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Prophecy and the window of opportunity

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Everything has a end

Everything we do in life must eventually come to an end. The holiday we had last year was great, but it eventually came to an end and we went back to work or school. The children growing up at home was great, but eventually it will come to an end and they will leave home to start their own lives. So everything in this life is finite.

The Bible also talks about things coming to an end. This is what Jesus had to say:

he who endures to the end shall be saved           Matthew 24:13

Sometimes we start our lives with a big spurt of enthusiasm but as time marches on we may lose momentum. But believers are being encouraged to endure to the end. To not lose momentum in the things of God they believe in and to keep up the pace until the very end.  

But what is the end being talked about here? Well, the end can only be one of two things for each of us. It is either our death or it is the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Some of us will experience the first type of end which is death - because we die before Jesus returns. But some of us will experience the end not in the form of death but rather as Jesus having returned to the earth.

So that we are prepared for the end, God has given us prophecy to help us know that we are in the last days before Christ's return.

The grace of God

Jesus describes the last days before his return in Luke chapter 17 and verses 20 to verse 37. If you look at this passage there are ten occurrences of either the word "day" or "days". Five of them are plural and five in the singular.

20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’. For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

22 Then He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’. Do not go after them or follow them. 24 For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day. 25 But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

31 “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. 36 Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”.

37 And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?”

So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”                                 Luke 17:20-37

So why are there five uses of the singular "day" and five uses of the plural "days". Well, a hint is that the usage of the number five in the Bible represents or symbolises "grace" (see footnote on "Grace"). So the usage of the word "day" and "days" is talking about grace given by God.

Everytime the plural word "days" is used in that passage it is talking about a time or period of opportunity for man to change his ways and come to God. For example, in verse 26 it says days of Noah (preceding the flood), in verse 28 it says days of Lot (preceding destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah) and in verse 26 it says days of the Son of Man (preceding Jesus return and his judgement). These are all times where God is giving man a opportunity to turn to Him. These are days of His grace towards man.

As an more detailed example, let's focus on the days of Noah. Consider verse 26 from Luke chapter 17.

And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:

In these words, Jesus chooses two eras of divine judgement for a specific reason.

The days of Noah are compared to the days just before the reappearing of the Lord Jesus Christ. In both cases, they were just before the judgement of God. In both cases, there were days of opportunity in which you could make choices.

For example, during the period prior to the flood, everyone who lived then had a opportunity to follow God and obey him. But out of all these people, only Noah and his family made a choice to obey God. And that time where choices could be made eventually came to a end. For there ultimately came one day which was the day of judgment which in this case was when Noah closed the doors of the ark and it started to rain and there was a flood.  

The same in the days of the Son of man which we are in right now. There is a period where we can make a choice to follow God and obey him. But then one day Jesus will return to the earth and that time of opportunity is finished. 

Time of opportunity

Day of judgement

 

Noah - days of opportunity before the flood

The flood

 

Lot - days of opportunity before destruction of Sodom

Fire and Brimstone

 

Son of Man - days of opportunity before return of Christ

Return and judgement

 

 

 

 

This day of judgment, after when the period of opportunity is finished, is always referred to in the passage of Luke chapter 17 when you see the singular use of the word "day". In verse 27 - the day that Noah entered the ark, in verse 29 - the day Lot left Sodom it was destroyed, in verse 30 - the day the Son of Man is revealed. So there is one day when judgement will be carried out. The word day (singular) appears five times in this passage. And as I said before the number five represents grace of God. So on that day of judgement, if you have responded to the call of God you will get grace. He will treat you with favour at the time of judgement. 

So the following is a summary of above.

The plural use of word "Days" occurs five times because it tells of a time of opportunity for men to respond before the day of judgment. It is a time where the grace of God is being extended.

But there is coming a day (singular), which will be day of judgment. But if you have responded to the call of God, you will get grace on that day of judgment. That is why the singular use of the word day also appears five times. 

The current times 

Window of opportunity is a short period of time during which an opportunity must be acted on or missed.

We are living in the times of the "Son of man" now. At this present time, we are living in the period of opportunity before the return of Christ. Some call this the window of opportunity. For one day in the future, Christ will return and the period of opportunity will no longer exist. It will be too late. If we have ever thought about living the life of a Christian then it is good not to delay this decision. As one day it will be too late. 

Some of the events happening in the world around us have been predicted by Bible prophecy. The purpose of this type of fulfillment of Bible prophecy is to show that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is very close. So given that so much prophecy is being fulfilled it is obvious that the return of Christ is very close indeed. The time of opportunity is fast drawing to a close...

Footnote

1

Grace means a "undeserved favour". God shows grace to us by forgiving our sins, adopting us as his children, and not treating us in the way which we truly deserve.

 

 

 

 

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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 April 2013