Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. —Romans 13:11–12

I am convinced that we are truly living in the last days. The world is certainly closer, at least by 2,000 years, to the end of time than when Jesus and the New Testament writers started teaching about the end of the age.

There are no outstanding prophesies that have to be fulfilled before the Rapture of the church can occur. The Bible says it could happen anytime. Yet even if Jesus’ return is still thousands of years away, we are certainly living in our last days. Think about this: in 50 years most of us will have died. What if those remaining years pass as quickly as this past year? Perhaps you can understand now my assertion that we are certainly living in our last days.

You know, many of Paul’s letters in the Bible deal with the theme of last-days living. Now, some of the apostle Paul’s detractors criticized Paul. They said Paul was mistaken—He thought he was living in the last days, and that Christ was going to return during his lifetime. Yet a closer examination of Paul’s writings revealed that Paul never set a date for the Lord’s return. He realized that the mere ticking of the clock was moving us closer to that climactic event in history. In Romans 13:11-12 Paul says this: “Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

Paul had done the math. If there was a fixed date on God’s calendar for His Son’s return, then our ultimate deliverance—that is, our salvation—is closer today than it was when we first believed. That makes sense, doesn’t it? If Paul were alive today he would say it’s even closer now than it was 2,000 years ago when he wrote that verse. Paul is saying: “Wake up. Wipe the sleep from your eyes. The end is near.”

Well, how should we live in light of the coming end? In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul tells about the great resurrection that awaits all those who belong to Christ Jesus. And after describing all of the wonders of the new body and the resurrection that await believers, Paul closes his discussion with this dose of practical application. Look at 1 Corinthians 15:58. Paul writes, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”

*** Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Last Days Living” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.