Whatever Befalls Us

2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”

We live in these last days, and we are getting closer and closer to the time of our Lord’s return. And the closer we get to when Jesus comes back, the worse things are getting, too. Now I live in the USA, and it is all I really know, so I will speak from the perspective of what it is like here. So if you live in another nation, then please feel free to apply this to your nation as it fits. For, although there is some information available here about what goes on in other countries, the information is not all that reliable.

Now if you live in the USA, and if you are at all observant, you should be able to see the slow and gradual moral and spiritual decline that has taken place in the USA in the gatherings of what is called “church”. But it has been so slow that many people don’t see it at all, for little by little deception and false teachings have seeped into the gatherings of the church, for they are disguised as truth, and they are cleverly blended in with the truth, and so they can be hard to spot for those who don’t really know the Scriptures.

But the main false teaching that is permeating the American church at large, although not in every congregation, is that we can profess faith in Jesus Christ, have all our sins forgiven, and be guaranteed heaven when we die, regardless of how we live. And as a result of that, we have many people here professing faith in Jesus Christ who are still living like the world, still deliberately and habitually sinning against God and against other humans, while they are claiming they are saved and on their way to heaven.

But Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven. For many professers of faith in Jesus are going to stand before him one day and they are going to claim him as Lord, and claim things they felt they did in his name, but he is going to say to them, “I never knew you. Depart from me you workers of lawlessness,” because they would not submit to Christ as Lord, and they would not obey his teachings.

Now, those who make professions of faith in Jesus Christ, they know right from wrong. They know when they are sinning, and when they are doing evil against others. But many of them deliberately and habitually sin against the Lord and against their fellow humans. They willfully do what they know will cause harm to others because they are lovers of self and they are not lovers of God. For they are filled with pride and so they will not submit to Christ as Lord, and they want their sins more than anything else. For they are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, and rather than loving other people.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

2 Timothy 3:12-14 ESV

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it.”

And so these who are steeped in sinful rebellion against the Lord Jesus, but while claiming him as their Lord and Savior, will often end up hating, resenting, being bitter against, and persecuting those of us who are submitting to the Lordship of Christ, and who are walking in his ways, and who are confronting the lies, and who are telling the truth of the gospel. And so they may plot evil against us to try to get us to fall. For, although they may have an appearance of godliness, they are denying its power.

Jesus Christ, when he was on this earth, told us that if we follow him that we will be hated and persecuted as he was. And who were his strongest opponents? They were the rulers and leaders of the people in the temple of God, and they were the teachers of the law and of the Old Covenant Scriptures and of the prophets. And they were the Jews, his own people, who were God’s chosen people at that time in history. And they were his relatives, too. For many hated and resented him.

And what kinds of ways did Jesus say we would be persecuted? Well, he said that how they treated him they will treat us. And what was one of the biggest ways he was being persecuted prior to his arrest and crucifixion? They persecuted him much by hounding him at every turn, and by criticizing him, and by making false accusations against him, and by setting traps for him to fall into so that they would have cause to accuse him. So they used trickery and manipulation and deception to try to take him out.

And times haven’t changed all that much for they are still using trickery, manipulation, and deception to try to turn people away from genuine faith in Jesus Christ and to get them to reject his commandments (New Covenant). And they try to get them to believe that they don’t have to obey the Lord and that they don’t have to repent of their sins, and that God will still be pleased with them, and that they can continue in deliberate and habitual sin without guilt and without punishment and with no need for remorse.

And if they cannot deceive them into deserting the true faith, then they will do the same kinds of things they did to Jesus to try to trip him up so that they would have cause to discredit him – at least that was their goal. For Satan is the one behind all of this, and he wants to take us down one way or another, either in convincing us to desert the true faith, or to try to find a way to trip us up so that he can accuse us, in hopes that people will stop listening to us and that they will believe his lies, instead.

But whatever befalls us, we are to continue steadfast in the faith that is authored and perfected by Jesus Christ, and that is gifted to us by God, and that is persuaded of God, and that was taught by Jesus and by his New Testament apostles. And the Scriptures and the gospel teach us that if we are going to follow Jesus Christ with our lives, we must deny self, daily die to sin and to self, and follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his ways – all for the glory of God and in his strength, wisdom, and power.

Our Faith: [Hebrews 12:1-2; Ephesians 2:8-10; John 6:44; Luke 9:23-26]

Hated and Persecuted: [Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; Jn 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Jn 17:14; Ac 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Jn 3:13]

10,000 Reasons

Matt Redman / Jonas Myrin

The sun comes up
It’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes

Bless You Lord
And on that day
When my strength is failing
The end draws near
And my time has come
Still my soul will
Sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years
And then forevermore

Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I’ll worship Your Holy name

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