16 December 2010

The Scoffers are Here...and They May be Sitting Next to You!

"[K]nowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly." 2 Peter 3:3-7
Scoffers have been around since the time of the early church. We see from this passage that even Peter was already dealing with those who denied the truth of the Lord's Second Coming. I've actually had conversations with people who practically quote word for word the doubting thoughts of the scoffers in this passage as they try to convince me that my hope in Christ's soon return is futile. I love to respond with a smile and point out to them their appearance in the Bible.

The problem is, these scoffers are not atheists or buddhists or hindus or muslims. These are professing Christians. Of course, based upon the theology to which some of them adhere, I would tend to greatly doubt the genuineness of their faith and salvation, but that's not the point here. The Emergent Church flatly denies Christ's soon return, as you'll see in the article below. My question to you is this: how does your church or Bible study deal with the Lord's Second Coming? Do they preach it clearly and unashamedly? Or do they lump the final days into one confusing, muddled mess with a vague reference to a resurrection and no further clarification as to Rapture, Second Coming, Millennial Kingdom, etc? Regardless of your church's views on eschatology, there is little need to present the final days in a confusing manner. But do you leave discussions of the End Times more baffled than when you entered into the conversation? Worse yet--is your church or Bible study choosing to ignore eschatology altogether? Or perhaps even worse--is your church or Bible study choosing to jumble all of the views together without distinction so that they may keep from offending any of the attendees? If Christ's soon return isn't being taught and proclaimed clearly for fear that attendance or giving may drop, then you need to approach the leadership of your church or Bible study. If it mattered enough for God to write it in the Bible, then it is important--and necessary--that it be taught clearly and loudly.

The following article is from Jackie Alnor at Apostasy Alert. I found it to be well-said and timely:

November 26 Show: No Lectionary Needed

Emergent Methodist Tony Jones is frustrated during the holiday season due to the required topics set in the Methodist Lectionary. For those unfamiliar with denominational verbage, a lectionary is publication that gives pastors specific subjects to preach on during the calendar year. It includes things like prayers, scriptures, meditations, stories and sermon notes to incorporate into their messages.

Tony Jones wrote on his blog: "This Sunday marks the beginning of Year A in the
The Revised Common Lectionary.  So here we go again.  We get texts from Isaiah and the Gospels, about John the Baptist and the Second Coming.  And once again we’ve got to preach the immanent advent of the Christ.  “He’s Coming!” we preach, pray, and sing. But is he?…  What I am asking is, How long will people believe us? We preach the advent of Christ every Advent, and I just wonder how long until the parishioners start thinking that we’re the Preachers Who Cried Wolf."

This attitude of ridicule against the teaching of the Christian's expectancy of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ has become the predominant attitude in the visible church during this unprecedented time of apostasy. The emergent church that has caved in to the pressure of the culture to be worldly and relevant lead the pack of scoffers saying, where is His coming?

"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."- 2 Peter 3:3-4

The apostasy in the church coincides with the moral decline of the entire world. Jesus told us that the times of His return would be like the days of Noah and of Lot when mankind had turned his back on God. In Noah's day, the corruption was global and so was the judgment. In Lot's day, the corruption was localized and so the judgment was local. In these last days when God is about to judge the entire world and pour out His wrath on the sons of disobedience, the corruption must again be world-wide. And as He did for Noah and Lot, He first gets His own out of the way before pouring out His wrath. The cup of His wrath is almost full.

The most important question God asks us is "wither thou goest?" What direction are you headed in? Are your feet planted firmly on this terra firma, like Lot's wife who looked back and turned into a pillar of salt? Or are you looking up waiting for your Savior from heaven? The attitude of our hearts will determine whether or not we escape the time of His wrath.

Luke 17:2 " Remember Lot's wife."

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