Why are the end-times, spoken of in the Bible, relevant to all Christians, and what makes them so?
The end-times (aka; the last days & the time of great tribulation) are the final years of this age. Most would argue it to be a 7-year period, although that figure would disregard the “birth pains” period, spoken of by Jesus, that starts the end-times. The Bible does not say how long they would last.
Until modern times, understanding the last days was not only considered essential to Christian belief, but also a powerful incentive to reach the goal Jesus set before us. In these times many within ‘churchianity’ (as opposed to true Christianity) have cast-off the importance of the last days and replaced it with the myths of the ‘rapture’ and ‘eternal security’ (Both are subjects for another time).
The end-times are important because it brings about the culmination of Christian belief and signifies the soon coming of the believer’s reward for faithfulness. Unfortunately much of Christian belief has been usurped by churchian doctrines, most importantly, the meaning of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself, over and over, tells us that the gospel is about the Kingdom of Heaven (aka; Kingdom of God). Most modern dogma makes the gospel out to be solely about the sacrifice on the cross by Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. Although not incorrect by itself, it is only the means to achieving the more important ends of entering the Kingdom of Heaven. It is the pearl of great price that we sell all for! That makes the kingdom our primary focus and goal, and the cross our means of achieving said goal.
If you are a believer in the modern version of the “gospel” then you are on shaky ground. You may lose the objectivity of the big picture, which includes the end-times. “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.”
With a correct focus on the kingdom the believer then runs the race marked out for him to achieve entrance into the kingdom. We are striving to reach the resurrection which is the reward for he who remains faithful by what he does, as the fruit of his faith. The resurrection is the gateway into the everlasting Kingdom of Heaven.
The end-times is prophesied in scripture as a type of road map for true believers, who indwelt by the Holy Spirit, will have eyes to see and ears to hear, and so be able to navigate the “home stretch”, and its pitfalls, to the resurrection.
Churchian mythology would have many believe that they will not be here when the end-times come, that they will be “raptured” out of this world for some kind of 7-year vacation while the world self-destructs. They are right, the world will self-destruct, but they are dead-wrong, for they will certainly be here for the end-times. Such myths will cause many to miss the ‘mile-markers’ laid out for us in the Bible. They won’t miss them so much as they won’t be able to correctly identify their significance.
One such marker is the mark of the beast. If a believer takes that mark he is doomed. If you believe you won’t be here will you be able to identify the mark of the beast?
“What I say to you I say to everyone, watch!” Jesus said. To do otherwise is disobedience.
Jesus told us that “he who stands firm to the end will be saved”. In trying times, like the last days, will you stand firm while believing you are already saved?
Jesus told believers that he would “raise them up on the last day”. He said nothing about ahead of time.
You better know your end-times, your eternity may depend on it!
From Outside Babylon