Paul gave a very comprehensive list of negative attitudes and activities that would be present near the end of this age 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 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.” (ESV – all emphasis mine)
This has been given recently, but for some reason, everything is more evident today than ever before. To say there are “times of difficulty” would be putting it mildly. The “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” are definitely here right now. In fact, anyone who proclaims to be a follower of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, is considered to be a “hater.” It’s ironic that followers of the Savior are instructed to be just the opposite of this.
Matthew 22:37-40 is an answer Jesus gave to a lawyer who was trying to entrap Him; “And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it; you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.'”
God could have determined this world was so sinful that He could’ve destroyed it and would have been perfectly justified. However, Romans 5:8 states, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Looking at 1 John 3:11, “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”
We’re told in Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13 that “All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” When the word “all” is used, it doesn’t mean a choice few or only certain groups. It literally means everybody. As far back as Isaiah 44:22, we read, “I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins like a mist; return to me for I have redeemed you.”
In Psalm 103:11-12, King David tells us, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.”
God knows all of us better than we could ever know ourselves. First and foremost, He knows that every person on this earth is a sinner, and we will sin as long as we’re in these imperfect human bodies. Romans 3:10, 3:23, and 6:23 plainly state that no one is righteous, all of us are sinners, and we’re only saved by the free gift of God through the grace of our Savior, Jesus.
Everyone who is willing to confess to Jesus that we are sinners, and to ask for His forgiveness and for Him to be our Savior forever will become a part of His precious flock. Then, when we do sin, which everyone will do, we go to 1 John 1:8-10 for the steps to receive forgiveness. When we do so, God promises our sins will be forgiven.
On the opposite side are Satan and all his demons (fallen angels). The lure of the so-called pleasures and treasures of this world is very enticing. There are two Spirits that are there for us to choose from. Looking at 1 John 4:2-3, “By this you know the Spirit of God; every Spirit that confesses Jesus Christ 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.”
The absolute testimony is 1 John 5:11-12 states, “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
Antichrists and false prophets have been around from the beginning, and their influence is powerful. There are “churches” today that have wonderful “ear tickling” messages that are given along with very upbeat music as a stimulus. The atmosphere is meant to be relaxing and noncondemning. However, God’s word is either not there at all or is changed to suit the listeners.
That is not to say that true evangelical churches are to be all somber and totally brow-beating. The true word of God should be an inspiration to show what to avoid in order to live a Christian life and to have music to Praise Him. It needs to be emphasized that ours is a totally awesome God, who is the one and only true Creator of the heavens and the earth and everything here, including every one of us.
We are rapidly approaching a time known as the tribulation or wrath. Just prior to that, all true believers will be removed by Rapture, or the taking up, to meet Jesus in the air so we will avoid that awful time. This is a promise from the Father, and He cannot lie (Titus 1:2).
All who take their last breath on this earth without Jesus as their Savior will appear at the Great White Throne Judgement to find out what their eternal punishment will be. This is found in Revelation 20:11-15. Every person who was out of the will of the Father before the crucifixion of His Son, and all who will have refused to receive and accept the free gift Jesus provided to the end of the Millennial Reign, will be in that line. There will be no chance of redemption there. Satan, his ultimate antichrist, and the false prophet will already be in the lake of fire prior to that judgment. Sadly, everyone in hell will have chosen to be there.
All who were in the will of the Father prior to Calvary, and all who received and accepted Jesus as their Savior, will spend eternity in Heaven and will have forever immortal bodies and a mindset that will be like our Savior’s.
Today is the time to choose. We don’t know the day or hour that the Rapture will take place. All who will have called out will be with Jesus and will miss the most awful 7-year period of time this world has ever known.
Our Father will not ever force anyone to accept His Son, yet He will refuse no one who truly does. No one has sinned so greatly that they cannot be forgiven if they will honestly ask Jesus to be their Savior. Just be sure to get your promised reservation before the Trumpet of God sounds and there is a shout from an archangel.
You will never regret making that choice to have Jesus as your forever Shepherd.
Come, Lord Jesus!