“There will be terrible times.” What kind of a devotional starts with such a line? That is not exactly inspiring or encouraging.
As if that is not bad enough, the description given is almost laughable. These terrible times don’t involve vampires, or zombies pouring out of grave yards. Instead, we are expected to shutter with horror at the dark days where “people will love only themselves and their money” (NTL).
Excuse me, but that sounds like a normal day in the neighborhood, not something sinister for which we need to be on high alert. It is summed up with something straight out of the Halloween fright-factory: everywhere there will be “lovers of pleasure”. Can you imagine it?
It may not be the usual fare for Christian contemplation, but our family took some time to review several related passages of Scripture as presented in the book Claiming Christ. It seems that one of the biggest end-time deceptions for many who think they are Christian will come from living-the-good-life.
Compared to the evening news reports of murder, rape, and political dishonesty, having fun at the local water park doesn’t seem worth even putting in the same sentence. So why does the Bible do it?
It might come across as a rude suggestion, but the American dream is not Christian. Pursuing a comfortable life of enjoyments, retirements, and spurts of cruise-line living are the very things that the Holy Spirit says will deceive many wanna-be-Christians.
In fact, it will be so bad, that one of the most protected, special classes of people in all of the Bible will go from following Christ to becoming Satan groupies.
“Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.” (1 Tim 5:15)
Those being spoken of in this passage, who are said to have “broken their first pledge” and now “live for pleasure” and have become dead…are Widows.
They have been pricked by the thorn of pleasure, and have been choked by the “deceitfulness of wealth”, spoken of by Jesus in the parable of the sower.
The Holy Spirit warns of this evil. Paul warns of it. Jesus prophecies about it. Even the Apostle James says”
“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you…you have lived on this earth in luxury and self-indulgence”.
There will be terrible times ahead. Some will claim to follow Jesus, but orient themselves toward fun. Faith will shipwreck on Pleasure Island, where every dream promises to come true.
Does it make you shudder?