Thursday, March 4, 2010

Perilous Times 2

Even in these critical times, God is still faithful. We can't forget that. People still find hope and joy in Jesus! Just about two weeks ago a young Jewish man visited a church near us as part of his rabbinical studies about other religions. Suddenly he connected the Old Testament to what he saw and heard there and accepted Jesus as Savior, Lord and Messiah. However, now he may suffer for his new faith. His parents might disinherit him.

In the midst of revival and outpouring of God’s spirit, Satan still is at work. We should never forget our enemy goes about as a roaring lion seeking those he can devour.

As the time of Christ’s return nears, evil men and seducers will get more numerous and aggressive, Paul warns. In 2 Timothy 3 he suggests the unthinkable: Those who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution, and if we deny Him, He will deny us.

These are unsettling thoughts for Americans. Oh, how we have enjoyed religious liberty!

In most other countries, Christians understand Paul’s warnings well. What does the Lord, in Paul’s inspired writing in 2 Timothy 3-4, tell us to do in perilous times?

1. Remain faithful to the things we have learned. We need to read the Word!Paul talks about people following fables, and because of their lusts they will not endure sound doctrine but choose teachers that will satisfy their itching ears (tell them what they want to hear). The Word says to turn away from these people and their teachers.
2. Paul pauses to remind that “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and help us to realize what is wrong in our lives. The Word teaches us how to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God has called us to do” (2 Timothy 3:16NLT).
3. Keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering. Work at bringing others to Christ….Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage(2 Timothy 4:5,2).
Paul did most of his writing from prison. He understood hard times and persecution. But the purpose of Paul’s letter to Timothy, which he expected to be read in the churches, was “that all the Christians would be filled with love that comes with a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a sincere faith. Love is at the top of the list, and the type of love he speaks about is quite different from the usual.
There is much to pray and think about, and goals to achieve in these perilous times as well.