By Shane Kastler
The Apostle Paul warned Timothy that in the last days “perilous times will come.” (2 Timothy 3:1) He then goes on to list some of the characteristics of the “last days.” It would be very hard to read this list and not come to the conclusion that we are living in the “last days.” For indeed, perilous times HAVE come.
Perilous times is not necessarily related to increased persecution, although that is definitely part of it. My prediction is that persecution will increase in America in the coming days and the true church will be separated from the pretenders. Churches that have a habit of capitulating to the culture or avoiding “controversial” doctrines will most likely go the way of the world. They've never stood strong on issues of doctrine and they won't stand strong on issues of culture either. Expect to see more and more so-called “conservative” churches embracing things like gay marriage since that's the way the current winds are blowing. Those church's who are “seeker sensitive” in nature will try to find the weasel's way out so as to attract the unbelievers while not offending them. But the gospel is by it's very nature offensive. My prediction is that many churches will begin strong in their stand for true marriage, but over time they will cave. If a church's goal is to please the culture, they will eventually do what the culture desires. But a true church's desire is to please the Lord; and in so doing a guaranteed conflict will arise with culture.
The Apostle Paul wrote: “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10) In other words, you cannot “please men” and be a “bond-servant of Christ” at the same time. Eventually your loyalties will fall one way or the other. Will you stand with men? Or will you stand with Christ?
Indeed “perilous times have come.” When you read Paul's list of characteristics of the last days, it sounds like it was taken right out of America's current headlines. Paul said: “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; Avoid such men as these.” (2 Tim. 3:2-5)
The “last days” are upon you. Perilous times have come and are indeed here. Trust in Christ for salvation. Expect persecution to increase. Embrace it as the normal course of life for the believer. Don't cave to the winds of change and the spirit of the times. Stay true to the Lord and eagerly await his return. This world is passing. But eternity will never end. Heaven with Jesus or Hell without him. This is your lot. Trust in the Lord and be saved. And know without a doubt, that what the Bible said would happen is happening. Perilous times HAVE come.