How To Thrive In The End Times

“The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”

1 Peter 4:7-10

When the Bible speaks of the “end times” or “last days” it can’t mean in a “short” period of time for the simple fact the New Testament was written 2,000 years ago. Since 2,000 years of time have passed we can understand what the New Testament writers who used those terms meant. They understood when certain things happen as God has determined in His Word life as we have know will come to an end. In other words the end is final. Now, if you want to look at it from a time perspective it is safe to say, “we are one day closer than when we first believed.”

Based on what I see in the Bible regarding the coming of the Lord is we are in the last days of the last days or near the end of the end times. My reasoning is simple. It’s based on Jesus analogy of a woman having baby here in Matthews gospel. Knowing with first hand knowledge from watching my wife give birth to our three children, when its time for the baby to be born and she went into labor her birth pangs got closer and closer together. At the end the birth pangs got so close they seemed to almost overlap and then suddenly she delivered our babies. From studying the Bible first and foremost and seeing current world events through the lens of scripture, it’s safe to say the labor pains have begun! I’m praying it’s a short labor not a long one!

Read Matthew 24:3-14 to understand the times, “Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.”

Jesus goes on to say, “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” Since we know we are living in the “end times” and “last days” how should we live? Jesus doesn’t mention things to do in hopes that we survive. The Word of God gives us instructions so that we can thrive! If you don’t want to merely survive the end times here’s what you need to do.

First, be earnest and focused in your prayer life. Align your heart with God’s. I like that quote about prayer that says, “You can always do more than pray after you've prayed, but you can never do more than pray until you've prayed.” Every time I read that I am reminded, “Heaven is not just our destination it’s our motivation.” C.S. Lewis wrote, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.” Prayer, more than any other discipline gets our focus on heaven as C.S. Lewis understood, “aim at the earth and get nothing. Aim at heaven and you get the earth thrown in.”

Second, show deep love for one another. Peter says don’t just feel love, put your love into actions. There is an old song by the Bee Gee’s playing in my head as I type, “How Deep Is Your Love?” The Greek word “ektenes"-- strenuous-- described what an Olympic athlete would do in training to compete. It speaks of an all out effort, so strenuous it pushes you to your limits. Pray earnestly and fervently, and strain to love others with everything you’ve got.

Third, widen your circle. We all have our circles. You know, those people you run with, live with and hang with. They are your circle. 1 Peter 4:9 says to enlarge the circle to include people you don’t know. Think about that for a second. Every person you know started off as someone you didn’t know. Except for maybe your mother, lol, but you get the point. The Greek word for “hospitable” means to “love strangers”, and it’s the word “philoxenos” which you might recognize by the connection to “phileo” or “brotherly love”. Peter is saying widen your circle to love complete strangers with the same kind of love you would show a brother or sister. God’s love is inclusive not exclusive.

Do you have a desire to thrive in these end times and last days we are living? If so, dedicate your life to praying earnestly, to loving deeply and widening your circle to bring in and serve compete strangers, those who are in need. Don’t let the world distract you, keep your eyes wide open remembering…

“So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”

Luke 21:28


Michael Osthimer





no categories


no tags