One of the questions I am often asked either on Scott Richards Live or after a service goes something like this:
“Are there any predictions regarding the End Times that we see being fulfilled today?”
And certainly there are a number of heaven sent “Head’s up!” situations in our day:
-Israel being miraculously reborn and preserved as a nation in her historic homeland.
– The alignment of nations, including the unprecedented alliance between Russia and Iran, predicted in Ezekiel 38.
– The rise of the first stages of “Revived Rome” and the strong push toward a single world monetary system are eerily in line with the prophetic picture the Bible paints of life in the End Times.
But the more our culture moves along, the more I see signs of another Last Days prediction being fulfilled before our eyes – this one far more personal and potentially close to home than almost any other.
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, 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! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (II Timothy 3:1-7)
I know. I know.
The obvious objection is, haven’t people always behaved like this?
Why is this prediction so relevant to our time as opposed to any other?
There is no doubt that fallen people tend to behave in fallen ways. The annals of history are littered with accounts of over the top examples of people living to selfishly stimulate their nerve endings.
You could look it up.
But what makes our day different isn’t the presence of evil, but its pervasive nature.
You don’t have to go looking for sin, it comes looking for you.
Check out the messages we are bombarded with through the media.
Soft core pornography is available 24/7 – and that’s just on the ads from the pharmaceutical companies!
But if you want to get deeper into destructive, God dishonoring behavior, the internet is always happy to oblige.
Consider this “service” provided by a company called AshleyMadison.com.
National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez provides the description:
To the soundtrack of a snoring woman in bed with a man, the announcer says: “Most of us can recover from a one-night stand with the wrong woman.”
The narrator continues: “But not when it’s every night. For the rest of our lives.”
The husband gets out of bed and heads, presumably, to the computer. We see a cartoonish wedding picture. We are made aware of what this restless spouse must be craving: an online-dating site for those who are married but itching for something carnally more, with someone else.
“Life is short. Have an affair” goes the motto for this no-frills facilitator.
And lest we think this “service is just for men:
And in this commercial cheating world, it’s not just the man who’s pining away. It’s equality, baby. Another ad on the same night featured an exaggerated boorish bore of a man and his wife in a restaurant on their anniversary. He takes a phone call. She is pleased to make eye contact with a leering rake at the bar. “When divorce isn’t an option” is how Ashley Madison seeks to make this sale.
In both scenarios, missing was any sense of shame.
I’m not sure if even Paul himself realized just how vividly his words would be realized in our day:
For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts..
So what can we learn from all this?
There is no doubt that we live in a day when the phrase “perilous times” seems like an understatement – especially in our spiritual lives.
But if forewarned is forearmed, we can take practical steps to avoid this kind of soul destroying danger.
We can guard our internet intake.
We can foster relationships with other believers who can keep us accountable and tell us the truth even when we don’t want to hear it.
But the best way to make certain we don’t end up going the way of these “perilous times” is not by saying “no” to awful things like AshleyMadison.com.
But by saying “Yes” to something better – a living relationship with Jesus.
When we fall in love it changes the way we live.
For instance, I gave up dating when the Lord lead me into the relationship I have with my wife, Pam.
The reason I did that wasn’t because I read the Arizona Revised Statutes concerning marital obligations.
It was because I loved her so much I didn’t want to do anything that would hurt her.
In fact, I only wanted to do those things that would cause me to be a blessing in her life.
I wasn’t saying “No” to the single lifestyle. I was saying “Yes” to something better.
The same is true in our difficult days.
Cultivate that love relationship God offers us in Christ.
Set aside time to read His Word, to pour out your heart before Him in prayer.
Be around others that love the Lord and can remind us of what a loser the way of this world really is.
Things are tough these days. The Bible says they will only get tougher.
But be encouraged -the darker the night, the more His light shines.
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