The evolution of society is a relatively slow process—slow enough that only those who have lived through the changes are likely to take note of them. Public attitudes and actions are in a constant state of flux and, as personal observation will prove, always moving in a downward spiral of morality like the water in a flushed toilet. And what the Bible has to say about this is as up-to-date as the latest newscast on TV. Note what the apostle Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:1-5:
"But understand this, that in the last days there will set in perilous times of great stress and trouble—hard to deal with and hard to bear. For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate (greedy) desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous scoffers), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. [They will be] without natural (human) affection (callous and inhuman), relentless—admitting of no truce or appeasement. [They will be] slanderers—false accusers, trouble makers; intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. [They will be] treacherous (betrayers), rash [and] inflated with self-deceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God. For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it—their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession. Avoid [all] such people—turn away from them" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible commentary).
The second law of thermodynamics (called "entropy") disproves the ridiculous theory of evolution as it relates to the origin of the species, because it states that everything in the universe is in a state of devolution—winding down and slowing down, so to speak. It is a scientific fact that the stars (our sun included) are burning out at a known rate and the orbital speeds of the planets are decreasing ever so slowly. Radioactive elements and isotopes are decaying by degrees and their "half-lives" (the point at which half their energy will have been expended) determined and charted. Both humanity and the animal and vegetable "kingdoms" are actually in the process of dying during what we call living! Nothing observable is in the process of getting better and better and certainly not sinful mankind. If it were not for God’s restraining hand upon us, we would doubtless have been extinct centuries ago—having murdered ourselves. And those with the spiritual capability to understand them must heed the verses of Scripture we are considering, because they are a glaring warning as to the lateness of the hour in which we are living.
That we are now entering a day of great peril is constantly exposed by the news media, but after hearing it reported for so many years most people have adopted a "so what else is new?" mentality and tuned it out. Nuclear proliferation is being decried by the super powers (rightly so) and efforts are being made to decrease stockpiles, disarm, and pull back from the unthinkable. But the genie is definitely out of the bottle and now some of the nations governed by Islamic fundamentalists, or with a substantially Islamic mind-set, such as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc., are rumored to have nuclear capability. This is truly alarming because of their willingness, if not outright eagerness, to commit suicide in the name of Allah! Their belief is that any man, who dies during a Jihad, or holy war, is a heroic martyr and immediately goes to heaven where he receives a harem of beautiful virgins. Believe it or not, this is the basic enticement behind the current rash of Palestinian suicide bombers in Israel killing themselves along with as many Jews as possible. The enmity between Jews and Moslems is thousands of years old and Washington’s "shuttle diplomacy" is a total waste of time—solving nothing. As the old communist Joseph Stalin supposedly said, "Treaties are like pie crusts—made to be broken!" And all of the good intentions in the world are not going to bring peace in the Middle East. Only when the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, returns to this old sin-sick world, will real peace ever become a reality. So in the meantime, we had best be alert for almost anything because disaster could strike at any moment. In retrospect, the "cold war" days of expecting Russia to attack with nuclear missiles is almost tame by comparison!
Can anyone deny the fact that today’s society is obsessed with self? It has become such a preoccupation that "self-esteem" is now central to educational programs designed for our public school systems. The physical fitness craze with all of its dieting and concern for maintaining a youthful appearance is another manifestation of it. The insatiable desire for money, power, and "things" is also rooted in selfishness—and on it goes. It has become so pervasive that our Churches are now catering to those who profess to have self-esteem problems by attempting to bolster their ego through psychological means. And this is counter to what the Scriptures teach us, because we are instructed to put to death the sinful impulses of the flesh:
"For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh you will surely die. But if through the power of the (Holy) Spirit you are habitually putting to death—making extinct, deadening—the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall (really and genuinely) live forever" (Romans 8:13, Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible commentary).
Since the very day that someone first began to record history, has there ever before existed a mass of humanity so full of itself as the one we are living in now? "We’re number one!" seems to be the motto of the age and those who finish second are rejected as losers. Living high and hard has become a mania among professional athletes and the "wannabe’s" are waiting in line, drooling over the remote possibility that they might get a chance to do the same. Genuine role models are as scarce as panty hose among porcupines and our impressionable kids wind up trying to pattern their lives after filthy rich reprobates. Scarcely a month goes by without another sex/money/drug scandal involving one or more of the latest crop of over-paid sports icons and in a few weeks, it is soon forgotten and the unrepentant idol goes about business as usual. Sports in general has become a world-wide obsession and fans are doing their best to live up to the definition from which the term is derived— fanatics! All around the globe, sporting events have become very good laboratories where sociologists can do their graduate work in mob psychology, because more and more frequently the crowds explode into orgies of bloodletting and mayhem in general whether their team wins or loses! It seems the events themselves have become an excuse to vent anger and frustration of a type and degree never before seen on such a wide scale. Social experts scratch their heads and offer explanations as to the causes, but as of yet not one has put their finger on the real culprit—which is the sinful human heart inflamed by societal attitudes/conditions beyond its control and fanned by the devil himself! And even more amazing is the fact that the Word of God says it is going to get infinitely worse before it gets better!
Their elders have always lamented each new generation as "going to the dogs", because young folk have always just naturally rebelled against the status quo in seeking their own way in life. But a truly alarming number of this current crop are involved in activities that go light-years beyond the wild and reckless exuberance of their youthful predecessors. Tattoos and body piercing are but two of the telltale signs indicating our children have entered a world that heretofore was the shadowy domain of unsavory characters on the fringes of society along with a few drunken sailors in port. Suddenly practices that would have been soundly condemned by "polite society" of just a few years ago are now commonplace and quietly tolerated—only to be fully accepted and eventually defended by those who should know better. Anyone who cannot see the evil inherent in submitting to these extremely painful procedures is living in an ivory tower. Tongues, lips, cheeks, eyebrows, ears, breasts, and genitals are not supposed to be traumatized by poking holes in them and inserting metallic objects—nor is skin to be decorated. And is it not interesting that up until relatively recent times, the majority looked upon those practicing such things with great disdain? It is also worthy of note that former witches and Satanists, who have been now been converted to Christ, tell us the tattoos and body piercing are unmistakable signs attendant to occult activity. Parents, you had best be alert to such if you truly love your kids and care about their spiritual welfare.
When in all of human history have so many women been so willing to murder their own unborn babies through abortions? When have so many mothers made the news by killing their children—as is currently the case with the woman in Texas? (Remember that lack of natural affection will be one of the "signs of the times," as per our text in 2 Timothy, chapter 3). When have so many acts of "random violence" occurred over such a relatively short period of time, as we have seen in recent years with school shootings and other senseless killings? The term "road rage" has now become a part of our jargon and who has not been momentarily incensed by the pushy arrogance or thoughtlessness of other drivers? Unfortunately, for some the irritation is not just momentary and explodes in violence toward total strangers. Most of us can sympathize with the human nature involved in these things, but how many of us are willing to recognize and admit that there is a demonic component as well? Was demon possession limited to Bible times, or is it still with us today? Just look at what is transpiring before our eyes and then deny it if you dare!
Do you know what amusement really means? To muse is to think, but the privative "a" adds a negative component and it thus becomes "not to think." So to engage in amusement means to shut out thought (reality) and occupy one’s self with that which brings pleasure. Is our culture not totally obsessed with such? The ancient Romans became obsessed with "bread and circuses" and spent much of their time seeking new thrills at the coliseum, where Christians were slaughtered for their viewing pleasure. And at the rate things are degenerating in our nation at the present time, history is very likely to repeat itself. The religious freedoms granted to the citizens of the United States by our founding fathers are unprecedented in all of human history, but there is a down side and it is playing out in a manner totally unanticipated by those following Jesus Christ. Years of freedom to worship as we please have produced (understandably and rightly so) a conditioned reflex toward any perceived threat to those freedoms—which is immediate cries of "that’s unconstitutional" and "you cannot do that to us!" But somewhere along the way Christians lost sight of the fact that we are not the only kids on the block. Other "religions" are afforded the same freedoms and when beliefs clash, as they inevitably will, what we are faced with is a real problem! The almost total monopoly Christianity has held is steadily slipping from our grasp and the ever-increasing cries of "foul" are in the process of bringing about a tremendous backlash from a decidedly unsympathetic majority! We are quickly finding ourselves in the same fix as the Lone Ranger did when he and his faithful Indian companion Tonto found themselves ambushed by a horde of Apaches. After taking cover and fighting for several minutes, the Lone Ranger turned to Tonto and made the observation that, "We are surrounded!" To which Tonto is reported to have said, "What do you mean "We", white man?"!!!!! Make no mistake about it—the world does not love Christians and needs precious little provocation before "feeding us to the lions." From all outward indications, it seems the time will soon arrive when witnessing for Christ will be even more dangerous than it was during the first century A.D. And when that time does arrive, it will be very interesting to see how long the "Honk if you love Jesus" bumper stickers will still be displayed. Truly we are living "in perilous times."
And the most chilling statement made in our original text is found last (vs.5):
"For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it—their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession….."
Just who are the "they" spoken of here? Well, in context it is talking about the people whose reprehensible conduct we have been considering. It refers to people who hold a form of piety, or true religion—professing Christians, in other words! It is the "Tonto’s" of our humorous illustration, who when pressured will save their own hide at the expense of others. It is those who are tares among the wheat and will show their true colors in God’s litmus test of persecution. And in the final analysis God’s wheat, His remnant, will be the only ones left to face the lions after the fires of persecution weed out the pretenders. Just as Judas betrayed the Lord to the religious leaders of his day, religious pretenders will be instrumental in the betrayal to come.
Will the rapture spare the Church from all, or just the worst of this? We pray that it will be all, but there are no biblical guarantees that we may not have to go through a time of great testing prior to that blessed event. God has not appointed us to wrath (1 Thess.5:9), but whether or not that includes some of Satan’s wrath is not made clear. The storm clouds are gathering and lightning is flashing all around us. Are we mentally and spiritually prepared to face whatever the future may bring?
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.
Return to Pastoral Articles index
Finally, we would love to hear from you. You can write us at:
Cutting Edge Ministries, C/O Pastor Ron Riffe
P.O. Box 26
Gordo, AL 35466
You can also E-Mail Pastor Ronald Riffe regarding questions or comments about this article.
God bless you.