The Time To Come

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry”. (2 Timothy 4:1–5, NKJV, emphasis added).

In his letter to Timothy, Paul provided a warning about “times to come”. Today we like to think that everything is happening for the first time in history. But we are wrong. At the end of Paul’s third missionary journey, he called the elders of the church in Ephesus over to Miletus and gave them a similar warning, “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:29–30). If you study the history of churches you will find that this is one thing that happened to the church at Ephesus. But it did not just happen at Ephesus, it happened all over the region and now extends worldwide. Often overlooked is the fact that this is addressed to the church and those who claim to be Christians. We are called to be on guard for this type of behavior. Instead of being on guard, we have fallen and are struggling to get up and be relevant again.

With information only an arm’s length away since we cannot go anywhere without our “smartphones”, we now believe everything we read without doing any research on our own. Even satirical columns have become people’s battle cries and rally points (see https://babylonbee.com/). Something I have learned while working on my seminary degrees is that resources used to defend any thesis must be scholarly. Some commentaries, books, and articles do not meet this criterion. The question becomes, does it align with God’s Word and His truth. Since the middle of March, I can attest that Christianity is suffering due to not enduring sound doctrine because of our itching ears. This must stop if we are going to rise and stand. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

In the brief amount of time I visit social media sites, I am amazed at the amount of “posts” I see from people who are supposedly working 8+ hours a day and then to busy or tired to worship on Sunday. All the while they are still able to continue “posting” on social media sites. The “times to come” are here and we have been warned. There is a falling away happening due itchy ears and not believing sound doctrine, and it is happening in the church. Many are tossed about like a ship on the ocean that has lost power. Outside forces now control that ship by the wind and the waves. Outside forces are controlling many who claim to be a believer.

These times should not surprise us, but they do because we like to think we have progressed beyond the issues of the past and they will no longer come around. We are seeing everything we need to see that should drive us into times of fervent prayer and fasting. Everything written about the last days are unfolding before our eyes. God has spoken and is speaking clearly today. Who / what are you listening to? Let me challenge you to spend twice as much time reading your Bible as you do reading an article, watching a You-Tube video, scrolling for a “meme” that suits your preference, or sharing a “post”

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