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God's Plan and Purpose for the Last Days

For then there will be great tribulation (affliction, distress, and oppression) such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now—no, and never will be [again]. (Amplified version)
--- Matthew 24:21

Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
--- 1 Corinthians 15:24-26

The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
--- Psalm 103:19

We live in a world full of fear and turmoil. Instability and chaos are all around us. Society is being upended and torn apart. Confusion and anxiety dominate much of society. Many are unsettled and unsure about their future.

Followers of Jesus look around them and are not surprised. They understand that these world events were predicted long ago in the Bible. They know the signs of the times and discern that the world around them is beginning to resemble the "days of Noah." (Matthew 24:37-40)

Matthew 24:37

History is unfolding just like God said it would in the Bible.
And what is happening in the world is confirmation that God's Holy Word, the Bible, is true.

Every detail in the Bible is there for a reason.
All scripture is perfectly fitted together, with no shifting shadow, giving us God's perfect truth.

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
John 17:17

Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.
--- James 1:17

God has given a clear picture from scripture that in the last days, lawlessness and wickedness will increase and people's love will grow cold. (Matthew 24:12)

Moreover, the Bible says that the last days will be the most difficult time in all history (Matthew 24:21, Daniel 12:1). This is sobering, but as followers of Jesus Christ, we also know that God is in control and every detail of the end times is in His sovereign hands. (2 Chronicles 20:6)

God has explained the end times in the Bible so that we will not be caught off guard and unready (Matthew 24:25). The key to making sense of the chaos and uncertainty that are in the world today is to understand God's plan and purpose for the end times. And to do that, we must dig into the word of God for understanding. (Psalm 119:130, 2 Timothy 3:16)

God has given us all we need to know in His word.

Regarding the last days, the Bible says we must prepare our hearts and minds by being self-controlled and sober-minded. We must be alert, watchful, and prayerful while trusting the Lord and believing His word.
Matthew 26:41, Matthew 24:42, 1 Corinthians 16:13, Revelation 16:15, Revelation 3:3, 1 Peter 4:7, Luke 21:36, Luke 22:46, Proverbs 3:5, John 16:33

It will be difficult, but the Lord will sustain us.
God will make a way for us. (Psalm 55:22, Philippians 4:19)

God is Patient
God "desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth"
--- 1 Timothy 2:4

And since Jesus's first coming, God has been patiently waiting for all that would be saved to be saved.
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. --- 2 Peter 3:9

Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? --- Romans 2:4
The end times are an indication that God's patience is ending.

God has a plan and
it is a perfect plan.

God's plan, in brief, is to separate the righteous from the wicked (by allowing evil to increase), give everyone their due recompense, and bring this current world to an end.

In the midst of this, probably at the Abomination of Desolation,
God sends His two witnesses:
1. to call the wicked to repentance as indicated by them wearing sackcloth (Revelation 11:3).
2. to testify and prophesy against the antichrist and sin for 1,260 days (Revelation 11:3, Revelation 11:6).
3. to testify that Jesus Christ is God's Son and that He is LORD of Lords and KING or KINGS. (Revelation 17:14, Revelation 19:16)
They are the perfect witnesses since they were (I believe) eyewitnesses to His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.
4. to encourage believers to give their testimony of Jesus Christ even when facing death.
5. to justify the coming judgment on the wicked.

God will then rapture (at the 6th seal) the remaining believers, and then pour His wrath out upon the wicked of the earth (Revelation 11:18, Romans 1:18) for one year and ten days (like the days of Noah) and thus giving everyone their due recompense.

God will then bring this current world to an end.

As the end times unfold, God will allow evil to reign for a season. Violence will increase, just like in the days of Noah, and the righteous will be persecuted. God will use the persecution of the righteous to separate the righteous from the wicked and to purify His Church.

Judgement Begins with the Household of God
(1 Peter 4:17)

God allows difficulties and suffering in the lives of His people to purify them. When we are persecuted for the cause of Christ, we share in His sufferings.
(1 Peter 4:13–14, Philippians 1:29)

Philippians 1:29
And when we share His suffering, we know Him a little better (Philippians 3:10). Paul echoes this theme:
  "Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." --- Romans 8:17

Part of God’s judgement upon sin is physical suffering. When His own children experience such suffering, it is not for our harm but to make us more like Jesus. "Judgement" for the children of God can be considered discipline.

"But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world." --- 1 Corinthians 11:32 NASB

"My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him; For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives." --- Hebrews 12:5-6 NASB

For a believer, persecution and suffering are designed to purge sin from our lives and teach us obedience, drawing us closer to the LORD.
These are Biblical principles that only the most seasoned Christians understand.

Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.
--- Hebrews 5:8

(from gotquestions.org/judgement-begins-house-God.html)

Persecution (along with greed and deception) will cause 2/3rds of those who call themselves Christians (and are not) to fall away from the faith. This is foreshadowed in the seed parable: Matthew 13:18-23.
For more detailed explanation of the Great Apostasy: Click here

This will serve to purify the Church.

Clearly, God's ways
are not our ways.

(Isaiah 55:8-9)

In the last days, God will allow evil to increase but only to a point. Like the pagan Amorites from northern Syria in Genesis 15:16, God allows the ungodly to store up His wrath while always giving them time to repent. He gave the Amorites 400 years to repent before they received the judgement of God.

In the last days, God has given the ungodly of the whole world 2000 years to repent. God is long-suffering and patient with His creation. But there is an end to God's patience. Judgement is coming, and it will be fair and just.
(Psalm 51:4)

And while His plan unfolds, we must be "diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish."
-- 2 Peter 3:14, Philippians 2:14-16

And the only way for us to keep from succumbing to worldly pressures and thereby denying Jesus is by fervent prayer and constant walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.

We are in a spiritual battle. The world has been slowly drifting into the "days of Noah" (Matthew 24:37). Most do not want to talk or even think about the coming adversity of the last days. And some want to fix the world through political means.
It cannot be done.

The Antichrist spirit has permeated all aspects of our society and is getting stronger each day.

and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the Antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
--- 1 John 4:3

The Antichrist spirit has control of the world. We need to let go of the world and the things in the world.
Those who cannot let go of the world will take the mark of the beast.
We need to embrace the reality of the end times, let go of worldly valuables, and place our eternal lives in the hands of the LORD.
We need to cling to Jesus, not the world.

1 John 2:15

We need embrace the fact that persecution and hardship is coming to all those who "live godly in Christ Jesus."
--- 2 Timothy 3:12

"And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus."
--- Revelation 17:6

The "woman" is Mystery Babylon the Great, the world system which is now forming and which scripture says is sitting on the beast (Revelation 17:3).
This first world system will collapse, and the beast (the Antichrist) will pick up the pieces and "look like a savior" to the world. Satan always counterfeits God.
The world will be greatly deceived and will WORSHIP the Antichrist. Both world systems hate Christians.

Persecution is coming, and we need to stand firm in Christ by trusting and obeying the word of God. It is better to mentally embrace what lies ahead rather than live in constant fear of the future.
We need to prepare mentally and spiritually for what the Bible says is coming in the last days.

Living isolated in a bunker
to escape from the end times
is not the answer.

Speaking the good news of Jesus Christ to the lost world around us is the answer.
And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." --- Luke 9:23

Luke 9:23
When we live in "escape mode" we allow fear to be our rudder, and we are like the waves tossed to and fro (Ephesians 4:14).

In the end times, we will have to totally depend on God for discernment, protection, and provision including food to avoid taking the mark of the beast.

Revelation 2:17 says, "To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna..."
The end times will force us to become totally dependent and reliant upon God, and this is a good thing.

My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
--- Psalm 62:5-6

We do need to be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves"
(Matthew 10:16).
And that could mean for some that "When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next"
(Matthew 10:23).
But always with the resolve of giving our testimony of Jesus Christ. We are called to speak the gospel to the lost and deceived.

We need to stand firm and embrace our testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ.

As the body of Christ, our testimony is part of His end time plan.

And they have conquered him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
--- Revelation 12:11

As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." --- Romans 8:36

John 16:33, Luke 14:26, Revelation 2:10, Revelation 6:9

God has a plan

Last days "bread crumbs" are all through the Bible and with the help of the Holy Spirit we can make sense of it all.
We can remain calm, collected, and focused to live in the center of God's perfect will during what the bible calls the worst tribulation in history. (Matthew 24:21, Daniel 12:1)

Romans 8:31

We cannot get around the reality of the end times.

We have to embrace the fact that obeying the Lord and patiently enduring while waiting for Him to come for us is the only way.

And God will use the obstacles we face in the form of trials and temptations and perhaps even death, to accomplish His plan for the last days.

It will be difficult for us but God has promised "never to leave us or forsake us."

Deuteronomy 31:8

We have to wait patiently
for His coming and trust Him.

We will need great faith.
but remember,
God has promised not
to let go of us.

"Fear not, for I am with you;"
--- Isaiah 41:10

My sheep hear My voice....
and I give eternal life to them,
and they will never perish; and
no one will snatch them
out of My hand.

--- John 10:27-28

God's ways are not our ways.
Do not fret

"Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes."
"For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land."
--- Psalm 37:7,9

It is only by embracing what lies ahead (not emotionally running from it) that we can fulfill the Lord's purpose and plan He has for each of us.

The End Times are here, but remember, the LORD is in control.

Love is growing cold and like the days of Noah, violence is increasing.

Evil will multiply, and the LORD will use it to accomplish His perfect plan to bring this world to an end and save the faithful in Christ.

God's Plan and Purposes for Last Days:

Perilous Times:

God uses the tribulation to separate the sheep from the goats, and the wheat from the tares, true believers from false believers, and the righteous from the wicked.
It is a winnowing process that will take the form of persecution for the righteous. This is the wisdom of God working.

God allows difficulties and suffering in the lives of the righteous to purify the church and draw us closer to Him, sharing in His sufferings (Philippians 3:10-11, 1 Peter 4:13-14, Romans 8:17).
The Lord also uses this as discipline to bring us to repentance
(2 Corinthians 7:10) and teach us patience and endurance
(James 1:2-4, 2 Timothy 2:12).

Please understand, in the end times, the primary purpose of this difficult time for the righteous is to separate the righteous from the wicked and to purify the church.
It is not condemnation of the righteous.
(Romans 8:1)

And we are not saying that this violence and persecution are a good thing, but what we are saying is that what Satan means for evil, God means for good (Genesis 50:20).
And even amid this evil, God has not forgotten us. He is still working all things "together for good to those who love Him and are called according to his purpose." --- Romans 8:28

After the righteous are disciplined, purified, and separated from the wicked they will be raptured. This is after the 6th seal (or 6th year of the 70th week of Daniel).

After the rapture, the wicked will begin their judgement process ending in condemnation.
The wrath of God will be poured out on the wicked in the 7th year of the tribulation.
Many believe God's wrath will last one year and 10 days just like the flood of Noah.
The flood began "the second month, the seventeenth day of the month" (Genesis 7:11) and "in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried (Genesis 8:13,14). The flood (the wrath of God) lasted one year and ten days (the length of a shmita, or sabbatical year).
Many believe that the last year of Daniel's 70th week will be a sabbatical year.

The significance of this lies in the fact that Feast of Trumpets (the feast associated with the rapture) and Day of Atonement (the feast associated with the second coming of Christ) are one year and ten days apart in a sabbatical year.

[It is important to note that no one knows the beginning of Feast of Trumpets since it is based on the physical sighting of the new moon over a 2 day period... no one knows the day or hour.]

The Bible calls the seven feasts God's "appointed times."
Of the seven feasts—Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Booths or Tabernacles—four have been fulfilled, and the next three will be.

Passover (Pesach): Jesus crucified
Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot): Jesus buried
Feast of First Fruits (Yom HaBikkurim): Jesus resurrected
Feast of Weeks (Pentecost): Holy Spirit poured out

Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah): Rapture
Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur): 2nd Coming
Feast of Tabernacles or Booths (Sukkot): Millennial Kingdom

Ultimately, the righteous will all stand before the judgement-seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:9-11) and be judged for their works.
Ungodly works will be burned up like "wood, hay, and stubble" (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). Godly works will remain like silver or gold tested in fire.
The righteous will not be judged for sin, it was paid for by Christ.

The wicked, however, will stand before the Great White Throne of judgement to be judged for their sin. They will receive their due penalty which is separation from God and eternal damnation in the lake of fire.
(Romans 2:5-6, Revelation 20:11-12)

The following Purposes of End Times all connect to the above Perilous Times:

To overcome evil and bring it to an end with God’s righteous wrath
--- Romans 1:18-19, Psalm 51:4

To bless His children (Yes, Bless!)
If you are persecuted for Jesus, you are blessed.
-- Matthew 5:10-12, 1 Peter 4:14, Romans 5:3, James 1:12, James 1:2-3, James 5:11
Matthew 5:10

persecution is used to perfect our love for Him.
And in the last days, if you obey God's word, you will be persecuted.
But whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. --- 1 John 2:5

God is sanctifying believers through their suffering and building endurance.
---Romans 5:3-5, James 1:2-4

to purify the Church
This is God’s perfect process of refining and purifying the church to become overcomers in Christ. ..."be in holy conduct and godliness"
---2 Peter 3:11
"spotless and blameless"
--- 2 Peter 3:14

Test our Faith: The end times will force us to become totally dependent upon God, and this is a good thing.
--- 1 Peter 1:6-7, 1 Peter 4:12-13, Philippians 4:19, Psalm 118:8, Proverbs 3:5-6, 1 Chronicles 16:11, Isaiah 41:10

To bring in the fullness of Israel’s salvation and restore Israel
--- Jeremiah 30:1-38, Hosea 3:4-5
To save Israel
--- Romans 11:26
Fulfill prophecy: by making them first fruits
--- Revelation 14:4, Matthew 20:16

separating wheat from chaff;
---Matthew 3:12

Persecution is also used for spreading the gospel. Historically, this has always been true, beginning with the first century martyrs and continuing to the present day, as evident in Iran and China.
Persecution is part of our testimony and an opportunity to witness to those around us.
We are called to evangelize.
Acts 14:22, 2 Corinthians 1:6-7, 2 Timothy 2:10, Luke 21:12–13, Matthew 28:19, 1 Peter 3:15, Acts 1:8, 2 Timothy 1:8, 1 John1:3

But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness.
--- Luke 21:12-13

Increased tribulation to bring a great harvest Acts 2:47, Acts 16:5

Fulfill prophecy:
Final fulfillment of the Exodus. These things must take place

End of God's patience
--- Romans 9:22-24, Ezekiel 18:23, 2 Peter 3:9-10

To make the Lord's enemies a footstool for His feet.
--- Psalms 110:1, Hebrews 1:13, Hebrews 10:12-13, Acts 2:35

To destroy what the Bible calls the last enemy, death.
--- 1 Corinthians 15:26

Demonstrate God's power and supreme authority.
--- Romans 9:17

The Lord does have a plan and it will come to pass.

The plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.
- Psalm 33:11 NIV

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