Summary: Understanding the tension of the Kingdom of God ‘already’ being here, while at the same time, ‘not yet’ being completely here.
1. Are we living in the last days? If we are, what does the Bible say about the last days?
a. Is 2:2-4 2 In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. 3 Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
This passage says that the last days will be a time of peace
b. Mt 24:1-7 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
This passage tells us the complete opposite!!!
c. How do we make sense of this?
i. It has everything to do with having a braai (barbecue)
1. At a braai (barbecue) there are three groups of people:
Those who smell the meat cooking
The one who does the cooking
Those who eat the meal
2. Those who smell the meat cooking won’t necessarily taste it because they aren’t invited. This group is like the prophets who ‘smelled’ what the last days would be like, but they didn’t experience it
3. the chef has a ‘taste’ but that doesn’t satisfy until he has the meal. We have a taste of the last days, but it will only reach fruition when Jesus returns
d. We live in a tension of the Kingdom of God ‘already’ (a taste) being here, while at the same time, ‘not yet’ being (completely) here.
2. Some verses to back this up
Already: Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
Not Yet: 1 Co 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Already: Eph 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
Not Yet: Eph 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.