Spirit-Led Living in the End Times
Thriving in the End Times
History is full of times that were difficult for believers—indeed many millions of Christians are being persecuted in our generation. But Christians in America have been living in a sort of bubble. Because of our constitutional rights, we have freedoms not enjoyed in other countries.
There have been terrible times before, but it seems God came through in answer to prayer. Fifty years ago in the hippie era, the Jesus movement (which impacted me) brought millions of rebellious young people to faith in Christ. Then when America seemed at low ebb during the Jimmy Carter administration, something seemed to shift when hundreds of thousands of Christians humbled themselves and prayed and repented of America’s sins at the Washington for Jesus rally in 1980. Ronald Reagan was elected president later that year, and things seemed to shift politically and financially. The Berlin Wall even came down. But now, forty years later, I wonder how much really changed.
We now live in a post-Christian culture. Today, evil is called good, and good is called evil. That’s the essence of a culture that’s upside down. While many of us believe God raised up America, let’s face it, the nation is becoming more and more evil and deserves to be judged.
There’s a wonderful promise in Revelation 3:10: “Because you have kept My word of patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation which shall come upon the entire world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” It’s not fun to think about, but we may face persecution in this country. Some Christians already have been cancelled on social media for posting Scripture verses. A few have lost their jobs when they refused to comply with woke policies being enforced.
If we believe the Bible, we know persecution will come. The question is whether we will see it in our lifetime. Christians over the millennia have been expecting Christ to return. Now the world is so upside down it appears what Jesus prophesied about the end of time is happening before our eyes. A one-world government, the rise of the man the Bible calls the Antichrist, and even a mark required to buy and sell seem to be the natural result of the “great reset” the World Economic Forum has called for. The reality is, we’re in a spiritual war. And when the tribulation comes, it will be the war of all wars.
For those who wonder if we are close to the end of time, there’s no question; we’re getting really close. But that is no reason to despair. Jesus told us, “When these things begin to happen, look up and lift your heads, for your redemption is drawing near.” And when Paul describes the rapture of the church, he says, “Comfort one another with these words.”
The spiritual and eternal, not the political or cultural, are most important. Our mandate as believers is to help others embrace a Spirit-led life and fulfill the Great Commission of going into all the world to preach the gospel to everyone.
The Hope of VictoryRomans 8 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible and if one were to give it a title, “Life in the Spirit” would be fitting.
When I consider how far our nation has drifted from biblical truth and how close we must be to the end-time, I find myself gravitating to Paul’s words in that chapter. This world may be upside-down, but we don’t have to live as victims.
Paul writes that “for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons [and, I might add, the daughters] of God. For you have not received the spirit of slavery again to fear. But you have received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’”
He goes on to say: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirits that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs.” Isn’t that fantastic news?
Yet Paul continues, “...if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us.” This allows us to step boldly into the future without fear.
Then Paul not only promises the Holy Spirit will help us in our weakness, but he makes one of the most significant biblical promises to the Spirit-led Christian—that “the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” God knows the mind of the Spirit, who intercedes for us according to the will of God. We can know we pray according to the will of God when we pray in the Spirit.
Paul’s message in Romans 8 is not just that you can be saved from your sins and avoid hell and eternal separation from God but that you can live a life in the Spirit—and that, as verses 37–39 say:“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities nor powers, neither things present nor things to come, neither height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” even in an upside-down world!