Stand Strong in these Days

“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,” 1 Timothy 4:1-2

I believe that we are in the last days prior to the return of Jesus the Christ.  So much evil in this world and it is only going deeper into the darkness.  We see many countries with terribly evil leadership who care nothing about the citizens in their country and do all they can to enrich themselves and solidify the power they have in order to maintain their position.  There are now more and more restrictions that leaders are trying to place on the backs of the people.  And it does appear that those who are Christians are enduring more and more of these new rules.

I will be going through 2 Timothy 3:1-9 to describe what I see happening.  First, Paul writes “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.” 2 Timothy 3:1.  These are very difficult days.  More and more economies are heading downward and only a few are getting the advantages.  More and more people around the world are finding themselves of no interest to those who rule over them.  We see this in North Korea with Kim Jong-un where he lives a life of opulence in his home while many outside his city have no food and are limited to eating grass or anything else they can find which costs them nothing.  Also in China with Xi Jinping where the only freedom the people have is what agrees with the governing authorities, and if they see you going against the governing’s beliefs, you are sent to “re-education camps” in order to either change your beliefs or lock you up where they basically work you to death.  And we see this in Venezuela with Nicolas Maduro Moros who instituted socialism where all the money goes to the government and little if any goes back to the citizens.  And we are now seeing a lesser but growing form of this same idea in the United States where those in the House and the Senate are only interested in their own lives, desiring to take more and more money and power from the citizens to line their own pockets.

Now, this is not a political post, but in order to clearly describe the world as it is, there will be, as seen above, some political content, however it will be kept to a minimum.  Next, “For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.” 2 Timothy 3:2-5.  We are seeing more who are only interested in their own situations and could not care less for those who are suffering, starving and empty inside. I saw this while walking in downtown Atlanta at night during Dragon-con.  The poor and no doubt homeless sitting or lying on the sidewalks while scores of people walk by with no concern for them.  Many are boastful and arrogant, believing that they are always right and judging those who disagree as ignorant and stupid.  People revile others for many reasons, such as appearance, competency or any number of other trivial or insulting reasons.  We see children now who do not obey what their parents say, but want the parents to be obedient to them. A lot of this stems from the parents guilt that is piled on them by their kids who are ungrateful for what their parents do for them.  The kids see what other kids have and complain incessantly to them because they do not have what so-and-so has.  More and more people are leaving the church because they see no sense in going, and many go only because it makes them look good, but outside of church time, they live unholy lives, indulging in sinful behavior while believing they are saved because they went forward in church. They believe they cannot control their lusts therefore they might as well give in, not submitting to the power the Holy Spirit provides us.  Love is also taking a hit, where love of self trumps love of others, including God.  This often leads to unforgiveness or irreconcilable differences, malicious gossip which harms the person who is gossiped about.  This often leads to brutal behavior that benefit the brute, and they hate what is good because it does not benefit or appeal to their flesh.

Treachery is on the rise, where companies and hackers promise much but give nothing, only taking from the victim.  This has really ballooned with the increase of our digital lifestyle.  We have people hacking into our accounts that are on the computer, and we have countries spying on other countries via invading the worldwide network using sophisticated programming.  We see more reckless activity such as speeding and texting while driving, giving access to kids things that are dangerous to them, such as vaping or drugs, and engaging in activities that are illegal but desirous because of the pleasure derived irregardless of the harm incurred upon another.  This is the result of conceit in that they think they can do anything they want because they deserve it.  This has caused an increase in human trafficking, both in the area of sex trafficking and forced labor.  It is probably hard to believe, but the United States was recently, and still could be, number two in the world regarding sexually trafficked victims.  These include a large number of children.  And lastly, there are many people in the church today who believe they are Christians, however what they have is, as Paul put it, simply a form of Godliness, but denies the power by not submitting to God and living the life that God commands.

I believe the bible is clear that these things will become much worse as we approach the coming of Christ.  We as Christians need to stand firmly against all of these things.  We need to be there for the victims of this culture through our prayers and assistance.  We must not, in any form or fashion, compromise the truth of God, no matter the cost.  We may lose friends, jobs, safety and any number of other things.  But what are these things in comparison to what God has in store for them that truly love Him.  In the grand scheme of things, they really do not matter at all.  So, stay strong, fight the good fight, reach out to the lost, help those who have committed themselves to Christ to grow in the faith, disciple them so they can disciple others.  Remember the suffering the disciples of Christ endured, what trials and tribulations of Paul, and many of the martyrs that continued God’s work no matter what happened until they died.  We must do the same.  Do not give in, but be victorious in the Spirit.  God will give you the strength to persevere and reward you if you remain true to Him.

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