Greetings precious people, I do hope that you are doing well and finding rest and peace in the Lord Jesus Christ. I feel it necessary to break away from our current study on "Who Jesus Is" and look at todayís events in light of the Bible. As I write this, the war has already begun. It is unknown at this time what will happen next, what the short and long term repercussions will be, or what the future holds for our country and for the world.
The title for todayís article is taken from a portion of Scripture from the Apostle Paulís letter to Timothy concerning conditions during the last days. Take the time to read it in its entirety. 2 Timothy 3, "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was. But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra--what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
No doubt you noticed that Paul makes the announcement of the coming of "Perilous Times" at the beginning of this chapter. But then goes on to explain the reason for which these "Perilous Times" will come. As we look at the events that are unfolding before us, many are anxious, worried, fearful, and asking "Why are these things happening?" I believe the term "Perilous Times" that Paul gives to describe the Last Days adequately describe our day.
Let us consider the reasons given for these "Perilous Times". "For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power".
Take a good long honest hard look at the description just given. Does it not sound like an accurate description of the people of our present world? Take the description of "lovers of themselves" for example. We are so in love with ourselves today. We spend large amounts of time, energy, and money on pampering ourselves, indulging in all sorts of pleasures, denying ourselves of nothing. When this happens, something always accompanies self-indulgence, it is the forgetting and neglect of those that are less fortunate. From the money that is spent on makeup alone, we could buy enough food to feed the entire world population. The people of our nation are not unique in this self-consumed practice; self-centeredness is common to all mankind.
The next trait mentioned is "lovers of money". Many mistakenly think that money is the root of all evil, this is not true. Money is neither moral nor immoral, it is amoral. It is the love of money that is the root of all kinds of evil. Paul had this to say to Timothy in his first letter, 1 Timothy 6:6-10, "Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." So much of the injustices done in the world today have to do with the love of money. Those who do not have, want and will do anything to get it, as well as those who have it, do all to keep it.
We are also told that men will also be "boasters and proud". Oh how proud we are today boasting of great things, of reaching new heights of education, scientific inventions and discoveries, and yet all the while increasing in our denial of God and His existence.
Time and space do not permit me to continue to expound upon the remaining reasons that make our times perilous. One may argue that these things have always existed and I would agree with one exception. Though they have always existed since the fall of man, they are reaching an all time high, a level to which God will say, "Enough!" when this happens the end has come.
I believe we are seeing the precursors to what is known as "The Last Days". We are seeing many of those things which the Bible, Godís Word, forewarns us of, that would usher in the return of Jesus Christ being fulfilled before us. I am not making any predictions, the Bible makes it clear that no man knows the hour or the day, but I do believe the end is near.
Jesus chastised the religious leader of His day for not being able to discern the "signs of the times". In Matthew 16:2-3, we read Jesus saying, "When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red'; and in the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times." Through the Word of God, God had given many signs and indications that would mark the first coming of the Messiah. But most missed it, they were too busy doing their "own thing". They were caught up in the affairs of life and failed to see when God Himself in Jesus Christ visited them.
May this not happen to us. May we not miss the "Second Coming" of Jesus Christ. How should we be responding to what is going on in the world around us? First and foremost, we should be surrendering our lives to Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior. After having done this, we should become serious about studying the Word of God and asking God to give us the Grace to obey His Word. To repent of merely just going through the motions. Anyone can "call" himself or herself a Christian; many do, and yet are not born again.
For the true Christian, this time in which we live should be both the most exciting time to be alive as well as the most sobering. Exciting because we stand to see that which men and women of old longed for, the return of Jesus Christ and with this the establishing of the Righteous Kingdom of God where wickedness and sin will no longer be tolerated. Sobering, because for all of those around us, husband, wife, children, grandparents, grandchildren, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others that do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they stand to be judged for their sin and condemned to Hell for all eternity.
It is time to wake up out of our slumber, to see the obvious signs around us that are declaring the soon return of Jesus Christ and get busy. To start being about our fathers business. Do you know what that business is? It is that of showing mercy, doing justice, and walking humbly before God. It is getting the "Good News" to all those around us both near and far. To be living our lives in such a way that Jesus is seen in us. It is not a time to be fearful and worrisome, rather to be bold and fearless.
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine