February 24, 2023

The Focus of the Last Days

By Skip Heitzig

I don't think it's any secret that we're living in the last days. In fact, we've been in the last days for 2,000 years. But what is the focus of the last days? Is it the mark of the beast? The European common market? Maybe the Antichrist? No, it's none of those. The focus of the last days is Jesus Christ.

In 2 Peter 1, Peter talked about the coming of the Lord based on an experience he already had with Jesus. "For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased'" (vv. 16-17).

Peter here described the transfiguration of Jesus. When Peter, James, and John saw the glorious vision of the transfigured Christ who also appeared with Elijah and Moses, Peter, not knowing what to say, started talking: "Let us make three tabernacles" (Luke 9:33), essentially placing Jesus, Moses, and Elijah on the same level. God interrupted Peter, saying, "This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!" (v. 35).

That's a very important message Peter learned and recounted in 2 Peter 1. God was saying, "I put Jesus, my Son, on center stage when it comes to Bible prophecy. He is the focal point. He is the capstone of the last days." In fact, you could sum up the whole Bible by saying it's about one person and two events: Jesus Christ and His first coming and second coming.

That's why we talk about the scarlet thread of redemption throughout the Scriptures. After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to two unnamed disciples who were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus one day (see Luke 24). They didn't know Jesus had risen, and they didn't know this stranger was Jesus. So they started telling Him about the things that had happened.

At a certain point, Jesus said, "'O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken'…. And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, [Jesus] expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself" (vv. 25, 27). If there was ever a Bible study I wish we had on MP3, it's that one.

We can only imagine what Jesus talked about, but He did expound "all the Scriptures…concerning Himself" (v. 27). It's no wonder the angel said to John in Revelation 19, "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (v. 10).

If you have a smartphone, it probably has a code to unlock it. It's the same with biblical prophecy. To unlock Old Testament prophecy, you need the right letters: J-E-S-U-S. When you put Jesus in Old Testament prophecies, now Isaiah 53 makes sense, and Psalm 22, and Genesis 22, and on and on. So just as the planets revolve around the sun, so all the prophecies of Scripture revolve around the Son of God, Jesus.

So for believers living in the last days, our focus should be to keep our eye on the sky and our hand to the plow. We must stay engaged because Jesus could come back at any time: today, tomorrow, before this year ends. No one knows when except the Father. Until then, keep serving Him, stay engaged, and stay faithful as you wait for His return.

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