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June 29, 1997

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Re: Last Days Chapter

Hello Everyone...

A few days ago we considered from my personal readings, Paul's writing to Timothy; the matter of Sound Doctrine and the person's state of Salvation, based on his belief or distortion of Doctrine. Things got busy, so I wasn't able the next day to talk about the next chapter. But today's as good a day for that, as any...

2 Timothy chapter 3 is probably "THE" DEFINITIVE CHAPTER for TODAY. (Along with the book of Jude) The "last days." The nature and character of them. And what the Christian response to it is. If you want to know what defines "our days" Scripturally, read 2Tim ch3.

vs1) In the "last days" troublesome times will come. Times of stress, danger, savagery. In our local news a fellow was given the death sentence this past week for his brutal murder of two girls with a baseball bat. Another case recently, where an adult threw a child into a bathtub, on account of which she was in a coma for a time. These things in a "civilized" society!

vs2) Men will be lovers of themselves...
Isn't this probably "the" defining characteristic of people today. The commercials remind us and encourage us to tell ourselves, "I'm worth it!" People go to therapy and guru sessions to learn more about "self-esteem." Divorce abounds because individuals want something for "themselves" rather than sticking to their vows and commitments.

vs2) Lovers of money...
That's the characteristic of our economy. During my ritual Saturday morning breakfast at McDonalds, I see this gal working there. It's her "third" job. Working three jobs so that, hopefully, by next year Memorial Day she can afford a speed boat. Customers who come to me (at my business) for license numbers for their boats and wave runners usually are characterized by impatience, rudeness and basic insolence.

vs2) Disobedient to parents...
This is of epidemic proportions! And is "encouraged by" the parents. If any hint is given that a person's child may have been engaged in some questionable activity, the explosion, "How DARE you! My child would NEVER DO that!" When one of our "finest" (hoodlums) was caned in Singapore a few years ago, his father on TV (in tears) wishing he could have taken the swats instead of his son. Such "barbarism!"(they said) And if God-fearing parents seek to discipline their children, they are often hauled to court, and children confiscated, labeled "child abuse."

vs3) Without self control...
It is SO IMPORTANT (they say) that we have self-esteem. But it is not coupled with self-control. And leads to the brutality already mentioned.

vs4) Traitors...
We have the biggest case of this occupying our White House right now. 'Went to hear Chuck Missler yesterday, and learned some things that astounded me. What our president is doing for the Chinese dwarfs any of the activities of some of those spies who have been convicted and are serving time. And then, there's all we're doing for Russia. At the same time, claiming to be allies with Israel!

vs5) Having a form of godliness but denying its power...
This topic we cover a lot here. The area of "pretend christians." He goes on here, "..make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts."(vs6)

During the Missler meetings yesterday, there were the periodic "demonic cackling" laughs from various females in the audience. The opening Bluegrass Music "act" had a lady who obviously knew what sensuous moves were. This stuff going on in one of our local "hub" churches. It was just another confirmation of the need of Paul's words, "Let the women keep silent in the churches." (1Cor14:34)

vs7) Always learning and never coming to the knowledge of the truth...
This follows chapter 2. There can be no knowledge of the truth, unless one is born again. Unless they have come to repentance.(2:25)

A lot of details we've left out here due to space. Read the chapter for yourself. In a nutshell, a thorough description of our times.

What is the Christian's response? How do we deal with all this? Essentially, in one word, "DOCTRINE." "But you have carefully followed my doctrine.."(vs10) And goes on, "as for you, continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them...you have know the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." And then the next two verses, THE KEY for everyone naming the name of Christ...

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."(2Tim3:16-17)

Everything we need for living the Christian life is to be found in the Scriptures. Not the commentaries and other books found at your local book store. But Scripture...ALONE!

And then, as we are faithful, what can we expect? Persecution. "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution."(vs12) Jesus promised, "In the world you will have tribulation..."(Jn16:33)

During Missler's Q/A time, some lady asked (in tears) if he thought we (in the US) would see persecution. He responded that "only in the USA does he field questions like that." But, yes...we can expect it.

We've already spoken of this at other times. Most of the world already knows what "physical" persecution is. In the US it's mostly emotional, psychological. But as the various pretend christian entities get really cranked up as they "bind satan" and try to restore the government for Christ's return, we can expect to see the beginnings of persecution from those who call themselves "christian." Those of us who believe in God's Word must be gotten "out of the way" for their agenda to work. We get in the way of their "unity." And some things I've read recently indicate that these groups even consider, as one of many options, "death." This is not the government, Catholics or Muslims. This is from people with conservative Protestant origins!

Believer in Christ...listen up! and take heed! Going to hear Missler yesterday was the fist time, in ages, that I have entered one of the organized "church" buildings. As I looked around I did not sense that I was amongst "friends." When I walked out temporarily during the final sensual song of the Bluegrass band, in protest, those standing around in the foyer were "strangers." As I would look around, I did recognize that a few isolated individuals here and there were in the "Family."

Fellow-Believer...whoever you may be: if you are not already, it is high time to be firmly standing on God's Word. Being faithful to Him Who called us. And from those who "have a form of godliness but deny it's power" ...From such people turn away! (vs5) "Come out of her my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues."(Rev18:4)

Yes, Jesus promised "tribulation." But also encourages, "BE OF GOOD CHEER, I have overcome the world." (Jn16:33)

Amen!

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