How Does a Christian Make a Difference in a “Day of Evil”?

 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is- Ephesians 5:15-17 NIV

How should a Christian live? 

 It’s a critical question serious Christians have been asking themselves and each other since the dawn of the Christian age. It’s also a question I have found myself pondering more frequently and with a greater sense of urgency. Anytime I pray about the times we live in and where we are headed two words come immediately to mind. Every. Single. Time.

Short and evil. 

My gut and all indications point to the reality that the time left maybe short and the days we live in are becoming progressively more evil. I don’t know if Jesus is coming back tomorrow, two decades from now or in a century. I do know we are closer now to Jesus’ return than we have ever been (2nd Timothy 3:1-5, 2nd Peter 3:2-3, Matthew 24). It’s simply a fact that the times we live in are more evil and much stranger than they have been since Jesus left the earth (Acts 1:3-9).    

War in the Middle East, economic turmoil, increased barbarity, sexual chaos,  gender lunacy, ceaseless social skirmishes and political machinations all point to a world in rapid and possibly irretrievable decline. Every square inch of our planet is crying out for the redemption Jesus will bring when He returns and restores all things to their pre-fall condition (Romans 8:18-25). 

Until then we are in a war for the hearts, minds and souls of people (Ephesians 6:12-13). I am convinced in the coming days the church will see a great harvest of souls in the midst of growing evil and increasing social chaos. People will come to know Jesus, lives will be changed and destinies will be rewritten. How we choose to conduct ourselves now and in the coming years will greatly impact our level of usefulness to the Lord (Acts 2:16-18). Because we live in such critical times we have a real opportunity to make our lives matter in a significant way for eternity. But, in order to do that we must wake up every day and choose to:

Live as called people-

The Greek word for church is ekklesia. Ekklesia is a compound word with a prefix and a root. The prefix is ek, meaning “out of”.  The root is a form of the word kaleo meaning “to call”. The word church literally means “called out ones”. Christians are called people. We are called by Jesus out of our old way of life into a new life in Christ where our primary function is to tell the world about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (1st Corinthians 5:17, Romans 11:29, Ephesians 4:1, 2nd Thessalonians 1:10-12). The exact particulars of how we fulfill our calling depends on our giftings and the opportunities God gives us (Romans 12:3-8) Our success or failure in the area of calling depends primarily on how we see ourselves and the purpose of our lives. Are we here to gratify our own desires and to live for our own glory? Or are we called out for the purpose of glorifying God and proclaiming His truth? 

Be ready to give an answer- 

The world is growing darker and scarier all the time. Individuals who have never thought much about God find themselves experiencing anxiety over world events and never-ending social upheaval. Many of these individuals are seeking answers from people they never have before. Christians should be ready to use discussions about current events as a jumping off place to talk about Jesus, where all this is headed, faith in Jesus and what will happen to those who refuse to put their faith in Jesus (1st Peter 4:5, 1st Peter 3:15).  God is opening doors for spiritual conversation. It is up to us to make the most of these opportunities (Colossians 4:5-7)

Leave behind pride and selfishness-

Over the course of the last few years a spirit of competitiveness and kingdom building has taken root in the hearts of Christians and Christian leaders. A spirit of unity is missing in churches. This is simply unacceptable (Ephesians 4:1-3, Colossians 3:13-14). There is simply no place for pride, jealously or selfishness in these times (Galatians 5:13-26). There is too much at stake to waste time on such short-term thinking. 

Live filled with the Holy Spirit-

The Greek word Jesus used for the Holy Spirit in the book of John is parakletos. It means “advocate”, “helper”, “intercessor”, “counselor” and “comforter”.  The Holy Spirit is a gift given at salvation. Its purpose is to teach, help, comfort and guide God’s people as they do His will in this world (John 14:26, 1st Peter 1:12, 1st Thessalonians 1:5). Sadly, many Christians ignore or minimize the importance of the Holy Spirit out of fear of “being weird”. Being filled with the Holy Spirit isn’t weird, it’s biblical (Ephesians 5:8-20). All we have to do is ask and God will give us fresh inpouring of the Spirit (Acts 4:23-31, Acts 13:8-10, Ephesians 3:14-19). Being filled with the Spirit daily gives us invaluable access to God’s wisdom, power, knowledge and insight. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live holy lives and do God’s will in our sphere of influence.

And finally, 

Be available. Our availability is what God wants most from His people right now. Be ready and willing to pray for a friend, hold a hand, answer a spiritual question, fill a need and God will use you for His glory.

Is Jesus Coming back Soon?

 May the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful- 1st Thessalonians 5:23-24 NKJV

Life has gotten so absurd it would be comical if it weren’t so dang crazy.

Lawlessness is slowly but surely morphing into a new normal. Grown adults are stumped as to how to identify their own gender.  People appear to be going feral right before our very eyes. Governments allow legitimately evil people to go free while prosecuting those attempting to aid the innocent.  Children can check porn out of their school libraries.  Many parents now openly admit in writing they wish they had never had children.  There is a novel new way to sin devised almost daily (2nd Timothy 3:1-5). 


The nuttiness of it all has left many Christians wondering: When should we start expecting Jesus to come back?  And: What does He want me to be doing right now?

Fair questions. Practical questions. Questions that deserve a good answer. 

To be honest, I do not have a perfectly definitive answer to the first question.  No one does. Jesus wasn’t even given a timeline of future events. If God the Father saw fit to leave Jesus is in the dark, we need to be content with our own lack of clarity on this issue (Matthew 24:36). 

However, the Bible does give us some clear indicators to look for as well as some instructions as to what we should do while we wait. 

Daniel, the book we’ve been in is a classic go-to for end-times info. 

Daniel is where we get the first peek the anti-Christ, a one-world government and a season of intense suffering for Christians (Daniel 7:8, Daniel 7:20, Daniel 8:25, Daniel 9:27, 12, Daniel 11:21, Daniel 11:36-38). 


The book of Daniel focuses on big-picture events. Consequently, it is not the best place to go to for clues that the season of Jesus’ return is here or approaching (Matthew 24:32-34).  Matthew is a much better book for those kinds of questions. In Matthew twenty-four Jesus gives at least four clues to look for and two directives we should follow as we wait for His return.  

The indicators the season is at hand are:

Insane levels of deception and lies about God-

Deception will be the defining characteristic of the end-times. Some deceptions will be fairly obvious and easy for believers to recognize, people claiming to be the messiah and whatnot. Most of the deception will be far less obvious. Subtly is at the core of every good lie and end-time lies will be so good even some Christians will be deceived (Luke 21:8, Matthew 24:4-5, Matthew 24:24). Most end-time deception will involve doubts about what God really meant by what He says in scripture and calling God’s goodness into question. This is already very normal. Even many church people are asking questions such as: “Did God really say certain sexual behaviors are sinful? Are male and female the only options when it comes to gender? Furthermore, hardly a day goes by when we aren’t presented with some stupid article (often written by a “Christian”) or meme calling God’s goodness into question (1st Timothy 4:1-3). It’s all end-times 101 stuff.

Unprecedented lawlessness, hatred and oppression-

The sinful nature of humanity will be on full display in the season of and prior to Jesus’ return. Jesus sums the behavior of the last days as “wickedness” (Matthew 24:12, 2nd Timothy 3:1-5). Apparently, wickedness so common many will become disheartened by the seemingly unending stream of evil and give up on God altogether (Matthew 24:12). 

Mayhem and chaos all over the place-

Relentless conflict between people groups, plagues, corrupt government and weird religious leaders will be all be increasingly common occurrences just prior to the return of Jesus.  Christians are told directly not to become alarmed by the changes they see taking place (Matthew 24:4-8) 

Christian leaders who abuse and exploit those they are called to lead- 

Near the end of His prophesy Jesus predicts there will be “servants” (Christians) who have authority over other “servants” (Christians). Some of those servants will lose their fear of God, behave shamefully and abuse the other servants (Matthew 24:48-49, 2nd Timothy 3:6-8).  This is a clear warning from Jesus not to allow the behavior of bad Christian leaders to shake our faith in the goodness of God. 

Alongside the clues Jesus gives a couple of clear warnings Christians must heed if they want to survive the chaos.  It’s critical we understand that just the lead-up to these times are going to be so perilous, confusing and discouraging if we don’t cling to Jesus we will be inclined to quit serving Jesus altogether (2nd Thessalonians 2:7-15, 2nd Thessalonians 2:3). 

Apostasy is not inevitable. We prevent it by doing two things:

Practicing discernment-

I do not know when Jesus is coming back. It could be tomorrow. It could be a year from now. It could be decades from now. That said, I do know for absolute certain it has never been more important for Christians to be thoroughly grounded in truth and walking closely with Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2). We are close enough to the end that Satan has power to deceive like he has never had before. The only way to keep ourselves from being deceived is to know truth, walk in truth and commune with Jesus daily (Proverbs 3:5-6).  Spiritual truth is the only truly effective antidote to the enemies lies. 

And most notably: 

We cannot let our love for God grow cold no matter how weird, scary or discouraging life becomes (Matthew 24:12)- 

We just can’t. We must be painstakingly careful to keep our love for God from growing cold. Evil people, exploitation, scary stuff, persecution and injustice are going to get worse (way worse). If we are in the end times, my guess is we are probably somewhere in the second or third inning of a nine-inning game. We simply cannot allow ourselves to become unsettled by the evil or disheartened by the persecution and hardship. Followers of Jesus have to play the long game by choosing daily to love Jesus, live righteously, speak truth and love even the unlovable like Jesus loved because those things are the things that prepare us for His return. 

How What we Believe About Eschatology (the end Times) can Mess us up-

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths– Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV 

Theology is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as:

The study of the nature of God and religious belief.

I am an unapologetic fan of theology. I have spent the better part of my life studying God and attempting to understand Him better. I firmly believe most of the problems and struggles of this life would evaporate if people simply understood who God is and applied His principles and wisdom to all of life. 

That being said. 

There are times in life when tightly held theological beliefs can actually get in the way of seeing what God is up to in the world. Christians can become so rigidly fixated on a single theological perspective they actually miss what God says or does not say in His word. Such was the situation with many first-century Jews. Their rigid belief the Messiah would be a military leader after the pattern of King David caused them to disregard the suffering servant right in front of them (Isaiah 42:1-2, Isaiah 53:4-6, Acts 4:11, 1st Peter 2:4-7). 

I am convinced some twenty-first century Christians are falling into the same trap with the second coming of Jesus first-century Jews did with first coming of Jesus. Too many Christians on all ends of the eschatological (end time) spectrum have embraced such a rigid perspective of what the return of Jesus will look like that they are rapidly losing faith in the goodness of God because events are not shaking out exactly the way they thought they would. 

There are a lot of theories concerning the return of Jesus but most American Christians fall into one of two categories when it comes to eschatological beliefs. Premillennialism and amillennialism. Premillennialists believe Jesus will return visibly to the earth after a period of evil and unrest known as the tribulation. There are two popular variations on this view:

The premillennial pretribulation rapture of the church-  

This is the most popular American position on end time events. Those who hold to this view believe Christians (those who have repented of their sins and trusted Jesus as savior) will one day be taken from the earth all at once and go straight into the presence of God (1st Thessalonians 4;13-18). This event known as the rapture signals the beginning of a seven-year period of evil and chaos called the tribulation (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Revelation 2:10). The tribulation will be followed by a thousand-year (millennial) reign of Christ on the earth. 

Post or mid-tribulation rapture of the church- 

This view is simply a variation on the first view. Those who believe this version of end time events agree with almost everything their pre-tribulation premillennialist counterparts believe except they believe the rapture will take place after or at some point during the great tribulation. The pre-tribulation rapture theory means that the return of Jesus will be an entirely separate event from the rapture while the post-tribulation theory assumes these two events will take place at more or less the same time.   

Post or mid-rapture Christians believe the church will suffer but grow before the return of Jesus. Pre-tribulation rapture Christians believe Christians who are saved prior to the rapture will be spared the intense suffering that will take place during the tribulation. This view holds fast to the idea there will be a huge spiritual revival that takes place during the tribulation and most of those who become Christians during the tribulation will be martyred for their faith   


Amillennialists are a growing group. They do not believe in a tribulation or a rapture per se.  Instead they believe that Christians are called to live in such a way that their actions bring about righteousness and justice on the earth. As people become more righteous and justice becomes more pervasive the reign of Christ will manifest itself over time. Amillennialists do not believe in a literal thousand-year reign of Christ rather, they believe the earthly reign of Christ will be strictly figurative. 

It’s just a fact that adherents to each end-time perspective feel equally strongly their interpretation of Scripture is correct and the interpretation best supported by Scripture.  However, in my experience all end-time views can lead to practical theological and/or spiritual problems of one kind or another. Premillennial, pre-tribulation Christians tend to become troubled at the idea there will come a time when the church will universally suffer extreme persecution. This is despite the fact Christians have suffered persecution since the beginning and there are a myriad of Bible verses promising Christians will experience suffering and persecution right up until the very end (John 16:23, Matthew 13:21, Matthew 24, Acts 14:21-22, 1st Peter 1:6, James 1:2, 1st Thessalonians 3:1-4). Those who subscribe to a post-tribulation rapture theory can become anxious and hyper-focused on making physical preparations for the tribulation (prepping) rather than on reaching the lost for Jesus or being spiritually ready to meet Jesus. Amillennialism trusts sinful humans to do things only God’s spirit can do, such as bring about righteousness and justice.  

Our world is getting weirder and scarier everyday. That makes it critical we focus on what we do know.   We do know Jesus IS coming back. He will return after a period of moral decline, persecution and apostasy (2nd Timothy 3:1-5, Matthew 24, 2nd Peter 3:3). It is critical we be spiritually and morally prepared for and enthusiastically await the return of Jesus even in the face of ongoing evil and unrest (1stCorinthians 1:7, Hebrews 9:27-28). It is every bit as critical we not allow our own rigid ideas of what the end should look like to shake our faith in the goodness of God.