wicked who will be full of hate, we are called to represent Jesus, Love Himself. God’s command to love does not change just because the world is filled with hateful people. Rather, the love of God in us should shine even brighter, a testimony of Who He is. This will draw people to Him while also maintaining our discipleship with Jesus in the Last Days.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God…Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also (I John 4:7, 17-21, following instructions concerning testing spirits).
Spread the Gospel
God will never withdraw the command to share the Gospel with “every creature” (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15). It’s still a mandate in the Last Days. In fact, angels will be preaching the Gospel during the Tribulation (Revelation 14:6). That’s how badly God wants every person on the planet to be saved before His return!
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
How could there be anything to rejoice about under the challenges of the Last Days? Remember the Last Days are temporary, but our future with Jesus is eternity. The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords is coming back to create a new heaven and earth…and He’s coming back with us as His army (Revelation 19:14-16)! Our future, if we’ll stand for Him without wavering, is a great one with the One we serve and have always longed to see!
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:1-18).