End Time is also referred to as end of times, end of days, end of the world, end of the ages, last days, final days, last time, latter days or eschaton. Eschatology is the study of end times.
End Time: – it’s Beginning and End
Many people define end time by giving out signs of the end time, the birth pagans, which do not define end times. Usually people want to look for ‘signs’ that we are living in the end time wanting to neither define nor know it. It’s true we are living in the end time but what is end time, when did it begin and when will it end?
End time, latter days, end of time, end of the ages etc. are phrases commonly misunderstood. A misunderstanding on these phrases can lead to a lot of un-biblical conclusions.
Bible Verses on End Time
I would like to look at some verses and come up with a basic New Testament definition of End Time.
Acts 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel. And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.
After the Holy Spirit fell on the day of Pentecost the crowd asked the Apostles to explain what was happening. Peter stood up and quoted Joel. He said that what was happening on that day, almost 2,000 years ago, was a fulfillment of Joel’s prophesy. Joel said that the Spirit would be poured out in ‘the last days’. So here we have Peter telling us that the Day of Pentecost took place in last days, end time.
1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many Antichrist; whereby we know that it is the last time.
John the Apostle who wrote the Book of 1 John many years ago declares that end time had already come in his days. John does not say that end time will soon come in some future but it is already here.
Heb 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world has he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
The writer of Hebrews clearly declares that Jesus appeared in end time to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. We know that the sacrifice of Christ happened almost 2,000 years ago. So from this verse we know that Christ’s first coming happened during the last days of human history (End Time).
1 Peter 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. Peter tells us that Christ was foreknown from the foundation of the earth, but was ‘manifest in the last times’ for our sake. Jesus first coming, His birth on earth, was in the end time.
Heb 1:1-2 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets. Has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.
The Book of Hebrews begins with a description of how God worked in the Old Testament. In verse two it goes on to tell us how He began to work in the days of the Apostles. The author says, ‘In these last days, God has spoken to us by His Son…’ Note that the biblical author declares his generation as belonging to the last days; end time.
From the above Bible verses, which are not exhaustive, we can clearly get the biblical definition of End Time.
Biblical definition of End Time
We usually hold that the last days, last hour and the end time refer to the generation that will see the second coming of Jesus Christ. This is not biblical.
The Bible defines the phrase ‘End Time’ (and other similar phrases) not in relation to the second coming of Jesus Christ but his first coming. Nowhere does God’s word imply that the ‘End Time’ is only one generation long. Yes! There is a generation in the Bible marked truly to see the second coming of Jesus Christ but there are many generations after that generation.
The Jews were waiting for the Kingdom to come with Messiah. The Messianic age was termed ‘the latter days, the End Time’ by the prophets. So after Christ came, the Apostles declared that the coming of the Kingdom and the King had taken place. They were declaring that the ‘latter days or End Times’ had begun; the last era in human history had begun. What all history had been leading up to, namely, the coming of God’s kingdom in Christ had come.
We know that the Kingdom of God will not fully come to earth until Jesus Christ has put all his enemies, including death, underneath his feet at the events portrayed by Revelation 20:14 (1 Cor. 15:24-28). But we must realize that the Kingdom of God has already begun in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ who first came to set it on earth and all authority in heaven and earth has been given to Him.
The Bible declares that End Time began with the coming of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago and will be wrapped up when he finally destroys death after his third coming.
The Messianic Age, that began with the first coming of Jesus Christ and will end when he casts death into the lake of fire, is what the Bible refers to when it uses the phrase, ‘End Time’. The tribulation period and the birth pagans (signs of End Time) do not define the End Time.
The two key End Time Bible books are;