The foundations of our faith are solid ground we can depend on yesterday, today and tomorrow. Our Lord warned us that “…because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.” And the apostle Paul under the superintendence of the Holy Spirit wrote:
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” 2 Ti 3:1–5 (my emphasis added)
As a look into the world and large segments of the universal church through the lenses of the media, I can’t help but see exactly what these verses describe. I wish I could say that as I look closer around me with my own eyes I see a different reality, but the truth is, these “times of difficulty” are not far from me. What I see around me is a nation and a church that has forsaken its God and has replaced Him with millions of gods made in their own images. A nation and church that has moved the ancient marker and is attempting to set up a ‘new’ standard made in its own image. I see a nation and a church that wants desperately to be righteous, but not in the sight of God and His Word, but in its own eyes. I see a nation and a church that seeks for godliness, but denies its power!
The enemy of our souls, “…Satan, the deceiver of the whole world…” and his devils are in and among those who have rejected God. The inspired words of the apostle Paul ring loud and clear:
“28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” Romans 1:28–32
The Church is not exempt from the attacks of the devil who is, after all, a “roaring lion seeking to destroy us”. This evil is present among us in the church as wheat and weeds grown side by side. We would do well to carefully evaluate ourselves and make sure that we are not following the wrong voice or focusing on the wrong words. Make sure that we have our ears turned to the right frequency, to the channel of The Great Shepherd of our souls and our eyes firmly fixed on His Word that sanctifies and renews.
Social evils like racism and the consequences of centuries of slavery are real in the life of this nation, but incalculably greater is the evil in the heart of every man who plays with the fire of self righteousness and attempts to do right in his own eyes apart from God or while claiming God but denying His power!
As a member of the church I am speaking to myself first, and I am not exempt. The truth is that what ails man is the sin that so easily entangles a believer and condemns the unbeliever to an eternity in the lake of unquenchable fire. The sin of replacing the word of God with feel good sermons and emotionally driven so called ‘worship’ has created a generation of Christians that are naked and armor-less in this fight.
To the unbeliever I say turn to the Lord while He may be found and escape the judgment that is to come. To my brothers and sisters and myself I say do not compromise your integrity to gain access and acceptance, instead turn to the Lord, lest you find yourselves like pearls among swine or as dog returning to his own vomit. Seek the truth not in the media or in the mouth of politicians as they are blind guides. Seek the truth where it has always been found: in the mouth of God.
Scripture references in order of appearance are: Matthew 24:1, Proverbs 22:28, Revelation 12:9, 1 Peter 5:8, Matthew 13:30, John 10:14, Hebrews 13:20, Isaiah 40:8, John 17:7, Psalm 119:160, Psalm 119:43, 2 Timothy 2:15, 1 John 1:9, Luke 16:14, 2 Timothy 3:5, Proverbs 3:7, Romans 12:16, Hebrews 12:1, Isaiah 55:6, Isaiah 24:1, Matthew 7:6, Proverbs 26:1, 2 Peter 2:22, Matthew 15:14.
Objective resource on racism: Agresti, J. D. (2020, March 30). Racial Issues. Just Facts. Retrieved June 8, 2020 from www.justfacts.com/racialissues