Are We There Yet?

1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 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. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!” 2 Timothy 3:1-5

This is not meant to be a “doom and gloom” message, as I always intend to bring encouragement and inspiration; however, I don’t think one can truly look at the world we are living in and not be concerned as we see the events unfolding around us. My focal point will ALWAYS be Jesus Christ and making Him known. That is my goal, my mission, my life’s purpose. I want to help prepare the Bride of Christ to be ready when He returns. I want Him to find us faithful and watchful. To that end, I feel the Lord prompting me to begin to write some “daily devotions,” if you will, that pertain specifically to readying ourselves for His return in these last days. I hope that you will join me here each day to read the message that I’m trusting the Holy Spirit to put on my heart for each of us.

Having said that, let’s unpack this portion of Scripture. Take a look at the world around you. Do you see this prophecy playing out in real time? How does Paul say things will look in the “very difficult times” of the last days? Firstly, people will love only themselves and their money. Do you notice how the young adults of today desire wealth and prosperity almost above anything else, yet the majority of them don’t want to work hard to achieve it as their parents and grandparents did? They also are the “me”/”selfie” generation, meaning that most of them have grown up with a phone/tablet in their hand and learned from an early age that the whole world revolves around them and they have based their self-worth on how many “likes” they get on social media. “Self-love” is pushed and promoted everywhere, and so is the glamorization of wealth (including in the church)! Now, of course this is a blanket statement, so there are obviously exceptions out there and I’m not trying to point the finger at anyone. I’m just making an observation about what I see. People of the world definitely love themselves and their money today.

I’m not trying to pick on the younger generation, but it seems to me that a lot of this is geared toward them because this next part says, “they will be disobedient to their parents.” I don’t know about you, but I would absolutely say this is characteristic of today’s youth. We live in a society that really doesn’t understand, value, or exercise discipline in their child-rearing anymore. And it’s to the detriment of the culture as a whole. When children are allowed to be disobedient to parents, the consequences are far-reaching and all-encompassing. This prepares them to be disobedient to all authority, most detrimentally, God above. And that’s what the rest of the sentence here tells us: “they will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, ungrateful.” Yes, they will, and they are.

The rest of the Scripture applies to mankind in these days as a whole. I’m going to list the attributes that it describes so that we can examine them in full. Paul tells us people will: consider nothing sacred, be unloving and unforgiving, slander others and have no self-control, be cruel and hate what is good, betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, love pleasure rather than God, and act religious but reject the power that could make them godly.” Wow. This is the exact opposite of what God’s Word describes as the characteristics of a true, born again child of God. Yet people are going to “act religious”–profess to be Christians–while rejecting the power that COULD make them godly…rejecting the Holy Spirit. So many people who claim the name of Christ today have not truly surrendered their lives to His control and are not actively walking with Him in repentance and faith. There are MANY people who sit in a church chair or pew week after week, year after year, but have had no true regeneration in their heart and life.

Is this a surprise to God though? Absolutely not. He warned us of this right here in this portion of Scripture (and many more). He doesn’t expect His children to be blind-sighted by what’s coming on the earth. He wants us to be on guard, be ready, be prepared, and be about His business until He comes–warning others and snatching them from the flames of hell. So we have very important work to do and we want to be found faithful upon His return. Don’t let the warnings of what’s to come make you fearful or unproductive. God called you into His kingdom for a great purpose and for “such a time as this.” The awesome thing is that the good works have already been prepared for you by Him, long ago! You just have to seek Him and ask Him how and where He wants to use you and then follow His lead.

The best place to fight our battles is on our knees in prayer. Especially when things get difficult and we need to draw strength, hope, and peace from the only One Who can give it to us. So let’s put on the full armor of God every day (Ephesians 6:10-18) and be found clothed in His righteousness. Let’s pray together.

Father in Heaven,

We come before Your throne of grace today-where You assure us that we can find mercy and help in our time of need. These days are looking darker and darker, Lord, as we believe we are seeing the Day of Your return approaching. Things can seem overwhelming and scary when we look around at the state of the whole world, but Father, let us remember today that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen. We must stand on the truth of Your Word and the promises of Your character…that no matter what may come, this life is only temporary anyway and whether in life or death, those who have surrendered their lives to You will be in Your care forever! We fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, and we trust Him to fulfill His purposes for us, both now and in the life to come. So we submit to Your good will and Lordship today and we ask You to give us Your peace that passes all understanding. May we walk in a manner worthy of our high calling in You and may we continue to do Your work for as long as You choose to tarry. For we know that You are longsuffering and patient with all the world, as Your desire is that none should perish but that all would come to repentance. Draw sinners to Yourself while there is still time and use us however You see fit in this process. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray, amen.

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