Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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The Last Days of the Last Days

Meditation for the week of January 3, 2010

2 Timothy 3:1-5 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for 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, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
2Timothy 3:13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

I have often said that I have lived my life in the best county in the world at the best possible time in history.  Kings have not had it as good as I have had it.  Childhood diseases have for the most part been eliminated.  I do not fear polio or TB or small pox like some before me did.  I have never had to fight in a war though my country has been almost constantly at war during my life time.  But none of those wars with the exception of some terrorist acts have been on US soil.  I was fortunate in that I missed the Civil War and other wars preceding it that were fought on US soil.  I have never had to fear the government (although when I was called for a tax audit I was apprehensive even though I knew I could defend my returns.)   I was born after the great depression and even though the life a preacher does not allow for a lot of frivolous spending, my family has never worried about whether we were going to eat.  I enjoy running water, indoor plumbing, central heating and air conditioning.  I can talk to friends all over the world through modern technology.  I received an excellent public education in the days when we could still study 1 Corinthians 13 as a good example of an essay in our high school English class.  I have had it good.  If the Lord had asked me when I wanted to be born and where, I would have wanted to be born in 1943 in Iowa in the United States of America. 

However, I believe that we are living in the “last days.”  As I look into the New Year, I do not expect the future to be as kind to us as the recent past has been.  The “last days” refer to the day of grace that we presently enjoy.  It is the valley between the the two mountains of the Lord’s first coming and His second coming.  The prophetic time clock is associated with the Jews and the land of Israel.  But the Lord does make statements about this day of grace that we enjoy.  One of them is that during this period evil men and imposters will get worse.  Deception will abound.  People won’t know what or who to believe.  People will love themselves and their money, but will not love their neighbors.  They will be unforgiving and people who spread unsubstantiated rumors and in some cases lies about people in authority that damage their reputations.  Now these are supposed to be unsaved people, but I am afraid that many who call themselves Christians would be characterized by this list of things that should not be.  These things will happen in the last days of the “last days”.   

We are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.  At football games we want to be on the 50 yard line.  At church we want to sit at back.  At football games we want to be there early so we can get in on the whole thing.  At church we come late.  I know I am over generalizing, but there seems to be more enthusiasm for clean entertainment today than there is for the meetings of the church.  While I have used sports for my illustration, there are any number of things that seem to cause people’s eyes to light up when you talk to them about those things.  And yet often they are uninterested when we try to talk about spiritual things. 

What really concerns me is that my grandchildren may be raised in an environment where they will not be able to distinguish between truth and error.  Will they be able to distinguish the imposter from the real servant of the Lord?  And once they  have sorted through the lies and deceptions, will they want the accountability that comes with worshiping the Savior of my Bible who has given His life to prove His love?  Who is going to stand up for the truth that love triumphs over legalism, that a relationship with the Lord triumphs over  cold religion.  Who is going to demonstrate to people living in the “last days” that preparing for the day that we meet God is all that really matters?   Who is going to live their lives as though they really believe that heaven is a better place than this world?   Our lives will have to reflect the fact that we believe these things if we are going to be a help to a dying world that doesn’t believe them. 

So the real question is, “Does my life reflect these realities?”  Would my friends, children and grandchildren believe that I believe what I say I believe?  Would they think I believe that we are living in the last days of the “last days?”

Bruce Collins

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