Anchor On … Dissolutions and resolutions
Saturday, October 29, 2016 6:26 AM
The Bible is not silent concerning the outline of events that will occur as mankind removes itself more fully from the things of the Bible.
God describes what will evolve in the visible, professing church (Christendom) of nonbelievers, as well as in some true churches of born-again believers in Jesus Christ. We drift away from a sound, Biblical discernment when we lose a strong focus and pursuit of Christ.
The lack of solid Bible preaching has crept into many pulpits because there has been more respect for what fellow man thinks than what God says. Criticism, compromise and the comforts of the world have diluted the “sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed” (2 Peter 1:19).
As time has passed over the centuries, we have seen increasing corruption of and departure from the truths we have been given in the New Testament of the Bible. False teaching is dealt with throughout God’s Word, but by the time we come to read in 2 Timothy, 2 Peter, 2 John and the book of Jude, we are taken up fully on the theme of apostasy. The book of
Revelation describes the “taking away” of the believing church from our planet and the “full bloom” of the apostate, make-believing “church” (Revelation 17).
Strange, unnatural conditions are on the increase in our days. Sin has existed from man’s first couple, but the flagrance and arrogance today is alarming. Folks act like there is no accountability or consequence for what they say, do or neglect to do. God and His Word are discounted and despised. True children of His are demeaned, persecuted and put to death more frequently in our day than ever before in recent history. There seems to be a great scarcity of God-fearing and Bible-honoring men and women in our country today.
The truth is that each has a day of judgment ahead of us. We are responsible for the choices of our lives. The decisions we have made in the past have brought us to place in life today. If we are without Christ in our lives, we will face judgment as His enemy. He will also be the judge for those who have received Him as Savior. They will not be judged for the
inheritance of either Heaven or Hell, but rather for the rewards based on faithfulness and service to their Savior. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). No matter how greatly we desire to ignore the facts, it cannot be avoided. We cannot be neutral.
Paul writes to young Timothy that he should “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” and that he must “endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:1,3). These admonitions make their application to believing Christians in our day, it seems, more than in the recent past.
The Apostle to the Gentiles enumerates in 2 Timothy, chapter three, the perilous times of the last days prior to the coming of Christ to remove the true church from earth. The listing in this chapter of nearly 20 descriptions looks suspiciously close to what we observe to be so much on the increase today.
The first five verses tell us of difficult and fierce hard times. Low moral and spiritual conditions will abound, even among those who profess to be Christians. Church denominations will sympathize with godless and perverted lifestyles. Men shall love themselves, no matter what the cost or judgment. Children will become increasingly disobedient and unthankful.
Honesty and integrity will vacate as deception and delusion raise their ugly heads. Those that aim to do good and live right will be more and more despised. Love of pleasure will abound as love for God is made absent. Of course, there will be a show of fairness and tolerance, but the power of true Godliness will be voided.
Our world today is vastly different from the one most adults knew years ago. We have been promised change, and it is found out not to be good. Who, among the older generations, ever thought we would be alive to see the depravities that abound today? Much of the regret of it all is in the fact that we are now superintending this doleful demise on our “watch.”
God expects that His children separate from those who fall from the teaching of the Savior (2 Timothy 3:5).
We are instructed to follow the example of the apostles who carried on after Christ ascended to Heaven. Second Timothy 3:10 speaks of “My doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity, patience.” Paul extends in the next verse to mention the persecutions and afflictions he endured for the cause of Christ.
It is to be expected that children of God will be afflicted by those who are not (2 Timothy 3:12). We are exhorted to not relax our love for Christ nor His Word in these times of compromise: “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them” (verse 14).
It is imperative in this day that we maintain complete belief and confidence in the old King James Bible. If we will read, study and learn it, we will be convinced of its divine nature, origin, purpose, power and perfection.
Second Timothy 4:1-4 gives us the charge to preach, proclaim and announce to the world the truths that are so little known today. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine” but “shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables” (verses three and four).
Distribution of gospel literature and delivering the truth in our footsteps of daily living are ways that we all can “do the work of an evangelist” (verse five).
That same verse tells us to be concerned about every aspect of life and ministry that each Christian needs to conduct: “But watch thou in all things.”
Seeing that it is to Jesus Christ that every man and woman must answer, we are commanded to “make full proof of thy ministry” (verse five, also). Those who come to Christ by faith receive the call and command to: “Go ye therefore” into all the world with the truth of the gospel (Matthew 28:19).
As that truth seems to dissolve in our dark day, may we ever resolve to be a brighter light for others to better see their way to Heaven!
R.D. “Bob” Hottle is a retired schoolteacher, farmer and pastor of the Anchor Baptist Church.