|source: Verse of the day of 2 Timothy 3:1|
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come"
If the times suddenly seems to be more difficult than you could ever remember and has grown increasingly unbearable to do anything, it's because it actually is. We have entered into a dangerous season: an age old forewarned period famously known as the Perilous Times.
Apostle Paul spoke expressly to Timothy his spiritual son and protege about this dangerous time which will precede the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ, which he termed as the Perilous Times
The word Perilous is from the Greek word Chalepos meaning:
"hard to do, to take, to approach", "hard to bear, troublesome, dangerous", Harsh, fierce, savage.This word Chalepos was only used twice in the entire bible. The second time was in reference to the fierceness of the demon possessed man in Mark 5:2. The bible described this man to be untamable, harsh and unbindable. This man called himself legion because he had many demons indwelling and tormenting him.
Idea of reducing strength; difficult, dangerous or furious: fierce, perilous
So this will be a time that will unearth and expose the very evil make up of man which for long had been dressed and clothed up. In this time, you will see globally an increasing deterioration in the moral fabric of many societies. You will see and hear heinous things that will bend your knees. The bible puts it this way,
"For men shall be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving and unforgiving, irreconcilable, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, cruel and haters of those that are good, Traitors, heady, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, have a form of godliness but denying its powers." - 2 Timothy 3:4Note carefully that this description is not that of the devil or beasts but of men. The word men used in this verse is from the greek word Anthropos meaning:
"Human being, whether male or female regardless of age" All mankind including women, children all the way up to the elderly.In this write up, I aim not to discuss about the nuances this time presents for it is already upon us but how we as believers can survive through it without being tainted as we await the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Here are the things the Lord has laid on my heart and confirmable through the scriptures. Things we as believers must have been doing or should immediately must begin to do since there is not much time: Men prepare and train for war in times of peace not in the middle of the battle for then it is too late.
- Be part of fellowship which meets frequently to pray and study the word.
- Be receiving and giving frequent exhortations to/from the brethren
- Take the Words of God seriously - Strive for greater obedience to the commands and laws of God.
- We must have and maintain a serious and working prayer life
- We must re-evaluate our relationships
- Engage in meditation of the scriptures continually
- Maintain good physical fitness and health
- Put on the whole armor of God.
Now, lets take a closer look at each of the above points:
Jesus adopted the animal sheep to represent his people. I find the masters choice interesting because sheep are one of the few animals with no apparent defense mechanism. All other animals have at least one or multiple defense mechanism which they use to fend off predators like the goats horn, teeth/claw and porcupines quill etc. A passive study on sheep will reveal one obvious truth. They tend to bind together in the presence of a predator. Therein lies their defense.
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is. The only sheep that ever gets killed by a predator is the one that strays away from the flock. As believers we must understand that the above instruction to come together frequently is not a suggestion but an instruction that we will do well to heed urgently even as we see the signs of the end.
Exhorting One Another - so much more as we see the day approaching - Heb 10:25b
When we gather together to fellowship, it should not be to discuss trivial and carnal matters. We must not misuse this time for anything else but for exhorting one another even the much more as we see the day approaching. "...Let him that is gifted in exhortations, exhort" - Romans 12:8. Those whom the Lord has given the gift of exhortation must not hold their peace now.
We Must Strive To Walk In Total Obedience To God's Command
The whole duty of man is to, "Fear God and keep his commandments" - Ecclesiastes 12:13. Jesus alluded to the fact that as a man hears His word and chooses to obey Him, this man is inadvertently building a strong spiritual structure that would be able to weather any present or future storm - Matthew 7:24-27. As we hastily approach the end of days, it will be excruciatingly difficult for the wicked and the rebellious to stand because a lifetime of disobedience yields a house built on sand. Therefore, when the storm shall arise, this house will not stand. "Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is" - 1 Corinthians 3:13. It is also easy to understand that no well structured house can be built in a day. It takes time once started, to complete. Therefore it is wisdom for us to cry out to God now for more grace to obey His word if we have thus far been rebellious. "He giveth more grace" - James 4:6
We Must Have Our Secret Chamber And Know How To Enter In - Isaiah 26:20
"Come my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast" - Isaiah 26:20. The LORD seems to be inviting us, His people, to establish a good prayer life whereby we commune with Him continually. A man who has not learnt to commune with God frequently in prayer will find it difficult to endure the days that is upon us. Jesus said, "But when you pray, go into your chamber and after having shut the door, pray to your Father who is in secret" - Matthew 6:6. It seems like the place of prayer is the secret place of the most high where when a man abides stays under the shadows of the Almighty. - Psalms 91. Our prayer life and personal access of communion with God is the provision the LORD has made for His people to enable us endure until the end. As we continually commune with the Father in prayer, we are abiding in His presence and as a result secure exemption from the disasters that is raging on the rest of mankind. Only with our eyes shall we see the destruction of the wicked - Psalms 91:7-8. There will be men fallen left and right but it will not come nigh unto us because we have made the secret place of the most high our dwelling place.
2 Timothy 3:5
Associations? This times require for proper evaluations of our associations.
These men hold form of Godliness but deny the power thereof
In these last days, there is a great need to re-evaluate our relationships and associations. Why? Bad company still corrupt good morals" - 1 Corinthians 15:31. We have to be now more than ever very sensitive about the men we are journeying with. Don't assume that everyone is headed to your destiny because of their outer garment. Many will wear the name Christian but in their work they will deny the Lord Jesus. They will proclaim the name of the Lord but will deny the power in His word to deliver. "From such turn away and avoid completely" - 2 Timothy 3:5. Journeying with this type of people will weaken us and will make it difficult for us to grow and mature in our walk with the Lord. We must rather seek and surround ourselves with those who truly love the Lord and are striving to please Him. For it takes iron to sharpen another iron. No matter how sharp an iron is, when it comes together with wood, it must lose its sharpness. We must deliberately reconsider the men and women we are relating with in these last days in order to make it to the end.
Constant Meditation upon Gods word will be key at these times. - It will keep us in His peace.
John 16:33, Isaiah 26:3 - This keeps us encouraged from day to day as times gets difficult, we need to be with the Lord.
"A man goes into meditation as if a man goes into a hospital to be healed". This is an art which has been almost lost in the Christendom. Yet it is not only vital but critical and imperative exercise we must engage in continually. From the Old to the New testament, you will find record of men that walked closely with God engaging in meditation as a lifestyle. "And Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, there were camels coming." - Genesis 24:63. Joshua the servant of God was instructed to meditate continually - Joshua 1:8. David the psalmist did not play around with his meditation. He talked about the blessedness of the man who delights in Gods word and meditates on it day and night - Psalms 1. As we ponder on Gods words, we are kept in his peace - Isaiah 26:3. We are revived of every deadness and coldness of heart. "My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue.." - Psalm 39:3. Jesus told us that our peace can only be found when we are in Him. "I have said these things to you so that in me you may have peace. In the world you shall have tribulations" - John 16:33. Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose minds are stayed on you" - Isaiah 26:3. So to be kept in perfect peace our minds must be stayed on the Lord through His word. Times will be very tough before the coming our Lord Jesus. The bible talks about the wearing down of the saints by the antichrist. "And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time" - Daniel 7:25. The word translated wear is the Hebrew word ~ Bela which means to "wear away, wear out, harass constantly". This word according to Strongs concordance is used only in mental sense. So I see one way the antichrist will seek to wear out the saints of God is mentally. We must fortify our minds by keeping it on the Lord while meditating on His words.
Physical Preparation & Discipline - We must be fit and in health.
Matthew 10:23, 1 Corinthians 9:25-27
The Lord in Book of Matthew seem to be pointing that there will be a need for believers to flee persecution in the times preceding His return. "But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you...till the Son of man be come"-Matthew 10:23. Many of our brethren all over the world are already experiencing and living through this truth. The underground churches of China, there has been report of constant harassment by the authorities which forces believers to flee from place to place seeking asylum. This is true in many parts of Africa and Middle East as well where Christians are heavily persecuted. Just in the past year* alone, here are the stats.
- Over 245 million Christians living in places where they experience high levels of persecution
- 4,305 Christians killed for their faith
- 1,847 churches and other Christian buildings attacked.
- 3,150 believers detained without trial, arrested, sentenced or imprisoned
During heavy persecution, many Christians who are unfit or sickly get to be left behind by family members to face a deadly fate by their persecutors while the rest flee. The Lord's instruction for us to flee as we are persecuted comes with an implication for us to be physically fit in order for us to move at any moments notice. Adhering to healthy diet and constant exercise routine with frequent fasting as instructed Matthew 6 will go well to ensure we are fit and ready for flight if it is called for. As Christians in these last days, we will do well to strive to "prosper and be in health even as our soul prospers" - 3 John 2:2.