Monday, December 3, 2012

Paul's warning to Timothy about church godlessness in the last days

Paul wrote to Timothy as a warning, "But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people." (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

This verse is meant to be understood that people in the church will be acting this way. If you can imagine people in the church acting that way, how much worse the general population will be. In the church they will be appearing to try and be godly, and fail. People outside the church won't even be trying.

Of the second verse in the passage, Wesley's Notes say,
"For men - Even in the church. Will be - In great numbers, and to an higher degree than ever. Lovers of themselves - Only, not their neighbours, the first root of evil. Lovers of money - The second."

Barnes Notes explains,
"For men shall be lovers of their own selves - It shall be one of the characteristics of those times that men shall be eminently selfish - evidently under the garb of religion; 2 Timothy 3:5. The word here used - φίλαυτος philautos - does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It means a lover of oneself, "selfish." Such a love of self as to lead us to secure our salvation, is proper. But this interferes with the rights and happiness of no other persons. The selfishness which is condemned, is that regard to our own interests which interferes with the rights and comforts of others; which makes self the central and leading object of living; and which tramples on all that would interfere with that. As such, it is a base, and hateful, and narrow passion; but it has been so common in the world that no one can doubt the correctness of the prophecy of the apostle that it would exist "in the last times."

Whoa. That is bad. The one place where there is supposed to be love...will be lacking of it in many places. Or at least, there will be a pale imitation and when push comes to shove, it will be revealed as ungodly love. I think that is the worse condition. To be faked out, I mean.

Here are some examples of selfish and ridiculous behavior in the general population that are a harbinger of what is coming to the church. As Barnes said, 'been so common in the world that no one can doubt the correctness of the prophecy of the apostle that it would exist "in the last times"' in the church too. These news articles are from my local daily and local weekly. I live in a low crime area that is fairly rural. As soon as a few years ago I left my front door unlocked for the day. (Not anymore, things are always locked up tight.)

9-year-old moons bus driver, spits at police
"A 9-year-old girl mooned a school bus driver Friday afternoon and generally behaved so badly the driver had to pull over on the Outer Loop and call authorities, according to an Athens-Clarke police report. As an officer boarded the bus, he wrote he saw the girl trying to kick the driver. He convinced the girl to leave the bus with him, but once outside she tried to run away, the officer said. The officer managed to catch the girl before she got into the street and handcuffed her after she said she wished a vehicle had hit her. In the back of his patrol car, the officer said the girl repeatedly kicked the glass divider. He had to call for back up so someone could bring him a device to restrain her legs, according to the report."

It goes on, the things the girl did. She attends a special alternative school for unruly children. The sad part is that she had to be handcuffed because she almost ran into traffic, and when the policeman was cuffing her she said she wished a car had hit her. It is so sad that children are so broken so young, that they defy educational authorities and even civil authorities like police officers. At age 9?! Decades ago, can you imagine the culture would have devolved so quickly to so taint the tender youngsters?

Even the older youth don't know any better. See this story about a spate of police calls for youths n buses being transported home from the Middle School and High School in my county. And this next article, is simply outrageous.

Drunk UGA student urinates on shelves in Athens store
"A drunken University of Georgia student damaged merchandise valued at hundreds of dollars when he urinated inside a downtown Athens convenience store early Friday morning, Athens-Clarke police said. Austin James Smith, 23, of Lawrenceville, relieved himself in an aisle at Lay-Z-Shopper on East Clayton Street shortly before 2:30 a.m., damaging $200 worth of snacks and $100 worth of household items, according to police."

Gross, gross, gross. What, was he raised in a barn?

This next one happened a few miles up the road from me. Scary.

Hull residents alarmed at finding severed dog heads on front porch
Four days have passed and no more severed dog heads have been left on the front porch where Zachary Osburn lives in Hull. For two days straight — Nov. 23-24 — the heads of dogs were found on the steps leading to the home where Osburn, his sister, and girlfriend all live on Old Elberton Road. Osburn called the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, which sent a deputy to investigate the bizarre matter, but the motive for someone leaving the heads, or even how the dogs died, is a mystery. ... “My sister didn’t even go to work the first night because she was so shook up about it,” he said, explaining that his sister refused to take a close look at the head."

I'd be shook up, too. It seems demonic, like something people do in satanic cults like voodoo, or in the ancient days of bloody pagan practices.

I am sure that examples abound of people doing strange things like these in your area too. But the interesting thing is that the Paul wrote that men will be selfish, brutal, slanderous, uncontrolled... etc., in church! The heightening of bizarre behavior outside the church seems to me to be a dark stain that is slowly encroaching into the last sanctuary- the local worship place. When it starts seeping in in greater force, I wonder what that would look like? Would it look like the above, youths showing up drunk to worship and urinating on the couch? With youngsters so out of control in AWANA that the police have to be called?

I know one thing Paul's prophecy looks like, is spiritual abuse. I've written about that before, several times. Spiritual abuse is performed by men who seem godly, adopting a form of it but denying its power. At root, abusive pastors, leaders, deacons, teachers etc are selfish, because they deny God's power so they can exalt their own power. Spiritual abuse is brutal.

I'd imagine that being slandered in church is a terrible blow to a Christian, too. We open ourselves up to trust levels we don't even do in families or workplaces. When our character is impugned by someone who had purported to love the truth, it is a severe blow. Paul knew this. In 1 Corinthians 10 he spends a good deal of time defending his ministry. After Paul founded it, he left the Corinthian church to check on his other churches. Immediately, false teachers swooped in and through small lies and big ones, not only succeeded in making the Corinthians doubt Paul's teaching, but their doubt extended to impact against the spread of the Gospel. When a person's character is doubted it destroys their teaching. Maybe it was those fake-godly men he was remembering when he warned Timothy about future encroachments of other ones inside the church.

Note how Paul ended the first set of verses at verse 5: "Avoid such people."

We are not just to intellectually note that such people exist in the church. We are not simply to mark when it happens. We are to DO something about it. We are to avoid them.

Referring to the verse in Corinthians, Phil Johnson preached about spiritual warfare, saying, "A lot of times spiritual warfare calls us to engage with people who look like, and pass themselves off as, ministers of righteousness." (2 Corinthians 11:15).

Again, I wonder how this will play out in real life. This command to "avoid such people" is a difficult thing. I mean, if you notice a deacon in your church, or a teacher or leader who is displaying one of the characteristics above, as a pattern of behavior that impacts the peacefulness of the church or the witness of the Gospel (not as a one-time error- please don't jump to conclusions), how do we avoid them?

Do I alert the media? Change my pew? Get off the committee? Quit Sunday School? It is a difficult thing. I suppose of someone was caught stealing the tithes or molesting the children it would be clear that avoidance would be the least of the actions taken. But if they were slandering? Being ungrateful? Unappeasable? Taking Paul's recommended action seems to me to be trickier to enact. But we must. It is prophesied to happen and the recourse is a command, not a suggestion.

I don't have the answer yet, but I am sure that with further study and prayer the Holy Spirit will illuminate my mind. He is great to help bring the bible to life and its precepts to action. But I'm not looking forward to the day when the behavior such as Paul listed above comes into the church. But I wanted us to be aware of its prophetic imminence and to start praying how to keep loving even when people who faked us out for many years turn out to be brutal, slanderous, selfish etc toward us. Be ready. And part of being ready means being strong in our faith because when it happens to you, it will make you want to lie down and quit. We have to strengthen our armor now.

The great opportunity we have is that when the ungodly ones are revealed in our lives and our worship, our witness can be even brighter for Jesus, pointing to Him as the way and the truth and the life. Darkness is prophesied to steal into the pew, the pulpit, the classroom, but we are forewarned. We will be ready, we will be peaceful, loving, and bright with His glory, having prayed for strength and love to ride the waves of the coming church brutality and selfishness.

Our home is in heaven, and soon, we will never have to guard ourselves again. We will never have to gird ourselves with weapons. We can just...be. Cling to this thought, wonderful people:

"Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:20)

18 comments:

  1. I'm quite sure that wolves in sheeps clothing are very common in churches today, exactly as paul described.

    Elizabeth, do you add all of these...entries yourself? do you write them all yourself?

    As a side note, I've been hearing/reading alot lately and suddenly about people claiming KJV of the Bible the only accurate version, and condemning the NIV. I just want to say this; I personally have just 1 Bible and it's NIV, I seem to get the same idea out of a verse that others do with the KJV.

    As an example Romans 10:9
    NIV: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

    KJV: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    The idea I got from the NIV is that salvation is a free gift, nothing we can do to earn it, I understood that Jesus IS God the Father, and I realized that confessing that Jesus is Lord comes out of faith (not by human effort) as does everything else pleasing to God, including repentance.

    My understanding is that the Holy Spirit leads us to all truth, even if I read the real true exact words of Jesus, I don't think I would understand the meaning unless I had the Holy Spirit. Just like how we are justified by faith not by works or observing the Law.

    I also want to add that in the few months of being born again, my understanding has grown exponentially, so has my peace, my love, my gentleness, my wisdom, and my hatred of sin. In fact it seems as though I have become hyper-sensitive to sin, almost everything I see and hear is nothing but sin all the time. And it becomes apparent that most people would look down on me for having moral issues with even the seemingly most minor things.

    Genesis 6:5 The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.

    Don't conclude that I think I'm better, I'm most certain that we are to look at others as better than ourselves.

    Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.

    Amen

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      I loved your comment. What a wonderful testimony :)

      Yes, there is a fierce contingent of folks who are called "KJV-only." The KJV is a good translation, but it is not the only good translation. Ironically, it is not even the earliest English Translation. Wycliffe, and several others were produced prior to the printing press's advent, and post-printing press, the Geneva is very good and preceded the KJV by some few years. You can read more about the KJV only movement here
      http://www.gotquestions.org/KJV-only.html

      I myself own a NAS, ESV, Holman, NewKJV and I downloaded a Geneva to my desktop. I also look up verses on a website called biblecc.com. It has all the books and chapters of the bible in every translation. If you want to look at one verse at a time and compare them among and between all translations, I find that helpful as well.

      Yes, I am the only one who writes the blog. I write every day, sometimes more, as the Spirit leads.

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  2. I want to add one more thing to my above post, I hear alot about this group claiming the gospel of salvation as true and all others false/fake, and this group claiming the gospel of grace, and this one the gospel of faith, this group claiming the gospel of the Kingdom of God, and so on...

    I thought we are to believe the entire Bible.

    Also, I'm unsure concerning the Kingdom of God, is it referring to Heaven, or to a literal Government on Earth lead by Jesus? after the tribulation?

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    1. The kingdom of God is the rule of an eternal sovereign God over all creatures and things (Psalm 103:19; Daniel 4:3). The kingdom of God is also the designation for the sphere of salvation entered into at the new birth (John 3:5-7; Mark 1:15), and is synonymous with the “kingdom of heaven.”

      There is more here
      http://www.gotquestions.org/kingdom-heaven-God.html

      The Millennial Kingdom is a kingdom prophesied to occur on earth, after the tribulation, with Jesus reigning personally from the Temple in Jerusalem (More on that in Ezekiel 41- and onward) when the Jews finally receive their promised kingdom with their Messiah ruling them and they receive all their lands He had promised to Abraham, and they live in peace, finally. The church beleivers live in New Jerusalem.

      When the 1000 years is up, God melts the earth and eternity begins. The bible is silent on what comes after that ;)

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  3. you said that you lock up your doors now all the time, but why ? didnt you say you like in a low crime area?

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  4. I'm sure there is too much to be said for now

    John 21:25 "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written."

    Thank you Elizabeth

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    1. I am always so amazed to be labled a kook or worse to be a KJV only person. I have nver known anyone who is KJV only to be an angry person over it.I spent two years comparing the KJV with many other versions. I was shocked to see so many verses missing or scrambled or watered down or the deity of Jesus was concerned. Most people have never really researched the issue but they don't care cause their mind is made up. The new versions are supported by about five of the over five thousand manuscripts of bible text. The two most prominent of these, Vaticanus, which is the sole property of the Roman Catholic Church and Sinaiticus are both known to be overwhelmed with errors. God is not the author of confusion. He is very capable of giving us one perfect word, not many, with new ones coming out all the time that all differ from each other. The scriptures I found that were so different in the KJV verses other versions were shocking to me and were not minor but changed doctrine. I challenge you, Elizabeth to please consider this. God takes his word very seriously and so should we. There are a lot of resources out there. A.V. Publications is an excellent one for a lot of info.

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    2. I'm glad you like KJV. I like ESV. No one is angry. No one is a kook. I'm sorry you introduced that language to a discussion which had been devoid of it prior.

      Thank you for your challenge. The challenge has already been completed, because I have already spent a great deal of time researching translations. I always take the word seriously. Thank you for your concern.

      Many other KJV only people are fierce about it but errantly so. For example, they say that every other version is heretical, which is not true. The New KJV takes the New Testament texts from the same Latin text that KJV does (Textus Receptus) but many KJV adherents say the New KJV is heretical too. This makes no sense.

      Using the Roman Catholic text as an example in your comment is moot. The Roman Catholic religion is false, so of course their bible will be too.

      Some of the very new translations are obviously heretical- the ones where the gender of God is neutralized, or the ones where the theme is overlaid to the text (Green Bible, for example).

      There are thought for thought translations and verse by verse translations. People ought to consider that when choosing a translation.

      I agree we ought to take the translation process seriously. Here is a short essay on which bible translation is best.

      http://www.gty.org/resources/questions/QA167/which-bible-translation-is-best

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    3. This is why the church is in trouble today. Let's do a comparison study Version A He said look I see four men walking around in the fire bound and the fourth look like a son of the gods. version B He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Version A He appeared in the flesh was vindicated by the spirit was seen by angels was preached among the nations was believed on in the world was taken up in glory. version B And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory I could cite many many more examples version A denies the deity of Christ. version b (kjv) is the inspired word of God. God bless anonymous above for speaking the truth. Why are people acting un Christian like toward those who believe in the kjv? I know people say a bible is a bible, but if you look at the above examples that is not true. If someone wants to read other versions that is their choice, but if I believe in kjv only I should not have to have insults hurled at me. Let the Holy Spirit guide us in truth.

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    4. Anonymous,

      I am very glad you like the KJV. No one is insulting you.

      I beg to differ as to your basic premise though: that the reason the church is in trouble today is that not enough people use the KJV. That is not the reason, in my opinion.

      The reason the church is declining today is because of

      --sin
      --disobedience
      --theological illiteracy
      --false teachers

      and the list goes on.

      The ESV, NAS, Holman, and other translations are the inspired word of God too. Not just KJV. The original Greek is the inspired word of God. You cannot make a claim that KJV is the only inspired word of God. As a matter of fact, unless it is the original original, (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) it is not actually the inspired word of God.

      Only the original languages are the Word of God as He inspired it. A translation is only an attempt to take what is said in one language and communicate it in another. King James Version is one of those. Period.

      You said you "believe in KJV only..." We must believe in the Messiah, not a bible translation.

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  5. Yes, these kinds of actions are already occuring in churches. In our church (in a different country) we had a case where an elder was brought up on charges, found guilty and excommunicated. It split the church. Everyone in the church had a difficult time believing the charges to be true - but children do not lie about these kinds of things. Now half the church is in total rebellion. Several have left "without peace". The rest have attended meetings and Elizabeth, you would not believe what has happened. Screaming, yelling, slander, anger to the point there has been fear the person screaming would have a stroke, gossip, back-biting and on and on it goes. These things have not happened during a worship service, but within minutes afterward, in the sanctuary. Other times it has happened in other rooms of the church building. Never in my life would I ever have believed people who have called themselves Christians for a number of years would act and say the things that we have witnessed. The church leadership are Godly men, preaching the True Word of Jesus Christ. Sin is sin - and it is ugly. It has far-reaching consequenses. And as I taught my Sunday School class a few weeks ago - sin always leaves a scar. Sometimes it is small and only we are aware of it. Other times it is big and affects others. I have thought many times over the past few weeks that we have seen the face of Satan on these people's faces. I have thought many times about those verses in Timothy as well.

    And on an even more personal level, I cannot believe the amount of rebellion that my 8 year old grandson exhibits. I would think it was only him - except I see it so often now in many children around his age - on two continents! It is not just teenagers who are "rebelling" now, but children all the way down to toddlerhood. Not "normal" behavior for a 2 year old, but defiant, in your face rebellion against all authority. Christian and non-Christian families alike. Children today all over the world are not like they were when I was that age or when my children were that age. World-wide change has occured and continues to grow worse, both in the church and outside of it.

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  6. In regard to the KJV vs all other translations - KJV is a translation! It is not perfect in it's translation just as all other translations are not perfect. We do not speak the same English as Shakespear did or as King James himself did (a very wicked king, by the way!). Even our handwriting is different from that period of English history. Try reading the original copies of it some time.

    Here in America we speak American English, not English that is 500 years old. We don't even speak British English. We speak American.

    If we hold to the fact that it has to be KJV or nothing else - whatever in the world are the Chinese and Russians and Spanish going to read? After all, their mother tongues are not KJV English either.

    I can attest to the fact that the Russian Bible often holds closer to the original Greek and Hebrew than does KJV. Maybe we all should start using The Russian Synodal version? Which is funny actually, since Russians don't speak Russian Synodal Version Russian any more either and often don't have a clue what certain texts mean now. Yet the Eastern Orthodox church demands that the RSV is the ONLY true inspired Word of God (and that includes the KJV!).

    Languages change. God's Holy Word does not change, but the languages in which it is translated do. I love my NIV 1984 version, warts and all. I was raised on KJV and it will always have a special place in my heart, but honestly, tell me what this means:
    "26 Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out.
    27 For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:
    28 Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly.
    29 Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his tabernacle?
    30 Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea.
    31 For by them judgeth he the people; he giveth meat in abundance.
    32 With clouds he covereth the light; and commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt.
    33 The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapour."

    or try this and tell me which one an average elementary, high school or even college student is going to understand?:

    26 How great is God—beyond our understanding!
    The number of his years is past finding out.
    27 “He draws up the drops of water,
    which distill as rain to the streams;
    28 the clouds pour down their moisture
    and abundant showers fall on mankind.
    29 Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds,
    how he thunders from his pavilion?
    30 See how he scatters his lightning about him,
    bathing the depths of the sea.
    31 This is the way he governs the nations
    and provides food in abundance.
    32 He fills his hands with lightning
    and commands it to strike its mark.
    33 His thunder announces the coming storm;
    even the cattle make known its approach."
    Job 36

    This is why it is recommended to use several different trusted translations in Bible study. Nuances are important. And if possible - learn Koine Greek and Hebrew and study the Word of God in the original languages, remembering that each language reflects it's own culture and may have nuances that don't stand out immediately to English speakers. And no matter which translation you read - it will mean NOTHING at all unless the Holy Spirit reveals it's meaning to you.

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  7. Exactly, how do you do it, how do you avoid those people. I believe too it's a command. What if it's family? What if they have your child who is innocent and breaking off ties with them means having no contact with your child either? Is it still the right action?

    It is the worse blow, when it is those who claim to be Christian who betray, who slander, libel, who assassinate your character, and just as bad, cause your life to come to ruination. To lose everything, very important things you can't get back. It has brought me to a place of wanting to lay down and quit. I am stuck in a pit of despair, of lack of trust, and knowing those who came against me, who have assassinated my character so badly, that it's caused permanent extreme damage to my life, claim to be Christian, they carry their selves around as though they are so good, so righteous, and they are proud of their victory over me, over my defeat. It is as though I was a demon they slayed. I struggle with the fact that God has and continues to let them get away with it, because in the process more damage continues to be done. I continue to be caused to lose out by their continued sin. I was a strong Christian before this, and this has shattered me and my faith. Especially because it wasn't just them, as I reached out to so many other churches, pastors, people of faith, most of them to not only not have any righteous anger at this injustice, and a lack in empathy or sympathy, some defended those who came against me.

    I am hard pressed to believe there is even a million truly saved people, and that most are probably foreign people who are heavily persecuted. The modern well off nations seem to use Jesus like just some golden ticket they feel they won that permanently guarantees them access to the heaven party where they get to enjoy all sorts of luxury prizes. The false belief in "once saved always saved", has given people a license to continue to sin, to continue to live in willful disobedience. And the false prosperity gospel has deceived people into believing not only can they have their best life now, but that they are supposed to, and I see people who because of that belief, stop at nothing to have whatever they want, even if it means lying cheating and stealing it from others. They build up treasures here on earth, making all their dreams come true, satisfying all their hearts desires, even at the price and suffering of others, all while professing to be good Christian people! All the people who have several vehicles, several homes, they have an over abundance of everything, both need and want, when there are people who have not one thing, people in tatters, no shoes, no home, not knowing when or if they will eat a meal again and if it will even be anything good. It's deplorable and it most certainly isn't Godly.

    This world becomes ever more corrupt and vile, as in the days of Noah, and I get ever more anxious for God to say enough. Not because I am not merciful, not because I have any desire for people to suffer as though I am sadistic. It is because I can't stand sin, I can't stand corruption, I can't stand unrighteousness. I want to be free of the evil that plagues this world, to be with The Lord, to know only purity, only holiness. People who want to stay here and live more, have more, boggle my mind. Come Lord Jesus, Come!

    God bless and keep true believers strong until the time of our redemption!

    J.L.

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    1. Hi J.L.

      I think a lot of people will be surprised at the low number of the true church. Of course there will be millions upon millions, but not as many as people think. Only 8 went into the ark. Only 4 left Sodom. At the end of days Jesus asked if there would even be true faith left on the earth at all. So I agree with you that true Christians seem in short supply.

      It is because it's prophesied that tares were sown into the wheat, (tares and wheat look almost exactly the same)and only at the Lord's Day will we discover who was who.

      But meanwhile, in response to your pain and anguish over the declining world, rising of sin, and heartbreak of betrayal, I am posting a blog entry right now for weary Christians like you and me. Look for is called

      The Weary Christian Must Rest Upon Christ

      Love, XOXO

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    2. I would like to point out Paul is writing personally to Timothy in these two letters. He is warning Timothy (not people hundreds of years after Timothy is dead) to be prepared for the times described. He talks about the "end times" as the end of the known world system of order. If we look into Greek translation, we see there is a difference between the words that mean "known world" and "world" but in English, our only word to translate is "world." People often take this to mean the whole world will eventually become worse and worse until God ends it all- which is why we are seeing the feebleness of the church today: we have bought into this idea that has only just come around in the last few decades… Jesus warned of the same "end times" specifically to the generation He was speaking to. He told them "Truly I tell you this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened." Luke 21:32 They are talking about the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, where God brought down the temple and thereby bringing down the "old ways" or the old covenant a.k.a Jewish system, because He was bringing in the new covenant with Christ. The "world" as they knew it was coming to an end. It's already happened. These things were not written and spoken to the people 2000 years ago, talking to us today. Jesus gives us in Matthew 28:16-20 the promise of the Great Commission. He says the world will be drawn more and more to Him. We must expect things will get better and better, striving to serve God, or it will only be longer until future generations finally understand this and start improving our work as Christians, spreading the gospel and discipling the nations. He will not rest until His enemies have been made His footstool. (Hebrews 10:13) Is God not so good? Does He not seek to glorify Himself and bless us? Why would we not expect greater things from Him? Jesus saves. That's the whole idea. Have joy in knowing He is working, He is good, and He does all things well.

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    3. Hello Jessee, thank you for reading and for commenting.

      The stance you are explaining is called the preterist stance, as defined by Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, as "Preterism is the view of the end times (eschatology), that most, if not all things prophesied by Jesus and the Old Testament prophets were accomplished in 70 A.D. with the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple at the hands of the Romans."

      As GotQuestions explains preterism,
      http://www.gotquestions.org/preterist.html
      "Preterism denies the future prophetic quality of most of the book of Revelation. In varying degrees, preterism combines the allegorical and symbolic interpretation with the concept that Revelation does not deal with specific future events. The preterist movement essentially teaches that all the end-times prophecies of the New Testament were fulfilled in A.D. 70 when the Romans attacked and destroyed Jerusalem and Israel."

      In addition, you say that "the promise of the Great Commission. He says the world will be drawn more and more to Him," This is not true. The world will be less and less drawn to Him as apostasy rises and the final Babylon false religion has its full sway over the world. Read revelation 17 and 18.

      The same prophecy often has dual fulfillments. Sometimes a prophecy is fulfilled shortly after it is uttered. Sometimes is is fulfilled long after it it uttered (Isaiah 53's promise of Jesus' incarnation and the physical appearance of the Son of Man were 700 years apart). Sometimes prophecy is fulfilled in the near future (70AD Jerusalem's destruction) AND in the far future (the Tribulation's promise that the city will be partly destroyed and overrun with Gentiles)

      The events promised at the end of the age were not totally fulfilled in 70AD, but only partially. The preterist view does not align with the clear understanding of the bible gained from rational interpretation.

      However, your most troubling statement is that the inerrant, inspired word of God is not to be taken to heart, because they were written 2000 years ago to 'other people.' The ENTIRE bible is fruitful for our sanctification and growth in Godliness.

      "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Tim 3:16-17).

      ALL scripture means just that, all scripture. Or do we also dispense with the Corinthians because that church no longer exists and the problems there have gone away? Or do we dispense with Paul's letter to Philemon because it was to one person who is dead about a runaway slave and we don't have slaves in the US anymore?

      Never let it be so! God's word is good for all times to all people in all cultures! That is what makes it such an amazing document! It is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Yet you say that the words in Paul's letter are dead! Shame on you.

      The end time began when Jesus ascended and will end when He returns. Things will get worse and worse until He returns- and then He will judge the living and the dead and reign with a rod of iron. (2 Tim 3:13). It is as simple as that.

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Happy Thanksgiving 2017

I wish you all a blessed day with friends and/or family. For those who can't be with friends or family, if you're working as a first...