Barry Amundsen (27 Nov 2010)
"Gary, Thank you, good post, I agree"

 
Dear Gary,
 
I really connect with your post. I believe what you have said and am also amazed at the way these things are being received and not received by many in the church.
 
I am amazed at God's way in which He can deliver the wise while at the same time turning the foolish over to their own way and letting them not see what is so evident to the wise. So much so that as the wise try to tell the foolish they only react with hostility as you said here from your post when they are warned of the soon rapture:
 
_______________________________
 
The reaction was amazing; some in denial, some apathetic
and some hostile. And these are people who go to church to worship God every week?
_________________________________
 
I have discovered with sadness that many who go to church and we think are worshipping God are in fact only near Him with their mouths but their hearts are far from Him.
 
I discovered something the other day that has not yet faded from my mind just how serious the situation is. And that is this: You know that scripture that says "In the latter days perilous times shall come for men shall be lovers of their own selves..." etc?
 
I have often seen this scripture used to illustrate the nature of the world before Jesus comes back. I have seen it used in videos where they show gay pride parades or heavy metal bands and rock stars in all their regalia and excess and riotous behavior and other examples of blatant worldliness while this scripture is quoted. And to be sure this has always seemed appropriate to me. Until just the other day when I looked up this verse because I was looking for the last part of it and only then did it hit me who these people are that the whole scripture is focusing on. It is not the world at large that Paul is warning Timothy about that will become all these evil things in the latter days but rather people within the church itself!
 
The scripture is in 2 Timothy and chapter 3 and is as follows:
 
2 Timothy 3
 1.  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
 2.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
 3.  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
 4.  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
 5.  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
 6.  For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
 7.  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
 8.  Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
 
It shocked me to discover that the people that Paul is speaking of are people that go to church! Not gays out in the street being worldly or rock stars in all their obvious evil, but church-goers who have a form of godliness and are ever learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth! This has never been so consciously noticed by me before because I always focused on the first part of this and somehow separated it from the last part as though the two passages were separate and speaking of two completely different groups of people. But to realize that this is all referring to church-going people and they have all these attributes just floors me. Yet I know that it is true.
 
Paul goes on to compare these kinds of people to a couple of trouble-makers that were in the Israelites' camp under Moses called Jannes and Jambres and says that even as those men withstood Moses so also these in our day within the church will be resisting the truth because they are men of corrupt minds who are reprobate concerning the faith. Yet they are in the church. Very strong words.
 
If someone were to say these things against them today and not be quoting Paul, someone might accuse them of judging them or of having bitterness in the vine and usurping God's place of authority and being an instrument of the enemy and bringing derision and destruction or of turning and rending others rather than sounding the very warning that Paul told Timothy to be aware of! I am not ashamed of the truth of God and what He has promised. I will hold fast my confidence and look for the blessed hope every day and no man shall steal my crown. Neither will I apologize for turning away from such as Paul describes that are in the church (from such turn away) as though I was afraid to be called an instrument of bitterness and negativity for judging them. If you want to fellowship with them to keep the peace that is yours to decide. But I think that a separation is taking place as we speak and I wish to be on the Lord's side of it and not the world's or those who are reprobate concerning the faith. Perilous times are here!