We all agreed on one thing, the thing that God hates most: pride.
We come back to 2 Timothy 3, which is where we were before.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come...”
We can also say dangerous times, tough times. The marginal reading in this version is “times of stress will come”. Why? Because men will be certain things. What is the root problem? It’s the decline of human character and behavior. And, it’s progressive, it cannot be reversed. This is something God showed me: corruption is irreversible once a thing becomes corrupt. You can halt corruption, you can slow corruption, but you cannot reverse it. Take a piece of fruit: if it’s corrupt, and if you leave it, its corruption will become totally manifest. You can take the most beautiful, succulent looking peach, but leave it a week and it looks much less beautiful and tastes much less succulent.
Now, you can do something. You can put it in a refrigerator. A refrigerator will not reverse the process but it will slow it. Forgive me for saying this but I think sometimes church can be like a refrigerator. You put a person in the church, it doesn’t change his corruption but it does slow it down.
But God is so realistic. He doesn’t try to reverse corruption. He has only one solution: a new birth, a totally new start. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new, and all things are of God.” The new creation is totally God originated. There’s not one element of corruption in it.
So, you can remain in your corruption. If you want to sit in your refrigerator, you can do it. But, the only thing that will change you is new birth, the new creation. And if you’ve never had that, you need it. Young or old, man or woman, it makes no difference. There’s no sex in the new birth.
Now let’s go on with this list of corruption. Verse 2:
“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.”
There are eighteen distinct moral blemishes in that list. We won’t take time to go into them all. But, in the time that I’ve lived in the western world in nations such as Britain, the United States, Scandinavia, Germany, nations which I’m familiar with, almost every one of these moral blemishes is much more manifest than it was fifty years ago. We have witnessed a process of corruption in our society, and it’s continuing. And, it cannot be reversed. The only solution is a totally new beginning.
Dear Lord, I pray that the new creation You’ve made me in Christ may be manifest in every aspect of my life. I pray Your Church no longer will be a refrigerator, but a place where Your children will be filled with the fire of Your Holy Ghost to become Your servants, on fire to expand Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, amen.