Jesus told the disciples at the Mount of Olives the signs of His return. They had learned that the establishment of the Kingdom was not going to happen immediately, as they had thought. So they asked Jesus.
"As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)
The 'these things' refers to a statement Jesus had made in verse 2. He said the temple would be destroyed, not one stone left upon another. So there are three questions they asked,
--When will the temple be thrown down?
--What will be the signs of the end of the age?
--What will be the sign of Your coming?
In terms of the signs of the end of the age, and Jesus was speaking of the Tribulation (Mathew 24 is a Tribulation passage, NOT a message to the Church). However there are some general principles we can look at to understand the cycle of depravity in the world.
After the Fall of man in Genesis 3, the first murder occurred in Genesis 4. So did the first case of polygamy and another murder. It didn't take long, did it? By Genesis 6:5,
The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually
We went from perfection to utter sin in three chapters. God sent the Flood in Genesis 7-8, and when it subsided in Genesis 9, the nations began to spread in Genesis 10 and by Genesis 11, again, sin. Terrible sin. In Genesis 11 we have the world's first dictator and the founding of Babylon. Here is a rough timeline from Answers in Genesis-
It roughly took only 1600 years for man to be created, fall and be wiped from the earth. It took only 100 years for man to revive from being wiped out to such rebellion that God changed man's language and scattered them from Babel.
What a depraved creature fallen man is! As Christians with the Spirit in them grow fewer and fewer in the world, (though the church will never be overcome) it seems that the sin rising is beginning to appear to be piling up to heaven!
and prayed: "I am too ashamed and disgraced, my God, to lift up my face to you, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens.
"'We would have healed Babylon, but she cannot be healed; let us leave her and each go to our own land, for her judgment reaches to the skies, it rises as high as the heavens.'
Revelation 18:5, of Babylon,
for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
They are metaphors, of course, but the weight of sin upon the world is definitely heavy in these days. Witness two examples,
The University of New Mexico (UNM) is hosting a “Sex Week,” where students can learn “How to be a Gentleman and get laid,” negotiate threesomes, and [other things]. The event, sponsored by the University of New Mexico Women’s Resource Center and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA), is offering lectures on “How to be a Gentleman AND Get Laid,” “Reid’s Negotiating Successful Threesomes,” “[and other things]".Other news articles on the event. Thankfully not all people are happy with this.
“[F]or example, when you are having sex with more than one person it can be very challenging to make sure that everybody’s needs are being met and that everybody’s boundaries are being respected.”
According to local news station KOB4, “The events are designed to prevent sexual assault, but organizers have taken a new approach...Instead of teaching students how not to get hurt, they're teaching them how to have safer and better sex.”
Sex Week at UNM has varied reaction among people on campus
Critics concerned about UNM’s first ‘Sex Week’
That is the world's view of the act of sexual union. Here is God's view-
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)
What is sexual immorality, exactly, that we should be fleeing from?
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (Hebrews 13:4)
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4)
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. (1 Corinthians 6:15-17)
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28 )
The sexual union between a man and a woman only is for the sanctified marriage bed only. Anything else is adultery, fornication, and sexual immorality. It dishonors God to do these things. Not only is it bad to do them in secret, but worse is that these things are now openly taught and heartily applauded. Adults are supposed to train up the youth in the way that they should go. Is the way that they should go? Into sexual perversity?
Romans 1:32 says, Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
A heavy judgment awaits those who put such dishonorable and perverse things in the way of children.
Here is a second piece of news. The Berean Times on Twitter tweeted,
"An episcopal church here in Tulsa will start teaching Harry Potter cause the leader said the Scriptures were too hard to teach...no joke."
I investigated and indeed, it is no joke.
"...the children went into a candle-lit darkened room where a witch-like “sorting hat” was placed on their heads, and they were assigned to groups named Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. Teachers and helpers dressed in black robes. Crystal balls, owls and jars of magic potions decorated the classrooms. “It was my idea,” said Paula Rule, director of youth ministries who developed the program. “This is one of the things that a lot of our kids have grown up with. They relate to it. They’ve read the books. “We’re exploring the same Christian themes that you find in the Bible — good versus evil, redemption, salvation, love.” The Rev. Kenneth Orsburn, curate at the church, teaches the adult portion of the Harry Potter program. He said Biblical literacy is on the decline, a symptom of a general decline in church attendance across America. “We’re getting folks in here who have been unchurched for 30 years,” he said. “They don’t know these stories. That’s a challenge for us and for the church. The Scripture is very daunting. Harry Potter is easier.Oh! It's easier. Well that explains it.
Some people in the congregation have questioned the wisdom of using books filled with witches, magic and sorcery to teach the Bible, she said.Only 'some'?
Lexi Medina, 12, who played the part of a mythical creature, also was happy with it. “I love Harry Potter, for real,” she said. “I think it’s pretty cool, as long as I get to act, like, creepy around people.”As long as the kids like it, then I guess it's OK. /sarcasm
It is such a shame that the priest/pastor person does not see that a "30-year unchurched person" is a lost person. They need the scriptures, not the culture! But of course that is exactly why they do not understand. Their minds are blinded to the truth. So the church dumbs down the Gospel, or in this case, excludes it completely and puts in its stead the exact things that God said He hates.
Here is what God says about sorcery, divination, and witchhraft-
“A man or a woman who is a medium or a necromancer shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones; their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:27)
“You shall not permit a sorceress to live." (Exodus 22:18)
Oh dear, that's pretty harsh. Surely the 'Lord of Love' has softened His stance on the sorcerers, diviners, witches by the New Testament's arrival. Jesus isn't that harsh.
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)
Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:20-21)
I guess Jesus is that harsh. His love doesn't exclude His wrath upon the ungodly.
Isolated events like fornication, and wayward behavior in apostate churches have always been present on the earth. What I am seeing is that these behaviors are becoming systemetized by the power structures such as Universities and Churches, and presented as normal. They are codified: "to put (laws or rules) together as a code or system."
No longer is it the one or two aberrant person, but a system of depravity or sinful behavior that is presented and applauded. Romans 1 says this would happen.
- First they deny the truth (a truth God has made plain to them).
- Then they refuse to honor Him.
- Next, their thinking became darkened and futile.
- Then they began to worship creeping things.
- Now it goes faster. God gives them over, and their hearts full of impurities act out the perversions in it.
- Last they live in a debased mind that not only lives in perversity but also all the other sins blossom, such as malice, envy, insolence, haughtiness, etc.
- Finally, they turn to others and applaud their degenerate descent into dishonor. (Romans 1:18-32)
Do not be surprised when the world acts like the world. More and more people, cities, organizations, Universities, and churches are adopting sin wholesale and then promoting it heartily. This is very bad for the people individually, and in the cities, organizations, Universities, and churches but it is an opportunity to be the Light we are called to be. We always strengthen ourselves in prayer, staying in the word, and worshiping in spirit and in truth.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
Paul said he learned to be content in whatever situation he finds himself, (and he was in jail at the time) because he knows God will strengthen Him. (Philippians 4:13). It is our Savior's strength we need in these dark days, and the more we submit and rely on Him, the brighter our light will shine in these dark places. Until the Day...
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)