Living In The "Last Days"

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Ephesians 4:32

If you are like me you have a sense in your spirit that something has gone terribly wrong in the world today. It almost seems like a switch was flipped this past year during the Covid-19 lockdowns and things which we have always known existed but use to be done primarily in secret are now happening out in the open and we can’t stop them. The Bible calls these days we are living in, “The Last Days”, the times before the return of Jesus to the earth and at which time He will establish law and order to a world out of control. The Bible reminds us that like a woman about to give birth, the contractions get closer and closer as the birth approaches, evil will increase with its intensity as we get closer to the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. From the craziness taking place all around the world and the frequency at which it is occurring, many people believe the return of the Lord is imminent. I am one of those who holds this view.

So, the question that begs to be asked today is how do we live in a world that is so filled with open anger and rage for merely holding a different view point? The Bible teaches plainly that the way to overcome evil is by doing good and loving even our enemies and by seeking to do good even to those who hate us and who spitefully use us. Thats easier said than done because most of us understand the old saying all too well, “Do it to me once, shame on you. Do it to me twice shame on me.” As followers of Jesus Christ we don’t have the luxury of flipping a switch, drawing a line so to speak when we will stop loving others, even when it hurts. It’s almost impossible to stay mad at someone you are faithfully praying for.  

Listen to the words of the apostle Paul who was writing to a church that was suffering from persecution from the Roman government who had such disdain for Christians that Caesar Nero would torture and kill followers of Christ by having their bodies dipped in pitch and set on fire to illuminate the place gardens at night. It was nothing for him to throw Christians to the lions as bloodsport. The words of Romans 12:9-19 are just as needed today as they were back then, “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord”.

Dealing with people we don’t necessarily like or who don’t like us is difficult and God knows its almost impossible to hate someone you will faithfully pray for. The bottom line is this. Having enemies in life is inevitable, especially if you love God. But choosing to be an enemy is optional so we are without excuse. The apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian church, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Believing that is true we can trade pettiness for kindness today and show love where it is not deserved and we can offer compassion where it is not expected. Keep in mind today the words of Matthew Henry who once said, “The greatest triumph you can have over an enemy is to turn them into a friend.” After all, isn’t that what Jesus has done to you and me?

“the kindness of God leads a man to repentance”

Romans 2:4


Michael Osthimer





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