'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
The world in which we live has never been before.
At least, like it is today. One can almost sense the increased pressures of invisible threats, It seems a day does not go by without a shocking event occurring somewhere. Whether it occurs on the other side of the world, or next door. The world as we have known it, shocks us almost daily. It seems our world is somehow unraveling. We can sense it. We can feel it.
As foreboding and upsetting as it is, we should not really be surprised. God's word said it would always be this way. Only worse as the times go by. God has set up events, for lack of a better way to express it, in a kind of "stair step" progression. Some horrific event that causes newsmen and networks to almost recoil with the impact. Then, as more time goes by, things settle down - or perhaps the world accommodates the shock. The stair step levels off until another stair step comes into view, and then the world takes another step. It accepts it as a reality, but in some way, we are changed down deep in our being with each step it takes.
"The more the world changes, the more it remains the same."
The bottom line, to use the expression, is the events in our world and in many of our personal lives are slowly, progressively, heading toward a great climax.
God's word is explicit in confirming thisl:
"But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].- 2 Timothy 3:1 (AMP)
The Apostle Paul continues:
"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, scoffing), 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, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [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]."
The emphasis is, that of all people, God's people need to be sensitive to the tenor of the times. Not only what happens in the world, but also to the trends and tendencies occurring in Christianity. The Apostle
Peter warned his readers concerning the threat to the churches to which he wrote:
"But also [in those days] there arose false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among yourselves, who will subtly and stealthily introduce heretical doctrines (destructive heresies), even denying and disowning the Master Who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their immoral ways and lascivious doings; because of them the true Way will be maligned and defamed."
We cannot prevent the increasingly perilous times from becoming progressively more confusing, shocking, and dangerous. However, there are some things we can - indeed we must - do. What is stated by God's Apostles we must take to our own hearts. The spiritual condition of many will become lukewarm as times grow more confusing and pressures increase. Spiritual truths will increasingly be "watered down", pressured by the times until hearts become more difficult to reach with the truth. Compromise may become the watchword and the choice of response to important questions. The tenor of nominal Christianity may resemble the condition described by the prophet Isaiah:
"For this is a rebellious people, faithless and lying sons, children who will not hear the law and instruction of the Lord; Who [virtually] say to the seers [by their conduct], See not! and to the prophets, Prophesy not to us what is right! Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceitful illusions."
Of course, this mindset undermines change and spiritual growth. This scenario is graphically described by the risen Christ in His letter to the seven churches - the last church of the seven:
"I know your [record of] works and what you are doing; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth! For you say, I am rich; I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing; and you do not realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked." - Revelation 3:15-17
For all of us as Christians the consistant message is do not become lukewarm, but stay fervent in the truth and alert to what is occurring in the world.
Jesus said one last word to those His disciples then, and as we have seen, for all His disciples to come. This word encompasses our responsibility now, and all times to come:
"Therefore watch (give strict attention, be cautious and alert), for you do not know when the Master of the house is coming—in the evening, or at midnight, or at cock crowing, or in the morning— [Watch, I say] lest He come suddenly and unexpectedly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to everybody: Watch (give strict attention, be cautious, active, and alert)!" - Mark 13:35-37 (AMP)
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