We continue our examination of an article, sent to us by a reader, with the above title. We have examined the claims that the “restoration of Israel in 1948″ is a positive sign of the end, and several other of the so-called proofs offered by the article. (We combined several points under the first article since they all deal with the restoration of Israel, by the way, so this is the last in the series).
The article claims, its Point #8, that we must be in the last days because of the “Increase of both apostasy and faith.” The article cites the prediction of 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:3-4 and 2 Timothy 3:5. These passages all spoke of the last days apostasy, and the author of the article insists that those prophecies must refer to our time. There are a multitude of problems with this claim.
Notice that in 2 Timothy 3 Paul told Timothy of the evils that would characterize the last days. What cannot be missed is that Paul told Timothy that he must prepare himself to confront the challenges of what was being predicted! In verses 14f the apostle urged Timothy to be faithful in light of the coming apostasy. Now, if Paul was so urgently cautioning Timothy to be ready to confront the “last days apostasy” it is certain that Paul did not envision the last days as being 2000 years away! Be sure to read my book The Last Days Identified, for a complete refutation of the idea that we are in the last days.
Second, there is no question that Paul believed himself and his generation to be in the last days. In Hebrews 1:1 he spoke of his generation and time as “these last days.” Likewise, he said that Jesus appeared in the end of the age (Hebrews 9:26). In 1 Corinthians 10:11 the apostle emphatically declared that the end of the age was their generation!
Third, the things foretold by Paul are the identical things foretold by Jesus in Matthew 24, when he predicted the coming end of the age and the signs preceding it (Matthew 24:9f). And Jesus emphatically said that those things would be fulfilled in his generation (Matthew 24:34).
Fourth, Paul’s description of the apostasy and evil of the last days is virtually identical of Peter’s description of the wicked in 2 Peter 2, which he said would be true of the wicked in the last days. And here is what is so important. Jude, who wrote shortly after Peter, said that he was reminding his audience of what the apostles had said when they wrote of the events of the last days (Jude 17). But, Jude said that the men and events foretold by the apostles was in full swing when he wrote! As a matter of fact, it was the presence of the anticipated, dreaded events of the last days that called for Jude’s epistle! See Jude 3, and then notice his use of the present tense verbs to describe what was going on in his world, in his churches, when he wrote! Here is what this means:
Peter said that in the last days the apostasy would be present and scoffers would deny the Lord.
Jude said that the apostasy and scoffers foretold by Peter (the apostles) was present when he wrote.
Therefore, the last days foretold by Peter was present when Jude wrote.
This means, unequivocally, that the article under review, when it denies the presence of the last days in the first century, is wrong. The inspired apostles of Jesus said the last days were present in the first century, and they said that Christ’s coming was coming, “in a very, very little while” (Hebrews 10:37). Not once did they indicate that the parousia was to be delayed for 2000 years and then be imminent.
We have examined all of the so-called proofs offered by the article submitted to us. The article is simply one of many on-going, misguided attempts by modern exegetes to predict the time of the Lord’s coming. And yet, without fail, everyone of these predictions are wrong because they ignore the very Bible that they claim to be interpreting! The Bible is emphatic and specific that the coming of the Lord was to be in the first century generation. Those who ignore these undeniable facts are guilty of mis-using the Scripture.