In Times Like These
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
2 Timothy 3:1
The Apostle Paul in his second letter to the young Pastor Timothy, defined the kind of things that would be clearly visible to God’s people as the last days approached before Jesus returns to claim His bride; the Church. Paul went on to say in 2 Timothy 3:2-5; For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, 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!
It is sad that you do not have to look very hard to see these characteristics portrayed in the lives of many people around us. A few minutes on Facebook or CNN and we could check these items off of the list one by one. Some people who possess such sinful characteristics reside in our own neighborhood or even our homes. Seeing these kinds of things happening around us more and more everyday tends to discourage many of God’s children. But we as Christians must never forget that this sinful, cursed world will continue to get worse until Jesus returns. So what are followers of Jesus Christ to do and how are we to live in such an environment as the one Paul mentioned would be evident in these last days?
First, it is important that we keep a Godly perspective. Jesus said in John16:33; “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Followers of Jesus Christ should be daily portraits of “Good Cheer” because of what Christ has completed for us. However, many of God’s children spend countless hours each day continually complaining about the things we see and hear in the world around us. We have allowed such disgust to be our primary conversation starter with people that we converse with daily or even someone with whom we have just met. It is easy to talk about such dreadful things, because we know that most everyone around us will be in agreement with us, therefore, the need to defend our Christian viewpoint and values becomes non-existent. It is sad to think that some Christians have become one of satan’s greatest tools because they help to spread his negative message and deliver discontent by the words that they often speak. One of the ways that Christians can improve the world around them and to snuff out satan’s dreadful tactics is to stop complaining about the things going on in a world that is not ours and spend that time praising God for a Heavenly Kingdom that is. We need to continually let the world know that we have a Deliverer, a Hope, and an ever present Help in our time of need and that His name is JESUS!! Let’s spend more time talking about Him, rather than the negative things that He warned us would come.
Second, we need to heed Paul’s advice that we should turn away from such people. Paul is not saying that we should despise them or even ridicule them, after all Jesus encouraged us to: love our enemies, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you (Matthew 5:44). But rather what Paul is instructing us to do, is not to fellowship with such people so that our actions and our character do not become like theirs. If we are not careful, we will become so disgusted and discouraged by the actions of the world around us that we will begin to lose heart and allow tolerance of these wicked things to infiltrate our lives and homes thereby infecting the next generation with the same negative principles that we so openly despise now. For instance, how often do your children or coworkers hear you complain about gas prices rather than thanking God for the vehicle He gave you and that your need will always be supplied? How often do we criticize the leaders of our country rather than encouraging everyone to pray for them as instructed to in 1 Timothy 2:1-2? What motivates the lost around us to seek a relationship with Jesus if we as God’s children are just as disgusted and hopeless as the rest of the world around us?
Remember; satan is a manipulator. Every time a Christian complains about the world around them, what it really says to others around us is that we’re afraid and we have no hope. Keep your eyes, thoughts and words on Jesus and lets show the world that we are not shaken, sidetracked, or scared but rather we are thankful that this world is not our home and that we are excited about what’s to come. – God Bless
A Prayer of Repentance
God, I come to you in Jesus’ name. I confess that I have sinned against You and have come short of Your standards. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus to pay the price for my sins. Jesus thank You for dying on the cross for me. I repent of my sins and ask You to be the Lord of my life. I give you my life today and I receive God’s free gift of eternal life. Thank You Lord for saving me. In Jesus Name, Amen.