But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these. —2 Tim. 3:1-5
“…difficult times will come .”
Welcome To The Light-Washed Path,
We have moved into a time of great moral confusion. Those who want to live upright before God are beginning to find it hard to maintain moral clarity. Common sense, and the most basic understandings of right and wrong have begun to collapse. Society is falling back into the dark period of the antediluvian world, when “men did that which was right in their own eyes”. Distinctions between the moral standards of the fallen world and those of Christians, are dissolving, and confusion is flooding the Church. In Matthew 24:38 Jesus warned us about the times we are now entering:
“As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
The Collapse of Reason…
There is one basic shift in the Christian worldview, which will open the floodgates to allow the collapse of reason. It will be a major paradigm shift from a God-centered view of morality to a man-centered view of morality. In other words, the basic concept of right and wrong will be determined by what individuals want rather than what God commands. Increasingly morality is being determined by what appeals to people, rather than the claims of God, as they are laid out in scripture. So far as it relates to this era of moral confusion, it is quite apparent by now, that we have fallen within the grip of Biblical prophecy. Paul precisely quantifies the root of moral collapse by leading off his commentary with this observation: “For men will be lovers of self…” While the events of ecological and political upheavals may be debated, as signs of the end times, the degrading of moral certainty is blatantly apparent.
TODAY this paradigm shift is manifest among Christians in 2 basic moral failures: Addiction To Acceptance and Fear Of Making Judgments.
Fear Of Making Judgments …
Because accepting people, along with their sin, has become the new way to show love, many people now believe they have a right to have their behaviors protected from criticism and rejection. They have extended the meaning of love and acceptance, to include all their behaviors, and not just their souls. Most Christians now feel pressured to show acceptance towards behaviors that they should not be approving. They are intimidated into accepting peoples’ sins in order to accept the person. They have abandoned their Biblical responsibility to exercise simple judgment toward moral corruption. We’re not talking about condemnation, but simply exercising discretion and discernment. Jesus made clear that we ought to examine the fruit of peoples’ lives:
Luke 6:43-44 For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit; nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush.
Under the pressure to accept (i.e. love) everyone, it’s becoming increasingly unpopular to call sin for what it is. In fact, the new sin is to call sin, sin. In order to avoid people feeling rejected, Christians are reclassifying sins as problems. Everyone simply has “problems” regardless of whether their behavior is good or evil. And of course, having “problems” is something people are willing to live with because they don’t reflect on a person’s moral standing.
The concept of good and evil is now being classified by popular opinion rather than any Biblical standard, as society sees itself as having outgrown Biblical ideals. Today a thing is good or bad based on whether it’s helpful or hindering to what people want, instead of whether or not it agrees with or violates God’s righteousness as stated in the Bible. Wrong doing is no longer viewed as sinful because it’s an offense against God, but only if it’s an offense to man. The desires and standards of people have become the determining factor in deciding society’s moral tolerance. And God’s laws have been tossed aside as meaningless. Murder is still wrong in our culture, but no longer because it breaks God’s commandments, but because it violates man’s laws. Even then, murder is morally judged by its circumstances relative to trends in political correctness. With the rejection of absolutes, all moral standards are moderated by social trends.
Because we are no longer willing to tolerate the concept of a God who sets absolute moral laws, and makes judgments accordingly, a new image of God has evolved in our culture. The new God-concept is one who is the facilitator of your dreams. He’s viewed as simply watching over people, with divine sympathy, as they struggle in their sins; waiting for them to let Him bless them. We have privatized sin. Therefore moral neutrality is the new position many churches take in order to fulfill what has become the goal of ministry: helping people live their best life NOW. And because of this new focus in ministry, Christians are afraid to judge anything as sin, choosing rather to morally sanitize all bad behaviors by reclassifying them as problems or issues.
But problems and sins are not the same thing:
People solve Problems between themselves . But sin is something between you and God.
Being overdrawn at the bank is a problem. Fornication, stealing, homosexuality, lying, etc. are sins.
I can accept your problem, and maybe I can help . But I don’t have the authority to accept your sin. Because your sin is against God. I don’t even have the authority to accept my own sin.
Confused Christians increasingly see their role in the world as absolving moral guilt without calling people to reconciliation with God. But how then do we account to God for the mission He has entrusted to us as His Ambassadors? The more we fail to be honest about God’s requirements, the more people are losing their tolerance for a God with requirements. It’s a church that’s losing its saltiness that enables a world to become more rebellious.
Jesus never forgave unrepentant people. On the cross He offered forgiveness for those who crucified Him in ignorance. But to make the forgiveness complete one must accept it by confessing their sin and asking for the mercy of Christ. In that case the forgiveness is immediate and sure. Beside Him on the cross, He responded to the man who took responsibility for himself, but ignored the unrepentant sinner. It’s cruel for Christians, who have been given the responsibility to represent the claims of Christ, to hide behind a veil of neutrality what they know to be right from wrong, while knowing that God will judge the world for its works. How can we even pretend to come close to representing the Gospel, by refusing to tell the truth about what God says in His Word concerning sin. John the Baptist, the great forerunner of the Savior, introduced Him by calling the world to repentance for its sins. He was specific, straight, unapologetic and unflinchingly honest in his presentation. If those who shun the light demand that we dim our standards for the sake of their comfort, and we accommodate them, then all we have done is made ourselves more likeable while pushing them farther from Heaven. When we are dealing with the eternal destiny of other people how can we take liberties with the Truth in order to make our own selves appear more popular? Since Jesus died for the sins of the world, we who have become the beneficiaries of His grace are obligated to tell the truth about it.
1Tim. 1:15 This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”–and I am the worst of them!
Stay On The Path!