Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson
2 Timothy 3:1-5
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them."
People have often asked me, "When will Jesus return to call His people to meet Him in the air?" My answer is that I do not know. One thing I do know, we are getting close. Paul begins this third chapter of 2 Timothy with a description of the "last days." It is a common thing for people to seek to know what the signs of the last days will be.
In Matthew 24, Jesus' disciples asked Him what the signs of the last days would be? This question was asked in verse four of Matthew 24. Many people have jumped down to verse 36 where Jesus indicated that no one knows the day or hour, and they thus conclude that we have no way of knowing what the signs will be. PARDON ME! There are 32 verses between the question the disciples ask about the signs and Jesus mentioning that no one knows the day or hour.
In those 32 verses Jesus described the end times. In verse 42 of Matthew 24 he told them (as well as us) to keep watch. Jesus also told them that the last days would be similar to the days of Noah before the flood. Now think about this. Noah, his wife, his three sons and their three wives, were the only humans spared from the flood. These eight people knew that the ark had to be completed, and the animals loaded before the conditions were right for the flood. We too can look for the right conditions.
By the way, let's consider Jesus' statement, "No one knows the day or hour." Can you remember back to 1999? There was great concern that there would be chaos with computers moving from the 20th century to the 21st century. I can recall the New Year's Eve of 1999. Reports came in from the areas on the other side of the International Date Line. Here on the Pacific Coast we were one of the last areas to move into the 21st century. It was very evident to all of us at that time that there are always different days and hours on this planet at the same moment of time.
In today's Scripture the Apostle Paul paints a graphic picture of the people living in the last days. As we read his description of the last days, it very accurately describes many people in our present day society. They are filled with violence, anger, lack of respect and the obsessive pride. Very close to what he described.
Look what Paul says about how we are to respond to such people: "Have nothing to do with them." This does not mean that we are to go to some mountain top and live as a hermit. Neither does it mean to become mean spirited and holier than thou. What Paul is saying is that we are not to become contaminated by the world.
We do that by refusing to expose ourselves to the music, talk, life styles, philosophy or behavior of these people. How do we live and exist above it? Use the Word of God as our foundation. Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. In verse 9 the Psalmist asks a question: "How can a young man keep his way pure?" He answers in verse 10: "I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands."
He then gives this great bit of pure gold in verse 11: "I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You." What a valuable lesson. Memorize the Word of God! When was the last time you set a passage from God's Word to memory? Feeling guilty? Try it today and see what a blessing it will be to you in keeping you free from the contamination of these last days.
Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today. Trust Him completely and be a blessing.
--- Pastor Cecil
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