Slandering another person. Especially to get your way at any cost. Do you think God doesn’t know what you’re doing? What does slander have in common with gluttony, lying, sloth, and guile? They’re all condemned in the Old Testament book of Proverbs.
Proverbs: The book some cults adore and most evangelicals ignore. The sins, though, in the above paragraph are also condemned in the New Testament. Take a look. I’ll list some Scripture at the end of this article. Those who have no interest in Scripture are not likely to read to the end, anyway.
What, you ask, does any of this have to do with prophecy, earthquakes, wars, rampant violence, signs in the heavens? Not much. Though I’d be careful about slandering crooked politicians. That might put you on the no-fly list and out of the not-so-friendly skies.
The signs of the times that concern me most are the ones associated with the great falling away talked about in 2 Thess. 2:3. That falling away, the apostasy; the “departure from the faith” is NOT the Rapture. It is the diminishment of the Church’s ability to be salt and light in this world. It is the falling away from the faith. And it is going full-steam ahead.
People do not wake-up one morning, completely transformed into active members of the First United Church of Laodicea. Becoming a first-class ear-tickled jerk takes time.
If Satan didn’t start small with you, it’s because he didn’t have much with which to work with. The drive to spiritual barrenness usually takes time. Lots of little sins. A lifestyle of compromises building incrementally, backing slowly away from truth and righteous living. The worst part is being oblivious to this condition, thinking all is well.
Do you pray? Alone? With others you claim to care about? Public schools can no longer require students to say the Pledge of Allegiance. I suppose the modern, watered down churches don’t teach the Lord’s Prayer, either. Liberal minds trudge together.
Do you study your Bible for yourself? Or just the latest events that remind you of something you once read in Revelation? Or do you get your “Bible” study from what others tell, or what you read on the Internet or in books—without going to your Bible to see if what you read or are being told is true?
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).
Brick by brick, stone by stone, the edifice that we’ve identified with the Body of Christ is being dismantled. It can no longer be equated with that holy hill God calls us to dwell upon with Him (Psalm 15). It provides no refuge for the war-torn sinner, desperately seeking truth and compassion (Psalm 46).
God is ever faithful. But some gave up. They wanted, wanted, wanted—more stuff, more power, more clout, more me in the spotlight. And they got it. But you cannot serve God and mammon; Jesus said that in Matthew 6:24.
It’s interesting He used the verb “serve.” He didn’t say, you can’t have it all, because actually, a lot of people do have it all. He said, “serve.”
Signs of the times: While you’re serving yourself and the people that pander to you and hang on your every word, you can stay preoccupied with signs you can do nothing about. Or you can write that letter to Putin and explain to him his place in the biblical scheme of things.
You can protest the fracking operations that are responsible for the earthquakes that have made Oklahoma the seismic capitol of the earth. You definitely can move away from California and Yellowstone. You can join the gang of hoarders and stock-up food, guns and ammo.
Or you can consider your place in the “falling away” that multiples as we speak.
Who or what are you waiting on? His return, perhaps. But are you occupying fruitfully and selflessly until He comes? How?
Maybe you are worried that you’re a vessel too broken to be of much use? No, cracks are what the light shines through! Just clean out that vessel and serve Him. Do as the Lord commanded: Start to really serve Him by preaching the gospel and not your own selfish agenda under the guise of “Serving the Lord.”
Fame and glory in Christendom?
Commands in proverbs reiterated in the New Testament, a sampling:
Guile: Prov. 20:17; 1 Peter 2:1.
Ungodliness: Prov. 4:14; Heb. 12:14.
Dishonesty: Prov. 21:6 ; Eph. 4:25.
Sloth: Prov. 18:9 and 19:15; Rom. 12:11 and Gal. 6:9.
Greed: Prov. 11:24; Luke 6:48.
Impatience: Prov. 14:29; James 1:4.
Cowardice: Prov. 29:25; Phil. 4:13.
Stinginess: Prov. 21:13; Acts 20:35.
Hatred: Prov. 14:21; 1 John 4:7