A gracEmail subscriber asks, “What does the Bible mean when it says that we are living in the end-time? How is that true since we live almost 2,000 years after such statements were first made? If this is the end-time, how should that affect the way we live?”
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The resurrection of Jesus and the pouring out of God’s Spirit on believers were two of several eschatological or end-time events foretold by the Hebrew prophets. The end-time has begun although it has not yet reached its finale. How should we live in this interim between the Messiah’s first and his final appearing? How should we think and behave as end-time people, as “advent” Christians? Other than affecting our attitude toward purchasing real estate in perpetuity (is this part of the reason we don’t read about church buildings in the New Testament?), apostolic writers give us at least four related answers to such questions.
1. We should live confidently, Paul says in Romans 5:1ff. We know what awaits us. We know where history is going. We know how God’s final chapter will unfold in the story of human beings and this earth.
2. We should live moral lives that reflect the light God has shone through Jesus Christ. This involves personal holiness (Rom. 13:11-14) as well as the way we relate to the world (1 Cor. 7:29-31) and to each other (1 Thes. 5; 1 Pet. 4:7-11). It also calls us to live in love toward our neighbors in the world (Rom. 13:8-12).
3. We should live expectantly — we are waiting for a Savior, our life, who is bringing the fullness of our redemption and our salvation (1 Cor. 1:7-8; Phil. 3:20-21; Heb. 9:27-28; Titus 2:11-13). Jesus can return any day!
4. We should live courageously, for God is on our side in Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:8-18). Work done for Christ will not be wasted effort (1 Cor. 15:58).
May God preserve us all, body, soul and spirit, until the coming of Jesus Christ our Lord. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!