Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Last Days (Esch 356)

The Last Days of What?

The “End Times” is often described as the “Last Days.” A few passages speak about the last days.

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come” (2 Timothy 3:1).

The common assumption is that “the last days” describes the last days of the universe. However, the author of Hebrews indicates that he was already in the last days.

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2).

The author of Hebrews was in the last days. Unfortunately, many attempt to argue that the last days began in the first century and continue even today, so that, two thousand years later, we are still in the last days. According to this view, we will still be in the last days until Christ returns, even if that is 100,000 years from now.

Of course, this not only drains “last days” of any significance, but it gives “last days” precisely the opposite of its normal meaning.

A more natural way of understanding “last days” is that it is referring to a specific era. Preterists hold that “last days” refers to the “last days of the Old Covenant” or “last days of the temple” or “last days of Jerusalem.” All of these describe the situation leading up to the destruction of the temple in ad 70.


Frontier Forest said...

Pastor, do you view Christ’s commands for the Great Commission as being part of the end times or the last days?

Eric Adams said...

That began to be fulfilled in the first century and is still being fulfilled today as the church continues to spread across the globe.

Frontier Forest said...

I am striving to do my part!