“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 NIV).
This verse seems to reflect the condition of the world today. It’s like summing up the daily news or what is on TV or what you hear on the radio. Or what is going on in people’s homes and lives. It is really sad though that this is happening here in the last days. You can’t seem to go anywhere, even churches, where this debauchery is not occurring. It is horrible that we live in such times. Yet here we are—living in the middle of the fire, trying our best to be clean and blameless before the Lord (at least those believers who are truly of the Lord).
Does the introductory verse above sound like you? Read it again. If it does then you are in a world of hurt with the Lord. You’re mad at me for calling you out? Good, because you need to be awakened to your shortfalls with the Lord. If you proclaim you are a Christian and are described above, you need to reconsider your standing with Jesus.
In church on a recent Sunday, the pastor was talking about fruitfulness. He asked the congregation what they thought fruitfulness meant. Some said that fruitfulness means personal wealth. What? Did I hear that correctly? Fruitfulness means getting personal wealth? Then another said, “Having a good life and material things like a nice house or car.”
What? What is it with these people? These comments came from a people who have attended this church for years and they spilled out this junk of what fruitfulness is. And they say they are Christians? Unbelievable! Fruitfulness is not a good life or material things. It is different from that as the two verses below give examples of what fruitfulness is:
“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10 KJV).
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV).
Then there are those who live wild lives Monday through Saturday night (or into the early morning on Sundays) and come to church smelling of alcohol or look strung out on something. They are lovers of themselves and selfishly partying and living it up during the week, only to come to church to “proclaim” their love for Jesus. Hypocrites! This just makes me upset. I mean I’m not perfect in any way and am a sinner and make mistakes like the rest of us—but I don’t live my life as described in 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
Then there are those who are boastful about themselves. They talk about the things they have, things they do, what good Christians they are, and how perfect and blameless they are. But you know what, I see them outside of church and they are by no means acting like Christians. They party, they gossip, and they curse out people; they live out parts of the 2 Timothy Scripture.
What is this world coming to when professing Christians act this way? It upsets me and frustrates me: Because the world sees these people, and assumes that this is what being a Christian is like. They think they can have all the worldly pleasures and still find their way to heaven because of the examples some of these so-called Christians portray.
“To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good” (Titus 1: 15-16 NIV).
These people are corrupted. For some reason I don’t think they are really saved and walk with Jesus. As this verse says, they say they know about Jesus but their actions don’t show it. Really, they are worldly people pretending, or believing by delusion that they are Christians. Just because you go to church and are nice to people or smile and shake hands doesn’t make you a Christian. Some may say they believe in God and Jesus and they are saved, but their actions and demeanor outside of church say otherwise.
These people are kidding themselves. If they truly accepted Jesus in their hearts they would be different and act differently. Jesus doesn’t say its okay to go party Friday night and then get right with Him on Sunday at church, every week. He doesn’t tell you to go make as much money as you can or buy all the material things you can’t afford. He just wants your heart and when you get Him in your heart, you change. You become a new creature. Pretending to be with Him, you are still the old creature of the world and live in and of the world.
But people are deceived, both in and out of the church. Maybe it’s our society, maybe it’s their misinterpretation of the Bible, but I know it is of Satan. He has slipped into these people’s lives and they have fallen for his lies of what being a Christian is really about. He has them believing things like fruitfulness is about money and good lives, and people believe it. They think to have Jesus is to get a better life and to have better things. That is not what Jesus is about. Jesus is about love and having love in your heart. Am I wrong?
Being a “Christian” while living in the world is the best of both worlds is probably what these people think. They think they can have it both ways: Get the fun and “good things” of life like wealth and partying, or living unholy lives and have Jesus at the same time. They are wrong. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Living for Jesus does not include living in the world.
It means delving yourself into Jesus and His desires for you and having Him in your heart to live the life He wants you to. Jesus doesn’t want us to pursue the worldly things of this world, but to be content and thankful for what we have with a humble heart and to follow Him and to strive for Him in our walk in salvation.
“That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:10 NIV).
We who love God and follow Jesus do labor and strive to live the way He wants us to and to follow Him in our walk through this life with Him. We have the hope of eternity, the hope of everlasting life with Jesus. We believe in His Word and do our best to live out His will for us; not to do what we want, but to do His will for us. This is what we strive for and have hope and labor for: Jesus in our heart and heaven with Him forever.
There are those who don’t get this. They may know it and believe it, but they are not living it. They go about their lives thinking they have Jesus when in fact they have nothing of the sort. They are either ignorant of that fact or are deceived by Satan—that how they live is their path to heaven. I say it is both. They are ignorant to the truth because Satan has been able to deceive them to believe a different truth than the real truth. Jesus is the way the truth and the life. Some people are blind to this and I feel sorry for them that they think they on the right path, but they took the wrong exit somewhere along the way.
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1: 5-7 NIV).
There are people (including so-called Christians) who walk in darkness and don’t know it; I don’t know what light they think they are walking in. They go day to day living life thinking they are in the light but they are not. I don’t have to revisit the reasons why, other than they have been deceived into thinking that the darkness they live in is the light, and the light of God is something they only have to live Sunday mornings. They don’t live out the truth that Jesus is the light, and that is sad to me. It grieves me to think of all the people that will stand at the Great White Throne judgment and hear that God doesn’t know them.
Is there hope for these people, both in and out of the church? Yes, and that hope is Jesus.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6 KJV).
I think it is easier for new believers to realize this than it is for those who have been in the church for a long time and are deceived by Satan (as shown by their actions which contradict Scripture). They have probably never accepted or lived by the simple of truth knowing they cannot get into heaven without true repentance and salvation in Jesus.
If people would accept and live by John 14:6 and were truly saved, they would not be living out the actions described by in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (as cited at the beginning of this article). They would be living for Jesus. Their actions and demeanor would reflect the love and the guidance that Jesus has for us as given through the Holy Spirit and in the Bible. I believe this to be true and I am reminded every day by this verse that I am to live for Jesus and be a reflection of His love for others to see.
If you are not living a good solid Christian life, now is the time to get back on track. We all make mistakes and we are all sinners, but we must strive to live out and reflect the love of Christ for ourselves, our families and others. Pray for Jesus to be in your heart and your life. Turn from your old ways of living the worldly life and turn to the life Jesus wants for you; freedom for the evils of this world and the ways of the worldly life in which we are stuck in the middle of.
Is this hard for some people? Yes, it is hard for all of us because we are surrounded by the enemy on all fronts. But with the armor of God, we can overcome this world and wily tricks of the devil. Will we stumble on our walk with Jesus? Yes, but he will be there to take our hand, lift us up, and put us back on His path for us as long as we trust in Him and live for Him.
If you’re reading this and are not saved, or want to be saved from eternal damnation, please pray to God in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, and ask Jesus into your heart. Dust off that Bible and delve into His Word and pray often, every day, for guidance from the Holy Spirit and live your life for Jesus.
If you do this, you will become a new creature in Christ and will be part of God’s eternal family in heaven. You will change, no doubt, and will begin to change from the inside out. Your heart will change and you will begin to look at your life and the world differently. You will want to turn from your old ways and turn to the ways of the Lord. Are you scared of this? Don’t be. It is a great adventure and a decision you won’t regret. Having Jesus in your heart will give you an unspeakable joy. You will have a better outlook on life, and your eternal destination once you pass from this world.
Don’t want Jesus? That is your choice, but you will be missing out on a life full of joy and contentment, and most important, you will miss out on heaven. Make the right choice; make the choice of letting Jesus into your heart and let Him rule your life and overtake you with His love and compassion. You won’t be disappointed.
God bless you.