Let me open this long “cyber sermon” with a side by side comparison of 2nd Timothy 3:1-5, in both my favorite “old” 1599 Geneva Bible and in my favorite “new” New International Version of the Bible. I know that some of you are unfamiliar with the Geneva Bible, and some of you are adamantly against reading any “modern” version of God’s Word beyond the 1611 Authorized KJV—but please indulge me, and we’ll get through this. Here is what the Triune Creator of All has to say about the “times” we are living in:
2nd Timothy 3:1-5
1599 Geneva Bible N.I.V
v-1: This know also, that in the last v-1: But mark this: there
days shall come perilous times. will be terrible times in the
v-2: For men shall be lovers of their v-2: People will be lovers
own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, of themselves, lovers of
cursed speakers, disobedient to parents, money, boastful, proud,
unthankful, unholy. abusive, disobedient to
their parents, ungrateful,
v-3: Without natural affection, truce v-3: without love, unfor-
breakers, false accusers, intemperate, giving, slanderous, without
fierce, no lovers at all of them which self-control, brutal, not
are good. lovers of good,
v-4: Traitors, heady, high minded, v-4: Treacherous, rash,
lovers of pleasure more than lovers of conceited, lovers of
God- pleasure rather than lovers
v-5: Having a show of Godliness, but v-5: Having a form of God-
have denied the power thereof; turn lines but denying its power.
away therefore from such. Have nothing to do with
It seems to me that God’s Word is clear, in whatever version we read it, that we are living in “perilous” or “terrible” times—or as we might realistically infer, we are living in BOTH perilous and terrible times. One would have to be willfully blind to reality to deny that contention. It’s obvious that these verses run the entire gamut of human sins and imperfections caused by our inherited sin natures, from the beginning of history until this very day. Do you believe that we Americans are truly living in “perilous times”? Without much doubt our Constitutional Republic does face many “perils”, both from without and especially from within, as the socialist/collectivist enemies of our constitutional republic run rampant throughout our government and our historic culture. Informed people can agree on that. (Uninformed folks aren’t sure what day of the week it is, let alone the extent of the serious problems afflicting the U.S.). But when we contemplate whether or not we are living in “terrible times”, as the N.I.V. states, the answers become more murky.
After all, don’t we Americans live at a time of reasonably widespread prosperity, surrounded by all sorts of “science fiction-like” electronic gadgets and “smart phones” with their myriad “apps”, that are supposed to make our lives “easier”? Yes, I’d have to say that we do, but except for my computer, the internet, and my land line, I haven’t surrendered to becoming addicted to, controlled by, and increasingly spied upon by all of those “infernal communication devices” and all those mind numbing “social media traps” on the internet (ESPECIALLY THE SINISTER AND ANTI-AMERICAN “FACEBOOK”, WHICH MANY ARE “ADDICTED” TO, AND WHICH IS RAPIDLY PURGING (DE-PLATFORMING) CONSERVATIVE, CHRISTIAN, PATRIOTIC, AND ANTI-SOCIALIST MEMBERS AND ORGANIZATIONS BOTH IN THE U.S. AND OTHER COUNTRIES, BECAUSE IT’S EVIL GENIUS CO-DEVELOPER, MARK ZUCKERBERG, WHO THINKS OF HIMSELF AS OUR “CULTURAL MESSIAH”, IS DEVOTED TO LEFTIST GROUP THINK, DESPISES CONSERVATIVE TRUTH, AND IS DETERMINED TO USE FACEBOOK TO DEFEAT POPULIST/CONSERVATIVE DONALD TRUMP’S BID FOR RE-ELECTION IN 2020. Plainly, Zuckerberg is dedicated to the proposition that pro-conservative, pro-Christian talk must be eliminated from Facebook and Instagram and from other social media sites (such as Twitter) whose members refuse to “kow tow” to his “goals for mankind’s future”--the Marxist/progressive/leftist/elitist “vision” that he increasingly seeks to foist upon all of us). Then there are the horde of “smart” home appliances which also listen to one’s conversations and report them to who knows who. Many Americans have succumbed to being controlled by these “masters of cyber slavery”, and more power to all of you if you believe that those “can’t do without” electronic and cyber devices are “benign” and merely improve your lives rather than threaten your liberties. I, for one, will continue to resist them. But I digress.
Why then is there so much dissatisfaction, so much grumbling and so much disregard of God’s Holy Word that has guided mankind for the past 2000 years, even among those who have been brought up by studying our Christian Bible? Can we look at those first five verses from 2nd Timothy, chapter 3, and find any modern counterparts for those sinful behaviors among Americans in general, among our circle of friends and extended family, among our own family, among------OURSELVES? Well, can we? Why did God’s Holy Spirit direct those ancient Biblical authors to list all of those “evidences” of the last days so we could read them today? Do you suppose that God was trying to “get our attention” in this current age? Are we actually living in those “last days”? Are we rushing toward, or living through, “the end times”? Many sincere and dedicated Christians believe we are, and have centered much of their Christian lives and ministries trying to warn the unsaved that “the end is near”.
Now if we really love our Savior we will do all we can to be a Christian witness to any unsaved people, including especially the UNSAVED members of our own families. That is our duty as His children—THAT is Priority No. 1 (after receiving our own salvation from our Savior, of course). But is the world of Mathew Chapter 24 about to descend upon all of us, as so many Christian pastors have been preaching about for decades? I remind you what God’s Word says about that concern: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the Angels of Heaven, but my Father only.” (Mathew 24:36, 1599 Geneva Bible). (BEWARE of any false “prophet” who assures you that he/she knows the “exact time” of our Savior, Jesus the Messiah’s, return. Flee from PHONIES like this!) Personally, I’ve always refused to get too seriously concerned about “the last days”, or “the end times”, unlike some of my Christian brethren who seem to dwell on nothing else but that. Our Heavenly Father controls His own timetable regarding these events. Those of us who love and follow the Word of our Triune God can reflect upon that “timetable”, and learn from it, but to dwell upon it is senseless. Jesus’ return may be close or far off, depending on how you interpret Mathew chapter 24. Read that chapter of Mathew and think about these warnings from our Savior, but don’t let them control your life to such an extent that you sacrifice your family or work or personal relationships, or your country’s well being or survival, or go hide in a cave (literally or figuratively) in hopes that you won’t be “left behind” when our LORD returns.
Christians, including Christian patriots (and ALL true Christians should be patriots) are needed in the “nasty now and now” to “occupy until He comes”, doing all we can to prevent or at least delay the rush toward societal oblivion—toward the disintegration and destruction of the unique constitutional republic that our Founding Generation bequeathed to us. To blithely toss aside all the good of our historic American culture with all of its emphasis on freedom and to refuse to battle and resist the evils that are slowly engulfing all of us, thereby condemning our descendants to future totalitarianism, is to take the road of the timid and the fearful, and that is not now, nor ever has been, the path that American patriots of whatever religious persuasion should follow. And being “timid and fearful” is not now nor ever has been the mark of a true Christian. Cowards may temporarily save their skin by cringing before the Evil One or his minions, but they will still be COWARDS!
Looking at that list of sinfulness in 2nd Timothy 3:1-5, can we not identify many of those “sin bearers” all around us? Are people who love themselves, who lust after riches, who are proud and abusive, who disobey and hate their parents, almost invisible and quite scarce? Probably each person who reads these words can identify one or more people who have been contaminated with those human imperfections. Can’t each one of us think of at least one unloving and/or unforgiving person in our circle of friends and acquaintances and even family members? Are the sins of slander and gossip virtually unknown around us? Do we not know those who are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God? What about those who pretend to love God and His Word—who have an outward show of being spiritual and Godly, but in actuality deny the power of true Godliness? Am I making some of you uncomfortable? I hope so. Am I making myself uncomfortable? Is it getting very hot in here?
Since we have that list of human sinfulness that marks “the last days”, are we as Americans and as patriots to conclude that it is pretty much hopeless to extol patriotism, to be concerned over the precipitous slide of our culture—of our departure from the ancient dependence upon the truths from our past—into leftwing, socialist forms of tyranny? Some Christians believe, and preach the nonsense, that the battle is already lost, and it is senseless to resist the “inevitable” since Satan, the god of this world, seems to be having a free reign among mankind in general, and Americans specifically. They, apparently, have chosen to hide their heads in their safe “I’ll have to pray about it sand”, as they try to ignore the gathering darkness of sin and incipient tyranny rapidly enveloping mankind in general, and particularly we unconcerned and unaware Americans.
Now I don’t claim to be any authority in the Biblical study of “eschatology”, or the teachings of the end times---the end of the world—and what is going to happen to humanity. There are several conflicting schools of thought regarding these “end times”, and a lot of “un-Christian” accusations and bitterness have been tossed around by God’s people, as they confront other Christians who don’t see “eye to eye”, or “pastoral teaching to pastoral teaching”, or “denomination to denomination” with their brethren. Mathew 24 gives us a roadmap, of sorts, to follow along as these eschatological “events” unfold, all leading to the return (some Christians claim the “imminent” return) of our Savior, AFTER all these prequalifiers are accomplished—AFTER all of those bad things happen, and happen SPECIFICALLY to ALL people, including Christians, who are alive during that period of time!
The prophecies of “the end times” and “The Great Tribulation” seem to be fraught with much teaching that is unscriptural, at least in my opinion. I will apologize in advance if I step on the “Biblical toes” of any fellow Christians who disagree with my words. I freely admit that I may be confused and in error, because this is a complex subject over which even learned Biblical scholars dispute with each other; but then I respectfully ask that you consider that YOU may be confused and in error, also. Hear me out, and then agree or disagree in love. We all know that our LORD Jesus taught about “the end times” in Mathew, chapter 24. He gave His followers a chronology of things that must be accomplished before the end of the age. We can all agree on that, (I hope).
This article is not really about the eschatological implications of the 24th chapter of the Book of Mathew, and the more or less chronological view of what mankind could expect to come about at the “end of the age”. But from my studies, I’ve concluded that a major false teaching espoused by some Christians is that Jesus’ words in Mathew 24 apply ONLY to the “Jews” but not to the “church”. This appears to be a popular belief among Christians who subscribe to the “pre-Tribulation Rapture” of Christian believers (a teaching with which I do NOT concur). To my understanding, Jesus tells mankind when the “rapture of the church” is to take place, but it is NOT prior to the Great Tribulation. It seems to me that those who believe in a “pre-Tribulation rapture” make the claim that because our LORD was speaking with His Jewish disciples, it must be that this does not apply to the Christian Church as it later unfolded, because “the church” will have been “raptured” (gathered up into Heaven) during this tribulation period, and only the Jews and all unbelievers will have to endure it.
To me this is faulty reasoning. WHEN was our LORD Jesus NOT speaking to His people, the Jews? All of his teachings and warnings during His earthly ministry were for the Jews, were they not? Mathew 15:24-AKJV—“But He answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” If Mathew chapter 24 was not meant for “the Christian church”, how can it be claimed that ANY of Jesus’ teachings were? Throughout His ministry, Jesus always spoke to his Disciples who were Jews. He told them that He was sent by His Father to minister to THEM—his Jewish countrymen. If Christians today claim that Mathew 24 was not meant to apply to the Christian church—the BODY of Christ—how can they state that any of our LORD’S words were to apply to the later church? Are we to ignore our Savior’s teachings in His “Sermon On The Mount” because He was then speaking to a large group of Jewish people? That would be silly to proclaim, and it would be wrong to believe that those Holy Words from Jesus applied only to people who were ethnic Jews! (Of course, Christians know that God’s Word, in the Books of Galatians and Romans, does discuss “who” is a “Jew” and who is considered as “Israel” in the New Covenant proclaimed by our Savior, and as Galatians 3:28 tells us---in Christ there is no such thing as a “Jew” or a “Gentile”, for in Christ we are all ONE in Him.) ALL ONE!
I believe that God’s people—CHRISTIANS (and ONLY Christians are God’s people—not unsaved Jews, not Muslims, not Buddhists, not Hindus, not cultists, not pagans of any stripe)—were the ones to whom Jesus was ultimately speaking during His earthly ministry—i.e. His DISCIPLES—both the original 12 AND the untold millions of true Christian believers from that time to this present day who are every bit our Savior’s “Disciples” as were those original 12. So I ask: Are YOU (am I) a “Disciple” of our LORD Jesus? If we are, then the warnings and the lessons of Mathew 24 are for US! And those warnings tell us that God’s people are going to experience ALL of those terrible things, ALL those horrible pains, ALL those difficulties and terrors BEFORE Jesus returns to “rapture”—or gather up-- His Saved Ones. Disagree with me if you will, or if you must. But this is what I believe: Those of us who are saved and are “taken home” to Heaven by our natural deaths before this terrible Time of Tribulation WILL escape it. Those who are not saved, who are not part of The Body of Christ, or who ARE part of His Body but still alive--will NOT escape it.
Hide in your “spiritual caves” if you will, but it will be much better for all American patriots—all who still love our Constitutional Republic as our mostly Christian Founders bequeathed it to us-- to do everything we can to resist the increasing darkness of political tyranny that is more and more surely enveloping us. We may or we may not escape the more severe aspects of that darkness that is threatening our American liberties and perhaps, even, our very lives through the violence inspired by the slavish adherence of growing segments of our population to the long-proven mendacity of the cretins of leftist fascist socialism, as exemplified ever more openly by the members of “The Klan of New Bolsheviks” (formerly the Democrat Party), socialist-loving “mindbots” of our millennial generation and Generation “X-ers”, and by the attending “Brotherhood of Darkness” (including the brain dead AntiFa fascists, anti-American/anti-constitution billionaires who support societal “change” through violence, by the anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-western culture robots of Islam and its’ vast web of fellow travellers). But by RESISTING the evil one and his minions NOW—by informing ourselves, and then others; by voting only for real constitutional conservatives; by supporting true pro-American/pro-constitutional organizations with our time AND our money; by preparing ourselves for the possibility of violence and being willing to PHYSICALLY RESIST the proto-tyrants and their socialist and fascist sycophants who try to threaten and intimidate us (if we are cowardly enough to let them do so)-- the future of freedom will still burn—perhaps dimly or perhaps brightly—but it will still shine forth. So what are YOU doing to help preserve our freedoms? What are YOU doing to resist the falsehoods and deceptions of the minions of the Evil One who are all around us? And of course, with a somewhat guilty conscience, I ask myself those same questions!