Until recently I spent too much time thinking about the last days as prophesied in the Bible. Are we living in the last days? If so, how would these events play themselves out? Do I need to stock up on water this week, or wait until next week?
I asked God to redirect my focus, but every time I opened the Bible it randomly happened upon an end-times passage. So to be honest I got a little freaked out. Here I am, praying for relief from my obsession with the end of the world, and God keeps sending apocalyptic Scripture my way.
You would get a little freaked out, too. But then God took me to the next level.
Let’s just assume for the sake of argument that we are indeed seeing fulfillment of Bible prophecy. If that is true, what should I do? After reflecting on end-times passages in the New Testament, I’ve made a short list, and so far it doesn’t include stocking-piling water.
1. Pray as if the end is imminent. If you knew for certain that a nuclear bomb would destroy your city in three days, how would you pray? And if you knew that, following nuclear war, Jesus would return for His church — how would that change your prayer? It sounds strange to pray this way, but Jesus even went so far as to say “Pray that this will not take place in winter, because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now.” Mark 13:18
2. Live righteously and spiritually awake. I used to think this meant we must never sin. But that’s impossible for me, and now I understand that Jesus makes me righteous in God’s eyes. Over and over again Jesus tells us that we cannot know when the end will happen. But we don’t want Him to find us sleeping when He returns, that much is clear. “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come… do not let Him find you sleeping.” (Mark 32-33, 36)
3. Walk with God. In Matthew 24 Jesus said the end will be as in the days of Noah. “For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.” So what was different about Noah? What can I learn from how he behaved during this critical time? “Noah was a righteous man… and he walked with God.” (Genesis 6). God should be a constant presence in my life, every step of the way. And hopefully, if we are indeed living in the last days, I will recognize His voice if He tells me to stock up on water.