I Peter 4:8 “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”
Last evening, I came across a must-read posting at New Wine Ministry which starts out by discussing the unimaginable turmoil that’s ahead of us as our faith is to be tried in ways that few of us can comprehend. It offers a warning concerning the dangers of harboring contrary attitudes which war against the soul. In these times of ever-increasing astonishment, those who have been lukewarm; sitting on the fence with no oil in their lamps will be overwhelmed by the events coming to pass upon the earth. Even the most spiritual of saints will have to keep their hearts with all diligence as the great shaking unfolds. It’s a time of purifying the saints and a sifting out of that which appears authentic but isn’t. The second paragraph in the posting linked to above reads as follows:
“Relationships in the body are straining and being pressed into tribulation. Spirits of gossip, slander and backbiting are working overtime to destroy once solid relationships. Marriages are being hit hard and evil spirits are seeking control in the midst of chaos. I cannot tell you how real the spiritual battle is right now against everything that is holy, pure, and true. It is severe to say the least and the saints who are doing what is right are the targets of much hatred.”
A time of unprecidented upheaval lies ahead of us and even now, a chill wind blows signifying the time in which everything that can be shaken will be shaken. As the money fails, catastrophic geological events transpire in divers places, and judgment is rendered upon all nations that forget God, we can expect most to resort to an an “every-man-for-himself” mentality. Many folks, unable to cope with things coming to pass upon the earth and seeking to save their lives in this world will resort to unimaginable things; even to the detrement of those closest to them. When everything that a person has believed in and held in high esteem is swept away, their actions will be most unpredictable. Jesus warned us of a time in which children shall rise up against parents, brother will deliver up the brother to death, and natural affection will no longer restrain people from commiting blatant acts of atrocity and betrayal.
Matthew 24:12 “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”
In other words, there used to be love, however because of external circumstances, it has ceased to be so. Even now, many seem to have no moral compass as they go about doing what seems right in their own eyes. This will intensify as the end of the age draws closer. Betrayal at the hands of close friends and closer relatives will be commonplace and probably even rewarded by the ambassadors of unrighteousness. In this environment of chaos and deception, when everyone around us is a potential traitor, we will have to remain very close to Jesus and sensitive to the Holy Spirit (much more so than most of us are presently) if were to not be caught up in the fray. The paragraph above from New Wine Ministry reveals how subtly contrary attitudes can slip in unaware and, if not repented of, can lead one to shipwreck. (Not to mention the damage done to those in the ambience who may have had ears to hear) Never has it been more imperative to love the Lord Jesus wholeheartedly and to “love our neighbor as ourselves.”
I apolagize for once again offering up a “doom-and-gloom” post, but I really fear that most of us (including myself) are unprepared for what’s coming. We study scripture, watch events unfold and convince ourselves that our hearts are so firmly fixed on the eternal world to come that we’re ready for anything. I truly believe that no matter how watchful we are, all of us are going to experience astonishment to one degree or another. If we’re not abiding close to the Lord, that astonishment will lead to very bad decision making. Last night, I heard about a vision in which christians were being gathered up and sent off to concentration camps. This brother saw them in lines and nearly all of them were thinking “This can’t happen here. This is America.” The saints in this vision suddenly found themselves in a situation that they hadn’t contemplated. (I have no way of verifying the vision, but the principal that’s highlighted in the telling of it is noteworthy nonetheless.)
This will seem off topic, but it exemplifies the importance of maintaining an eternal perspective and not allowing contrary attitudes to fester. Last week the strike at AAM ended and we took a colossal hit insofar as wage concessions. Richard Dauch, the CEO is reportedly gloating that he achieved every objective and is now planning to cut the work force by more than half with most new work being placed overseas. There’s a lot of animosity on the part of many employees as AAM has been profitable and Richard Dauch has a net worth in the hundreds of millions. Yet while there’s a temptation to be discouraged by the appearance of unadulterated greed, (I have had to wrestle with this) a much bigger picture is in play. Richard Dauch needs Jesus. His sins were paid for on Calvary just as mine were. The tragedy isn’t lost wages or greed. The real battle; the outcome of which has eternal ramifications is that of souls who need Jesus. We tend to look at the physical sideshows and allow attitudes to manifest as a result of those sideshows. This next passage is as profound as it is familiar.
Matthew 5:44-45 “But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless therm that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Something else takes place as we begin to pray for one who seems determined to be at odds. As we lift them up in prayer, our attitude changes. It’s unavoidable. We begin to see them not as a thorn, but as a priceless eternal soul who is in the same perdicament that we were once in. We begin to see them as the Lord sees them and that’s when strongholds come down. I’m minded to keep Richard Dauch in prayer because every soul is priceless. (II Peter 3:9) Well it’s late and I should be going for now. It’s currently 10:15 in Portland and so I’ll try to call the Peraltas before heading off to bed. Until the next time, I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.
7:35 am. Please check out this 2008 Dream also posted at the new Wine Ministry website. Discernment is always a must on such postings, but these are incredible times. Last night as I was writing, I was thinking about the times in which we find ourselves. Each of us have been chosen for this time. We should not be fearful of the events unfolding before us but rather rejoice in that the Lord Jesus Christ is soon to make his glorious appearing.