I thought I better hit this head on early in this series, because although I love dreamers and I provoke people to dream, I hate pipe-dreams – dreams that just cannot make sense, they are just illogical, unscriptural and unspiritual. They are a waste of time and take people away from living their life. Idealism is the enemy of progress, not the friend.
If you are looking for a revival that is problem free, you need to shoot yourself in the head, because the only place they have those is in heaven. On earth, there will always be some flesh!
And before someone jumps on my throat and tells me that this isn’t grace teaching, you need to realize that the greatest grace teacher of all, Paul was very concerned that people understand that revival and end-times living is tough:
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Tim. 3.1-7, NASB)
We must, to be able to do everything God has called us to do, and to walk worthy of our salvation and calling, deal with all of these issues and difficulties in our lives.
Lovers of Self
One of the hallmarks of where we are going as a society, and sadly as a church, is a place where people are selfish and absolutely self-obsessed. Don’t be selfish. Don’t be obsessed with you – that’s a very small circle indeed. Learn to love and step out in love!
Lovers of Money
You should not be a lover of money. Money should be your tool, not your keeper; your slave not your master. Love of money drove Ahab and Jezebel to murder, it drove Ananias and Sapphira to lie to Peter, their pastor. Neither couple ended well.
I am not against people having money, I believe in prosperity, but money must always be the servant, never the master.
Boastful and Arrogant
We need to stop the bragging and stop the boasting people. Stop enjoying the accolades of men, they mean nothing.
These are people who are always running other people down, attacking people verbally, wounding them with their words. They often are running their mouth off at God.
Keep your words kind people, especially in the coming glory!
Disobedient to Parents
Some people have no respect for authority, and it is a tragedy. For them and the wider community. Did you know that honouring your parents brings long life and a good life? (Eph. 6.1-3). That’s the kind of life we want to live!
Some people can’t say thank you, others cannot do it. I have had people I have taught to preach, to minister, to serve well, and they leave our church without telling us and never once say thank you. I am very careful to always thank those who have helped me.
Most of the times, ingratitude comes with an entitlement mentality, it’s expected that people do things for you.
This here is a reference to living a life with no restraint. Another verse written by the great grace preacher Paul is: let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity (2 Tim. 2.19). What does that mean? It means leave evil, unholy behaviour. Just leave it. Get out of the room. Don’t go near it. Leave it. Separate yourself from it. Stop living like the devil and stop being a hypocrite.
If you are born again, you know you shouldn’t be sinning – you can feel it deep inside. Follow that leading and depart from iniquity. Today.
The KJV has a much better translation here “without natural affection”. It is not talking about agape love here, but a lack of the love that is found in every family. In the last days, families will not even love each other. Parents will abandon their own offspring – of course, seen most vividly in our day with abortion, with over 200,000 babies murdered by their own parents every year in this nation.
This generates a society without natural affection and kindness, and that’s a dark and hellish society.
We have to ensure that we love and care for and cherish our family.
This means someone who cannot keep their promises, who cannot be faithful, who cannot exercise discipline. This is happening all over the United Kingdom in marriages, in business and sadly in churches. I have seen people just walk out a church when they were in a position of leadership and start another church across the road. These are irreconcilable people and you need to know they exist, even in the times of revival that are coming.
There are always malicious people who will accuse, slander and gossip against what is genuine, pure and true. Rev. 12.10 calls the devil “the accuser of the brethren”. An accuser is someone who is looking for fault in another, and gossips are accusers – looking for fault and looking for something to attack.
These people don’t want to help build, they want to destroy.
They don’t want to talk about others to help them, but to cause fighting and strife and division. If they really cared about people they would help build them, go to them directly and speak to them, but the gossips don’t do that – they lie and hate and rip people apart behind their backs.
People without self-control are those who are completely consumed by lust. They are always seeking to gratify their selfish flesh. They never think about other people and what they want, they just take and grab and hurt.
I’ve seen people want someone else’s spouse, and just wreck an entire marriage, break the hearts of children, just to get what their lust wants. That’s a total lack of self-control. That’s what our society is like in many ways right now.
Mean, fierce, brutal people are a sign of the end times. Mean people, people rioting in the streets, people who are aggressively overtly sexual, people who attack others, rip others to people.
Haters of Good
Another massive sign that we are at the end of time is that there are those who despise good. I mean they hate what is good. They hate people who are sexually pure. They hate people who forgive those who wrong them. They hate people who go to church and read the Bible and love God. Hate – real vicious and mean hatred. They hate holiness and anything holy.
That takes us to the end of v.4. Next week we will finish this up and then discuss why revival is the only cure, and why it is the church’s fault if the nation is rotten.