The Last Days
Could we be living in the last days or the end times? When someone makes this assertion, many scoff and say something like, “Every generation thinks that their generation is worse than previous ones but in fact, nothing really changes from one generation to the next.” It is true that fallen human nature does not change from one generation to the next but contempt for God and the teachings of Scripture is increasingly evident. Regarding the end times it is written:
Know also this, that, in the last days, shall come dangerous times. Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, Without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, Traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasures more than of God: Having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof. Now these avoid. For of these sort are they who creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, who are led away with divers desires: Ever learning, and never attaining to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Mambres [magicians of Pharao] resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith (2 Timothy 3:1-8).
That there always have been bad men in the world is a matter of course. Presently, though, contempt for God is not individual but culturally systemic. Where once there were wicked men here and there but society as a whole was God-fearing, everything has been reversed; there are good, God-fearing people here and there but society as a whole embraces sin.
Consider again the list of negative attributes: lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient, ungrateful, wicked, without affection or peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, traitors, stubborn, puffed up and lovers of pleasures more than of God. Sadly, this is our culture and as Christians we must do everything we can to avoid these poisonous attributes and continue to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
It is absolutely essential for Christians to discern good from evil and proper discernment requires faith, prayer and knowledge of Scripture.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel. For it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and to the Greek. For the justice of God is revealed therein, from faith unto faith, as it is written: The just man liveth by faith (Romans 1:16-17).
There was a time when Christians could depend on their church leaders to be good pastors and faithful teachers of the Gospel but today this is not necessarily the case. Either out of ignorance or a desire for worldly esteem, many church leaders have twisted the words of Scripture and sound doctrine to appeal to modern sentiment.
For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober (2 Timothy 4:3-5).
Only God knows the degree to which such men and women willfully have given over themselves to false teachings but nonetheless, whether willful or ignorant, they are capable of doing great damage by leading people astray through their rejection of sound doctrine in favor of false teachings.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them (Matthew 7:15-20).
Whether it’s a cultural or spiritual influence, we must discern those things which would lead us away from Christ and avoid them. The more we pray, our senses are sharpened and soon we are able to discern those people and influences which, in fact, are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are the ones who call evil good and good evil and we do not want to be counted among their number by embracing evil, even passively, in the name of kindness or tolerance.
Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. Woe to you that are wise in your own eyes, and prudent in your own conceits. Woe to you that are mighty to drink wine, and stout men at drunkenness. That justify the wicked for gifts, and take away the justice of the just from him (Isaiah 5:20-23).
As stated previously, contempt for God and His law, now, is culturally systemic and therefore people have blinded themselves to the Truth. No longer able to discern Truth from falsehood, completely unable or unwilling to reason, tolerance of evil is promoted as a virtue and many who claim to know nothing of God as well as many who think themselves Christian consider themselves to have evolved beyond Biblical teaching. Yet, considering themselves wise, they are fools.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice: Because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it unto them. For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable. Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God, or given thanks; but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened. For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools (Romans 1:18-22).
Tolerance, by definition, is the acceptance of that which is disagreeable or wrong and our society, so spiritually sick that it is unable or unwilling to discern the Truth, considers the acceptance and even outright embrace of that which is disagreeable, wrong and sinful to be a virtue. Not only the average citizen but also many Christian leaders have adopted this false notion of kindness called tolerance which is nothing less than evil masquerading as good and in so doing, utterly failed in their Christian duty to lead others to Christ.
Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world (Matthew 28:19).
I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine (2 Timothy 4:1-2).
How are we to lead others to Christ?
But the servant of the Lord must not wrangle: but be mild towards all men, apt to teach, patient, With modesty admonishing them that resist the truth: if peradventure God may give them repentance to know the truth (2 Timothy 2:24-25).
So, are we living in the last days? Who knows? The when of events doesn’t matter as much as the what. Whether Christ returns tomorrow or one thousand years from now…whether we die in our sleep tonight or live to be one hundred years old, one thing is certain: One day we will see Him face to face and that day is coming quickly. Therefore, with the time we are granted, we should be mindful of our Christian call to genuine love which requires proper discernment and often going against the ways of the world in order to be a light unto the Truth.
You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven