02 September 2013

TERRIFYING TIMES


2 Tim 3:1-17

I grew up in a time when hair bands of the 80 and 90’s ruled the main stage of my life! None of this Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga or Katy Perry corporate bubble gum, no talent corporate sell outs! I grew in a generation of talented musicians who could rock like there was no tomorrow! Bands like: Kiss, Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Ozzy, and Scorpion’s. Canadian bands like: Helix, Kick Axe, Coney Hatch and Brighton Rock. These were bands that I desperately wanted to be like [sad isn't it?] But I think one of the biggest bands that exploded on music scene during my time was a band called AC/DC. But it didn't take long for tragedy to strike this popular rock band! At the young age of only 33, AC/DC's lead singer Bon Scott, “drank himself to death,” according to the official coroner's report...Bon Scott recorded six studio albums with the rock band AC/DC, beginning with 1974's "High Voltage." It was shortly after the release of the somewhat foreshadowing sixth album, 1979's "Highway to Hell," that Scott died (February 19, 1980). In keeping with his rowdy persona, "Highway to Hell" sold over a million copies during its initial run (it has sold seven million to date) and climbed to place at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. Bon Scott epitomized the role of a God-hating rebel who abused drugs and indulged in sinful living. Scott was found dead in his car after an indulgent binge left his body lifeless and his soul at the reality of the “Highway to Hell” which Bon Scott recorded just months prior to his tragic death. Bon Scott, who wore a Satanic pentagram around his neck, sang in his infamous song entitled Highway to Hell...“Hey Satan, paid my dues, playing in a rockin' band, I'm on a highway to hell.” Our generation and the next generation are still buying into this lie, which comes from the pit of Hell. In light of this past week things are becoming more clear me! 

How much worse can it possibly get? The bible says……“Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the Day of Judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.” Matt 10:15. Jesus, even went on to repeat this in the following chapter of Matthew. Our society is falling apart and the people [even the church] are falling for this world as I did before Christ came and made me His own. Our culture is still being adapted by what we see, hear and touch, and they're embracing this fallen world as many did then, just as many are doing now. Jesus said “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”.  Matt 24:37-39. So my question for us is this………Are we ready for perilous times? Are we ready to fight back to protect our marriages, our children, our families, our sexual purity from a culture that says there is no absolutes, all sexual types orientation is good, there is no God, the world just evolved, let the professionals teach and train your children, majority knows best, do what makes you happy, climb the corporate ladder, don’t think for yourself, live for self and forget about anybody else. A culture trying to tell us to stay busy, prepare for that freedom 55, and so on! Sadly, our culture is getting more perverse by the minute! Again with this past week in the news and entertainment with Miley Cyrus’s provocative depravity dance! What grieves me most is, this young lady has millions of young girls who look up to her as a role model. Can I tell you young ladies something? She is no role model for you! She is only another Bon Scott of this generation who desperately needs Christ; just as I did when I was your age.She is on a road that only has one off ramp that can save her from those famous words sung by AC/DC! The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

So again the question is again! Are we ready for perilous times? Increasingly, we are hearing people talk about “The Last Days” or “The End of the World,” and for good reason, because the wickedness is so horrible nowadays. The news media is filled with so many horrible stories and hatred, and the media has no hesitation about destroying someone's life with their manure spreading as they did with Miley this past week. But can I tell you we are no different that Miley? We're all sinners and depraved! Our society has become ruthless, craving the bloodiest and most horrid stories in the news... give us more, more, and more!
  • Sexual immorality is increasing by the minute around the globe.
  • Decency and morality is being thrown out the window as garbage and old fashion.
  • Young people are giving up their purity so that they can fit into the mold of this generation to find acceptance and love.
  • Having more than 2 children you are considered selfish and overcrowding in an “already crowded world.”
  • Marriage is no longer an institution between two believers under God’s covenant of marriage.
  • Demonic activity is hitting the big screen and taking over the movie box office and the television.
  • Homosexuality and trans-gender is considered a normal sexual lifestyle.
  • A mother killing and drowning her 4 children in a pool is considered murder, but killing a child in the womb is considered “choice”.
  • Helping someone end their life is considered human, but beat or torture an animal is considered barbaric and cruel.
  • The bible is considered hate speech and intolerant, but to be-head someone in the name of “Allah” is considered ok.

Please hear my heart this morning! I don’t mean to wreck your Sunday morning worship, but we really need to open our eyes to what is going on around the world......Might I remind you that Paul wrote this to Timothy some 2000 years ago. On a lighter side, Ray Pritchard has a humorous intro to a not to so funny chapter...You’ve probably heard the old joke about the fellow who was told, “Cheer up. Things could be worse.” So he said, “I did as I was told. I cheered up, and sure enough, things got worse.” That in a nutshell is the message of II Timothy

Paul said perilous times were coming for the church. This fallen world is falling into a deep depravity, but the church was going to face this sort of thing as well. “Perilous times” means times of great difficulty, grievous, stressful, hazardous or unsafe. It’s like those of public plagues, when death lies at every door, this word is also referring to fierce, violent dangerous, savage times. John MacArthur calls it "demonic times" a time where the church is going to be tested. Paul told Timothy before he was about to be be-headed that doctrine would become compromised by the leaders. Doctrine would be distorted by wolves in sheep’s clothing. The church would be faced with greater trials then their predecessors of old. Isn’t this true! Doctrine has been compromised in the church because we don’t want to offend someone or make them feel uncomfortable. Doctrine has been distorted by many false teachers and many are greatly confused to what truth is and what isn'tThis church age is much worse than the early church! There has been over 100 million Christians martyred for the gospel since the early church was established by the apostles. We are knee or neck deep in “perilous times”

Here is where the good news comes in! In these perilous times, where would we be without Christ and the gospel? Answer! We would be on the side lines cheering and applauding the same young lady who paraded herself last Sunday night as a thing, and not as a person created in the image of God. We would be no better or different than Miley Cyrus! Perilous time is why Christ came! To save sinners like us, to die for the sin of this young girl, to take the punishment of the mother who chose to terminate a life, for the sexual immoral, the disobedient person, child, the church.That’s why the gospel so precious and personal! But we need to understand the church is under attack not just from the outside but also from the inside. (v2-v4)

WHAT DOES A PERILOUS TIME MEAN FOR US [THE BODY OF CHRIST]?

1. Get serious about your relationship with Jesus Christ. In other words, make Him the number one priority in your life.

2. Don’t bury your head in the sand thinking that this will all go away sometime soon! Remove the blinders, perilous times are here to stay and we must push on persevere through them until the Lord`s return.

3. Walk by the Spirit and not by sight. God will make it clear to you what He wants you to do but you must step out in faith and actually start doing it.

4. Separate yourself and your family from this present world system and all it has to offer you. Do not be enslaved to the many enticements and distractions that are in the world today. Find spiritual substitutes, for example, fill your mind with Christian teachings, music, meditation on the word

5.Attend a Bible believing church regularly [meaning more than just Sunday’s] and get plugged in with other believers. As things grow worse in this world this might mean that you will meet much more often than you do now

6. Don't just believe or follow those with their own radical agendas, use discernment and test all things to scripture. There are many false teachers who will try to steer you away from the truth to the lies of this world.

7. Redeem this time wisely for the Kingdom of God. The apostle Paul said “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Eph 5:16. He also said “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.” Col 4:5

There is an Illustration I came across that speaks volumes to the human soul. “Spurgeon use to tell a story about two men in a boat. They were caught in a very, very severe rapids and they were going to a place where there was a waterfall and even worse rapids and there was really no way, if they ever hit those rapids, that they would ever live. And they began to struggle for their lives. And as they were carried swiftly downstream, they were carried toward the perilous rocks and the falls and some men on the shore saw them and tried to save the two men and they threw a rope out. By this time the men had fallen out of the little boat, were struggling in the current.
One man caught the rope and was saved. At the same instant, said Spurgeon, the other man who could have seized the rope, in the panic of the moment, grabbed onto a log that was floating by and that was a fatal mistake. One man was drawn to the shore because he had a connection with the people on the land. The other clinging to a log was carried down through the rapids and never found again.

Now, you see, what faith does is faith gives you a connection with the shore. Faith gives you a connection to Jesus Christ. Grabbing a hold of anything else is grabbing a log. It doesn't go anywhere but along with you to your doom.” Think of these PERILOUS TIMES we live in as a raging sea. All around us the WINDS of CHANGE are blowing. Off in the distance we can hear the rumblings of an approaching STORM. How tempting it is for you and me to take our eyes off JESUS and focus on all the bad things going on around us. As one preacher said “But let me remind you of a very important truth: The fact that the whole world seems out of control just means the Lord has everything in CONTROL!” This is our culture! They are clinging to that log and its guiding them to their doom.
  • Perilous time’s calls for radical Christians, not spectators!
  • Perilous time’s calls for gospel saturated living, not complacency!
  • Perilous times call’s for selfless love for self-destructive people!

As Isaiah said “…..Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts."…Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." Isa 6:5-8. Despite perilous times, may we go to the Miley Cyrus’s of this world with the gospel that saves to the uttermost parts! Why? They are on a highway to Hell.

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