Thursday October 24, 2013; 2 Timothy 3:1-9

Godlessness in the Last Days

You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come.  For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,  holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them! For among them are those who make their way into households and captivate silly women, overwhelmed by their sins and swayed by all kinds of desires, who are always being instructed and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth.  As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these people, of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith, also oppose the truth. But they will not make much progress, because, as in the case of those two men,   their folly will become plain to everyone.

I am not one of those Christians who believe that we are in the last days; I like to focus more on making Christ known here in our world, rather than looking towards the next.

Sadly, making Christ known in our world these days is not always seen as being politically correct or even socially acceptable, as all of us who call ourselves ‘Christian’ seem to have been painted with the same brush as those who protest funerals, or seek to impose their views and their faith on others (note I said “impose” rather than “share”; those are two very different words); and because of this there are people who will deride us saying that we are ‘silly’ or that what we believe in is a myth or a fairy tale because Jesus is just make-believe, and that no intelligent or thoughtful person could believe in God!

It can be frustrating as well as offensive to hear these things said to us and in the media, and a little intimidating too, as this sentiment could make us reluctant to truly share what means so much to us in our lives: our faith!

However, sharing our faith is exactly what we are called to do, and especially needed today, when so many people seem to be turning away from faith in God!  We share Christ each day by living our faith out loud, showing our children and others that to have faith is not a silly thing, but a real and powerful source of strength for us as we face the challenges of daily life together.

While sharing our faith with the world does not mean we are called to preach on the street corners, it does mean that we should try to be an example of the Gospel in action to others…and we do this by treating others well, showing them kindness and compassion, even those who may mock us for our faith and our belief in Christ.

No, this is not always easy to do for us, or for our children who may be reluctant to be open about their faith, especially since it many people are putting down Christians these days; however, if our kids see us living our lives according to our faith, it may inspire them to do the same…or at least to seek out a faith that works for them.

And here’s the rub: I believe that all humans need to have something to believe in, even if they are not quite sure what that is; because it is faith that gives our lives meaning, and hope.  Even those who mock us for our belief in Christ have faith in something, be it Science, Politics, Bill Maher (whom I actually like) or something/someone else that is meaningful to them; as followers of Christ it is important for us to keep an open mind, even if they do not…

Sometimes just keeping an open mind is the best lesson in being a true Christian that we can teach to our children.
Let us Pray
 
God, help us to always keep an open mind in terms of the beliefs of others.  Let us always try to be an example of the Gospel to our children and all those we come in contact with during our day.  Thank you for the faith we have, and the knowledge that you will never leave us along, are REAL and strong enough to put up with mocking and misunderstanding…please help us to do the same, with an open mind.

Amen

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