First off, a few clarifications...
1. I am not an extremely learned and educated man that knows all about this subject(nor do I believe anyone is a real expert on the matter, as much remains a mystery...) But, I urge everyone to read what they can about the "end times." You wont understand ALL of it but the more you learn and remember, the more you'll be prepared to SEE the signs as they happen.
2. Ever since Jesus walked the earth as a man, people have assumed that they were in the end times then. Every generation since can look at things and think "well, this is worse than it was before, surely these are the end times..." Every generation has thought that... and we, almost arrogantly, sometimes continue to think we have an understanding of this. _____ is happening now, must be any day now right? In all honesty, we could have another 1000 years to go. I don't think we do, I don't think we or this planet could last that long... but, we don't actually have a set time frame as people have been studying and studying and studying and have come to different conclusions and years and dates for as long as people have known the end was coming. We just don't now... we like to tell ourselves that the bible doesn't tell us we wont know the year, just the day and hour are unknown right? I dare say that no man can, right now, predict what year it's going to happen...
3. That's okay. God asks us to be prepared but, our preparation is for NOW... not a year from now. We're supposed to be "ready" at all times because it will come like a thief in the night... meaning, we are NOT going to expect or see it coming. So, in all honesty, we need to stop trying to study scripture in order to predict when. People get quite lost in such studies and I dare say it can hurt a person's witness when "end times" is their focus.
With that aside... let's take a look at the "end times" and why I think it has definitely begun...
2 Timothy 3:1-9
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 such people.
6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
Let's break that down a little. Some of it is pretty easy. People will be lovers of themselves? Humans are actually born selfish. It's part of our sinful nature. This is how it has been since the beginning, or at least since the "fall" of man. But these days, selfishness is a theme and something that people are proud of. We're literally teaching each other to look out for number 1, to put yourself above others... if that person over there doesn't make you 100% happy, ditch them. Try again. Marriage isn't about TRUE love, it's about what makes you happy and if you're not happy, start over again(and over, and over...) Do what makes YOU happy... We are SO focused on pleasing ourselves that even Christians have twisted scripture to say things it does not say. Like, don't judge people. That has been interpreted as "nobody can tell ME what to do..." That's not at all what that passage was about... but, in today's hyper selfish world, this idea pleases us. Our society(and within the church, as most of what society teaches creeps in) teaches us to do anything we want, be anything we want... want want want... God wants you to be happy ALL the time right? This world will give you t̶r̶o̶u̶b̶l̶e̶ free stuff... seems to be today's misguided, misinterpreted message...
This is what our society teaches today... self self self self self... anyone that can't see how bad that has gotten may have already been given over to it.
Lovers of money... it's easy to point fingers at the greedy rich people but, that greediness has spilled over even to the poorest of poor. We have masses DEMANDING more and more FREE stuff today... free free free free free... stuff stuff stuff... gimme gimme gimme... Sometimes we tell ourselves that it's all about everything being "fair" but, it never is nor can it be "fair." Life doesn't work that way and yet, people are still trying to force it to be... The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil... ALL kinds... not just the rich people kind.
Boastful... proud... Oh the arrogant displays today...
Abusive... Today it's expected that when you don't agree with someone else, you're allowed and ENCOURAGED to treat them poorly. (I could write a whole story about this alone...)
disobedient to their parents... We're raising more and more spoiled children today that are also be trained in selfishness. More and more children are turning from the teachings of their parents and more and more parents are giving up teaching their children but rather, becoming their "friends" and allowing their children to "figure things out on their own..." That isn't getting us anywhere good and it isn't doing children any favors.
ungrateful... I think many people are still grateful... when it's something that someone they like has done. But when a president of "the other party" does something actually and honestly good, people literally turn it into an opportunity to attack the person while avoiding any acknowledgement of something good. WAY too many people do this. Our increasing selfishness is evidence that we are an ungrateful people. Where I am in life isn't good enough... what I have isn't good enough... so I demand more more more. Gimme everything FREE. I'm not happy unless ________. These things are all tied in together. If you're reading this, you are blessed. You have access to the internet which means you have access to electricity and other modern day conveniences that are NOT guaranteed in life. No matter how miserable you are, there are people in this world that have life way harder than you and are thankful people. I've seen it first hand while serving on short term missions to Uganda. The poorest of the poor seem to have the biggest smiles... and boy are people in first world countries(even the poor people here) SO ungrateful and unsatisfied. We should be ashamed of ourselves.
unholy... any amount of religion that this modern world might accept or teach ALL revolves around self and doing what makes us happy. Scripture is twisted to push ideas that were not meant to be. And anyone that tries to live a "holy" life the way the bible actually teaches it... well, those people are somehow labeled evil monsters.
without love... This one is kind of ironic... because the world is DEMANDING love today. This is all tied to selfishness as the world defines love as something you should get no matter what you do in life... that, if you don't accept all they do, if you ever question anything in their lives, somehow that means you're not loving them. The world is demanding love but, that's not something you can demand. It's something you can give, freely. But these same people that are demanding it are not willing to give it away so freely. Even while they're out there demanding love, they are condemning other people... demeaning them... insulting and sometimes even physically attacking people in the name of love?
I think most people truly want love and peace but have gotten confused as to what that actually means. It's another subject I could write another whole note(book actually) on but it's pretty clear to me that love is lacking, even among the people that are searching for it.
unforgiving... Today, not only are people finding it to forgive people for things they've done wrong... people are not getting mad at imagined offenses. That person believes _______ which then means _______ so, I am mad at them. They hurt me just by believing what they do...
If you're going around with such bitterness in your heart... if you're looking at ANYONE in an ugly and hateful manner... you're not a forgiving person. And this applies to even the most devout Christians today for even within the church you will find people hating "those" people over there. Oh, they're sinful... they believe _____, what a bunch of ________(random insult here.) I've seen Christians looking at other people this way... people that God created and loves. People are blinded by their selfishness. That person offended me so now I have the right to not be nice to them... That's the OPPOSITE of forgiveness my friends. And that's the world we live in...
slanderous... It's no surprise how related a lot of these things are... People's response to their selfishness, ungratefulness, unforgiveness, is to then insult everyone they don't agree with. I mean hey... they deserve to be insulted after all right? I've actually tried to have discussions with people where this was their response. I have pleaded with people to look at how they were acting and how they felt... look at what the bitterness and HATE was doing to them. And some people's responses always go back to "well, they did _______." Does it matter what they did? Does that make it okay to then HATE them and become a bully? I dare so, no... not according to scripture anyway. It is written that we are to LOVE our enemies and pray for those that do us harm. Yet even in the church, even among Christians do I see the effects of the "end times" and the false teachings of the world...
lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power
Yeah, I'm skipping some. I don't want to take too much time trying to elaborate on every tiny bit...
Lovers of pleasure... we've touched no that already. Selfishness... me me me... Some have even tried to twist scripture to say that "God wants you to be happy." That happens to be true... God does want you to be happy... the thing is, how we try to define happiness in a way that revolves around our selfish desires. Eating ice cream three to five times a day would make me "happy..." But, it really wouldn't. In the moment it would be great. I LOVE ice cream... but what it would then do to my body and my brain as I starve myself of real food... it would ruin me. Is that happiness? Is that what God wants for me? Of course not. But somehow we try to turn "God wants you to be happy" into "I should just do everything and anything that 'makes me happy'." That's not loving God, that's loving ourselves.
You know, Jesus came and died to free us not just from the penalty of sin but, from sin itself. God's love for us, His will and wishes of "happiness" for us involve us turning from sin... not embracing it. Sin doesn't make us happy... it often makes us feel good for a time but it doesn't honestly make us happy. If we were to love God and try to follow Him more closely we would actually understand His power in our lives. But today, more and more and more people want so desperately to say "Jesus loves me.... yay God, yay..." and then, go back to their daily lives that don't involve a relationship with Him in any way.
Oh there's so much I could say here.
Last point I want to take from that passage...
"always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth"
That is this world today. There are many, many, many, MANY very well educated people that are so lost to the truth. Some people spend their entire lives in books, reading and learning and often enough, they still don't find the truth. Many people are SO learned, you cannot reason with them. They honestly think because they've read more than you, you can't have anything to say that's worth their time. The bible actually talks about such people... people that are right in their own minds. People that, like this passage says, are always learning but still not able to come to a knowledge of the truth. I've had discussions, many of them, with people that are more educated than I that are only able to see certain topics from a SINGLE point of view. But, they're smart... they want to college, got a degree, studied this and that so, they're smarter than me so I must be wrong about everything. There are a TON of people like that and boy is it sad how they treat others. Arrogance and pride...
I promise you... there are some people out there that are THE least educated people you could meet that are wiser than many scholars. There are many forms of knowledge and wisdom and you can very must study books and teachings your WHOLE life and still, not be as smart as you think and you can still be schooled by a child.
And then there's the education of the world... if society says ______ then, it must be true. If the masses all agree on something, it must be true... and so when you believe ______, if society also believes and accepts it as truth, you become arrogant and boastful and, even hateful about it. Anyone that speaks against society in any way must be an idiot after all... right?
I grew up in a world where parents taught children not to conform... not to do things JUST because everyone else is doing it. Yet today, that's one of the arguments people will use... everyone else says ______ so, I win. I'm right, you're wrong. If what I believe is believed by enough other people, it means I'm right.
What a sad and close-minded way of thinking.
I have a friend that has discussed with me this idea that society is changing and change is always good... doesn't matter what the change is... society changing is always better than it standing still.
Change can be good... education can be good... but sometimes what we're learning and what we're trying to change are NOT for our own good.
Oh so many thoughts.
All of this is to give just a small example as to why I believe the "end times" have begun. Don't ask for time frames or how long things will last. I can't give you any predictions. Nobody can in all honesty.
I urge you, however, to make sure you spend some(not ALL) time studying the end times.
I don't believe God wants us to have a date to be prepared for, He just wants us to be ready at all times. I think if God wanted us to understand it all He would have spelled it out to us... but, His messages have come to us in confusing illustrations and imagery... it all means something.
I don't think we need to figure it all out, I don't think that was the point. My personal belief is that we have all these weird details to learn(and learn them) so that AS they happen, we will see it and not be deceived. And that's why I always urge people to read and study their bibles... because if you're not actually learning things, you WILL be deceived, just as much of the world(and the church) is being deceived today.
I hope some of this made sense. I'll wrap this up though. I believe we're living in the end times... the beginning of them... there are more signs to come, more trials to come. We're on a downhill slope and as much as I try to fight and change that(and we should), this world is going to continue to become darker. We need to be studying God's word to protect us from the darkness and the lies. I promise you, if you don't know God's word you are already being led astray right now. I know some learned Christians, people that grew up in churches and have read the bible, that are already being led astray. There are very well educated pastors, teachers that spent years in colleges, studying the bible, etc... that are not only being led astray but in their positions, are not leading others(whole churches) astray. Churches that are teaching things not found in scripture. Churches that are teaching that all religions are the same and lead to the same place... churches that refuse to teach about sin... there's a LOT of deception out there and if you're not studying the truth, God's truth, you are going to be led astray. Protect yourselves... Guard you hearts... meditate, day and night, on God's word. Before it's too late...
Father God, this world scares me sometimes. Please help me to trust completely in you. Help me to not worry. I pray for anyone reading this message that they will consider just how important your word is to them. I pray that more and more Christians will have their eyes opened to the deceit that is happening right now. I pray that you would give us all a desire to get to know you better by learning more about you through your own words to us. Rekindle the spark in us. Help us to be a light to the world around us, for us to cast out the shadows of darkness that are all around. I pray that you would give us strength as we stand against this fallen world that is against us. Help us to know your word so that we may use it to guide and protect us. Help us dear Lord...
My friends, peace to you... There are a LOT of passages that discuss the end times and this has really just been a tiny hint to all of that. I urge you to spend time reading about the end times. I don't want anyone to have that be all they study, day and night... but I urge you to read ALL of the bible regularly. It's ALL in their for our benefit. We shouldn't ignore parts of it that we don't like because they're confusing or any other reason. It's all good for us to learn.
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It has begun...
A new subject or passage each week for all to discuss.
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- Mr. Normal
- Posts: 1096
- Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:06 pm
- Location: Arkansas
It has begun...
"But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:"
- Job 12:7
- Job 12:7
1 post • Page 1 of 1