Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Itching Ears

But the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears..." (II Timothy 4:3)

Many are wondering what is going on in the world today. Things have obviously changed in America, and around in the world over the last ten years, especially after 9/11. There is a deep, nagging sense of uneasiness in the hearts of people; fear of nuclear and biological war, terrorism, financial collapse, global warming, and the list goes on. The world is looking for answers, and most are looking in the wrong places.

“We need to get rid of President Bush!” “If we get rid of him, everything will be alright!” has been a rallying cry across the United States, and around the world. But the issue is deeper than President Bush, President Obama, or any other politician or government solution.

We are on a course, like a runaway freight train, though it is not runaway. In fact, it was set into motion thousands of years ago by God Himself, and spoken of through the prophets since the beginning of time (II Thessalonians 2:3-4); it is a course that cannot be changed, and will ultimately culminate in the end of the age. God will have His way in the end (II Thessalonians 2:8), and we are a privileged generation to be a part of the final chapter of the dispensation of grace. To those of us who are saved, it is a time of great hope and rejoicing, a time all the prophets of old longed to see, but did not (Matthew 13:17).

It is also a difficult time, and to those without God, and without hope, it is a time of foreboding. There will be things unleashed in the months and years to come that will cause men’s hearts to fail for fear (Luke 21:26). Events have accelerated (Daniel 12:4), and the changes that we witnessed in the last ten years will be insignificant in comparison to what is coming; how do I know? Jesus said so Himself! (Matthew 24:34) We should not be ignorant of the times and seasons (Luke 12:56).

Please understand, even an unbeliever can sense that there are “forces” at work that are beyond his control. Although he cannot label them, and doesn’t understand the spiritual root, he just knows that he wants it to be “fixed.” He wants a return to a “simpler day” when there was no 9/11, no terrorist threat, and no impending financial collapse, but he wants to do it his way, and not God’s (Psalm 2:1-6, John 15:25).

There is now growing, out of the reprobate section of our society, an intense hatred for what is pure and holy (II Timothy 3:13). This hatred cannot be fixed by smooth-talking politicians, as it goes infinitely deeper than that; it is spiritual, and the battle is not about flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12).

This antichrist spirit has been released with a ferocity like never before, and it is global in its proportion (Revelation 12:12). Our conflict is not about “terrorism,” but rather the beginning of the culmination of a spiritual battle that has raged between the sons of Abraham for thousands of years (Romans 9:7, Galatians 4:29-30), and will never be resolved through “political diplomacy.” In fact, the only thing that will put an end to it is when Jesus Christ appears in glory, and Satan is cast into his eternal home, the lake of fire! (Revelation 20:10)

This intensifying, deep-seated hatred of God, and His ways, will intimidate many believers and eventually usher the antichrist onto the world scene. He will come with all the “right answers,” and the soothing words; he will be charismatic, intelligent and wise (Ezekiel 28:1-6, Daniel 11:21), but he will be of a different spirit! Those that are of the world will gladly receive him, as they are already embracing this spirit (I John 4:3).

But we as believers must also understand that this spirit is not only affecting unbelievers. What is happening in the church today is similar to what happened in the days of Moses. Everything was wonderful as long as there were demonstrations of God’s power and everyone was comfortable. However, as soon as faith was necessary, and the excitement faded, the children of Israel got angry with Moses, and they built a golden calf to worship and to lead them. But the golden calf was just a chunk of metal, it was not a god, and in fact, was simply created by their own hands.

The children of Israel had no patience to wait upon the Lord; they wanted what they wanted, and they wanted it now! In their perception, Moses had failed them, and the God of Israel did not seem to be coming through, at least not in the way that they thought that He should. They became offended with Moses, and with God, and turned away from their faith (Exodus 32:1, II Timothy 4:4, II Thessalonians 2:3, Romans 10:1-11). This was tragic, because eventually they all died in the wilderness.

My friend, Jesus warned us that in the last days, deception would be so readily available that even the elect would be deceived, if that were possible (Matthew 24:24). The reason it is not possible is because those of us who belong to Him have embraced a love for the truth (II Thessalonians 2:10), even at the expense of our own long held ideas, convictions and beliefs.

What we love, we will draw to us. If embrace a love for the truth, it will fill us with its light (Matthew 6:22-23). God’s Word is truth, and it remains constant; it doesn’t change with the times, and is not “politically correct.” Let us lay hold on eternal life, and receive a love for the truth that we may be accounted worthy to stand before Him in that day! (Luke 21:36)