Paul's Passing Thoughts

An Apostolic Call To Discernment In The “Last Days”

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 24, 2009

Manuscript on Sunday 06/14/2009: Germantown Baptist Chapel


 Isn’t the view of the Christian landscape a pretty confusing sight? As your driving around, you can’t help but to notice all the different churches everywhere with all kinds of different names. You ever been to a Christian book store? Good grief!


 Some recent comments by friends of mine on Facebook reflect the kind of confusion and questions bouncing around in our heads. One friend of mine recently posted a note on Facebook that said, “Doesn’t anybody have any discernment anymore?”


Another dear friend of mine wrote me an email recently in the same tone of exasperation, “I just do not understand why theologians today are always looking for a new twist rather than a true interpretation of each passage – allowing scripture to interpret scripture.”


Yet another friend showed frustration at God himself and ask, “why can’t God make things simple?” Why is everybody so confused”?


What is the deal? How can their be so many takes on “one faith delivered to the saints” as Jude put it.


Well, I’m here to tell you that our God is not a God of confusion. Perish the thought! Neither does God want us to be confused about the above questions, he wants us to understand the landscape and why things are the way they are.


 This morning and tonight we will look at what the scriptures say in regard to these vital questions. But first, In order to understand the landscape of our day, we need to understand where we are at in the scheme of redemptive history.


 Why? Because that is the prism that the scriptures use to describe WHAT WE SHOULD EXPECT AND LOOK FOR IN THIS TIME AND THERFORE NOT BE SURPRISED OR CONFUSED ABOUT IT.


Not only that, the scriptures also outline a course of action as well.


Therefore, let’s start in Hebrews 9:26;


 “for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” ESV.


 Let me ask you a question. Are we in the last days? How do we know? Because of a book someone wrote? No, we know that we are in the last day’s because Hebrew 9:26 says the last days are marked by the coming of Christ to die for our sins.


What we are going to see is that the coming of Christ in the flesh to die for the world takes place in a specific time period that has a beginning and an end. Then we are going to look at the characteristics that come with this age. Before we go on, we see that this age is marked by the first appearing of Christ as a man, it is the last age among ages since ages is in the plural. All of the major and most used versions along with the Greek Interlinear reflect this.


This is also reflected at the beginning of Hebrews as well in Hebrews 1:1,2;


Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”


The beginning of this specific time period is open for debate. Really, you could make an argument for the beginning of the Lord’s ministry being, the resurrection, the ascension or Pentecost. However, it is clear that the beginning is sometime during the coming of Christ and his ministry through the Disciples who later become the Apostles. It doesn’t much matter when exactly it started, we can be sure that we are now in it.


 Next, this specific time period has a specific end:


 First, the end is determined by the total gathering of all of those he foreknew and the beginning of what is known as the “Day of the Lord.”


2Peter 3:3-10

knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.


 Notice we have 2 separate events here, the “Last Days” and the “Day of the Lord.” The present age will continue until all that God foreknew are saved. The way Peter puts it is, the Lord is patiently waiting for all of his children to be saved, not willing that any perish. Others mistake this for the Lord being slack, or he is not coming back at all because it has been such a long time.


Another text that speaks of the difference between the “Last Days” and “The Day of the Lord” is 2Thessalonians 2:1-7


Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.


So the end of the last days will be proceeded by the full gathering of God’s children and precede the appearance of the Antichrist and the day of the Lord according to the Apostle Paul.


 Also, the end of the last days time period will end with an unexpected resurrection of many believers who are still alive.


 1Corinthians 15:51,52

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.



John 21:18-23

“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”



1Thessalonians 4:15-17

For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.


Also keep in mind that this resurrection otherwise known as the “Rapture” is what we call “imminent.”

In other words, it is likely to occur at any time without warning:


Acts 1:6,7

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.


The Lord restores the kingdom to Israel at the end of the Day of the Lord . The beginning of the Day of the Lord marks the end of the Last Days. Christ also states the following in Matthew 24:36-44;


“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. “As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark,”and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. “Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. “Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. “Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.


The whole issue of imminence separates the Last Days and the Day of the Lord because if I’m a believer in the Day of the Lord, otherwise known as the “Tribulation Period”, I know exactly when the Lords coming back to the day. Let me demonstrate. Go to Daniel 9:27


“And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”


The Tribulation period has designated times and not much on the imminent side is going on during this time. If I am a believer during that time, I know that the Lord’s return is 7 years from the date of a treaty made with Israel by the antichrist [other scripture] and 3.5 years from the “Abomination of Desolation” spoken of in 2Thesssalonians 2:4.




So there you have it, this is the age we are living in, “The Last Days.” So what does the Bible say these day’s will be like? What should we expect?



Go to 2Timothy 4:2,3 and I will be reading from the NIV:

 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.


Men will not only be seekers of “A” truth rather than “The” truth, they will not TOLERATE “ sound doctrine!” When you go into a teaching situation, in many cases, they just aren’t going to reject your teaching, THEY AREN’T GOING TO TOLERATE YOU!, and really, some of us here have our share of horror stories.


Really, in the age we live in, there are 3 kinds of churches. Churches that are driven to follow “The” truth at all cost, churches that will follow the truth as long as it doesn’t cost them anything and churches that the apostle Paul said would be indicative of the age, seekers of “A” truth that feeds the evil desires of their heart with a rabid intolerance of truth tellers.


Go with me now to 1John 2:18


 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.


You see the reference here to a future day that will be the time when the antichrist appears, but the apostle John says MANY of his forerunners will be active in this age. In a matter of fact, it’s how we know it is the last age!!!! Incredibly, the Apostle is saying “many antichrist” mark this age.


Go now to 1John 4:1


Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.


This is a different group than what John spoke of earlier. There are also MANY “false prophets” in our age. Many antichrist’ and many false prophets mark the age we live in.


Additionally, there where also FALSE APOSTLES among them. Turn with me to 2Corinthians 11:13


For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.


Revelation 2:2 also speaks of false apostles and there was even a problem with fictional letters being sent out as if from the Apostles telling the saints that they missed the resurrection. [ 2Thessalonians 2:1-3].


 In the New Testament, of the 27 books that make up the cannon, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, Hebrews, 1st and 2nd Peter, 1st, 2nd, and John 3, and Jude deal primarily with error and false teaching as a theme. All other New Testament books contain portions that deal with false or erroneous teaching.


 In Revelation chapters 2 and 3, of the 7 churches, 5 contain and tolerate false teachers and are warned by Christ accordingly. In a matter of fact, his specific charge is that they “TOLERATE” false teaching.


The first century church, always looked at as the ideal model, was entrenched in constant and vicious warfare to protect the truth. When the Disciples ask Jesus what the sign of the end of the age and his coming was going to be, the first thing he said was “BE NOT DECEAVED”


Well, maybe things have gotten better since then, right? Not according to the Apostle Paul and what he promised Timothy in 2Timothy 3:1-5


But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.


Again, Paul says in 2Timothy 3:13


while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.


Once you view the present Christian landscape through scripture, it’s not very confusing at all. The Church was engulfed in warfare for the truth from it’s conception and the powers of darkness have had 2000 years to perfect their schemes, neither have they retreated.


However, I am not challenging you to pass judgment on anybody, I am challenging you to be a Berean like those talked about in Acts 17, the ones the Holy Spirit called “honorable.” The Bereans would not even give the Apostle Paul a pass without searching the scriptures to confirm what he was teaching.


Therefore, you need not and should not give any teacher of this age a pass on what they teach. Christ made it clear that the way of destruction in this age would be a wide road while the way of life would be narrow.


I was once sitting in a Sunday school class where the teacher made this statement: “You need to run to the bookstore and get this book.” Listen, I don’t run to any teaching, I move in slowly with binoculars while hiding behind rocks and trees as I go, and so should you.


Why are there so many denominations, isms and teachings covered in spiffy book covers? Because we live in an age that will not tolerate sound doctrine. There is no middle ground in this war, you either stand with darkness or you stand with light, the choice is yours.



One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 29, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Reblogged this on Clearcreek Chapel Watch.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s