Perilous Times

Perilous Times

Jude: 1-5
Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to the called saints, sanctified by God the Father and kept in Jesus Christ: Mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you. Beloved, when personally exerting all my diligence to write to you concerning the common salvation, I was compelled to write to you, exhorting you to fervently fight for the faith, which once for all time has been delivered to the saints. For certain men have stealthily crept in, those who long ago have been written about, condemning them to this judgment. They are ungodly men, who are perverting the grace of our God, turning it into licentiousness, and are personally denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. But I myself want to remind you, though you once understood this, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, the second time destroyed those who did not believe.
(A Faithful Version)

There was a time I enjoyed getting up in the morning and looking at the news. Reporters would talk of the events of the past couple of days, the weather would come on and tell us what we could expect during the day and then they would have some fun little item that would make us smile and realize how blessed we were to live in this country. They spoke with respect and civility about the issues. They reported the news and refrained from interjecting their own views.
Actors entertained us, sports were sports and the players only got angry with the officials or other players. We could go to movies for enjoyment and to relax. We could watch a sporting event and enjoy the competition. The only “cause” these people had was to entertain us, compete against other players or teams and win championships.
Not anymore. Now actors forget they are entertainers and jesters. Athletes forget they are paid to play sports. Now they all speak as competent authorities on any subject, mostly political, and forget their primary role is to entertain us and not to attempt educate us. In that arena they generally fail miserably.
When I hear them speak I think of a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln, (and about six others),

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”

And they certainly do remove all doubt. Grossly overpaid pseudo intellectuals. Most probably don’t understand what they are actually supporting.

Proverbs 17:28 has a similar version (which pre-dates the others by a couple thousand years),

“Even a fool, when he is silent, is counted wise, and he who shuts his lips is counted as a man of understanding. (A Faithful Version)

Reporters are no longer reporting. They read prepared script off a prompter written by people with specific agendas. They are usually not hired for their intelligence or ethics as much as for how they look on camera and how easily they can present the lies.

Many of us wonder how this ever got started. How could a Marxist agenda become so prominent in this country? The short answer is – we, as a country and as a people, have pushed God out of our lives. If you feel offended by that, let me soften it. We allowed it to happen by our lack of response when the Supreme Court banned school prayer in 1962 and again in 1973 when the Roe v Wade decision was handed down and we’ve pretty much stayed silent up until now.

At this point, with all the evil being presented, the best thing we can do is pray for our country and for our “enemies.”

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you, So that you yourselves may be the children of your Father Who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:44-45).
(A Faithful Version)

Jesus did not attack those who beat and crucified Him. He committed Himself to the Father, as we also must do.

“Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when suffering, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him Who judges righteously;” (1 Peter 2:23) (A Faithful Version)

In the opening passages above Jude, the brother of Jesus, specifically addresses this Epistle to the “called saints.” Those called to be part of the Kingdom of God. Today Brethren, that is us. He is also telling us to, “…fight for the faith, which once for all time has been delivered to the saints.” We are to follow the Word of God. That is to be our guiding light and principle.
Jude goes on to tell us about ungodly men coming in and perverting the grace of God and even denying His existence.
Sound a bit familiar? Men such as these here today have always existed. In addition to the politicians they were already inserting themselves into the early church.
When Jesus was with the disciples on the Mount of Olives they asked Him for a sign of His coming. What was His first response?
“And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to Him alone, saying, “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the completion of the age?” Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Be on guard, so that no one deceives you. For many shall come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ’; and they shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:3-5). (A Faithful Version)

Deceitful and evil men have been around since the beginning. During Noah’s time we are told,

“And the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD repented that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” (Genesis 6:5-6). (A Faithful Version)

God destroyed the whole world because of all the evil and He will deal with it again.

As Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun. Evil has been here in Satan’s world since the beginning and will be here until our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ returns with His saints to establish His Kingdom on earth.
Armed combat, brother against brother, another Civil War is not the answer. We must remember we are not fighting men. This is not a physical battle we are or will be engaged in. It is spiritual. Are we prepared for a spiritual battle? I know many who have solid armories, large caches of ammunition and they practice regularly. Think about it. We are not scriptural babes anymore. Is that the strategy we, the called saints, need to employ?

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the might of His strength.
Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil Because we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and against powers, against the world rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual power of wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:10-12). (A Faithful Version)

Our job is to arm ourselves with God’s Word. We need to seek Him out and pray for His continued guidance. We need to fellowship and support one another. We are to meet with God on His appointed day, the Sabbath. This is the time God set apart and sanctified to meet with His people so they may grow in grace and knowledge. Ephesians 6 goes on with OUR armament.
“Therefore, take up the whole armor of God so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having worked out all things, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girded about with truth, and wearing the breastplate of righteousness, And having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Besides all these, take up the shield of the faith, with which you will have the power to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one; And put on the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God;” (vs 13-17). (A Faithful Version)
We know we are to pray and study daily. Keep God in our thoughts and ask for His guidance. Ephesians closes out with the plan to preserve our armor.
“Praying at all times with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and in this very thing being watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints; And for me, that boldness of speech may be given to me so that I may open my mouth to make known the mystery of the gospel,”
(vs 18-19). (A Faithful Version)

As depressed as we get during these times our strength needs to come from our relationship with God. We will go through trying times. We will be greatly disappointed in our civil leaders and their deceitful and evil ways. We will suffer trials. In the end, if we endure, we will experience rewards we are now unable to comprehend.
Seek to love God more. He must be first in our lives. Pray and ask Him to show you how to love Him more. Ask Him to grant us His righteousness and His love.
“For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face.” (Psalm 11:7). (A Faithful Version)

We get a glimpse of what we are to be a part of in Isaiah 51 if we continue to listen to God.

“Hearken to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.
Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him, and made him many.”
For the LORD shall comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness shall be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.
“Hearken to Me, My people; and give ear to Me, O My nation; for instruction shall proceed from Me, and I will make My justice as a light to the people.
My righteousness is near; My salvation has gone out, and My arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon Me, and on My arm they shall trust.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall become old like a garment; and its inhabitants shall die in the same way. But My salvation shall be forever, and My righteousness shall not be abolished.
Hearken to Me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law; do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their revilings; For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool; but My righteousness shall be forever, and My salvation from generation to generation.” (vs 1-8). (A Faithful Version)

God’s righteousness shall never be abolished. He also tells us, “do not to fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their revilings.” What can man really do to us?

We know the ending. The Kingdom of God is ours if we endure.

This is the end of our 5th year together. 5 years ago, we had our first Bible Study. It certainly has been a journey I never expected to take but I would not give up one minute of it. The knowledge of God’s truth, the fellowship, the alliances we’ve formed and the spiritual growth we have experienced is amazing. I thank God for putting us together and I look forward to year 6 and whatever it brings. I’m learning that my hands are not big enough to deal with all of this, so I’ve put things in God’s hands as He has told us to do. Plenty of room there.


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