By Dennis Huebshman
If you were to tell anyone that there is a definite shift away from anything that is Biblical today, you would probably get a response that it’s just like it’s always been. To a degree, I would say they’re right, as there have been false prophets and antichrists in the world from the very beginning, and especially since Calvary. The main difference is the intensity that’s present today.
For someone who has been on this earth for five or more decades, they would tend to agree about the change, and it definitely isn’t for the better. Just over the past 10 years, atheism, satanism and the like have been gaining ground, especially in the younger generation. Anything that has to do with true Christianity is seen as a threat to the new-age lifestyles that use a bunch of letters to describe them. Those things that used to be kept in secret or behind closed doors, are now in the open with an “I dare you to say anything” attitude. Our youth are turning away from Church in record numbers.
To say this is all a big surprise, or that the Father didn’t see it coming, would be wrong. Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 26:31 and Mark 14:21,” …this night, you will all fall away because of Me, for it is written, I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” (emphasis mine) He knew that when He would be arrested, all of them would run away, even though they all said they would not. As Paul Harvey would say, “The rest of the story is —- They Ran!”
In 1 Timothy 4:1-2, Paul says, “Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the latter times, some will desert the faith and occupy themselves with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings, (2) influenced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.” It’s as if he were watching the liberal faux newscasts that are here today. It’s no longer “reporting” the news; it’s the news the way “we want you to see it”. Walter Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley and others from the past would choke at what’s being reported today.
When Jesus was telling about the latter days in Matthew 24:9-12, He said, “Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of My name. (10) Then, many will be led into sin, and they will betray one another and hate one another. (11) And many false prophets will appear and deceive many, (12) and because lawlessness will increase so much, the love of many will grow cold.” Would you be able to say this is the scenario of today’s world?
Up until just a few years ago, the end of the year holidays were celebrated with great anticipation. Thanksgiving was a time to reflect on the blessings we have, and to have family get-togethers with a wonderful meal. The Friday after Thanksgiving was the official traditional opening of the Christmas Season.
There was a special atmosphere of good-will with Christmas Carols, stories about the Reason for the Season, and it was officially designated as the time to celebrate the birth of our Savior.
Now, just the mention of the word “Christmas” sends some people into a frenzy. To have a nativity scene where it can be seen by the public is protested by “Freedom From Religion” groups, as if it were somehow illegal. Political correctness is to say, “Winter Holiday”, “Seasons Greetings” or “Happy Holidays” with no pictures of wise men or shepherds or anything that could possibly be “religious”.
There was a group from a northern state that protested against a nativity scene on the square of a small town in East Texas which had been displayed for years. They tried to say it violated the constitution, which they claim the nativity went against the “separation of church and State” clause. They are twisting the actual wording of that clause as it guarantees Freedom OF Religion, and it’s not to be regulated by the state. The First Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..” In other words, worship as you like, just don’t force your ideas of religion on anyone else.
Luke 18:7-8 says, “Won’t God give justice to His chosen ones who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay long to help them? (8) I tell you, He will give them justice speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” This was from the parable of the persistent widow, but does give us perspective of today’s attitude.
Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide, and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. (14) But the way is narrow, and the way is difficult that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” The difficult part? Believing in, having faith in, and trusting in God’s word over what the world and satan wants you to believe.
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit knew that when the time comes, True Believers would be outnumbered by those of this world. God purposely gave us free-will of choice as an act of love. If He forced His will on us, we would have to obey, but not because we love Him; rather it would be an obligation. Some religions today say their deity must be worshiped or in some cases would mean death to refuse. Their “god” did not send a part of himself to be sacrificed for his followers.
So, when Jesus says He is the only way to the Father (John 14:6), He has the perfect right to declare this. The entire 10th. chapter of John tells us how much Jesus loves us and that He willingly gave Himself for us. He asks in return that we accept this free gift; believe He died on that cross for all of us who accept Him; and the Father raised Him from the dead to overcome sin and death (Lake of Fire) for us. We have to understand His sacrifice was complete, and there is no way we can buy, earn or do any works for our Salvation. Yes, we want to honor Him for loving us so much that we will follow His commandment to Love God, Love Each Other. No, we are not perfect, and will sin. However, 1 John 1:8-10;2:1-2 gives us the remedy to make it right with Him when we do slip and fall short. He knows we will not be perfect this side of heaven in our mortal bodies.
When the trumpet/shofar sounds, and the shout of the Arch Angel summons us in the twinkling/blinking of an eye to meet Jesus in the air, we will receive new immortal bodies and will be sin-free from that time on. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:52)
He will refuse no one who sincerely calls on Him to be saved, but at the same time will force no one to accept Him. God truly wants all to be saved (2 Peter 3:9); but those who reject Him and His Son will receive judgment as given in Revelation 20:11-15. There’s no hidden strings or agendas. Call out to Him and eternal live in Heaven with Jesus, the Angels and all the Saints from all time will be yours.
Maranatha – Come Lord Jesus!