Rethinking How to Live in the End Times
In a world filled with uncertainty and rapid change, it’s only natural for us to wonder about the future. Everyone wants to know, when does it all end? There is a fear of missing out that can cause us to become distracted away from the things we already have. For Jesus and the people of his time, they were preoccupied with the idea of the end because for them, the end was just the beginning.
The Disciples’ Question and Jesus’ Response
In the Gospel of Mark, we find a group of curious disciples seeking answers from Jesus.
“As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately, ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?'” (Mark 13:3, NASB1995).
These disciples were not focused on what many Christians call “the End Times.” They were asking when would the Kingdom of God do what they thought it was supposed to do. In their minds, they were patiently investing their time with the future King of Israel, and they believed they would be part of that Kingdom.
Understanding the End Times
Jesus, on the other hand, was talking about a period of time in which the world would experience tremendous upheaval. Some of it would be because the world was broken, but some of it would be because of the words that they would speak to this broken world.
These “End Times” would be characterized by tragedy and salvation. Physical arrest, betrayal, and the opportunity to speak the Good News of Jesus Christ to world leaders and ordinary citizens. To survive the intense persecution, you would need to endure to the end.
Jesus’s depiction of what the End looks like can be intimidating to people who expect that the future is bright and filled with pleasure. It seems to be the opposite, but Jesus didn’t speak about the End Times as much as He spoke about the Present Times.
Living Abundantly in the Present
Jesus lived, died, rose from the dead, and sent His Holy Spirit to live in us so that we can have life, and life more abundantly. He would make it possible to live the kind of abundant life that lives to please God. For Jesus, life was to be lived for God, and although He has given us some insight into what the End would look like, it isn’t a horrible end for the believers.
In fact, the Book of Revelation details that the End Times will be the greatest evangelistic period in human history.
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands. — Revelation 7:9
How Now Should We Live?
So, how should we live in light of the knowledge that the End Times are coming? How can we apply the teachings of Jesus to our daily lives, and what does the Bible say about living with purpose and hope in these uncertain times? Let’s explore some practical ways to live according to God’s Word:
- Seek God’s Kingdom First: Rather than becoming consumed by worry about the future, focus on seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness in your daily life. This means prioritizing your relationship with God through prayer, reading His Word, and living in obedience to His commands.
In Matthew 6:33 (NASB1995), Jesus said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
- Love One Another: Embrace a lifestyle of love and compassion toward others. Let your love shine as a testimony to the world of your faith in Christ.
In John 13:34-35 (NASB1995), Jesus instructed His disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this, all men will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another.”
- Share the Good News: As mentioned earlier, the End Times will provide unique opportunities to share the Gospel. Be intentional about sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with those around you.
In Matthew 28:19-20 (NASB1995), Jesus commissioned His followers, saying, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.”
- Trust in God’s Promises: In times of uncertainty, remember God’s promises. Trust that God is in control, and His peace will sustain you.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB1995) reminds us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- Persevere and Endure: In the midst of trials and tribulations, hold onto your faith. Remember that enduring to the end is a testament to your faith and devotion to Christ.
James 1:12 (NASB1995) encourages us, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
While the concept of the End Times may bring feelings of uncertainty, fear, or curiosity, we can find hope and purpose in the teachings of Jesus. By seeking God’s kingdom, loving one another, sharing the Good News, trusting in God’s promises, and persevering through trials, we can live meaningful and fulfilling lives regardless of what the future holds. As we await the fulfillment of God’s plan, let us live each day with faith, hope, and love, knowing that our ultimate destiny is in His hands.