Do Not Fear the End Times Part 8: The Party’s Over
Turn away from the futility of hedonism, find true fulfillment
Turn away from the futility of hedonism, find true fulfillment
In the opening chapters of Revelation, He repeatedly warns us that the party is over. The End is here. He’s giving us one last chance to change our hearts and ways…
Hello Readers. After a short break for Easter, I’m back with another Friday post in my End Times series.
Today I’m talking about how God is trying to wake the world up right now, urging us to change our hearts and ways. For too long, we’ve been living pointless lives of pleasure-seeking, doing whatever we want. But that doesn’t glorify God, and He is coming soon to put a stop to all our sins.
The party’s over.
And that’s not a bad thing! In today’s post I will talk about the futility of a life of hedonism, and the benefits of living as a Christian and walking in the spirit as we follow Jesus Christ.
Jesus Is Calling the Sinners Now
As I mentioned in my first End Times post, lately I see many Christian video creators on YouTube sharing and describing their rapture dreams that they’ve been having. I see a pattern of Christians from around the world all having rapture dreams and sharing them on YouTube and social media.
Sure, some of these people are clickbaiting for views, but not everyone. There are too many Christians having these dreams for that to be the case.
Ever since the days of the first century church there have always been Christians saying that the End Times are soon approaching. Well it’s more than 2000 years later now and it hasn’t happened yet, so most people will disregard all talk of the rapture, thinking it’s more false alarm. But you know what? This time is different, damn it. YES. This time is different! The End Is NOW. It’s not coming, it’s HERE.
This time around, there are simply too many Christians from around the world on the same page. I am only one of many.
One interesting thing about the large crowd I see waking up to the coming apocalypse is that many of them confess to be sinners-myself included, of course. Ever since my first post I’ve been open about the fact that I have trouble overcoming my sins. I sinned today before writing this, as a matter of fact. So when I tell people to on my blog, as I so often do, I’m telling myself too. We have all sinned (Romans 3:23) and we all have work to do.
But anyway, the fact that so many sinners are waking up and turning back to Christ must be because the day of our merciful LORD’s return is getting closer. By the grace of God, we are getting our last wake-up calls and final chances. The whole world is, actually. In a previous post I talked about how God is using these wake-up calls to prepare those who are listening, and I offered an idea of what could come next.
It’s no surprise that us sinners would be receiving so many final chances and wake-up calls. After all, He Himself said in Mark 2:17 that that’s why He came:
(17) When Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do. I didn’t come to call righteous people, but sinners.”
Mark 2:17 (CEB)
This is of course because Jesus is the Good Shepard who goes out to find the one lost sheep and bring them back to God. He sees our sins, but He sees our value too, and He loves us for that. He’s patient with us as He keeps trying to reach us, waiting for us to turn to Him. There is much rejoicing in heaven when we do, as Christ Himself said in Luke 15:
(3) Jesus told them this parable: (4) “Suppose someone among you had one hundred sheep and lost one of them. Wouldn’t he leave the other ninety-nine in the pasture and search for the lost one until he finds it? (5) And when he finds it, he is thrilled and places it on his shoulders. (6) When he arrives home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Celebrate with me because I’ve found my lost sheep.’ (7) In the same way, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who changes both heart and life than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to change their hearts and lives.
Luke 15:3–7 (CEB)
That is Jesus’ way. Our God forgives, and He wants to give us as many chances as it takes for us to turn to Him with our full faith and REPENT. He will forgive us when we do (1 John 1:9). But until that time, He will remain in the field calling out to the one lost sheep, waiting for them to return.
He doesn’t give up on anyone, doesn’t write anyone off. He tries to save each sinner who will listen, right up until the very last day. But we need to wake up and understand that the last days are right now. He will forgive us our sins and welcome us back, but we need to listen to Him now.
So no one should be surprised at Jesus calling so many sinners back to Him right now. We should all rejoice in this. Once we hear that call though, and we choose to follow it, then there are changes we need to make in our own lives.
The Party’s Over
Life is one big party when you’re not following God, right?
It was a party back in Noah’s day too, as Jesus tells us in Matthew 24. People were partying and having fun, living sinfully (Genesis 6:5) right up until the flood came. Jesus warns us that His Second Coming will be the same.
(37) As it was in the time of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Human One. (38) In those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. (39) They didn’t know what was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. The coming of the Human One will be like that.
Matthew 24:37–39 (CEB)
Well it may seem like a party at first, until you realize the sadness and futility of living a life of doing whatever you like. A person who is driven by what they want will always be a slave to their own desires. The pleasures of this world are delicious and addictive, but they’re also short-lived and fleeting. No matter what it is you’re after, the enjoyment doesn’t last long.
Pleasure-seeking turns into a futile cycle of always chasing after your next high, the next pleasure to enjoy. It never ends. There’s always something more that you want but don’t have, always other people to experience, always new experiences to experiment with.
You get sucked into an endless quest of moving from one person or thing to the next, looking for one thing that will provide you with true, lasting happiness in your life. But you never find it. All you get are short-lived pleasures, and as time goes on you need more of it to get the same effects you once did. Hedonism is addiction. Hedonism is slavery. And hedonism keeps us trapped in this world by making us focus on the pleasures we can enjoy here rather than the things of heaven (Colossians 3:2).
(2) You used to live like people of this world. You followed the rule of a destructive spiritual power. This is the spirit of disobedience to God’s will that is now at work in persons whose lives are characterized by disobedience. (3) At one time you were like those persons. All of you used to do whatever felt good and whatever you thought you wanted so that you were children headed for punishment just like everyone else.
Ephesians 2:2–3 (CEB)
This is where Christ comes in. In the opening chapters of Revelation, He repeatedly warns us that the party is over. The End is here. He’s giving us one last chance to change our hearts and ways-a phrase He repeats many times throughout these opening chapters.
Those of us who’ve come to understand the pointlessness of a life of pleasure-seeking are ready to hear that message. We don’t care that the party is over; it wasn’t fun anymore anyway. It was pointless, futile. It was slavery. And it didn’t offer happiness.
But if we hear Christ’s call to change our hearts and ways and act on it, then we can live a life of true happiness, peace, and freedom.
True Happiness Comes from Christ
Many feel that following the teachings of Christ in the Gospels and the other rules outlined in the Epistles is restrictive. To live however you like feels freer. But that’s ultimately a lie as I already explained.
When we live however we want we are yielding to the flesh. Following the flesh keeps us as creatures of the world, stuck in this world, and throws away our promise for something much better.
Following the flesh leads to producing the fruits of the flesh outlined in Galatians 5:19–21.
(19) The actions that are produced by selfish motives are obvious, since they include sexual immorality, moral corruption, doing whatever feels good, (20) idolatry, drug use and casting spells, hate, fighting, obsession, losing your temper, competitive opposition, conflict, selfishness, group rivalry, (21) jealousy, drunkenness, partying, and other things like that. I warn you as I have already warned you, that those who do these kinds of things won’t inherit God’s kingdom. Galatians 5:19–21 (CEB)
A life of following the flesh leads to excess. There can always be too much of a good thing. In fact, too much of a good thing makes that good thing lose all value. Let’s consider sex, for example, because it’s the one worldly pleasure that drives so many of us more than any other, and it’s the temptation that can keep us attached to this fake world more than anything else.
It’s a tragedy that people engage in loveless sex, thinking they’re enjoying freedom. They’re only cheapening the pleasures of sex and making it meaningless, something that’s not special. Sex was created for expressing a precious emotional attachment between two people. It’s a tragedy to have random sex that removes that emotional attachment from the picture. That ruins sex, but people engaged in this kind of behavior don’t even understand that.
Some people get the futility of hedonism, some don’t … yet. I think it’s one of those things that can’t be explained unless you’ve come to realize for yourself the pointlessness of living life however you like. But people who never found true happiness after living however they wanted and doing whatever they liked understand the truth of this. I was in that category myself.
Well, the fact is that living a life of following Christ is not more restrictive-it is the life that’s truly freer. And it’s the one that leads to genuine, lasting happiness.
Every worldly pleasure we can enjoy fades away, it’s all temporary. But when you turn to Christ and start cultivating a relationship with Him, you find a source of joy that doesn’t fade away. It’s based on gratitude for a relationship with Christ and the blessings you do have. That endless, pointless quest for happiness is over. Then a truly fulfilling life can begin.
The rules and teachings aren’t there solely to restrict us. These things teach us the best way to live. Doing whatever we want is a dead end like I keep saying. Stopping ourselves from doing what we want to do, showing some restraint, and taking the less tantalizing options achieves better outcomes for us in the long-term.
Living this way leads to less sin, less hurting of others, and the peace of a freer conscience. We get into less problems and conflicts. Our relationships are healthier and more meaningful. And why does this happen?
The flesh and the spirit are opposed to each other (Galatians 5:17). When you deny one, you boost the other. Keeping our worldly, fleshy natures in check leads to being more spiritual. And when we’re more spiritual as Christians, we produce the fruits of the spirit.
We have an incredible life when we’re producing the fruits of the spirit. We’re putting a whole lot of good out there when we do. Galatians 5 tells us what those fruits are:
(22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this. (24) Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the self with its passions and its desires.
Galatians 5:22–24 (CEB)
Walking in the spirit rather than the flesh is our goal. That way, we’ll be producing the amazing fruits of the spirit. The benefits to our life are plentiful and immediate.
Doing whatever we want, whenever we want is no way to live. Keeping our own weaknesses in check (such as impulsiveness, etc.) leads to building self-control and making less mistakes. It leads to living a better life with more happiness and less self-inflicted problems. A life with more peace. The rules of the New Testament are there to guide us towards that better life. They seem restrictive to people who haven’t yet realized that the way to grow in life is to keep yourself in check, to conquer your own nature.
Children do what they want, when they want to. Christ will show us how to grow up and live well, if we follow Him.
So when you look at all the disaster in the world right now and hear Christ calling you to wake up, don’t be sad that the party’s over. We all had our fun … while it lasted. But now it’s time to move on to something better. The party that Christ is inviting us to will last forever. We don’t want to miss out on that invitation!!
It’s Not a Bad Thing to Change Our Lives right before The End
Keep that last part in mind too-we have an invitation to something much better, if we can just hold on till The End. And that won’t be long, not at all.
Very recently I saw someone online say: “I feel like I got my s*** together just in time for the world to end.” Well that’s nothing to be sad about.
First, every end is the beginning of something else. Like I talked about in my previous End Times post, this fallen world must end before God’s new world will come. That’s the way God has ordered it.
God’s new world is described in Revelation 21 and 22. It will be a paradise, like another Eden on the new earth. God will right all that’s wrong with this evil, fallen world. We will no longer be under the curse (Revelation 22:3). So long as we keep the faith till the end, we as Christians have nothing to worry about in the long-term. The short-term will hurt, but it won’t last. With God in control, everything will be good in the end.
Be grateful for having got yourself together before The End! I’m grateful for that every day. Be grateful that Christ called you back before His return. Be grateful for the final chance and the forgiveness. It’s not sad that we are all getting ourselves together right at the end. It’s God’s plan. God does not want to lose even one of His sheep (Matthew 18:14).
Life is good! And a Christian life is even better! Because if you’re taking it seriously, then you’ll be walking in the spirit and producing the fruits of the spirit. Your relationship with Christ will grow stronger and you’ll reap the benefits.
Be grateful for even one day of being able to live like this! It’s a gift from God if you pay attention and wake up. There’s no need to worry about The End because we can’t do anything about that. Focus on today, and be grateful that Jesus woke you up in time to live well and see what life is really all about.
Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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Originally published at http://999online.net on April 18, 2020.