September 11, 2009

How keen is your sense of crisis? How acutely do we perceive the dangers facing our lives, our families and our world?
Our planet faces catastrophic dangers that threaten our very survival. — Does this create within us a sense of crisis so deep that we are motivated to learn how to escape the danger?
I often speak about the threat of economic “Armageddon” lingering over our nation and the world — and also of the spiritual and moral disintegration of our societies — as well as the dangers we face from increasing disease, epidemics, natural disasters, and on and on —- but as I look around and, despite all these dangers, I see very little sense of crisis, or urgency — globally, nationally or individually.
Why? First, human nature dislikes the truth when it threatens to disrupt our own interests, desires and lifestyle. – We will go to great lengths to hide from the truth or to color it in our own terms — if the truth demands that we act counter to our desires.
This individual and collective lack of a sense of crisis is the result of cultures driven by self-indulgence, self-gratification and pleasure. — Wrapped up in this materialism and unbalanced desire for satisfying the senses, our people have lost touch with the realities facing us today.
— This is a deadly state of mind!!
History shows what happens when people become consumed by materialism and self-gratification, and lose the capacity to sense crisis.
Matthew 24:36-39 says,
No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 
— This is a passage describing the time of Noah, when people were focused on satisfying fleshly lusts and were shocked when the Heavens opened, the flood came and took them all away.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 states, 
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 them.
Is this a prophecy for today? Certainly each of you can look around and decide this for yourself, but I personally have NO doubt that very little time is left before Almighty God deals with our sinful world.
Having said this, I now want to address the condition of today’s church and how it fits into today’s world landscape. — With few exceptions, it’s truly astonishing to watch the speed of Christian acceptance of the changing world political, economic, societal and religious values. — Deception is rampant!! 
Jesus, in His Olivet discourse, forewarned of this great deception that will descend upon the world just before His return to Earth. – He warned us to be watchful for this deception! 2 Peter 3:3 states, 
“First of all you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.”
To quote Christian brother Terry James, “Deception today is horrific in its scope and influence. So deluding are its powerful manipulations that much of the church is all but anesthetized to truth, which several decades ago was solidly front and center in defending against all attempts at seduction by the world, the flesh, and the devil. Not so now. The sugary pabulum coming from the ministries with the most funding for their TV extravaganzas and mega-million dollar media/entertainment centers, supposedly serving the cause of Christ, spews the lukewarm, feel-good message that must make the Lord of Heaven nauseous.”
2 Timothy 4:3-4 states, 
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
In fairness, I said earlier there are some exceptions to the “Laodicean, lukewarm church”. For one, David Wilkerson, the well-known author of The Cross and the Switchblade as well as pastor of Times Square Church, recently predicted, “An earth-shattering calamity is about to happen,” and urges his followers to get an emergency supply of food.
I believe it illustrates wisdom when preachers like Wilkerson advocate disaster readiness to their flocks. – The book of James measures faith by personal action, and Hebrews 11:7 describes true faith this way, 
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear and prepared an ark to the saving of his house.”
Should our churches be doing any less in these times? — I pose this question to all church leaders which include pastors, board members, elders, deacons, etc. — What are you doing to prepare for the coming days ahead concerning your flock?
2 Peter 3:8-9 says, 
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
We don’t know how long the Lord will tarry before He returns for His church. – Let us prepare for whatever is in store as far as time goes.
Finally, 2 Peter 1:19,21 states,
 “And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place….for prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
This is exactly why I continue to press the issue of understanding prophecy and its usefulness to not only bolster those of us who do believe, but also to wake up those who are lost in the crisis and chaos of the day.
Time is incredibly short, so I challenge each of you to start telling your loved ones and acquaintances about our Lord and Savior, and how He can deliver them from this hour of worldly crisis.
Luke 21:25-28 says, 
“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Until next time,
Red

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