Has the End of the World Come Upon Us? (Part 4)

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TEXT: 2 Timothy 3:1-9

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

As we noted in our last message on these perilous times, the signs that Paul writes about here in Second Timothy are indicators of the spiritual and moral condition of the age in which we live. Not only does the Bible speak of wars, rumors of wars, diseases, epidemics, famines, earthquakes, and signs appearing in the sky, but the Bible tells us that the hearts of men and women — particularly those who are not illuminated by the Gospel of Christ — will grow colder, darker, and more evil as we near the end times. Just tonight, as I preach, the New York City Police Commissioner is holding a news conference concerning the tragic, senseless killing of two good policemen by someone who is claiming to get revenge and justice for two black men who were killed at the hands of police. Evidently that person didn’t know that God said: “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” He took vengeance into his own hands and then killed himself. We are living in perilous times. We are living in dangerous times. We are living in frightening times, and you had better be praying without ceasing and obeying God. We have warned you in a previous message that demonic forces are trying to start a race war in America, and we are praying that cooler heads will prevail and that no one will bite the bait.

In his collection of essays titled The World’s Last Night, writer and apologist, C.S. Lewis, said, “the idea of the world slowly ripening to perfection, is a myth, not a generalization from experience.” And the experience of the world has shown that we are most certainly not moving toward a utopia. Before the first World War, there were many who subscribed to the belief that mankind was improving and that the world was getting better and better. But after the devastation of two World Wars and the nuclear-laced tensions between the East and the West during the Cold War, that view understandably declined. Today — after the events of 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the constant threat of terrorism, Europe on the verge of conflict, and the rise of groups such as the Taliban, ISIS, and Boko Haram — no one in their right mind would say that the world is getting better and better.

But, in this passage, Paul draws our attention to the condition of men’s hearts, because, as Jesus said, it is from the heart that evil — wars, violence, and such — comes forth. What are some of these indicators? So far we have looked at:

– Increased selfishness: Men and women are becoming “lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud…”

– Increased lawlessness: People simply do not want to obey authority and abide by rules and regulations. Paul describes these people as “disobedient to parents… trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good…”

– Increased religiosity. Many people today ‘have a form of godliness.’ Not only in the church, but in the world, people have something that looks like true religion, but is not actually a real relationship with God.

Today, as we continue looking at this passage, we are going to look at the increase of what Paul calls “blasphemers.” The Greek word for “blasphemer” means a reviler or one who reproaches or speaks ill of God. Particularly in the Jewish and Christian contexts, this word was used to describe someone who loudly and boldly rejects God and the principles laid out in His Word. A blasphemer is one who not only disagrees with God, but takes it on himself to verbally assault God, God’s people, and God’s word.

In Psalm 36:1, the Bible speaks of those who have “no fear of God before their eyes.” They have no respect or holy reverence for God, and thus, they casually discard His law and refuse to obey it. They live life the way they want to live it, and they despise those who try to tell them of their obligation to a holy and righteous God who does not wink at evil.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the rise of the “new atheists.” Just a few decades ago, atheists would not dare express their views in public. But, today, with such men as Richard Dawkins, the now-deceased Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher, Stephen Hawkins, and others, atheists have stepped out of the shadows and are boldly taking on those who believe in God. Just this holiday season, an atheist organization is running anti-religious billboards specifically targeting deeply religious areas in America. Atheists are challenging schools, colleges, military bases, and workplaces to keep God, Christianity, and any reference to religion out of public spaces. These people would like to erase God and the idea of God from the national psyche and replace it with the worship of science and knowledge — the very same thing the serpent told Eve she would gain if she disobeyed God. .

An article in the magazine New Scientist stated that atheists and evolutionary scientists are speaking “with an evangelist’s zeal” and are “ready to fight the good fight.” Even now, they are attempting to position themselves to set evolution “in place of God.” Paul predicted the rise of blasphemers, and it is coming true in our day.

What is the Christian to do about the blasphemers of our day? Well, first of all, we must not fall into living like atheists and God-rejectors ourselves. Not too long ago, Pastor Craig Groeschel wrote a book entitled “The Christian Atheist” in which he talked about the condition of practical atheism that many Christians have. Dr. David Jeremiah defines “practical atheism” as ‘being a theist in mind but an atheist in heart and action… [a] Christian theist is one who believes in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, yet lives as if they don’t believe.’ These are ‘people who profess to be followers of Christ yet do not honor Him in their lives.’

If we are to be salt and light in the world, we must live as if our belief in God actually matters. We must allow the transforming power of Jesus Christ to be evident in our lives. We must let our light shine so that all people — atheists and non-atheists — will be drawn to the light of the world who lives inside of us.

A well-known modern atheist, Bertrand Russell, is reported to have said, “Nothing can penetrate the loneliness of the human heart except the highest intensity of the sort of love the religious teachers have preached.” It is the Christian’s job to put the love of Christ and the message of Christ on display, and to proclaim it boldly, so that those who blaspheme God will have a reason to reject their blaspheming ways and begin to believe in, love, and follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

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If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.

First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and right now I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

 



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