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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Are We in the Last Days?

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV) 1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
Each day I watch or read the news. I realize that the media outlets are given to sensationalizing each story, but it still seems that things are getting worse. It was not so long ago that I didn't know what a Ponzi scheme was. Now it is a regular news feature. Many of the athletes lack the humility of those who preceeded them. People are even killing their own children. The lack of self-control is seen in the rampant obesity, alcoholism and drug abuse. People have become so selfish that it is common to see people push ahead in traffic rather than wait their turn. They want to get home to their large screen tvs. They used the money they should have tithed to buy these idols of pleasure.

Many of these people will describe themselves as Christians. They will tell you that they are frequent church attenders but the records show that they attend once a month or less. They talk of having faith but cannot point to anything which reveals their faith. Their faith is based on a decision they made as a child; not what they are doing daily. They have a form of godliness in claiming to be Christians but their so-called faith has no power of change in their lives.

Should we be surprised? Isn't this what Paul said as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit? These are the signs of the last days. Just look carefully at the signs of the last days listed in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 above. Does it appear to you that these things are becoming prevalent?

Of course, 2 Timothy was written to Timothy, Paul's son in the faith. He was telling Timothy that he should look for these things. Evidently, they were just as prevalent in Paul and Timothy's day. Yet, God by the grace of the Holy Spirit brought millions to Christ over the years. I suppose you could say that we have been in these last days for the past 2000 years.

Paul instructed Timothy to continue to do what was right while looking for the return of Christ. Paul believed that Jesus could return at any moment. He indicated that these were the last days.

How should this be any different for me? Shouldn't I also do what is right and look to see Christ return? Yes, these are the last days.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, we are in the last days. But the last days has stretched from a long, long while back, as you correctly pointed out, the Apostle Paul then was already talking about the days as the last days. If one assumes, and it is quite alright to assume that, that the last days started from Christ's resurrection, it is already more than 2,000 years and we are still waiting.

Apart from the ones you cited (from 2 Tim 3:1-5), there are other signs; there is the one on wars and rumours of wars - Matt 24:6 & Mark 13:7. Another is the increase in false teachings (2 Tim 4:3). Is it time yet? Probably NOT, but there again, God is God, He has the prerogative. Jesus said only the Father God knows! What should our attitude be? If I tell you Jesus will come back in your (and my) life-time, what would you do? If I tell you Jesus will NOT come back in your (and my) life-time, what would you do, differently? Can you see a good reason why God has NOT revealed the exact timing? Maybe, some can.

We, Chinese, have this saying, "As long as one is a monk for the day, ring the bell for the day." That is what I will do. Regardless, Jesus coming back tomorrow or on another day, as long as God gives the breath for the day, I am to live well for the day, keeping in mind, even as I live, I am a servant of God, and as His servant, I don't forget to serve Him. For me, I slice the "thing" smaller, and prefer to concentrate on a smaller uncertainty, and that which I ought to address: "I may be called home; meanwhile, what is it that I have to do. I better get doing, before time runs out." I say it is a smaller uncertainty, for I do NOT know when I will die, and quite certainly I will die NOT too long from now; I mean am NOT a young chap anymore.

You may be young, but then, you still do NOT know when you will be called back. People die all the time, old and young. So, each day, is a day the Lord has made for you (and I); don't mindlessly waste it.

If you are a believer, the above should make sense to you; but if you are not, you need to search for answers as to whether or NOT, there is God and Heaven, and maybe I should put it more correctly, that you need to open yourself to God who is in spirit waiting at the door of your heart. Well, the mortal fate of you and I are the same, we die some day, regardless when Jesus is coming back. We lives tens of years, but eternality is a long, long, long time. We are, in the last days of Christ’s coming back, and more urgently is, we are in the last days of our mortal lives.

As to the bad things, the wickedness, wars, and false teachings, etc, that there would be more of these, in the days to come, one thing for sure, we are to be vigilant for ourselves, and for our loved ones, and our brethrens, and for our neighbours, generally; and then we are to still resist them. The attitude of, the written Word already said it-what, so just let things be, is WRONG. God did NOT reveal of them, so that you could welcome them; think about it. Please, resist. If you don’t care about your country, or town or community, because the written Word has revealed about these things, then I tell you, you don’t blame anyone, if your community is invaded by wickedness, false teachings, and the bad stuff. And don’t blame God, too; He already warned you! God did NOT tell you so that you could welcome them, He told you so that you are prepared to face them, and fight them. We are soldiers of God; we fight, and we are to win sinners over; we are to turn back misguided ones if possible. Bible said, when it is day, work, there will come a time when it is night, and we cannot work (John 9:4-5), same kind of saying as, “as long as you are a monk of the day, ring the bell for the day”. Bible also says, “Redeem time” (Eph 5:15-17, KJV; NIV says “make the most of every opportunity”).

Anthony Chia, high.expressions