02 December 2015

TERRIFYING TIMES (PART 1)


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 personal life! None of this: Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga or Katy Perry, corporate bubble gum talent sell out garbage! I grew in a generation of talented musicians like: Kiss, Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Ozzy, and Scorpion’s, Canadian bands like: Helix, Kick Axe, Rush and Triumph. But I think one of the biggest bands that exploded on music scene during my time was a band called AC/DC. Sadly, 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, the official coroner's report stated that Scott had drank himself to death. "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 as I once did, which comes from the pit of Hell. 

In light of these past weeks….. Things are becoming clearer to me! How much worse can it 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 10:13. Our society is falling apart and the people [even the church] are falling for this world. Our culture is still being adapted by what we see, hear and touch, and they embracing this fallen world! 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 and a biblical world-view? 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.” Or a culture that says “Stay busy, prepare for that freedom 55, and so on.” Sadly, our culture is getting more perverse by the minute! Again with the news and entertainment hype about Bieber, Miley Cyrus’s, Lady Gaga perversion and open sin……millions of young people look up to them as a role model. Can I tell you, that they’re no role model for our young people! They are the Bon Scott of this generation who desperately needs Christ. They are on a road that only has one off ramp that can save them from the famous song 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,” “Last days” are not only the days immediately preceding Christ’s second coming. Rather they began at Pentecost and will continue until that day. In other words, we have been and still are living in the last days. The new age arrived with Christ’s incarnation and the old age began to pass away, ushering in the “the Last Days” This world system and the generations to follow are living in perilous times. What does that look like then and today? "……For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Rom 1:16-18. Further down Paul mentions those who suppress the truth! Whose hearts are filled with their own lustful passions (v24-25); whose hearts are filled with sexual immorality (v26-v27). The ones who are “filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” Rom 1:29-32. Do see what Rom 1:32 says? “….they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” Our present world system rejoices, boasts and encourages such wicked behaviour. Society has become ruthless, craving the bloodiest and most horrid behaviours and lack of morals... It’s the promotion of give us more, more, and more!

For Example:
  • 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.

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? 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 behaviour and total disregard for anything that is attached to the name Jesus Christ. “Perilous times” means times of great difficulty, grievous, stressful, hazardous or dangerous, unsafe. It’s like those of public plagues, when death lies at every door, also referring fierce, violent dangerous or even savage.

PERILOUS TIMES: WHEN PEOPLE’S LIVES ARE SELF-CENTERED (v2-v4)

The self-centered people described first had a misdirected love. Paul says “lovers of self”, “lovers of money”, “unloving” .Everyone worshipped something other than the One who created them for His glory. So in these perilous times will see more narcissism (love of self), materialism (love of money), and hedonism (love of pleasures)

PERILOUS TIMES: WHEN PEOPLES’ RELIGION IS A SHOW (V3-V5)

Paul says some merely have a “form of godliness “but their lives a not pleasing at all to a holy God. It’s a person who has external practices, but they are morally corrupt. This means their religion is a show (phonies), false converts, apostates, wolves in sheep’s clothing! They are stubborn and refuse to believe the truth of the gospel; by doing this they don’t see Christ as supreme over their lives. Paul said earlier to Timothy in 1Timothy 4:1-2 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,” And Paul says avoid them! Why? He gave the answer in the second chapter of this letter “But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.” 2 Tim 2:16-18

PERILOUS TIMES: WHEN PEOPLE PROSELYTIZING IS EVIL (V6-V9)

Paul says that certain people would try to win converts to their wicked religion. And they would use subtle ways to do that! How? “capture them in their home” Now “home” might be a spacious home of the wealthy where the church often met. But where it’s a JW, Mormon coming to your home or in a church setting, they come to destroy by “capturing their victims” Look at who the most vulnerable ones are “idle women burdened down with sin” This is a woman (not all women) who is easily led by their emotions and passions. It’s a woman who is immature, childish, silly, weak, and especially burden down with sin. This is a person who is prone to accept new ideas and easily swayed to believe something over the truth. And what’s worse is that they would listen to anybody, but they were never able to come to “a knowledge of the truth.” (v7) Why? Perilous time’s people will be lovers of self, lovers of money and lovers of passions over the truth of God’s word and the gospel. What makes their so-called evangelising evil? “men who oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith” And Paul uses two names “Jannes and Jambres” Though their names do not appear in the Old Testament or early Christian writings, but they are in extra-biblical sources. So Paul applies these two men to the Egyptian magicians who performed counterfeit miracles in opposition to Moses. “Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs. Still Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the LORD had said.” Exo 7:11-13

Paul said something else “oppose to truth” 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. The world system would and will turn against any and those who oppose their ideology of life and happiness. Isn’t this true! Doctrine has been compromised and corrupted 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’t.

“Doctrine” is a set of accepted beliefs held by a group. In religion, it is the set of true beliefs that define the parameters of that belief system. Therefore, there is true doctrine and false doctrine relative to each belief set. In Christianity, for example, a true Biblical doctrine is that there is only one God in all existence (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8). A false doctrine is that there is more than one God in all existence.

The churches doctrine today is like pinning Jello to the wall, it just won’t stick or stand. This is a battle that we need to defeat in our church. Our doctrine defines who we are in Christ. This doctrine or God’s teachings are worth dying for and worth saturating our lives into. This has fight has been the backbone of the early church to the present 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” But in these perilous times, where would we be without Christ and the gospel? Answer! We would be on the side lines cheering and applauding Bruce Jenner’s perversion and dishonoring and offensive lifestyle against all women. We would be no better or different than Miley Cyrus, or Justin Bieber wanting the things of this world to satisfy our lustful passions and desires! 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. So that we could be saved through perilous times as we wait our Lord’s return. 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 you and me?

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

Redeem this time wisely for the Kingdom of God. The apostle Paul said “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Eph 5:16. Paul 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. Spurgeon went on to say “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 times call for radical Christians, not spectators! Perilous times call for gospel saturated living, not complacency! Perilous times call 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, the Ninevites of this world with the gospel that saves to the uttermost parts!

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