In my last post, I shared about President Obama and the possibilities that lie ahead of us. There is a very real possibility of persecution and suffering for Christians in the near future.
“For what?!?” you are probably wondering, while confusion races through your mind. After all, isn’t the new president the answer to all of our problems? Even the media is talking about him being the saviour of America. His inauguration speech was upbeat and he’s going to be the one to bring about change to America! The question is, will it be good change or will it be bad change? I guess we will have to see what happens next.
1 Timothy 3:1-5 says, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
We are seeing these things happening even today. Let’s take these things one by one and ask ourselves how WE stack up with the description of those people that are in the last days. After that we will discuss what the Bible says about persecution and suffering.
It starts off saying, “…men will be lovers of themselves…” This is quite explanatory in that people will become very selfish and love themselves more than anyone else. According to the world’s standards, we have all come to the point where our humility is at the very peak. No one loves themselves enough anymore and it’s time for us to learn how to love ourselves before we can love anyone else. Even more interesting is that we are at such a point in our society that we must forgive ourselves before we can forgive anyone else. In fact, in some circles we are in desperate need to forgive God before we can move on and begin to love everyone around us. This is worldly philosophy and is of the devil himself. Nowhere in Scripture does it say we must love ourselves, forgive ourselves, or even forgive God before we can move on with life and learn to love other people. It is a fact that we automatically love ourselves. This, of course, probably comes as a shock to some.
“How can you say such a thing that we automatically love ourselves? What about those poor people who commit suicide? Or those people who never bathe themselves? What about people who bully others? Or even those who are on drugs? I could understand you talking about all those people who dress nicely, buy things for themselves, live a great life, etc., etc., etc. but I don’t understand why you are picking on these deprived people who despise themselves. If they loved themselves they would take care of themselves but these people don’t take care of themselves and I KNOW they have poor self-esteem!”
I will restate again, ALL people love themselves more than anyone else. No one NEEDS self-esteem as it is already an automatic part of us, according to the Word of God!
Think about it…the person that commits suicide is VERY selfish in that he/she leaves someone behind who is devastated over the suicide, even if it’s only an acquaintance. That is the ultimate in selfishness. The person who refuses to bathe is selfish in that the odour permeates and affects those around him/her! Bullying is one way of thinking more highly of oneself and looking down on the other person. They are satsifying the flesh through bullying — that also is selfishness. Taking drugs is another way of showing forth love of self. The flesh is being satisfied through the drugs so no one else matters.
Yes, our nation has become a nation of self-lovers, but even more than that, if you look at the other countries of the world you will see the same issues! In the end, due to our depraved nature, we can say that mankind are lovers of themselves.
To be continued…