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Opinions of Monday, 28 February 2022

Columnist: Bernard Kwofie

Pentecost in the last days, marking the harvest of Spirit!

File photo/ end times File photo/ end times

And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? Matthew 24:3

Christians are not gullible as the world struggles to make us believe. They also prefer to speak and minister not just with signs and wonders but also hard-core earthly evidence to support their claim.

After all, the Bible should make earthly relevance and should be the fulfilment of what is written. That is why it is contented for believers to speak of the end time when disaster struck. We saw this when the novel coronavirus pandemic broke out in the year 2020.

Pictorially shown below, a study on Christian eschatology conducted in 2020 by Lifeway Research revealed that Almost 9 in 10 pastors see at least some current events matching those Jesus said would occur shortly before he returns to Earth.

Source: LifeWay Research

Similarly, it is far more satisfactory for naysayers and non-believers to discredit this claim.

As we have seen and we will continue to see, disasters occur every day and on daily basis, we are bombarded with wars and rumours of wars. As of today, Russia has invaded Ukraine.

Analysts predict this might escalate into a third world war if the situation is not managed. In Africa, aside from the coups and attempted coups in places such as Mali and Burkina Faso, there is an ongoing conflict between forces under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. For natural disasters, even America and Europe have not been spared.

Many a time, when we think of the end times or the last days as some prefer to call it, we think of devastations, sufferings, disasters, pains, struggles, persecutions and disorder. End time watchers or eschatologists are constantly on the lookout for signs, most often negative.

Evangelicals and salvation preachers leverage on the signs of the end time to make legitimate calls on every soul to be in anticipation, number their days and apply their hearts to wisdom. These are not out of order. The Saviour Himself spoke about great devastations before His second coming. He said in Matthew 24, “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; everyone will be thrown down.”

Suffice to say, the entire chapter of Matthew 24 speaks to the beginning of sorrows as proclaimed by our Lord and Saviour before His return.

Dr. Roger Barrier of ‘Preach it, Teach it’ makes a point that there is nothing heart-warming or attractive that can be said about Jesus’ activities during the end time. As He comes with a sword to kill and bronze boots to stamp on those who have warred against Him (Rev. 19:11-16, Rev. 1:15).

He sums it up by saying, ‘Jesus Himself comes in judgement and vengeance. Jesus declared, "But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."

But is it ‘just and solely’ a fear gripping last days and are we supposed to be all negative in our anticipation and expectation of the signs of the end times? Is there not any heart-warming moment, the fulfilment of which should prompt us to the second coming of the saviour of mankind? How about a happy ending to the Christian experience on earth?

When it comes to the last days Pentecost is the least anticipated, discussed and waged when in actual sense it came as an end-time experience in fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy of what God will do in the last days and the promise of Jesus to send a comforter to humankind. Peter addressing the crowd in Acts 2 boldly remarked:
“Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

"In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.

I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

So yes, there will be devastations, wars and rumours of wars but it will also be days of God’s supernatural outpouring like it has never happened. There will be many more Pentecost and we better prepare to receive and be poured into.