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Perilous Times

 

 

Police: 5 children, father die in murder-suicide

Gunman 'lying in wait' kills 3 Pittsburgh officers

As gunman's life fell apart, he took others'

N. Korea launches rocket, defying world pressure

 

All we need  to see that we are living in perilous times is to read the newspaper.    The four headlines above are only a few indications from just one day, April 4, 2009.  There were many more and if we looked at the newspapers from around the world, there would have been hundreds of headlines much like above but they simply did not make national or international news.  Now I do want to point out that although the headlines above only talks about men,  women are as guilty as men in taking lives but often they are more subtle in how they commit evil and  since they use proxies to kill, they are not listed as the murderer.  

 

The intent of this message is not to show the crime rate to show the times we are in.  Crime is only one indicator of these times.  

 

When we think of "perilous times" most will think of dangerous times and this is certainly true but there is much more to "perilous times then this.  Let's look at 2 Timothy 3:1-7 for a moment.

 

1:  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  2:  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  3:  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  4:  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  4:  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.  6:  For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,  7:  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

My friend, Paul was not speaking about those that are not Christians in the scripture above. He was talking about Christians.  He was talking about what we call the apostate church.

 

The term "perilous comes from " chalepos which may itself come from Chalaō meaning to loosen, slacken, relax. to let down from a higher place to a lower or to give the idea of reducing the strength  The people in 2 Timothy 3:1-7 are those that we will find in what most think are good solid Biblical churches but I contend that they never really knew the LORD but most would think they were "good Christians.

 

If we look at each of the traits for this apostate church, we may be able to see that we are indeed in these perilous times now.

 

Men shall be lovers of their own selves:   This applies to women as well as men but we are living in the ME generation.  Many churches sing a song called "Its all about You Lord, Its all about You.  If many were honest, they would sing, it is all about ME Lord.   If we ask someone to do something, we will often hear:  "What's in it for me? "  Often when I talk to men and/or women who are having problems in their  relationships I am asked "What do I get out of it"  when advice is given.  My answer is always that the Psalmist prayed "search ME oh Lord....he did not pray "search my husband or search my wife"  We each need to be more concerned about what God want US to do regardless of what anyone else does.

 

 Covetous.  When we covet something, we want what they have.  Often it is not just a car or house or their money...it is often their spouse we want.   It is a violation of the 7th, 8th and 10th commandments.  (if we break the 7th and commit adultery, we want what someone else has and when we steal, we take what is not ours)   I believe that this is why coveting is in the ten commandments...it hurts people.  There is always a hidden cost for sin, it cost others then the one doing it  and it always cost us more then we can afford.  My friend, I will confess that I have had to fight this attitude myself.  Oh, I did not want  things for myself, but I have wondered why this ministry....Shattered Men did not get more attention.  When I saw people on Christian programming for things that would not matter a year down the road, I had to guard myself against this sin and remind myself that SM belongs to GOD....not to me. 

 

boasters/ proud:  means to speak of or assert with excessive pride.  Notice this says "excessive" pride.   Many Christians think that it is wrong for us to have any pride but look at Romans 12:3: For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. We must see ourselves as we really are - both the bad of what we are in the flesh and the glory of what we are in Jesus Christ.   God wants His kids to have good self esteem but we must always remember where it comes from.  We need to remember that it was yet while WE were still sinners, Christ found us and when we trusted in Christ, we were made new (2 Cor 5:17) and it is because of what Christ did that we are worthwhile.

 

 

 

Blasphemers.   Remember again, this refers to many who call themselves "Christians" in these perilous times.  Blasphemy" in the Scriptures is the very definition of what the false teachers and false prophets are doing today!  2 Timothy 3:1-7 is talking about perilous times caused by the apostate church.  This includes the emergent churches, "seeker friendly" and Word Faith churches (often known as name it and claim it)  These are dangerous churches that are leading people astray.  We need pastors who will tell it like it is and not tell us what we want to hear.  I do not need to hear that I "can be all I want to be" simply by thinking good about myself as a well known pastor in Houston Texas tells us.   I am and can be nothing apart from the saving grace of Jesus Christ!  My positive thinking about myself comes when I kneel at the foot of the Cross!

 

disobedient to parents:   This is pretty much self explanatory.  We are told to honor our parents in 5th commandment.  Please notice, it does not tell us to honor them IF they are or were  good parents.  This is also assuming that we are not told to do something that contradicts the Word of GOD.  If that were so, we must obey God rather then man but we had better make sure that it is GOD we are obeying and not just wanting our own way. 

 

unthankful:  How often do we take things for granted?  Many think the world owes us a living on a silver platter.  This goes right along with some of what is said above....what is in it for ME?  What do I get?    As I sit here writing this, I am so thankful for all the LORD has given me. I have a nice home, a wonderful family, my bills are paid, my wife and I each have a car and I am so thankful...BUT I am far more thankful for a GOD who loves me and who died for me.  I have said many times that if my LORD did nothing more for me now, HE did enough 2,000 years ago on a Hill called Calvary when HE paid a debt HE did not owe that I could not pay.  My friend...have YOU accepted this gift?  

 

Unholy:  Even though these people call themselves Christians and may often have leadership positions in the church, they live like the devil when no one is watching.   We have seen reports of adultery by church leaders that was excused.   One revival in Lakeland Florida recently had to be cut short because the one leading it was caught in major sinful activity and even ran off with one of the assistants he worked with.  There was no indication of repentance!

 

Without natural affection,  There is no concern for those that are lost.  No indication of any love for anyone but themselves.  

 

 Trucebreakers,  Remember who we are talking about again.  These are those   without a treaty or covenant.  I believe based upon the rest of this section of scripture, they have not accepted the mercy GOD has offered to them.  They are not at peace with GOD.

 

false accusers,  Although in the ministry of Shattered Men, we see many who are falsely accused of things they did not do but again, this is not talking about these people.  In this context, I believe it refers to those who discredit those that are truly serving GOD.  They detest "the old time religion" and do not want anyone calling attention to the fact that they have forsake the true Gospel for one of prosperity, comfort and ease.  As a result, they may project their own short comings on those that are holding firm to the Word of God and will not tickle ears.

 

Incontinent,  No, this does not mean they can not control their bladder.  It refers to those without  self-control or  intemperate.  They have a short fuse.  

 

Fierce,   This would go along with the above where someone has a short fuse.  You had better not expose them or they will do all they can do to destroy you for it.

 

Despisers of those that are good,    Nothing will condemn an evil person's actions more then standing next to someone that is holy.   Many of us have seen the laundry soap commercials where they show a shirt that was just cleaned in detergent X but when they show it next to their detergent, we can tell that it is not clean.  If someone is "playing church" they despise those who do have a real relationship with God. 

 

Traitors:  These people will turn on you in a heart beat.  They are a betrayer.  If you confide about a weakness you have thinking they will help you and pray for you, it will be all over town shortly.

 

Heady, They are rash and reckless.  They seldom pray about anything and they do not think about the possible results of any of their actions.  I believe that theses are the ones that many will say...if that person is a Christian....I do not want to be one!

 

Highminded  This is to blind with pride or conceit, to render foolish or stupid.  They may brag about having fancy degrees and use words that few will understand often to show how smart they are.  

 

Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God   This goes along with some of what has already been discussed.  It does not matter what others need as long as they get their wants met.  They fully enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season and they do not consider the real cost of these worldly pleasures 

 

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:  This is the bottom line and the root cause of all of the above.  They are "playing church" and telling people what they want to hear.  Could this be why there are so many "mega churches" while the world around them is going to hell in a hand basket?  (Oh I do believe there are a few strong Biblical mega churches but I do contend that most of these are the churches with few members but the are strong in the LORD.   (I discussed this in "An Open Door")

 

 From such turn away.  We are not to be a part of any church that is not like the church of Philadelphia as we are told about in Rev. chapter three.    People who do the things above  are not only common today but hey are often also our cultural heroes. They tell us our live is suppose to be "purpose driven" instead of driven by the Holy Spirit.  The simple responsibility of Christians is to turn away not only these attitudes, but also from the people who do these things.

 

For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins  Sometimes they do not have to "creep" into our homes.  We listen to them on the radio, watch them do their dog and pony shows on TV and read the magazines they send.

 

Led away with divers lusts, David Guzik states: " Obviously, the spirit of the last days finds its appeal to us by exciting various lusts within us. It appeals to the desire to be excited sexually, or romantically, or to have our desires for comfort or wealth or status satisfied."  

 

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  Jesus told us in John 5: 29-30  that the people Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

Our salvation is not based upon how much we know about God or how much of the Bible we read or memorize. Our salvation is based only upon a relationship with Jesus Christ and in order to obtain this relationship we have to recognize that none of the things above matter to God.  There is and never was any human being apart from Jesus Christ that was good enough to have earned one moment in heaven on our own merits.  WE all have to recognize that apart from GOD we are sinners and we deserve to spend an eternity away from Him

 

My friend, if YOU do not know the peace only God can give...if you recognize that you have or are doing many of the things listed above, come to Jesus today and find this peace only HE can give.   Take the The First Step to Better Relationship.

 

HE is waiting....for YOU and HE is only a whisper away!

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