Monday, September 7, 2020
“You’re going to get in trouble!”
Do you remember hearing that when you were contemplating doing something that pushed the limits of acceptable behavior? I heard it often, and sometimes I took it as a challenge. I got in trouble sometimes. I should have gotten in trouble every time.
No one likes to be told that trouble is coming. Even when we deserve it, we don’t like it. We do everything we can to avoid it. Most often we lie so that the trouble can’t find us.
There’s another saying that is used in a sarcastically humorous way when we see someone approaching us.
“Here comes trouble.”
It’s really a terrible thing to say to anyone. We should never personify trouble and label people that way, even jokingly.
But the Bible says trouble is coming. Here’s a challenging verse for us today from the Apostle Paul.
2 Timothy 3:1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
As we will see this week in our study of the Last Days, the trouble will be rooted in the confrontation of righteousness and evil. The trouble will be the product of the increase in evil, and will magnify when those who are righteous are called out for not supporting evil. The trouble will be felt most by the righteous as they are rejected by society and are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.
Here’s how Paul describes the pervasiveness of evil.
2 Timothy 3:2-7 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
Now, contrast that with Paul’s challenge to the righteous.
2 Timothy 3:10-17 10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Which one of those two passages describes you?