But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
(2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV)
The U.S. and the whole western world is slowly moving to the edge of a spiritual cliff – the love of many seems to be growing cold (Matt.24:12.) We have become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. The sins (and yes I said sins) of pride, materialism, and self-indulgence have made deep inroads in our nation as well as the Church. Paganism has become the main philosophy by which much of the media and our entertainers live by. They have become the voice of our culture, replacing the Church. And, it seems that much of organized or politically motivated religion is presently losing the moral high-ground.
There seems to be no end to the loss of innocent lives through terrorist acts, abortion, and families are under relentless attack by dark spiritual forces. Many of us have felt like giving up on our society, but change is not impossible. So, how do we avoid the spiritual cliff? It’s really simple; those of us that consider ourselves to be followers of Jesus need to seek intimacy with Him. One person, family, and Church at a time can radically transform the culture by living surrendered lives – through the power of the Holy Spirit. And we must focus on making disciples, not just “church-goers.”
I have hope for a better future. God has raised up young (and some old) pastors in the land who are not afraid to proclaim the truth of the Gospel. While some in the apostate church are casting doubt about the reality of hell and the value of Christ’ death on the cross and his resurrection, others are faithfully proclaiming these truths. They are not condemning people for living ungodly lives, but are offering Christ as the answer to the spiritual bondage that so many struggle with. (You don’t have to be a ordained preacher to proclaim the Good News.) Pray that we in the west would turn back to God and avoid the spiritual cliff.
” We all remember the old story of the frog that is gradually boiled to death. When placed in a cauldron of cold water that is gradually heated to boiling, the frog continues to swim in comfort, oblivious to what is happening. If, on the other hand, the same frog is dropped into boiling water, it immediately leaps out for its safety. The gradual change went unnoticed, accommodated beyond reason, while the drastic change met with self-preserving common sense. Undeniably, being part of a culture brings about a level of comfort with the ways and means by which people live. But that familiarity does not guarantee sensitivity or objectivity. Proximity is not synonymous with understanding. Indeed, the very nearness we experience through modern technology may make us more vulnerable to distortion and victimization. The ideas and personalities the media thrust upon our imaginations subtly condition our consciousness in ways that even political totalitarianism cannot accomplish. We are unavoidably beguiled, in this so-called postmodern world, to an unprecedented degree. The constant bombardment of images shapes the perceptions of a whole generation and results in altered beliefs and lifestyles that make even the aberrant seem normal. The double-edged tragedy is not only that we are in such an environment but any warning that we are being molded possibly for the worse is contemptuously mocked as insane.”
Zacharias, Ravi. Deliver Us From Evil (pp. 19-20). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.