“Understand this: In the last days terrible times will come. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.” (2 Timothy 3:1-3)
Scripture is abundantly clear. There will come an end to all things.
Scripture is also clear… there will be signs of this eminent doom.
As we look at the apostle’s words to Timothy, they are like a mirrored reflection of the headlines of our times. He tells us: People will be consumed with their own wants, and passionately pursuing their own desires. In the last days, human nature will throw off all restraints, push aside all semblance of divine truth, and the masses will “ride their passions with the throttle in their hands.”*
At the core of this occurrence is two primary issues. People, in their pride, will be “scoffing at God” and they will “have no self-control.”
It’s a horrid combination that will produce “terrible times.”
Whenever people lose sight of the Moral Compass Giver – they develop their own sense of direction – and those cultures inevitably spiral out of control. This is especially true in our day and age.
Yes, I know that there have always been “terrible times.” Even at the time of writing this letter to Timothy, there was severe persecution of Christians and the world was a mess. What we see on our TV screens, was largely played out in the open streets. The ancient middle east was no paramount of virtue… or compassion.
But the attitude is different now. God’s views have never been very popular with the masses – but now those views have become contemptible… dangerous… hateful. The very opposites of what God gave them to be! Momentum is gaining in every move to remove every semblance of God in our culture – and when He is removed, all that is left is human viewpoints, human reasonings, and human failings.
Exactly what we see in our world, and our culture, today.
The tendency would be for us to become angry, jaded, vengeful, and belligerent. To defend God against this godless onslaught. But we have to guard against those reactions… and actions…
First of all, God does not need our defense. He can take care of Himself. AND He will have the last word in this matter.
Second, our anger never produces the righteousness of God.
Our anger most often leads us to actions that do not represent Him – and what this world needs more than anything (now!) is a clear view of Him and His patient and unconditional love.
Third, be prepared and be ready. If the Lord’s return is eminent – none of society’s rants will matter. When Jesus comes back, it will not be as an innocent baby… it will be as an almighty warrior prepared to mete out unbearable justice.
He is coming back to put all things right… and to confront every heart and mind that has rejected Him and His love.
This thought gives us hope and an unquenchable joy. God has been accused of many things these days. When Jesus returns, God will be vindicated of all charges. He will restore the perfection that humanity has ripped apart.
It would be easy to despair in these perilous times… But Jesus has told us in advance:
* A line from one of my favorite “little known” artists, Mark Heard – perhaps one of the greatest Christian lyricists of all time.
If you’re interested, the song is here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHao4lDEpok