Strength for End-Times Living
By Hal Lindsey
If we are living near the time of Christ’s return—and I am convinced we are—should that fact influence the way we live? The Bible gives us instructions that apply in any time period. Those truths do not change as the day of the Lord approaches. We live according to certain principles and those principles do not change. However, even though God’s standards do not change, the Bible does teach us to respect the danger of such times, and to adjust our lives accordingly.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NASB) says, “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.”
Where the New American Standard Bible says “stimulate,” the King James Version says, “provoke.” Both are English translations of a Greek word that literally means to “incite.” Incite one another to love and to do good deeds. The best place to do that is in regular gatherings.
During Covid lockdowns, verse 25 became a rallying cry for many churches. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (KJV). It is fundamental. We see Christians getting together on a regular basis all through the New Testament, just as God’s people did in the Old Testament. In the United States, it became a First Amendment struggle. Politicians and bureaucrats seemed intent on shutting down churches, while many churches were just as intent on finding ways to follow God’s word.
It has always been needful and right for Christians to gather regularly in worship and fellowship, for purposes of discipleship, encouragement, charity, and evangelism. Verse 25 says that this need will grow in the last of the last days. It says to do these things “all the more, as you see the day drawing near.”
What day? The day of the Lord. That’s a time period mentioned prominently in both the Old and New Testaments that begins at the time of the tribulation. This is especially interesting for us right now. The rapture will happen before the tribulation, so we won’t see the tribulation itself. However, we can see signs that the day of the Lord is coming quickly, and that should have a powerful impact on our behavior.
In such a time, we are to intensify our efforts to encourage one another in love, faith, and good works. We are to bind ourselves to one another. The untethered will be swept off into tides of despair. They will still be saved—still go to heaven—but their Christian testimony on earth will become weak and ineffective. They will lose peace. The joy of the Lord that should be giving them strength will be dampened by waves of guilt and discouragement.
We need one another—especially in times like these. We need fellowship in church and beyond. We need to laugh together, cry together, and talk with one another. As we talk, we help each other understand the turmoils of the day from Christian perspectives. Godly fellowship gives Christian context to the world around us. And that is encouraging.
No one is above this need. That’s why it is so crucial to visit those who can’t leave home or are confined to hospitals or nursing homes. Just your face can bring joy and encouragement into a dark place or a difficult time.
2 Timothy 3 speaks of the last days as a time of peril as people act in selfish ways, sowing confusion and deceit. Verse 13 (NKJV) says, “Evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” Paul’s answer was to encourage young Timothy to continue in sound doctrine, trusting the word of God as His guide. That is a lesson from the Holy Spirit for Christians of all generations—but especially for times like these.