2 Timothy 3:1-6, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
Do these words sound familiar? Daily in the news, there are stories about murders, rage, the horrors of the September 11th attacks. Things we could not have imagined some years ago although we should have known. There were history books that recorded people like Hitler and Stalin in the century that we were born. Closer to some folks are news reports of people like Richard Speck, John Wayne Gacy and now Osama Bin Laden is added to the grusome list. Others were from times long ago, stories of incredible, awesomely terrible things done to people simply because they believed something that was different from the norm. In each case where leaders of nations were concerned; the highest individuals were lovers of themselves, boasting that they had the answers, doing all things in the name of the Lord yet having only the outward appearance of a deity and not the power.
Have we learned anything? Possibly not. Have we become immune to these things? Maybe we have. Certainly we were before the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. If we are not yet horrified, and the attitude is 'oh well, it's in the news all the time' then our hearts are seared. It is possible to be horrified, shocked, or sad about the attacks and yet see all of the other things going on without compassion. We are growing cold. Things do not disturb us as they should. Nothing short of the Trade Center attacks can shock many of us these days. In fact, I used to say that nothing shocks me anymore. That attitude is very dangerous.
These are not pretty words and many will not want to hear them. Perhaps you do not wish your bright and shining day to be clouded with things that are not pretty. When this hit me, the last thing on earth I wanted to see were people suffering, yet there are daily instances of it right now. They are not getting the press that Hitler got. You have to hunt to find these things. However, do not forget that much was not known in the first days of the third Reich. Then, when things were beginning to come to light, as all things must eventually, humanity could not believe that anyone could do such things to another human being.
Why the shock? Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for her beliefs. Paul, the apostle, was beheaded for his. Peter, the apostle, was crucified upside down. There are stories of Christians who would not bow down to anyone other than Jesus. They were murdered in some of the most horrible circumstances known to man. If I were to tell you about them, you might begin to be sick or perhaps it would not bother you at all. There are others who would think it funny or feel that they deserved what they got. The idea of people having cold hearts isn't new, is it? Look around you. There was a time that you could trust your neighbor. In many places, you do not even know your next-door neighbor, let alone trust him.
The idea of folks doing horrible things in the name of whatever deity they are answering to is not new. But a demonic revival is occurring. There are more such things happening in these days than ever before and we are doing nothing about it! What am I talking about? Have you heard of the Sudan where Christians are being mutilated and sold into slavery right this very minute? Hands are cut off because someone didn't do what they were ordered to do quickly enough. Whole families are taken. Often that is the last time they see the other members of the family. Children are being treated in the same manner as the adults, starved and mistreated. Did you know that these lives are worth about $350? That is how much certain ministries and interested parties are paying to buy back as many as they can but it is not enough. Too many are dying because they are not being rescued. What would it feel like to be in that situation and have little hope of being saved from the horror?
Have you heard about the folks in Indonesia who are being murdered and mutilated for being Christians? Their only crime is that they serve Jesus and will not renounce their beliefs. These martyrs are at the throne of God right now, crying out to Him just as it says in the scriptures. How about the Chinese who are burning homes of people they suspect are Christians having home churches. The officials make no excuses for doing this. They say that it is illegal to have a church in their homes but if they would only register, it would be all right. If that were true, the Christians would have done that because the Bible tells us to honor the government where we live. They are being murdered as you read this. What about the other places like Russia and Egypt? And the list goes on
Why am I telling you all of this? Because these are the last days and the church needs to wake up and grow up! We have the mistaken notion that if we just go up front at church and pray the prayer to be saved, that we are home free and can go on with our lives as if nothing happened, knowing that we are safe and going to heaven should something really awful happen to us. But is that true or is there something more?
What happens to those who are not prepared to face the things that are coming? If you have read your Bible, you know what those things are.
" This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come."
Do we think that this is an idle thought just put there to take up space? Much of the church actually does not believe the Bible as a whole because it 'has mistakes' or 'the hand of a man wrote it'. What if it's all true? Are you willing to bet your life? We must be ready for whatever is about to come. What happens if we are not prepared for the future? Of course, we won't be here, right? But what if we are? Those Christians in Sudan, Indonesia and China are here now. The rapture has not occurred as yet unless it was a secret and no one went. If that type of persecution begins where you live, what then? I can hear it now.
'That won't happen here. We are too civilized.'
Really? In the United States it is permissible and lawful to kill unborn babies. It is also possible to murder partially born infants. In no way can that procedure be called humane. People 'go postal' and kill their coworkers or bystanders. Children take guns to school and murder their school mates. Normally sane people, in cars, brandishing guns and shooting at the next motorist because he cut the first car off or made a rude gesture. It's called 'road rage.' Civilized?
'It can't happen here. Laws forbid such things.'
Currently, it is lawful for a police officer to stop you and search your vehicle, transport you to jail, and confiscate your belongings, all on a suspicion. Truckers are stopped and, without benefit of warrant, they and their trucks are searched. The police or troopers need no reason. Police can enter your house on a suspicion of wrongdoing or possible harboring of a criminal. When they find out they were wrong but find something they can arrest you for anyway, they do. In the Capitol building in Washington, a pastor and his group were not allowed to openly pray or they would be arrested for violating a rule in that building. Car makers are now putting in a new thing called G.P.S. It tracks you in your car. While that may sound great to some folks, it is terrifying to those who read the Bible. They have the ability to track any person no matter where they are in the country. Right now, vets are placing chips in your family pet so that if it gets lost, it can be tracked. The chips will be available for humans soon if not already. They fingerprint children so that if they are lost, they can be tracked. Does this disturb you?
Open your eyes, Christian! These and worse things are happening right where you live. I cannot tell you what is happening in other countries but in the United States more and more laws are being passed and have been passed that have taken away your basic rights while you were not paying attention. We are going to pay dearly for not keeping a closer monitor on what our government is doing to us. We may pay the taxes and fund the payroll of those lawmakers but they are making laws that will take away even the little bit you have. What happens when our government gives up the right to govern us? Some of that has already occurred under the previous administration. Our military now must come under the power of the United Nations when operating in foreign countries associated with the U.N.
Does any of this bother you? It should. If it does, please continue on to the next part called "The HOLY GHOST Walks With Us" If not, please go back to the scripture at the beginning and reread it. Think about the folks around you. Remind you of anyone you know? NOW does it bother you? I am certain there are folks out there that do not believe me, that I am just trying to spread alarm. Yes, I am, although everything I have told you is real. Wake UP! Christians, grow up in the Lord NOW before it is too late.
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