We have been plunged into a time forewarned about by Paul The Apostle; a time unlike no other which would be a defining mark of the last days.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:1-7).
What a portrait of the last days! Graphically illustrated and explicitly detailed – a true lifelike representation of what we see taking place here and now. There is no doubt that these dark, difficult and perilous times are upon us in full weight, one can almost feel the heftiness of evil that is ever so present in this generation. Persecution no longer seems to be some distant thought, but a very real reality that shall soon come pounding on our door.
As believers, we must “watch over our hearts with all diligence”, guarding our hearts against offence, bitterness, the spirit of this age and the cares of this life which so often chokes out the word, causing us to become unfruitful. We cannot let our guard down for a moment. We cannot trifle with sin and worldliness. We cannot compromise the truth of God’s holy word – especially the parts that WE don’t like! We must be vigilant in our Lord and cling to Him alone daily for grace and strength.
Some time ago, as I felt my heart surfeit with the sheer intensity of this whole end times scenario, I began to really pour my heart out before The Lord, desiring to know His will amidst these dark and troubled times. What is God’s heart for His body? What is His will? What does the Lord desire to see among His people as time draws to an end? What manner of people ought we to be? What is God’s heartbeat for His remnant? Lord, what is YOUR vision and direction for your church? How do we remain unspotted from the love and iniquity of this wicked generation and not soil our garments?
How can we be protected from spiritual deception?
As always, the answer lies within the pages of scripture, and as I search the scriptures, it is becoming more and more evident that our Heavenly Father has ordained FELLOWSHIP to play a
key role in these last days. “It is no coincidence” said a prominent preacher
“that God refers to us as sheep,” and I would have to agree.