Terrible Times in the Last Days

By Pastor Teck Uy

People these days seem to be taking things easy. And because they have peace and quiet, there is no rush to vigorously pursue the thing that matters most, the salvation of their soul. Amidst this state of apathy, the apostle Paul warned: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days” (2 Tim 3:1). If what we see on TV and read in newspapers is any indication, we are indeed living in the last days, which is terrifying indeed. If this wickedness continues, where in the world could we possibly escape and find shelter? Certainly, there is no place on earth where the works of the evil one has not yet penetrated. To the comfort of believers, however, the Bible tells us that “The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Prov. 18:10). Yes, only the Lord could help us confront this challenge.

Because of this increasing wickedness, the apostle Peter admonished believers saying, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9). No one should take this threat of the devil lightly. His goal is to outsmart believers and he is bent on unleashing his terror to scare off everyone, even strong believers if possible. However, as faithful believers, we are not ignorant of his schemes. We need to be alert at all times. It is not the strong that the devil will confront, but the weak. He quickly pounces on those who are weak and whose standards have been lowered.

The Lord Jesus also warned, “While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape” (1 Thes. 5:3). When we are too comfortable where we are, we tend to disregard all warnings, whether this pertains to the Lord’s coming or to the perils of this world. We go by the saying “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die” and yet death is not a simple matter. While it is true that we will all die one day, the bigger question that should dominate our heart is where will we end up when we die – heaven or hell? If life is terrifying here on earth, it will surely be more terrifying in hell.

To help believers overcome these terrible times, the apostle Paul said, “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.  The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom. 13:11-12). Yes, the end is almost here. We need to wake up to this truth. We can no longer afford to be complacent and feign ignorance that the dangers that are before us do exist. Unless we embrace this truth, we can fall victim to apathy that will eventually lead to destruction. We have to walk circumspectly and be aware that the devil will not rest until he is able to unleash his terror. The devil thrives in the works of darkness hence, the apostle Paul continued, “Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh” (Rom 13:13-14). It is, then, imperative for us to desist from the works of darkness if only to survive the onslaught of the devil. Some of these may seem harmless at the beginning but will eventually serve as the devil’s snares to entangle even the strongest of believers. 

While the devil is a formidable foe, we can overcome him when we clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ. In his epistle, James gave this instruction, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:7-8). If we are under the protective wings of the Lord, we are safe and secure. We are able not only to resist the devil but to triumph over him. However, we cannot be under God’s protective wings if we continue to live in sin. We need to purify our hearts and minds and live in righteousness. We have to fix our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ being the author and perfecter of our faith. Friends, there is a greater need now for us to discern the time we are living in. The events of our days are terrifying because we are now living in the last days. Let us not be complacent and be caught unguarded. We have to be fully awake and aware of what is happening around us and be vigilant. Indeed, there will be terrible times in the last days but we are ready. Hallelujah!