“Our Only Hope”

by Tom Smith

He knew what he was talking about.

Yes, the Apostle Paul was definitely inspired by the Holy Spirit when he wrote II Timothy 3:1-5. Those verses (coupled with other passages he wrote) talked about “the Last Days”—and it was almost like he was reading this morning’s newspaper.

In v.1 he wrote “This know also, that in the Last days perilous times will come.” The word “perilous” basically means “fierce, dangerous, furious, etc.” And, when we read vv.2-5a there’s no doubt he was talking about the days we’re living in:

“For men shall be lovers of themselves”—certainly describes our self-centered, narcissistic, “I love to take selfies of myself” generation, doesn’t it?

“They’ll be covetous (greedy, lover of money and material things). . .proud. . . blasphemers (mockers of God and those who believe in Him). . .disobedient to parents. . . unthankful. . .unholy. . .without natural affection. . trucebreakers. . .false accusers. . .no self-control.

“Fierce. . .despisers of those who are good. . .traitors. . .heady and high-minded (self-pride, arrogant, condescending toward others). . .lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God... having a form of Godliness, but denying the Power thereof.”

Quite a list, isn’t it? And, definitely one that describes our world today.

Yes, we can all think of incidents and/or people that fit every one of those descriptions—especially the one that says “without natural affection.”

The rash of killing these past few weeks has left us all reeling with shock and dismay. Years ago, there seemed to be somewhat of an “honor code” among the “bad guys,” where children were off-limits to their hate-filled ways.

But, not anymore; in fact, the killings at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, TX. . .the shooting of the little girl at a park in Cincinnati. . .and drive-by shooting of the teenagers outside of a church in Iowa. . .prove everyone. . .regardless of age. . .is a target for those whose hearts are filled with hatred. . .and their “consciences have been seared with a hot iron” (I Tim. 4:2).

And, there’s no need of a lengthy commentary on all of the other characteristics of a generation gone stark-raving mad in the Last Days.

That’s why it’s so important for us to remember such attitudes and unconscionable actions were predicted by Jesus, Paul and others. That’s also why we mustn’t be shocked or despairing when the above-mentioned things happen.

This doesn’t mean we become callused to it; neither should we seek to withdraw from society or be trembling with fear when we go out or send our kids to school.

Instead, we should place our trust in the Heavenly Father, Who is our sparrow-watching, hair-counting, tear-catching God (Psalm 56:8 Matthew 6:26; 10:29-31).

For sure, the problem in all of this isn’t gun control. . .political parties or ideologies. . . the lack of parental constraint. . .economic woes. . .or racial differences. . .though they do play somewhat of a part in it.

No, it’s a heart issue and a sin issue: because we’ve turned away from Almighty God and His Commandments (Prescription) for an orderly society (Exodus 20:1-17).

Instead, like every generation that’s preceded us, by nature we want to sing “I Did It My Way,” thinking that we somehow know better than God. And, we can see where it’s got us!

Yes, it’s clear God’s “turned us over to a reprobate (perverse, perverted) mind,” which really is His “Wrath revealed” (Romans 1:18, 24, 26, 28). And, the only way we’re going to see things change in our nation (and world) is when we come back to Him the way He prescribes (II Chronicles 7:14).

So, again, don’t give into despair if you’ve been distressed lately over all that’s happening in our world. It was predicted it’d be this way.

But, don’t forget: God’s still on His Throne, reigning in Sovereignty over the affairs of our world (Ps. 2:1-12; Isaiah 40:15). And, one of these days, He’ll say “Enough!!” and put an end to all of this sin and rebellion.

Therefore, stay faithful and focused (Hebrews 12:1-2). It won’t be long now.

(NOTE: If you’d like to contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled “Morning Manna,” you can write him at P.O. Box 614, Mulberry, AR 72947 or e-mail him at pressingon@hotmail.com).