The Growing Rebellion of Humanity
Every generation of Christians at some point believed that Christ was coming in their time. God delays the coming of the Christ for His own reasons but one thing is sure — the inhabitants of earth will grow increasingly rebellious as we approach the end of days and the return of Christ to His planet. No one can say with certainty but we appear to be in a steep, quickly developing downward slide toward the wanton lawlessness and rebellion predicted in God’s word.
In the last epistle he penned, Paul had this ominous warning to the church of this age:
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 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 (2 Tim. 3:1–5).
No doubt you have read these words of Paul and can identify every one of these malicious characteristics in today’s world culture. The apostle of course knew these things by revelation but we must also realize that his knowledge of the corrupt nature of sinful humanity helped him to know that the age was destined to end this way. Today’s secular culture has fallen for the original lie that we are able to improve ourselves without God. They deny the sinful nature of humankind and ignore God’s answer to man’s problem of sin.
For thousands of years they have been saying that humans will eventually find a way to improve. The major political doctrines of Marxist and communism tout the lie that the right kind of government will result in the improvement of culture and all will be well. Generation after generation has fallen for this lie but Paul’s words highlight the truth that humanity will get worse and worse until God will simply have to intervene just as he did before the flood when God decided to destroy them and start over (Gen. 6:13).
Recent cultural events have unmasked the true nature of those who reject God. When left to their own methods without the rule of law BLM and Antifa have torched our cities and the defunding of our peace keepers has unleashed an avalanche of violence in our cities. Smash and grab shoplifting mobs break into stores and steal indiscriminately without any accountability. Pro-abortion activists are protesting at the homes of Supreme Court justices and a wall of protection has been constructed around the Supreme Court. One group plans to protest on Mother’s Day which makes no sense because mothers are those who didn’t abort their child. Violence is on the rise across the nation especially in Democrat run big cities.
Evil is being released across this country and beyond as men reject God and embrace pornography, drug and alcohol addiction, murder and pointless violence, theft and rampant sexual sin, political corruption, family disorder, and much more. The slippery slope of evil is getting steeper by the moment.
People who reject God do not believe in evil. As we near the end of the age this ignorance of the nature of fallen humanity will unleash the immoral conditions Paul described to Timothy. The first thing mentioned is “men will be lovers of self.” When self becomes king of our lives God and His influence are removed and the result is obvious. What else explains the hate–filled attitude of those who see abortion as a basic right. Imagine that! Killing your own innocent baby is considered a civil right! When self is king anything goes. When God is not allowed to touch our sinful hearts the results are predictable.
“Lovers of money” is next mentioned by Paul. In his earlier letter to Timothy Paul declared that “. . . the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil” (1 Tim. 6:10). Loving money leads to evil. When self becomes the lord of our lives then we will seek to satisfy it with what it desires. This leads to many different expressions of evil. Our entire system is driven by what people will pay money for under our capitalist form of economy. To some people this may be the American way but it is not the way of God who desires our entire devotion so that He can truly bless us with abundant life. Houses, cars, food, technology and the other things we can possess do not satisfy. You can have all of this and still be empty without the presence of God in your life. The world system and its god want you to believe that satisfaction comes from possessions but that is a deceitful lie. God created us to be fully satisfied only in Him.
Look at the rest of Paul’s description of the last days and realize that we might be in the beginning stages of those days. See how boastful and arrogant people are becoming as they mimic the feeble-minded heroes of Hollywood, big companies, and sports. Consider the disobedience of parents and the breakdown of family structure brought on by the selfishness and greed we just mentioned. Look at what the lack of self-control is doing to our society as people are controlled by drugs, food, sex and much more. I tire of mentioning so much of this but we need to be aware of the encroaching evil.
This passage ends with people becoming “. . . lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.” When we love pleasure more than God; when we seek to please only ourselves, we are living in the realm of devilish evil. It is the opposite of God’s purpose for humanity. It is the duplication of the drastic error made by Adam and Eve who thought they knew better than God. It causes many who claim to be Christians to be able to put on a show of godliness but simply deny the power that God gives enabling us to live lives that reflect Him in all we do. Godliness requires the power of God because we were created to live in harmony with God so without Him we do not have the power to be godly.
Of course people without God reject the power of God because they reject the existence of God. Why is it, then, that they often adopt a “form of godliness?” Some, like people in the New Age movement, choose a “spirituality” that uses the power of self so they can avoid the notion of a personal God who holds them accountable. Others become “church goers” as a means to win friends and influence people all the while pretending to know God. Church to them is like a service club that gives them approval in business or social circles. Paul tells us to avoid such people because they are not genuine seekers of truth and life but mere pretenders (2 Tim. 3:5).
Jesus told us that we cannot know the day and hour when this age will end but He warned us that it would be like the days of Noah. People were living in rebellion against God and simply going about their business as if He didn’t exist (Matt. 24:37, 38). Such days are upon us once again and we need to discern the times we are in and not be caught up in the world’s folly. We need to connect with God in fellowship and with sincere followers of Christ to whom we can be accountable for genuine godliness. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us forward in truth and righteousness. A slippery slope is forming and we must determine to stay on the solid, level ground of the word of God.