December 7, 2023
October 8, 2023

Greenville, South Carolina

I am grateful to Pastor Mikhail Yurkin for the opportunity to share this significant topic with his congregation.

Speaking about the end times, Jesus, addressing the people listening to Him, said: ”… When you see a cloud rise out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it is. And when a south wind blows, you say, ‘There will be heat,’ and it happens. You hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth. But why do you not know how to discern this time?“ (Luke 12:54-56)

In theology, there is a separate subject devoted to the study of the end times, called eschatology. Often, when this topic is brought up, one hears the following words: “We don’t have to talk about this. This is not the most important thing for our salvation.” I just can’t agree with this.

Current political events and exponentially increasing military conflicts and natural disasters clearly indicate that we are living in the end times. However, there are those who speak exactly in the way of whom the Apostle Peter prophesied: ”Know this first, that there shall come scoffers in the last days who walk after their own lusts, and say, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were since the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4). Please note that this will be said by people who believe in God because they acknowledge that everything was created by Him.

Peter continues: ”For they willingly ignore that, by the word of God the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed standing out of the water and in the water, by which the world that then existed was flooded with water and perished. But by the same word, the heavens and the earth that now exist are being reserved for fire, kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of the ungodly.“ (2 Peter 3:5-7)

Otherwise, why would Jesus reproach the people for not being able to recognize or discern the times? He speaks in this chapter specifically about the end times (Luke 12). Not only does He reproach, He calls such people, far from flattering, hypocrites. In other words, Christ warns us that this topic can also affect our salvation if we are not watchful. Why? Because we, humans, often tend not to stay awake and even fall asleep spiritually. Our sinful human nature sometimes has to be disturbed so as not to end up among those foolish virgins who did not prepare their lamps without filling them with oil.

Friends, let us listen to the words of Paul: ”For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind. So do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me, His prisoner. But share in the sufferings of the gospel by the power of God, For these things I suffer, but I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him until that Day. Hold fast the pattern of sound teaching which you have heard from me in the faith and love that is in Christ Jesus. That good thing that was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.“ (2 Timothy 1:7-8, 12-14)

Brother and sister, are you being watchful? Is your lamp prepared?

Max Volkov in Christ