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November 15, 2023

Dear Church of the Open Bible,

Are we living in the last days? It sure feels like it. There is such unrest and groaning. There is such confusion and despair. No wonder we ask the question. But God’s answer is not as definitive as we’d like. No one knows the hour Christ will return (Matt 24:36) but we know that He will (Acts 1:11) and soon (Rev. 22:20). As frustrating as this may seem at times, this answer should encourage us in two ways. The first way it should encourage us is to trust in God. Our anxiety to know the details reflects a trust in them, rather than God. The second way it should encourage us is to live well in the present. Whether or not Christ returns today, this could be our last day, and we should live like it. 

Imprisoned in Rome, Paul didn’t know how long he would live, or which day would be his last. But listen to the last verse describing his life and what characterized it.

“He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.”  (Acts 28:30)

Paul cared for and welcomed others. He was bold as he proclaimed and taught the gospel. He lived with intentionality, not taking his today for granted. 

Are we living in the last days? Perhaps. A better question is, are you living like it? Are you living like it is the last day, whether your last day or the world’s? If Jesus were to return tomorrow, who’s forgiveness would you seek today? Whom would you forgive? What would you stop doing and what would you start doing? What would you make sure to say to those around you? May the uncertainty around us encourage us to trust our certain God and live faithfully with each day that He gives us.