Christians in the Dangerous Times
It is crucial that the hearts of all of us are truly prepared to deal with the dangerous times we are living in. The apostle Paul wrote:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”(2 Timothy 3: 1-5).
With every indication, we can clearly say that the difficult times are here as described in the Bible which we also refer to as the end times. Paul in the book of 2 Timothy 3:1-5 gave us a clear understanding of the signs of the end times.
Paul is speaking here of so-called dedicated believers, but he describes them as indicating that they only appear to be godly. They will appear to be religious, but their behaviors and attitude proving otherwise. To live a successful Christian life, we need to understand the time we are in and our response to it as God’s children
Signs of the End Times
- Lovers of themselves
The main characteristic of these difficult times will be a life centered on the self. The adjective used is fílautos, which means a lover of oneself.
The love of self is the basic sin from which all others flow. The moment a person puts his own will at the center of his life, divine and human relationships are destroyed, and obedience to God and solidarity with people become impossible.
The essence of Christianity is not enthronement, but the surrender of self.
When the apostle Paul said in the first verse that dangerous times would come in the last days, he makes it clear that “superficial” Christianity will not be sustainable. Hard times reveal the condition of our hearts and God wants us to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.
If we want to see the power of the Holy Spirit flow abundantly in our lives, let us determine in our hearts to seek God with intensity and to follow Him with total dedication and dedication. For that, it is necessary to put into practice the Word that we hear.
- Dying to self
Paul was totally sure of one thing; that Jesus Christ had done for him what he could never have done for himself.
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ” (Gal 2:20 NLT)
Concepts such as self-esteem, self-love, having a positive image of oneself, self-satisfaction, are seen by many Christians as the main and greatest goal to achieve.
- Deny yourself
One of the soon-forgotten teachings on the pulpits today is the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ on denying oneself and taking up his cross.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples:” If any of you wants to be my follower, you have to abandon your selfish way of living, take up your cross and follow me. ” (Mat 16:24)
Like the exhortations to the Philippians to do nothing out of pride, but to humbly consider the other as superior to oneself.
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress anyone. Be humble, that is, considering others as better than you. Don’t just take care of your own interests, but also try to take an interest in others. ” (Phil 2: 3-4)
The gravity of these dangerous times is that selfish love for oneself will always diminish our love for God and neighbor.
It will be very frequent to re-live the parable of the Good Samaritan, in which the religious will only see those in need from afar and will go their own way.
Let us ask God to maintain the vocation of our calling; putting our talents and gifts at the service of others. To sacrifice our pleasures for those in need, putting selfishness and vainglory aside. To be compassionate as God is to us. Showing your love for others at all times.
So now I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must love one another. The love you have for one another will be proof to the world that you are my disciples. ” (John 13: 34-35)