WHEN ARE/WERE THE BIBLICAL LAST DAYS?
Here are some views of Christians:
(a) Some undefined period in the future near the end of history.
(b) Will begin at a future literal rapture of the church.
(c) Began in 1948.
(d) Will mark the end of the Christian age.
(e) Began in the first century and continue today, essentially meaning the new covenant era.
Years ago, as I studied this carefully, I had to admit that none of these views are biblical. The last days/end times, according to Scripture, marked the END OF THE OLD COVENANT ERA in the first century.There are 16 primary texts about the last days/end times in the New Testament. Here are five passages, which you can ignore or try to explain away, but you cannot ignore them and deal honestly with the text:•
“Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, ON WHOM THE END OF THE AGES HAS COME.” (Apostle Paul, 1 Corinthians 10:11).
• “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. . . .” (Writer of Hebrews, Hebrews 1:1-2).
• “He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but WAS MADE MANIFEST IN THE LAST TIMES for your sake.” (Apostle Peter, 1 Peter 1:20).
• “The END OF ALL THINGS is AT HAND.” (Apostle Peter, 1 Peter 4:7).
• “Children, IT IS THE LAST HOUR.” (Apostle John, 1 John 2:18).
Here are the other eleven: Matthew 13:38-42; 24:2-3; 13-16 (ref. v. 34); Acts 2:14-20; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Hebrews 9:26; James 5:1-6; 1 Peter 1:5-7; Jude 17-23.
It is clear. You cannot push the last days beyond the generation of men who were writing the New Testament without doing violence to the text. The last days/end times did not just begin in the first century―and continue until now. That would make the end time longer than the period to which it was an end. That is, we have been in the New Covenant era for 2,000 years, which is longer than the Old Covenant era which was 1500 years, beginning with Moses and lasted till the first century.
“At hand” and “It is the last hour” cannot be 2,000 years later.There is only one conclusion honoring to the texts. The last days are not about the end of the world. In fact, the Bible never speaks about the end of the physical universe, and indeed teaches that the earth abides forever in some sense (Psalm 78:69; 104:5; 148:3-6; Ecclesiastes 1:4; Ephesians 3:21). They are not about a supposed end of the Christian age. They are not about a future millennium. Rather, they marked the last days of the OLD COVENANT AGE, which came to a violent end in AD 70 at the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple. This is when God judged Israel for her sins, her refusal to accept Jesus as Messiah, and for her participation with the Roman authorities in Jesus’ conviction and crucifixion. This was the end of biblical Judaism long predicted by Moses and the prophets beginning in Deuteronomy 28-32.Where do you suppose that these writers of the New Testament got such an idea? Well, from our Lord himself, of course, in such passages at Matthew 21-24. In these and many other passages, Jesus placed the “end” at the time of the destruction of the temple, during his own generation. For more detail on all the end-times passages, see my two-part series here:http://faithfacts.org/world…/the-biblical-last-days
Be sure to order a copy of the book, The Last Days Identified for an in-depth study of this important issue/