One of the most disturbing verses of Scripture that I find in the entire Bible is found in Luke 18:8 in which Jesus asks,
“However, shall the Son of Man find faith on the earth when he returns?”
Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary says this concerning this verse:
“The world will grow no better, no, not when it is drawing towards its [final] period. Bad it is, and bad it will be, and worst of all just before Christ's coming; the last times will be the most perilous.”
Now bear with me as I continue to build the case as Matthew Henry sees it. In that regard he goes on to point out that during the last days just before Christ’s return several things will be evident. These are:
“First, Wicked people will begin to defy it, and to say, Where is the promise of his coming? [2 Pt. 3:4.] They will challenge him to come (Isa. 5:10; Amos 5:19); and his delay will harden them in their wickedness, Mt. 24:48. Secondly, Even his own people will begin to despair of it, and to conclude he will never come, because he has passed their reckoning. God's time to appear for his people is when things are brought to the last extremity, and when Zion begins to say, The Lord has forsaken me. [See Isa. 49:14; 40:27.] But this is our comfort, that, when the time appointed comes, it will appear that the unbelief of man has not made the promise of God of no effect.”
Did you get that? If not, re-read it until the words permeate the very fiber of your soul. He says in essence that wickedness will flaunt their wickedness and tantalize believers who in turn will become discouraged even to the point of despair—this, however, he continues, should be to our great comfort since it is final proof that Christ return is imminent.
Think about this for a while. If it stirs you heart like it does mine, a torrent of disturbing emotions will fill your thoughts and will tear you up on the inside. I ask, however, is this the beginning of the end? Are we, indeed, living in the closing days of history as we know it? I dare not set a time for Christ’s return, as only God the Father knows that. However, I do know though that Paul warned us to:
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 such people. [2 Timothy 3:1-5]There is enough material in that warning to write a thousand articles or preach as many sermons – that’s for sure. Let me, however, concentrate on a couple of recent events that I think should pique our interest even more on the topic of Christ’s return.
As you know, the Boston Marathon was sadly disrupted by militant Islamicists—or perhaps, I should say, “cold blooded murders” since no thought was given as to whom these terrorists would kill. Apparently they stalked Boston in search of a soft target at which the maximum causalities would be affected regardless of age or background. Everything in sight was a legitimate target as far as these Islamicists were concerned. I don’t know about most, but I found it extremely revealing that two “all American boys” [as some in the press would have us believe] could look and act so unassuming when the explosions went off. Which begs the question as to ‘why’ or ‘how’ could anyone be so nonchalant as they mingled with the crowd to set off the devices? Offer any explanation you desire; however, if you take the Devil out of this equation, I’m really not convinced because in my opinion there is a demonic aspect here somewhere.
So, it’s not all that surprising that even Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s in-laws were baffled by their son-in-law’s aberrant behavior. Nothing, in my opinion, is abnormal if you factor in that the Devil was a murderer from the beginning. [John 8:44]
Yes, these, indeed, are perilous times with dangerous people who lie in wait to destroy our nation and Christian civilization along with it.
Our whole secular culture breeds dissent against God and common decency. Revolting practices are not just condoned but sanctioned; yes, even promoted by an over sympathetic broadcast media. When breaking news is reduced to when some professional athlete comes out of the closet, I say it is time to read the handwriting on the wall. Perilous times are here.
I am compelled to ask, in the words of Psychiatrist Karl Menninger, “Whatever became of sin?” As a matter of fact, whatever became of what we used to call as a boy common horse sense?
Murder a defenseless unborn child? Go for it, as long as it has not survived any longer than 26 months in the womb. Sell automatic machine guns at some gun show to an otherwise certifiable nut without a background check just so the average Joe doesn’t have to bother getting one? Nothing wrong with that, either. [Oh, yeah, by the way, I forgot to mention, “Make sure you pass your test for your driver’s license, as you wouldn’t want to get caught without one!”] Marriage sanctity? Sure, but wait while I rewrite the Bible on that one so Adam and Steve can exchange rings. Shall I continue? I think not. Surely, this is enough to tell us that we have rewritten the definition of sin as a nation. And, common sense? There’s none. Or very little at the most.
Norman Geisler, I think hits the nail squarely on the head in describing these times when he writes,
Someone has illustrated the difference between the three periods of thought by the image of a referee. The Pre-modern referee says: “I call them like they are.” The Modern referee claims, “I call them like I see them.” But the Post-modern referee declares: “They are nothing until I call them.”
The problem is, as we see in this Post-modern era, that most do call it right, if they call it at all. And, most often the latter is the case. Granted, we are not commissioned as policemen to enforce every little nuance of the moral law; but on the other hand we are in Christ both prophet and priest—indeed, we are called not just to enter the Holy of Holies, but also to serve as prophetic witnesses against sin in any shape or form it raises its ugly head.
Friends, we must pray as never before; and we must work while it is still yet day, for the night is coming in which no man shall work. We must also pray because we love our country and we want our nation to survive [James 1:15] as a God fearing one, and as a beacon of hope for the poor and oppressed peoples everywhere.
May God grant us the courage to speak out, as well as live a life of holiness as a witness against sin.
Thanks, and do continue to pray for us as we minister in the Ukraine.