We live in difficult times. It seems that every day another outlandish attack is being leveled toward followers of Christ. If you have any doubt that the Bible is the Word of God, listen to this prophetic passage that describes what it will look like in the last days.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” 2 Timothy 3:1-5
The Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gives 20 different characteristics that accurately describe the age in which we live. There are a couple that jump out to me and I think they summarize most of the other descriptions. The two descriptions in this passage are “unholy and unloving.”
Unholy means that human beings choose to go their own way and not follow God’s perfect will for their lives. They pridefully choose not to “be holy as I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). Like the devil, they choose to follow the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. When the Word of God clearly prohibits a certain action or decision, they choose to go their own way (Isaiah 53:6). Going our own way means that we live as if the creator God and the redeemer God does not matter. When a person goes their own way, they reject the rule and reign of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Unloving means that we choose not to “love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul and mind.” Unloving implies that instead of loving God we will be “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” That one phrase probably summarizes the age and the culture in which we live. Pleasures like alcohol abuse, which is devastating families across the country. Pleasures like pornography that is again destroying men, women, boys and girls across the country. Pleasures like opioid abuse that is destroying entire communities. If you don’t think the devil is alive and well, just look around and see what the enemy is doing to individuals, families and communities.
As we live in these difficult days, let me encourage you to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord” (Colossians 1:10). Here are two suggestions to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord”. First, make sure you are reading God’s Word every day. God’s Word is Truth and it helps us to recognize and resist the lies of the devil. Second, make sure you are spending time every day praying to and listening to the Lord. John 10:27 Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me.” We hear His voice as spend time in His presence.
As we hear Christ’s voice, through His Word and through prayer, we can reflect His image and be holy and loving during these perilous days.