Bible Warns of Apostasy and Persecution, Part 2
In our first post in this series – Bible Warns of Apostasy and Persecution, Part 1 – we introduced the subject of the End Times. We also noted that one of the things that will be evident to indicate we are in the end times prior to the physical return of Jesus is the growing denial of the Second Coming. Unfortunately, it will not be relegated to secular society either, but will be part of Christendom. We quoted 2 Peter 3:2-4 last time, which in part states:
Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?
There are plenty of people who mock the idea of a returning Jesus to this world. Sadly, this is even the case among those who profess to be Christian. I’m not judging their spiritual condition. I’m simply saying that those who claim to be Christian – by their own testimony – are some of whom who deny that Jesus will return physically to this earth. For many of these folks, they have chosen to understand the Bible to teach that Jesus is coming back spiritually and there are many Christians who believe this occurred in AD 70, in spite of what Jesus says about His own return or what the Bible tells us in Acts 1.
So one of the chief plot points if you will to know whether or not we are in the end times is to realize a growing movement within society that denies the physical, future return of Jesus to planet earth. It’s preposterous to them, a fairy tale. Certainly, they assert, that’s not what Jesus meant at all. The Bible says otherwise. Jesus is returning and those who believe otherwise have aligned themselves with the thinking and work of Satan himself. For most people, the idea of Jesus returning to earth in the Second Coming is completely laughable. In this modern age of technology that far surpasses what has ever come before it (as far as we know), if God existed, we would know about it. This is what most people think, thus the idea of God is a concept steeped in superstition, fully outmoded and archaic. It is not compatible with modern humanity and this current age of technology.
On the other hand, the idea of alien technology and visitors from distant galaxies is something that many can wrap their brains around because it is in keeping with the level of technology that we have at our disposal. In fact, many would take what is understood to be alien technology and apply it to what occurred in the past. This, they say, is how Jesus managed to perform the many miracles He performed. The answer to everything today is found in alien technology. Therefore, God is no longer needed. Aliens are said to have “seeded” life on earth, they’ve leaked information to us that has allowed scientists to make the tremendous gains they’ve made. God? There is no God because aliens exist instead.
Aside from mockers who come mocking the idea of Jesus as God returning to claim what is His, there is also the general tone of society that will exist during the end times and we will see it worsen as things lead directly up to the physical return of Jesus at the end of the coming Tribulation period. One thing to remember is that the Bible is a complete book. It must be allowed to interpret itself because even though there are roughly 40 human authors, physically writing their own book within a book over a period of approximately 1,600 or so years, the reality is that God is the main Author. He chose individuals to write down parts of His book, but it was God Himself who oversaw the writing of each book. The Bible is the only book that can claim this. No other comes close.
In that sense then, the Bible has a great deal to say about society as things move toward the end of this current age. Times will be tough and they will be so largely because of the way people will be and act. Not too many decades ago, at least the facade of politeness existed in society and tended to guide things. Generally, people did not swear in public. If they did, they would quickly apologize for their behavior. Today, the “F” word is commonly used and it is so because it has been encouraged by movies, video games, and music. Originally, it was a bit shocking, but the shock value has worn off and now people use it as a means of normal communication. The problem of course, is that it has reduced society to a very low common denominator. Here’s what Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
But understand this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God. They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these.
If you take the time to read and understand what Paul is saying here, it is rather shocking to realize that he is describing society in general during what he terms the “last days” which is another phrase for “end times.” Notice Paul says that people “will be lovers of themselves” and everything else he describes after this stems from this one descriptor. People who love themselves sincerely, will do whatever they can to increase their wealth, brag about it or themselves, adopt an attitude of arrogance as though they are self-made, while at the same time, they blaspheme God Himself whether purposefully or accidentally. They won’t care about showing any respect for their parents and their parents probably won’t deserve much (to their way of thinking). In general, people toward the end of this age will be “ungrateful, unholy, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God.” Take a few moments to truly consider what this means then compare it to society today and see if you notice similarities.
Sadly, as Paul notes, it even extends to the area of religion. Paul says many people “will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power.” What does that mean? It means that people will talk about God as though they have a personal relationship with Him, but in reality, God – or more appropriately, religion – is merely a prop for them. Because people will be so devoid of any reality where God is concerned, others will be easily duped by someone who simply mentions God in a general way. There is no power in their lives to become truly transformed because they don’t have any real connection with God in the first place. If they have salvation, they have no clue what it means to have fellowship with Him, as these are two different things. Only a person who has salvation can have fellowship but there are way too many who have salvation who do not exercise their right and privilege to have fellowship with God. In that sense then, they wind up living no differently from those who do not have salvation.
In short, as we approach the end of this age, the reality of Christianity will evaporate for many people. The world will seem to adopt many of the outward appearances of having religion but there is no reality within that proves it. There is no real change in a person’s life. It’s all a sham, using religion for selfish purposes. This is what Paul is warning about and we will see this becoming more and more prevalent in society.
So far, we have noted first, that society will see an increase in a denial of the physical return of Jesus, and second, that society will become filled with people who are overtly self-centered, even to the point that religion will simply become more of a prop for people than anything else, completely devoid of any reality.
We’ll go over more things that will highlight the end times in our next installment.
Entry filed under: christianity, israel, Judaism, Posttribulational Rapture, Pretribulational Rapture, rapture, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming. Tags: arrogant, boastful, haters of the good, jesus second coming, lovers of self, no second coming, proud, selfishness, there will be mockers in the last time.