Saturday, May 15, 2010

Current News? (and random thoughts)

The questions should be - "When was this written?", and "Where is the link for this article?":

"There will be terrible times in the last days.
People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money,
boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents,
ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous,
without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,
treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure
rather than lovers of God -
having a form of godliness but denying its power."

Sound familiar?

Those words come from the apostle Paul, as written approximately 2,000 years ago. But it could have been written today. This comes from 2 Timothy 3, as the last generation was being described, prophetically.

But there is more instructional note given in this passage, and in it, we receive a profile in what we can be doing in these last days, as ambassadors to Christ Jesus:

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

(2 Timothy 3:14-17)

But there is more. In the following passage we receive direct instructions as a Christian living in this age:

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead,
and in view of his appearing
and his kingdom, I give you this charge:

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage -
with great patience and careful instruction.

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own
desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work
of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry."

(2 Timothy 4:1-4)

But there is still more, and now we get to the prize:

"Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness
which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day -
and not only to me,

but also to all who have longed for his appearing"

(2 Timothy 4:8)

So, from the above passage we receive several bits of useful information (and keep in mind - the context is the "last days"):

- The last days will include "terrible times" in which people are described in the first scripture(s) above.
(Lovers of self, proud, abusive, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, godliness, etc.)

- We are to "have nothing to do with them"

- BUT - in view of Christ's appearing - we are to "correct, rebuke and encourage"

- BECAUSE - Men will not put up with "sound doctrine" and they will "turn away from the truth".

- AND - our job is to "do the work of an evangelist"

- THEN - there is a crown awarded to us - those of us who have "longed for his appearing" - a statement which describes us -
those of us who are vigilantly watching for His return.

That is intended to serve as encouragement to us - those of us who ARE seated in "truth" and those of us who are watching the end times events and doing the subsequent work of being an "evangelist".

Because this entire passage is in the context of the "last days" - then what specifically is the "truth" that is being "turned away from"?

The apostle Peter gives us at least some information. There is obviously an array of "false teachings" during this last generation. But - the passage in 2 Timothy is set in the last days context. So lets see what Peter has to say:

" must understand that in the last days, scoffers will come,
scoffing and following their evil desires.

They will say, "Where is this coming he promised?

Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.

But - they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

By the same word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men."

(2 Peter 3:2-6)

In this passage, the apostle Peter defines the false teaching - which comes from scoffers - and that teaching includes the thought process that Jesus won't return because "we" have heard that before, and nothing happened - thus, the promise of Jesus return isn't worth worrying about.

Don't we hear this almost every day?

But Peter reminds us that God IS quite capable of "big" acts - and just as God created the flood (something that was most certainly "big"), He is also quite capable of creating the events of the Tribulation which ends with the Second Coming of Christ.

But for the unbelieving world, and the world of lukewarm Christians, this isn't a popular message. A God who can institute judgement upon the earth and upon "ungodly men" just doesn't seem like a "good message" for seeker-friendly church. So the message is scoffed at and ridiculed. That way, they can successfully gather around them false teachers who will provide "what their itching ears want to hear".

And that is a perfect description of the world today - the Christian world and the unbelieving world.

But we have a mission because we have the truth - and for an unbelieving world, this truth is very scary and ominous.

But it is still the truth. A truth that we receive and embrace - because it is a truth which is favorable to the believer:

A reward for watching for and longing for Christ's return.

It is worth repeating:

"Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness

which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day

and not only to me, but also

to all who have longed for his appearing."




Anonymous said...

What encouraging comments today, thank you. It gets so wearisome at times, watching what is happening in the world and even in our churches. This is a wonderful reminder of what truly matters.

Scott said...

Thanks Kem -- it was intended to be words of encouragement and we are directed to encourage each other in this walk - as we face the last days. And this is what we do! God knew that this would be a tiring and wearing journey, but he wanted us to know what is JUST around the corner, and its that HOPE which keeps us all going.

God Bless


Expected Imminently said...

This is my experience right now in my life. It would be easy to think that these Scriptures are referring to the fallen world at large - but not so, this is the behaviour of the present day church.

It is happening within my own family of born again Christians in the throes of rebellion, being deceived and deceiving others.
Sadly Sue

Expected Imminently said...

My family have accused me of 'interference' in their lives because I tried to tell them they had become involved with a cult (and it IS a cult). They show all the characteristic signs of people caught up in e.g. the J.W's. and the Mormons. I recognise this because I worked/aided in this area for many years with "Christian Information Outreach" and the late Eric Clarke.

Isn't it ironic that my beloved family are now ensnared by Purpose Driven etc in spite of my work among the cults? I can say no more, I can only try to love and help them in a practical way - but God HAS heard my prayers, and that false ship they have boarded set sail during a tolerant fair 'South wind'; soon the fierce 'North-easterly' will blow and it will founder - I have no doubt about that, I just don't know when.

Then we must all prepare to 'pull the survivors to safety' without condemnation and lovingly help them back on board the Ark of God, the only vessel fit for bad weather.

Scott said...


Don't forget, the apostle Peter warned us of this scenario.

BUT - we have the TRUTH on our side and that will ultimately win out.

All we can do is to inform people of the truth, in love, and hope for the best.

But there will always be those who resist the truth - sadly.

Good luck sister

God Bless