For the times they are a-changin’

As we go on day to day, we see so many changes in our lifestyle and most not for the good. We have some of our leaders trying to control every aspect of our lives. People talk about the “new norm.” There is no “new norm” because anything that is not normal is abnormal. Things are changing. In the words of Bob Dylan:

Come gather ’round, people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
And you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

 The pandemic, (in my opinion, a false crisis) and the looting, rioting and killings that have been running wild in parts of our country shows just how much our country has changed and turned away from the values we once had as a nation. Some of our state and local leaders have shown how really weak they are by letting the anarchists take control away from them.

More from Bob Dylan:

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
The battle outside ragin’
Will soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

 Jesus also talked of the changing times. He was talking to his disciples about things we may be wondering about ourselves, including the end of time. “Is this the end of the world?” I have heard many folks ask if the pandemic is a sign the Jesus is coming soon. People are looking for answers.

The bright side of the pandemic is that more and more people are coming to Christ for protection and salvation. A revival may be in the works right now. But this comes with a warning.

Jesus said:

 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” ~ Matthew 24:3-8

 Jesus’ reply emphasized the events that will take place before the end of time. He pointed out that his disciple should be less concerned with knowing the exact date and more concerned with being prepared ~ living God’s way consistently, so that no matter when Jesus came, they would be prepared. Are you prepared?

Jeremiah 14:14

“Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.”

 Just as Jesus warned His disciples and Old Testament prophets warned their people, I am here today to give you the same warning. I am hear to tell you the truth of what is out there in the “outside” world; about what you may hear in and what may to see.

 2 Peter 2:1-3

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”

 Today we to have these same false prophets and false teachers. You need to check them out. I urge you to check whatever you hear with the Word of God.

 And many shall follow their pernicious (meaning wicked or evil) ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

 Teachers should be paid by the people they teach, but these teachers were attempting to make more money by distorting the truth, saying what people wanted to hear. They were more interested in making money that they were teaching the truth.

This is especially true today during these times of uncertainty and fear. People are seeking answers anywhere they can find them. We have so many false teachers out there on TV, radio, even the churches are filled with the people Jesus warned us about. We must all be aware of these evil speaking people in our midst. More often than not these folks will try to call you out of your hard-earned money.

Adrian Rogers, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention said this:

“For their own motivation and wicked heart, Peter says, they make merchandise of the Gospel. You’ve perhaps seen some of these hucksters on TV who merchandise the Gospel of Christ. In my estimation, the hottest part of hell is reserved for these plastic preachers who, for whatever reason, merchandise God’s people. With great swelling words they exploit the ignorant. They are prophets, spelled “P-R-O-F-I-T-S.”

Peter and Paul both condemned greedy, lying teachers.

1 Timothy 6:5

” Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”

 Before you send any money to any cause, evaluate it carefully. Is the teacher or preacher clearly serving God or promoting his or her own interests? Will the money be used to promote a valid ministry, or merely finance further promotions?

Here’s just one example of today’s false teachers Peter and Paul are talking about:

There’s a thing called “prosperity gospel.” Their central element is that no one is too poor or too indebted to donate.  A TV evangelist had a show called “Take It By Force” and told viewers that God had asked him to deliver a message to those in financial difficulty:

They should “sow a seed” by using their credit cards to make donations. In return, the Lord would see to it that the balances would be paid off within 30 days.

“Get Jesus on that credit card!” this guy said.

There’s hundreds of stories like this.  People make themselves rich at the cost of the poor and unaware and this is especially true in the times we are living.

Not all false teachers are out to scam you and take your money. Some just tell us false doctrine or teach a false Jesus or a false God, because they don’t want us to know the truth of Jesus Christ. They want us to turn away from God and turn toward Satan.  They won’t say that, but that is exactly what they are doing.

Those who deny Christ are embracing Satan…. there’s no third option..

Matthew Henry says, “The word of truth is the water of life, which refreshes the souls that receive it; But deceivers spread and promote error, and are set forth as empty because there is no truth in them. ”

 A person is a slave to whatever controls him.  Many of these feel good preachers, these false teachers believe freedom means doing anything you want.  But no one is ever completely free in that sense.  If we refuse to follow God, as some of the heretics profess, we will follow our own sinful desires and become enslaved to what our bodies want.  If we submit our lives to Jesus, He will free us from the slavery of sin.  Christ frees us to serve Him, resulting in the ultimate good.

Because of the times we live in today anything that sounds good must be good seems to be the feelings of today.  People are scared and want comfort wherever they can find it. The best place to find this comfort is Jesus Christ, but again in these times it’s not always easy to find.

2 Timothy 4:3

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”

 This means you’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. Chasing a false Jesus, chasing Satan…

When a Christian is mis-led by these false teachers they can fall back into the same sins they had repented earlier. They would be like Israel when they turned their back on God…God will not stand still for that.

2 Peter 2:7-9

And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

 Just as God rescued Lot from Sodom so he is able to rescue us from temptations and trials we face in a wicked world. Lot was not sinless, but he put his trust in God and was spared when Sodom was destroyed. God will judge those who cause the temptations and trials to affect His people; so, we need never worry that justice will be done.

A final word from Bob Dylan:

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’

We are now living in the times like Sodom and Gomorrah and God will judge us the same way. So now is the time to come to Jesus and repent.

2 Chronicles 7:14

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

 

 

 

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