THE COURT OF THE LAST DAYS ……February 23, 2020
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 Timothy 3:1 ESV
But know this: Hard times will come in the last days. 2 Timothy 3:1 CSB
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 Timothy 3:1 KJV
How do we know we are in the last days? Actually the last days began the day Jesus returned to heaven. The clock, so to speak, started ticking towards the day of His return the moment he ascended to His Father. Jesus said he would return, and we are obviously two thousand plus years closer to His coming. Concerning the day of His return, lifestyles and attitudes of people as described in second Timothy have become more intensely evident concerning this day. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying the power. 2 Timothy 3:2-5 ESV The Christians must guard their lives making sure they are not part of the description that describes a person’s lifestyle in the last days. It is easy to look at people and think of someone who might fit a particular description, but personal evaluation is important. The reason …… our goal as a Christian should be desiring to honor and bring glory to God. The description of people in 2 Timothy 3:2-5 definitely is not accomplishing that goal.
I would dare say that most of us have heard the statement, “If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence in your life to convict you?” Let me go straight to the answer….no… Not if you are depending only upon the outward evidence. (Matthew 7:21-23) The reason I say no is because you could never be good enough to match up to God’s Holiness, which is the standard by which we will be judged. Always remember, it isn’t dependent upon how good we are, but the fact that Jesus, upon the cross, suffered the consequence of our conviction as sinners. The real evidence that needs to be in your life is Jesus. Jesus has never saved and redeemed a person to leave them in the lost condition in which he found them in. The twelve disciples were recognized as His disciples because they intentionally followed Jesus. A Christian should be recognized as a Christian for being the same as the disciples…. Intentional followers- following Him in thoughts, actions, and desiring to live as He lived when he walked upon the earth. We should, if asked, “Are you a follower of Jesus?” reply, “Guilty as charged.” The sentence in any court of life should be guilty by knowing personaly, associating with, and being a follower of Jesus.
THE TESTIMONY OF HOLINESS:
You will not live holy unless you desire to live that way on purpose. I do not believe you will desire to live holy unless you know Jesus as Savior. Just being good is not being holy. Being holy is being filled with the Holy Spirit, desiring to submit to holiness which the Spirit of the living God will draw you to. When a Christian becomes aware of unholy actions or thought in their life, the desire of their heart should be to repent. The goal of the Christian should be to live in such a way that the light of God’s Holiness shines in their life. Therefore, prepare your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written “You shall be holy, for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:13-16 ESV May the testimony of your life be the evidence of Jesus’ presence in your life, as well as that through self-evaluation you do not live as a person described in 2 Timothy 3:2-5 I encourage you NOT TO focus upon the actions of the world but rather on your action that you may……. present your bodies as a living sacrifice, HOLY and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. DO NOT be conformed to this world, but BE TRANSFORMED by the RENEWAL OF YOUR MIND, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-3 ESV
As Christians, may it be possible to be convicted by the world with the evidence in our lives that we are followers / disciples of Jesus. May the evidence of our conviction be as one definition of the word conviction states, “A firmly held belief…. the qualities of showing that one is firmly convinced of what one believes or says.” This conviction will not elevate you to be above others but rather to be a servant of the living God. Be a servant by living with the desire to show people the love of God that was and is being manifested in your life. The Christian that recognizes they have been forgiven much will love God much, just as the woman in Luke 7:36-47 … (Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven - for she loved much…. Verse 47 ESV)
Evaluate from the verses in 2 Timothy 3:2-5….to see if there is any part that could describe thoughts or actions from your life. If you identify one or more, then repent and turn away from such by doing whatever is necessary biblically to follow Jesus and be a disciple who learns the path that He bids you to follow. Understand that it will be difficult, hard, and perilous, but let it be so because you are a follower, and not because you are willingly living in a way that displeases our Lord. I would rather the world not like how I live than the Holy God of all that is or ever will be, dislike how I live. Understand, He knows we are weak, but when we trust in his grace and mercy we are made strong….. even in difficult times.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David