From 2 Timothy 4:3-4; “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having “itching ears,” they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to truth and wander off into myths.” (ESV – all emphasis mine)
There is an expression that is said to have originated around 1870 that was used to mock early Christians who did not practice what they preached. “It’s time to have a ‘Come to Jesus’ meeting.” Today, it’s used more as a workplace cliché, and even from parents to their children, meaning performance needs to have some serious corrections.
Prior to the 2 Timothy 4 verses, Paul gave many godlessness traits that will be here in the “last days.” In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, “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.”
The last three words speak volumes; however, in this current day and age, it’s difficult not to have contact with all of the above negative issues; and the attitudes are getting worse by the day.
Going to 2 Timothy 3:16-17; “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
For anyone who has received and accepted Jesus as their Savior, these verses give us encouragement as to the fullness of all of God’s words. The key is that one has to believe this is truth for the message of the Father to be meaningful. In 1 Corinthians 1:18, Paul plainly states, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”
We’re told about false prophets and antichrists that will be active near the end of this age. In 1 John 4:1-6, we read,
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this, you know the Spirit of God; every spirit that confesses that Jesus has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error.”
John wrote about the evil influences that were already in the world during his time here. Over the past 2,000 years, they have only grown stronger. Our Heavenly Father knew exactly what would be happening during this current age, and He allows the evil forces leeway to act. People have the free will to choose which path they will follow, and the turning away from anything to do with Jesus is obvious.
The word of the Lord has not changed, and except for different translations, it is the same as when written. This does not mean there are no faux “bibles,” as Satan had inspired very unbiblical works to be created. In some, key messages have been changed, and in some cases, God is even referred to as “she.” To endure having a true interpretation, going to a reputable Bible Book Store is necessary. Some evangelical groups do not encourage their membership to read for themselves but give lessons designed to scratch “itching places” that Paul referred to.
Personally, I spent a lot of years listening to different messages from different groups, and I only started reading His word for myself at about 40 years of age. I found there were issues I had that were covered by God’s true word, and now I read his message daily for myself.
One important lesson learned was to truly “Come to Jesus” when I first read of His love for all of us. In that respect, a Hymn from William T. Sleeper in 1887 touched me. It’s “Jesus, I Come To Thee.”
1.) Out of my bondage, sorrow and night, Jesus I come; Jesus I come. Into thy freedom, gladness and light, Jesus I come to Thee. Out of my sickness, into Thy health; out of my want, and into Thy wealth. Out of my sin, and into Thyself, Jesus I come to Thee.
2.) Out of my shameful failure and loss, Jesus I come; Jesus I come. Into the glorious gain of Thy Cross, Jesus I come to Thee. Out of earth’s sorrows, into Thy balm; out of life’s storms, and into Thy calm. Out of distress to jubilant psalm, Jesus I come to Thee.
3.) Out of unrest and arrogant pride, Jesus I come; Jesus I come. Into Thy blessed will to abide, Jesus I come to Thee. Out of myself to dwell in Thy love; out of despair into Rapture above. Upward for aye on wings like a dove, Jesus I come to Thee.
4.) Out of the fear and dread of the tomb, Jesus I come; Jesus I come. Into the joy and light of Thy Home, Jesus I come to Thee. Out of the depths of ruin untold; into the peace of Thy sheltering fold. Ever Thy glorious face to behold, Jesus I come to Thee.
The truth is there for everyone to see, but Satan and his demons do everything they can to turn people away from the Savior. He knows what earthly lures to use, and his “Did God Really Say?” line still works. The atmosphere toward any believer today is getting worse. Eventually, as in a few countries today, to be a believer in Jesus will be a worldwide “crime” resulting in martyrdom. In some areas of Africa, authorities turn a blind eye to any acts of violence against believers, and those acts are horrible.
All who wish to avoid the coming of the 7-years of tribulation still have the opportunity to call on Jesus to be their Savior. Romans 10:9-13 gives the simple steps, and John 14:6 is the absolute authority. “Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
For the down side, for all who say they’ll get around to this later, they are literally playing with fire. Once the Rapture takes place (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-53), it will be at least seven long years before Jesus physically comes back to earth. During that time, Satan will be turned loose, and it will be hell on earth for anyone who tries to call out to Jesus.
Today, as long as the trumpet has not sounded and the shout from the archangel has not taken place, there is still time to call on Jesus and avoid the wrath. Tomorrow could be too late. By the way, someone once said they would wait until they heard the trumpet and shout to repent and call on Jesus. The problem is, “twinkling of an eye” is considerably less than one second, and no one can repent that fast.
No one has sinned so badly that they cannot be forgiven. It will be unforgivable to die without Jesus as your Savior. Isn’t it prime time right now that you have that “Come To Jesus” moment?
Hope to see you there!