The Pastor’s Piece – August 11, 2019
Fellowship of Christian Farmers
By Kevin Cernek
August 11, 2019
In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he describes in very graphic terms what the times will be like in the last days, (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Without a doubt, that description resembles our times today. Every morning when I wake up, I ask myself, “Is this the day the Lord returns? Am I ready?” It would be well if we all asked ourselves that question, and then did whatever it is we need to do to bring our lives in line with the Scriptures so you we ready.
Nothing will be more shameful when the Lord returns for you if you are not ready. When you hear the trumpet of God sound and the shout of the archangel, (1 Thessalonians 4:16) where will your heart be? What will you be doing? What will your attitude be? Will you have a heart of stone or a heart of flesh? 1 John 2:28 says: “Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming,” (NASB).
According to the Apostle Paul in Second Timothy, chapter three, in the last days, people will be living for themselves and claiming to be “religious” or, since being religious is not all that popular, the phrase we hear today is “a person of faith.” Everyone is described as “a person of faith” in one way or another. It doesn’t matter what you believe or do not believe. A person of faith is anyone with any kind of belief system. Even the atheist fits that definition by today’s terms.
Recently, I talked to someone who was on a lifetime quest to find God in his own way. The Bible was not sufficient in his opinion because the God of the Bible is just too offensive and too exclusive for him. In other words, the God of the Bible is inadequate for what he needs and what he is looking for. He called it a spiritual quest that began 50 years ago. He finally settled on a mystic religion of sorts that defines itself in a way where everyone determines their own path to God. “Everybody finds God in their own way,” he told me. “No religion and no faith is better than another.” The “only” problem with that is, that while God uses many different circumstances in our lives to bring us to a place where we realize we need Him, the only way to God is through Jesus Christ. “I am the way, the truth and life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” Jesus clearly explained in John chapter 14.
When someone or some organization decides to make God according to who they think He ought to be, then the god they’ve invented, while he may be appealing to them, in reality, is nothing more than an idol. It makes God exactly who you want Him to be. It defines God from the bottom up – from us up to God: instead of from God down to us. That’s what the pagans did in the Old and New Testaments. They made their idols in the perception of who they wanted their god to be, making their god favorable to their definition. Then they worshiped him according to their own random wants and desires and they gave him a personality they could live with.
It’s no different today. People want God to be someone who condones their sinful bent. They want God to be someone who accepts them on their terms, not on His. And so that is the god they create. That is the definition of putting self on the throne. The God of the Bible is pushed aside and the god they’ve created in their image then takes the throne of their life. They become their own god.
And then, for those who stand on the Scriptures and “who hold fast to the word of life,” (Phil. 2:16), and who approach people in “truth and love,” (Ephesians 4:15), the message of love is drowned out and is turned into a message of hate; and the truth is unbearable to them. And we are viewed as haters instead of lovers. And we are attacked – as is evident all around us. The day is coming, when teaching the truths of the Bible will be considered hate speech and will be punishable as a crime against society.
So what does a Christian do we do in response to the pressure of the times in which we are living? How can a Christian cope? The Apostle Paul answers that with two simple things to do. First, he says, remember my example and second, he says, trust the Scriptures to guide you, (2 Timothy 3:17).
What did Paul do when everyone around him was running from the truth of God? He taught the truth; he reminded himself and his hearers of what is real about life; he exposed the illusions and delusions of his day to the revelation of Scripture so that people could get their heads on straight and think rightly, truly and realistically about life.