“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:” (Acts 2:17, AV)
In the early 70s, I was assigned to the U.S. Army in Europe. I served a 3 1/2 -year tour before returning to the States. Just prior to returning, our Battalion was on a 45-day field exercise in Southern Germany. I already had my orders to report to Fort Knox, KY, and my departure date was set for 4 or 5 days after the Battalion returned from the exercise. From the time I received the orders to leave Germany and go to Fort Knox, I was in my last days of the 3 ½-year tour in Europe.
Many people have a lot of confusion when they hear the term “last days,” in the Scriptures. Some think it is the time of the time of the great apocalypse spoken of in Scripture. Some consider the “last days” to be the time of the great final judgment. Many confuse the “last days,” with the “last day.” I hope to briefly clarify the phrase, “last days.”
Here, Peter quoted the prophet Joel to explain the strange thing the Jews observed on the Day of Pentecost. They observed the disciples speaking in foreign languages that they had not previously known. Joel’s, prophecy (Joel 2:28-32), explains that “in the last days,” there would be a unique manifestation of God’s Spirit in people. Since the phrase, “last days,” is in the plural, we clearly understand that this refers to a period of time and not a specific day. Yet, there we must also note that there will be a distinct “last day” of the “last days,” at which time that particular period will end.
Since Peter uses the prophecy to explain what was happening at that time, we understand that they were in “last days.” Paul wrote to Timothy in the present tense regarding the last days also.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;” (2 Timothy 3:1–4, AV)
These perilous times truly sound like the present days of our lives.
The writer of Hebrews further clarifies the “last days” as the time period influenced by the gospel message of Jesus Christ.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” (Hebrews 1:1–2, AV)
From this we understand that the “last days” represent the age of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the time period between His first advent and His second coming. It includes the age in which we live, the church age. It is a time of blessing for those of faith. However, it is also a time of responsibility for the believers, the church, as it is the time of proclaiming the truth of the gospel.
Remember that we who believe live in the “last days.” It is a time to extend the only message of hope to a lost and dying world. We do this by proclaiming the truth of Jesus. For a “last day” is coming when judgment will fall upon all who have not genuinely trusted Jesus Christ alone.