Text: I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Tim. 2:1-4
One of the concerns that I have is that we are seeing an increase in evil around the world. There seems to be a significant push by satanic forces to attack anything that is good, righteous, pure, holy and faithful to the cause of Jesus Christ. We have been warned by the prophets and apostles that in the last days perilous times would come. Those days are here now.
I am not a prophet nor am I the son of a prophet, but I can see the signs of the time all around us and feel in the next five years we will see more evil days than we could ever imagine would take place. We are more concerned today about pleasure than the salvation of souls. It dumbfounds me how Christians have so little concern about spiritual things. There are very few who will take the time to do the business of the LORD. Jesus said, But, seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Even if Christians fail to see that time is running out, Satan is aware his time is short. John tells us in the Book of Revelation that Satan will pour out his wrath on those who are faithful to the LORD because he knows his time is short. If Satan knows this, shouldn’t we know as well? Paul in writing to the Thessalonians Christians said,
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
There are Christians around the world who are daily dying for the cause of Jesus Christ. John, in the Book of Revelation, tells of those who opposed Satan, and overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
There is no longer an attempt to hide the agenda of those who want to destroy everything the LORD holds dear. As it was in the days of Noah, it is happening today. Don’t think for one minute that faithful Christians will escape the wrath of the devil. He is out to destroy those who oppose him. If you are not feeling his wrath, could it be you are not fighting him? In American Christians have convinced themselves that God will not allow tribulation and persecution to come upon them, that the LORD will “rapture” them out of the coming trouble. In the same chapter that Paul tells of perilous times coming he also writes, Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. What concerns me about the attitude of the American Christian is that we have very little concern for those who have not accepted Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior.
We have lost sight of the mission of the Church. I realize this was being applied to Israel, but the message of Ezekiel 34 could apply to the American church today.
The LORD told Ezekiel to speak against the spiritual leaders who were taking care of themselves and not taking care of the spiritual needs of the people. The leaders were living off the people, profiting from what should have been used to heal the sick, strengthen the weak, bind up the hurts. Some of the people wandered away, and no one went to bring them back. No one even took the time to go to look for the lost. Some ministers are cruel and severe—in the way, they lead the people in their church! There was more emphasis placed on the traditions of a man than the love of God. It is harder to join some churches than it is to get into heaven. And now the people are scattered because there was no real shepherd. They became food for every wild animal, so they were scattered. The LORD was disappointed He said, my flock wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My flock was scattered over all the face of the earth. There was no one to search or to look for them.
Listen to what the LORD had to said would happen. The LORD said, “I swear that wild animals will catch my sheep, and my people will become food for all those animals because they did not have any real shepherds. My shepherds did not look out for my flock. They did not feed my flock. No, they only killed the sheep and fed themselves!”
The LORD is against the spiritual leaders. He has fired them, and they are no longer His shepherds. American ministers have forgotten the mission of the Church- seek the lost, feed the sheep and warn them of the evil that is out to destroy them. I have tried to be faithful to the message and responsibility of the ministry of Jesus Christ. There have been those who wandered off and have become food for the wild animals and lost their love of God. Some of those who have wandered away from the fold of Christ, I do not know how to reach them. They have been mistreated by those in the church, they have lost faith and become discouraged because they never had the transforming power of salvation. They failed to surrender their life to the LORD and never knew the power of the surrendered life. The never reached the level of commitment for the LORD that gave them the power to say, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I ran across a statement that I found interesting. It was talking about the how humans respond to a crisis.
If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train is derailed, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is how humans respond to crisis without exception.
This reminded me of the story told by Jesus of the lady who lost a coin, the shepherd who lost a sheep, and the father who lost a son. The lady searched for the coin and found it. The shepherd searched for the sheep and found it. In both cases there was rejoicing. What is sad about this story is no one went searching for the lost son.
There is no real effort on the part of the Church today to reach those who are lost, even within our own families. We have allowed the cares of this world to choke out our spiritual life to the point we have no time to search for the lost. David said, I looked on my right hand and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. How are we preparing our friends and family for the war we are now engaged in? Time is short, and the devil knows this, do you?
Every Christian has a responsibility to carry out the mission of the Church.
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Tim. 2:1-4
We are living in time spoken of by Paul. We must be on guard for our own spiritual life, and we should be carrying out the message of the Gospel. It is time that we examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior today is the day, now is the accepted time.