Continue in Obedient Faith in Christ

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.”

Sin has always existed since Adam and Eve sinned against the Lord. For, ever since then we have all been born into the world with sin natures, in the image of Adam. So none of what is listed above is new. But I do believe it is increasing in severity in these last days, and that it is increasing greatly among those professing faith in Jesus Christ. For much of what is presently being taught as the gospel actually sanctions a lot of what is listed above.

So, sinful addiction is not unusual among those who call themselves Christians here in America. Very few seem to truly grieve over that reality, either. It seems to be generally accepted as just the way things are. So, many have become desensitized. And the church, in general, is doing little to stop it, and many are giving believers in Jesus carte blanche to continue in deliberate and habitual sin under the guise of God’s grace and forgiveness.

So, you can have a man professing faith in Jesus Christ openly admit that he is an adulterer and a spousal abuser and that he refuses to let God change his heart, and it seems that no one blinks an eye. And no one calls him on the carpet and confronts him with his sin. It is kind of like the man talked about in 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 who had his father’s wife and the church was proud and did not mourn over this man’s sin. The people didn’t care.

Only now it is not just one man, but it is hundreds and thousands of men and women and children who are living in sexual sin while the church, in general, embraces them and will not confront them, for they do not want to offend them. And so marriages are being destroyed, and families are being torn apart, and children are becoming sex addicts, and it is destroying their hearts and minds, but few will lift a finger to try to help. They are heartless.

And the godly are becoming the enemy while the ungodly are becoming the accepted. So, it isn’t that any of these sins are new, but that they are increasing and they are being accepted as the norm even among those professing faith in Christ. Yet, many who are living this way will give off the image that they are true believers in Jesus while they deny the Lord and his gospel by their sinful practices. And we, the church, are to avoid them.

2 Timothy 3:10-14 ESV

“You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 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.”

So, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ who grieves over these sins which are running rampant in today’s modern market-driven “churches,” i.e. businesses, you may not have many others grieving with you. And you may even come under rebuke, and you may be accused of being unloving, or judgmental, or self-righteous, because you are sharing the truths of the Scriptures which call for us to forsake our sins and to obey our Lord.

So, you may end up being persecuted by others who profess faith in Jesus Christ because you are concerned that these sins are going on within the gatherings of the church, and you are concerned that not much is being done to stop it, and that so many are teaching a diluted gospel which is not demanding death to sin nor living to righteousness. For all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

But while the godly are being persecuted, those who are making evil their practice – which includes many professers of faith in Christ who are impostors – they are going from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived, and not much at all is being done to stop them. And many people are following them and are approving and accepting of them, sometimes even knowing some of the evil that they are doing.

And if we are among the persecuted because we stand for truth and righteousness, in a generation which is diluting the gospel to make it more acceptable to human flesh, we must not lose heart. We need to bless the Lord and be thankful regardless of our circumstances. And we must give it all over to the Lord and release our hurt over to the Lord for his healing mercies. And we must forgive others who are hurting us, too.

And then we must continue in following after the Lord in obeying his commands (New Covenant), and in living holy and godly lives for his glory and honor and praise, in his power and strength. And we must not fear what other humans may do to us or say to us or about us, but we must commit our lives into the hands of the Lord and trust that his will is being accomplished through it all, and that our suffering will serve a purpose.

[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; Rev 6:9-11; Rev 7:9-17; Rev 11:1-3; Rev 12:17; Rev 13:1-18; Rev 14:1-13]

Blessed Be Your Name

by Matt Redman

In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness

When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering

Blessed be the name of the Lord

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name
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