By Mrs. Robert Hammond
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. II Tim. 3:1-5
I believe that I could take you back in time to almost any generation of the last 2000 years, and once we examined the happenings of each age, we would find some perilous times. My center reference says “stressful times.” For some, this generation we are living in now would probably be less perilous. The secular world would like us to believe that this is a more enlightened age, and in many ways it is.
As we look at this passage, we find that the perilous, stressful times are caused by flawed character. It doesn’t say times will be perilous because of great economic collapse or wars or global warming or the lack of quality health care. Many of the character flaws, though, are oft times the root cause of economies collapsing and wars and bad health care.
I have been watching the news off and on lately, wondering about what our world will look like in a year or two with all the unrest throughout the different countries. It is just crazy. There is no rhyme nor reason to so much of the stuff going on. Who is telling the truth (if anyone is)? It makes me want to smash every electrical device I own and go live in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone towers.
I have to remind myself of these scriptures:
Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: and he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings. Daniel 2:20-21
and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our being. Acts 17:24-28
Today, in this the 21st Century, we have been killing unborn children legally in the U.S. for 40 years, calling it a right. We have well-known pastors hedging as to whether or not Jesus is the only way on national television. This is the time and the place that the Great God Almighty has chosen for us. Here and now. And we can’t be wringing our hands, wondering if those politicians in Washington can fix this mess we have gotten ourselves into, wondering if your favorite southern cook is really racist or if they needed to pump up ratings on the morning talk shows.
No matter who you are or what color your skin or what your opinion on the latest scandal that is coming out of the capitol, none of it should really be at the top of your “think on these things” list. Because NO ONE in Washington or London or Topeka is going to fix any of this current mess. The mess we need to be attuned to is the mess called sin, and the people we need to be concerned for are those who are lost in the darkness of sin.
While I was reading to myself the very first scripture I referenced, I realized, these people have been in every age. We of course always think we are the worst. It just seems that I am repeating what my parents and grandparents said about how much worse this generation has become. And I have evidence from Facebook posts (because that is where I get my most accurate information!), that previous generations of the 18th and 19th centuries have lamented the decline of morals and mores as well.
The people we need to be thinking about is ourselves. Yes. YOU think about YOU. Are you one of those people listed in II Timothy 3? Am I? That is always where the revival starts…by looking in the mirror. James compares the Word of God to a mirror. And we need to look at ourselves in the light of God’s holy Word. Do we measure up? Or are we part of the problem?
I have already alluded to the fact that we live in the here and now because God chose us to live in these times. I need to stop bemoaning the time and start seeking God as to what, and how, I am to be serving my generation. The Word clearly says in Ephesians that God has preordained us for good works. In other words, He does have a definite plan for each and every one of us today.
We need to not let the devil and the gadgets of this time distract us from what is really going on and what we are to be doing.
For me, it always goes back to what I do when I first get out of bed each day. If I decide to look at Facebook, I usually end up wasting my time, even if I convince myself I am only checking out what my mother has to say (which usually makes for a good devotional). But then, my uncle or my brother usually posts something political and then I am in trouble because I grew up watching the news and reading Time magazine and hearing the grown-ups discuss current events. Before I know it, the whole morning is ruined.
Instead, if I get on my knees first thing, and open my bible, first thing, and read/sing a good hymn and worship the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, suddenly, the things of this earth grow strangely dim. And my day becomes God’s and His to order.
I was talking to God about this particular weakness of mine. And I realized that others too probably have a tendency to do the same as I do if they don’t take the time out to worship God first. I know this because the devil isn’t very creative. So he uses this temptation on a lot of us. Remember that the Lord has promised us a way out. He chose us for this time and this place so that we would seek Him. Don’t let the devil tell you that you live in an age when the temptations are too strong. He is a liar. And God is true. God said you and I have a way out. We do not have to be the selfish creatures described in the first few verses of II Timothy 3.
We have been born for this time. Let us embrace it. Let us glory in the One who chose us for this time. I saw some notes that my mom put down—what she was thankful for—running water, showers, books. Simple things we take for granted that she didn’t have growing up. Whenever I think I would like to live in simpler times, I remind myself that going to the store to buy chicken breast and cooking it is simpler than chopping the head off of one, and then doing whatever they do to get it ready to cook. It tastes better. But it sure isn’t simpler. I remind myself of the times my mom had to drive around to find my dad in his tractor if there was an emergency. Or that in “simpler” times, people died because there was no transportation other than the family mule. I usually win myself over when I think of modern toilets and butchering animals. Thank-you Jesus!
To sum this up, we just need to know that we were chosen to live in the time we live. We need to remain aware of this and seek God as to how to get out of those temptations that waste our precious time. We need to make sure we aren’t one of those selfish people listed in II Timothy, but that we are foreordained for good works as it says in Ephesians. We need to be that person God called us to be in this time, and realize how privileged we are to be alive now. We have the potential of seeing the greatest revival and the harvesting of the precious fruit of the earth that the Father has been waiting for.
Be blessed…and keep your eyes on the prize.