“The Equalizer” was a TV show from the 1980s. A brief premise is that a former secret agent used strong-arm tactics to help those who could not help themselves. Often in the show, the main character would say, “There are no surprises.” The point being, he was prepared for anything that might come his way. The people and events around him would not and could not take him by surprise.
When it comes to Christians, it appears, for the last 15 to 20 years, we have been taken by surprise by the changes within society. The growth in selfishness, the sense of entitlement, the increase of unruly kids, homosexuality moving from the closet to being mainstream, are all trends that snuck up on Christians and caused many a believer’s head to spin.
A Christian will believe God’s Word is true. We may not understand it all, but we do trust it.
A good Christian will base their life on God’s Word because they have faith in Him and believe His Word to be nothing less than perfect. The Word and God are interchangeable. John 1:1, 14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word, was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
With all this faith and reliance on the Word of God, how did the changes in society take us by surprise when the Bible told us it would happen?
Christians, including myself, have been preaching that the return of Christ is near. That the events spoken of in the book of Revelation are not centuries away but could very well be within our lifetimes.
If we believe these events are near, why are we surprised as the world molds itself into the world described by the prophets?
Paul gave Timothy a list of heart attitudes that would be prominent during the “last days.” It only stands to reason that these symptoms would not happen upon society like a light switch, but more like putting on weight. A pound or two may not be that big of a thing, but if you gain a pound or two a month over two years, next thing you know, you have 35-40 pounds to lose. Most things in life do not operate like light switches.
2 Timothy 3:1-5, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
“Men shall be lovers of their own selves...” Everyone needs some degree of love for self (Ephesians 5:28-29); however, the opposite of love is selfishness. Often, the more we love ourselves, the more selfish we become. Divorces, abandoned and abused children, battered wives, quit jobs, severed relationships with friends and family, are the result of someone loving themselves more than anyone or anything else.
“... disobedient to parents ...” Over the last few decades, acting up has become the norm instead of a rare occurrence. More and more parents have stopped going to everyday places like the store, or any area with a waiting room because they know a struggle and embarrassment is coming because of the behavior of the children.
“...Without natural affection ...” Paul gives more details about this in Romans 1:26-27, but long story short, it is a reference to an increase in homosexuality.
“... despisers of those that are good...” No need to look any further than the increasing hatred toward police to show this is happening.
“...lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God...” Does this statement need an explanation?
Space prevents me from going through everything in the passage. Regardless, it is easy to see that everything Paul mentions is on the increase. God told us all this was coming, and Christians were not ready. Should we be attempting to put out fires God told us would burn anyway, or should we be doing what He told us to do – “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15)?