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2 Timothy 3:1-5:  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 more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away!

Minister, author, teacher, and Biblical Greek scholar Rick Renner has written a whole book about the verses above.  It is called Last Days Survival Guide and we highly recommend reading it.  As Mr. Renner pointed out in this book, the word in Greek for last is eschatos (ES-khat-os).  It is where we derive the term eschatology, the study of last things, from, but this word is significant also in that in the ancient world it was a seafaring word.  Eschatos depicted the very last port on a ship’s journey, the end of the journey.  Therefore in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 the term “last days” could be rendered as “the last of the last days.” [1]

You can see described in those verses a whole litany of evil characteristics of people of the last days.  Throughout the sin-ridden history of mankind there have been people like these, but today they are seemingly everywhere.  People cannot disagree without folks wanting to come to blows or start a riot.  Sexual immorality is all over the place.  Liars are ubiquitous in today’s world, including in all the world’s governments.  Selfishness abounds.  Multitudes are obsessed with food, drink, money, and entertainment. And on it goes.  Even the Church in a lot of cases is difficult or impossible to distinguish from the world.  It should be clear to believers that we are in these last of the last days, these perilous times described by Timothy.  In spite of that, many Christians seem to be doing little about it.

Practically speaking, the course of the world in these last days is going to get worse no matter what we do (Matthew 24:3-25).  While we are not told to quit praying for various people and situations, we are ultimately not going to be able to stop the world’s downward spiral.  Our central focus therefore should be on righteous living and on being a light to those in the world who are lost.  For the most part, institutional Christianity has become more of a business and entertainment industry than a force against the kingdom of darkness.  Thankfully, throughout history God has always had a remnant of people dedicated to Him (1 Kings 19:18).  If you are a casual Christian and you are reading this, then do not be a casual Christian any longer.  Be a part of the last-days remnant!  Draw close to God.  Grow deep in the knowledge of the Scriptures and develop a powerful prayer life.  Stand up for Jesus Christ no matter how unpopular that is in these politically correct times.  We have always been mandated to be countercultural.  This boldness is needed now more than ever!

There is this mistaken belief that every Christian living at the time of the Rapture will be taken out of here no matter how good or how bad their walk with the Lord is.  If that is true, then why does Jesus say what He says to the church at Philadelphia in the book of Revelation?

Revelation 3:8, 10:  “I know your works.  See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name…Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

There would have been no need of assurance had there been no chance of being left behind as a believer.  Those passages in the Gospels where Jesus describes two people in various activities with one taken and one left are not necessarily a contrast between the saved and the lost.  How about between the saved who are living right and the saved who are not?  Look at who He is talking to here:

Matthew 24:36-44:  “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.  But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.  Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.  But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.  Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

That’s a pretty clear admonition to believers about not getting careless.  Yes, we are saved, and the Father loves us.  No, we don’t have to be legalistic and cringing in terror at God every moment.  However, He expects holiness of us:

Hebrews 12:14-  Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:…

To drive His point home, Jesus, right after the admonition to be ready for His coming, discusses the contrast between the good and the evil servant.  As the saying goes, you don’t want to be this guy:

Matthew 24:48-51:  “But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites.  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Instead, in these last of the last days, dedicate yourself wholly to the Lord and pray to be a part of this great move of God, and thus escape this world when the Rapture comes:

Joel 2:28-32:  “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.  And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.  And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke.  The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.  And it shall come to pass that whoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.  For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls.”

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17:  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

[1]  Rick Renner, Last Days Survival Guide, copyright 2020 by Rick Renner. Published by Harrison House. Chapter One, pgs. 7-10.

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