When I was a boy growing up, my friends in the neighborhood would occasionally congregate in our large backyard to play tag.
If you grew up playing that game, I’m sure you remember how it is played.
The game of tag begins when someone in the group starts to chase others in an effort to touch or tag them. I remember the glee each of us felt when we were “it,” and we finally touched another player and yelled, “Tag, you’re it!” In that moment, the person tagged became “it” for the next round of the game.
My friends and I would play tag for horas. We didn’t quit until every kid had been tagged — and when that happened, it was our signal that the game was done!
As a boy, I really liked to play tag for several reasons. It was a group game; it was fast; and it required us to strategize about how we would dodge and outrun the person designated “it” to avoid getting tagged. A rambunctious game of tag caused my heart to pump with excitement as I dashed here and there to stay out of reach.
I also liked the game of tag because if anyone had to sit out for a round, he or she could then jump back in the game to begin playing again. What I não like so much were the times Eu was the one who got tagged. However, in the game of tag, everyone eventually got tagged before the game was over. Whether we liked it or not, at some point each of us was going to be “it” for a round of the game.
The reason I tell you about this simple childhood game is that it reminds me of the significance of this strategic time we are living in right now. For the last 2,000 years, the Church has been living in the midst of a time frame that is technically called “the last days.”
However, now we have come to the very last of the last days — a time frame unlike any other that has preceded us in history. And God has chosen you and me to be part of the generation born at the very end of this age. You and I are “tagged” to live in this last round of the prophetic game. In a very real sense, God is saying to us, “Tag, you’re it!”
Others in Church history were “tagged” by God to be “it” in their generation, for their own time. I could make a long list of such men and women who helped change the course of history to His glory during their time on earth. But now it is time for us to play nosso part as we serve Jesus in the wrap-up of this prophetic season. For you and me to come out winners as God has destined us to do, we’ll need to learn how to move quickly and hear accurately as the Holy Spirit gives us strategies to dodge the enemy’s attacks and combat the evil influences that are trying to affect so many in society right now.
The fact remains that we are living in the last round of this end-times age. That means we must know what God has specifically stated about events in society in the last days — and we must receive divine guidance to maneuver accurately in the midst of the attacks the enemy is waging against every stratum of society.
One evening of watching the news is all that’s needed to confirm to yourself that an all-out assault is being waged against the human race and against godliness. Society today is filled with violence, decadence, financial crises, political feuding beyond anything we ever imagined possible, and heightened tensions among the world’s political leaders. Natural disasters occur with increasing regularity all over the earth.
These combined and cumulative events seem so overwhelming that it can feel like our very well-being is under continual threat. If it were not for the peace of God that rules our hearts and minds, we could easily be thrown into a state of panic, shaken by all of these disturbing developments. (See my book Signs You’ll See Just Before Jesus Comes to learn of all the events Jesus predicted in Matthew 24 that we will see in the world prior to His next coming.)
Many of us remember growing up in a very different world, where life was slower and kinder — and so safe that we didn’t even lock the doors to our houses. We didn’t fear our neighbors, and we never had a single thought about terrorist activity. Does that description resemble the childhood you remember decades ago?
But the world has changed dramatically in the course of our lifetimes and has become a far different place than the one we grew up in years ago. What happened to the world we once knew? How is it possible that so many things could change so fast and so dramatically? Who of us in our growing-up years would have ever imagined that we’d see the day when so much nonsensical thinking would dominate society?
My parents, along with our local church, reared me to believe the Bible, so we knew that we were most likely living in the last days. But now years have flown by, and the reality of these last days has hit with explosive force! It’s no longer imaginary; it is upon nos. Whew! We didn’t know that life could change with such speed!
But change it did, and the slower, kinder, safer world we grew up in is nearly gone. With every new day, it seems like society is being inundated with new, once-unthinkable absurdities that have left many people bewildered and perplexed.
Whether we like it or not, times have changed — very rapidly. During our childhoods, it would have been hard to envision that things could change so much in relatively so little time.
But God knew these times were approaching, and approximately 2,000 years ago, His Spirit spoke very clearly to alert us — we who live in the last days — that such times would come. He wanted isto generation to know that “perilous times” would emerge in society at the very end of the last days.
Where We Are In Time – God Really Wants Us To Know
As the apostle Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, he said this in the opening verse of chapter 3: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” But let’s begin by looking closely at the first part of the verse, where the Holy Spirit says, “This know also.…”
The word “know” is a translation of the Greek word ginosko, which in this verse means to know something definitely, emphatically, and with absolute certainty. But it is also important to know that the tense used here depicts something so urgent that it MUST be known, MUST be recognized, and MUST be acknowledged.
In other words, what the Holy Spirit is saying in this verse — and in the passage that follows — should not be considered optional information for us to retain or not to retain at our discretion. The Greek tense makes the message of this verse strong. It is almost as if the Holy Spirit is raising His voice to get our attention. He is reaching out from the pages of Scripture to grab us, shake us, and cause us to sit up straight, hold our heads high, and open our eyes and ears so we truly grasp what He is about to communicate.
In this verse, the Holy Spirit speaks loudly, authoritativelye emphatically because He wants us to fully grasp what He is about to say. His urgent desire is that we will be prepared and not taken off-guard when last-days events begin to take place with increasing, rapid-fire frequency.
What was coming in the future — in the very time in which you and I are currently living — was so ominous that the Holy Spirit realmente wanted to warn us in advance that perilous times were coming. His purpose was not to scare us, but to prepare us so we would be informed and spiritually equipped to navigate a last-days tempestuous storm. If we’ll listen to what the Holy Spirit says in this verse and in the verses to follow, we’ll be able to prepare ourselves — as well as our loved ones and friends — to sail victoriously through these stormy waters. And we’ll not be overcome by the evil that Scripture says would inevitably emerge and become widespread in society as the age approaches its end.