The bottom line: This book provides many solid answers, just not to the book’s central question.
So are these the last days? After reading this book, you’re not left with a definitive answer, but what you will learn is that there is better issue to concern yourself with (more on that later).
The more fitting title for this booklet would be “The Olivet Discourse,” referring to an apocalyptic monologue Jesus addressed to His disciples about events to come.
This book succinctly elucidates what Jesus meant by His words, what He was referring to, and what this means for us today.
Contrary to what the title may suggest, Are These the Last Days? is not about what the end times will look and feel like.
Because the Olivet Discourse is apocalyptic, there is some inherent difficulty in determining what Jesus “really meant” in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. Subsequently, Are These the Last Days? takes a very humble approach in its thorough explanations, and it takes the effort mount counter-arguments to competing interpretations, giving the reader a well-balanced view of the Olivet Discourse. “The Destruction of the Temple” makes the case that Jesus’s words were a special reference to a judgment on the Jewish nation, opening up where we live today, the age of the Gentiles. “Signs of the Times” interprets warnings as events that would happen before the destruction of Jerusalem. “The Great Tribulation” makes connections to historical events in antiquity. “The Coming of the Son of Man” explains the use of time references in order to point to events that fulfilled prophecy by the year A.D. 70. The final two chapters (“The Day and the Hour” and “The Faithful and Wicked Servant”) provide the most clarification to the question posed by the book’s title. That is, no one knows specifically when the last days are and obsession with a date and time is of no consequence to us. What is of consequence are for the servants of Christ to act faithfully and to execute The Lord’s will before His return so that we will not be caught by surprise when the Master returns.
Are These the Last Days? is part of the Crucial Questions booklet series. The series offers Biblically sound answers to practical, real-life questions about the everyday Christian experience.
Without a doubt, the series is very informative and a worthwhile resource. Each selection in this volume tends to be less than 100 pages so you can get through a booklet in an afternoon. Furthermore, the fact that all of them are available for free (Kindle versions) is just icing on the cake. This is excellent for anyone who seeks to know more about the Olivet Discourse, and will provide valuable information to Sunday school teachers, Christian educators, and Bible students.
Dr. C. H. E. Sadaphal