HOW SHOULD CHRISTIANS LIVE IN THESE LAST DAYS?

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.Philippians 1:21 Can we say as Paul did, “to live is Christ“? We can only do it if we know the presence of the Holy Spirit within. When we have experienced His presence and leading. For me. speaking and especially singing in tongues confirms the presence of the Holy Spirit within my spirit. The more we experience His presence the less likely we are to quench His work in our lives and grieve Him. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.Ephesians 4:30

Christian martyrs

What about suffering for Jesus Christ, even rejoicing in our suffering for Him? Once again we can only do this “because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.Romans 5:3-5

For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.Philippians 1:29

We will need to know the presence of the Holy Spirit and trust Him implicitly in the soon coming prophesied “end times” because Jesus warns us that there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world.

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.Matthew 24:21-25

CHRISTIANS LIVING IN THE “LAST DAYS”

Christians in the “last days” will operate as Paul did, as described in the Book of Acts, with Holy Spirit-inspired perception and insight. Moreover, the church will also be like the church as described in the Book of Acts and in countries facing persecution now.

Perception and insight

Take the example of Paul’s actions during a physical storm. Paul was just one of the many prisoners on a prison ship headed for Rome. Before setting sail, Paul told the crew, “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also” (Acts 27:10). He spoke with clear foresight. Leaders that are sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading will learn how to face tough realities head-on without fear.

Courage and confidence

Paul addressed the terrified passengers. “I urge you to keep up your courage because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul… God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.” (Acts 27:22–24).

Paul’s confidence in the chaos came because a word from God infused him with courage and confidence. Chaos can rob us of confidence. Yet, when the wind threatens, we can receive a word from God and lead through the storm.

Clarity and decisiveness

After being blown completely off course, the crew of the prison ship finally neared land. Some planned to save their own lives and leave the prisoners to die. But Paul discerned this and said, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved” (Acts 27:31).

Paul acted with Spirit-inspired clarity and decisiveness. As he stepped forward with a voice demanding respect, even the captain and jailers who were supposed to be his authority listened to and obeyed his authority.

Future chaos will demand that “last days” Christians learn to speak with clarity and decisiveness as they are led by the Holy Spirit.

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.Romans 8:14

Adapted from Generation Z: Born for the Storm by Dr. Billy Wilson.