And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God…
Acts 2:17a. KJV
Are these the end times? Are we living in the last days? These are certainly relevant questions during this time of uncertainty. As we pass by closed stores and empty restaurants it just feels apocalyptic. Our world has been set on its ear and we have to ask ourselves, “What will our culture look like going forward?”
Let me tackle that first question. Yes, we are in the last days and have been for over 2000 years. The end times began, according to the bible, on the day of Pentecost in the first century. On that day the Holy Spirit came rushing into a small group of Christ-followers and the church was born. But something else occurred in Jerusalem that day that has powerfully affected the world ever since.
As Peter stood to preach, to a confused multitude, he quoted an ancient prophecy from the
book of Joel. This is what the people heard that day, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And on my servants and on my handmaidens, I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”
The coming of the Holy Spirit was, on that day, poured out on all flesh. That would include those who followed Jesus and those who did not believe. The prophecy was directed toward two distinct groups. First of all, your sons and daughters, and secondly, my servants. Dreams and visions were granted to the first group and prophecy was commanded to the second.
The dreams and visions granted to “your sons and daughters,” have impacted the world ever since. The command to, “my servants,” to preach, has changed lives ever since. The world has been moving toward the return of Christ by dreaming of a utopia they cannot achieve, while the church has been busy preaching the gospel.
I’ve chosen a big apple to bite in a short article, and there is more to this prophecy then can be written here but know this; what we are experiencing in our world today moves us closer to His return. The world is trying to heal itself. Men are trying to fix the unfixable. The need for God is sensed in a deeper way than ever before through our present troubles. The great question of the moment is not, will we ever get back to normal. The question should be, does He have your attention? Have you called on the Lord to save you from your sins? Time is certainly short. These are the last days.