Echoes From the Campfire

It was] a place I could have stayed forever.  How many times I have found such campsites!  Places so beautiful it gave a man the wistfuls to see or to think back on.  So many times we said, ‘We’ve got to come back some time!’ an’ knowin’ all the while we never would.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (Lonely on the Mountain)

    “Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God. For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours.”
              –Psalm 90:2,4 (NLT)
It was a week ago when I discussed the “perilous times” in which we live.  Listen people, we are not journeying toward the last days, we do not need to be wondering when they will be here; we have entered the last days.  Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote, “But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].” (2 Timothy 3:1, AMPC)  Following this verse he begins to describe what the characteristics of the last days will be.

         “For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.”
              –2 Timothy 3:2 (AMPC)

Read through that slowly; look carefully at each characteristic.  One thing noticeable is the sign of self-love, self-consumption, and selfishness.  People will be self-focused, self-centered, and self-consumed.  Oh, but you say, people give to charities, and yes, but many times the reason is to show off that they are giving, and possibly to ease their conscience.
    People will be so committed to their own self-promotion and agenda that they will be willing to exaggerate, embellish a story, or even lie if it will get them the position desired.  I like what Rick Renner, the Greek scholar and preacher has said, men will have “floating ethics.”  Their ethics and morals float from how it helps them.  My mercy, just look at the politics!  They will believe that they have the right to set the agenda for everybody else.  They have the right to control your life, control my life.  
    If you do not following along with their agenda then comes the slander.  The term “abusive” or in some versions “blasphemers” means more than being disrespectful of the things of God.  It is “to rail against by bring abusive, debasing, degrading accusations against those with whom one does not agree.” (hmmm, remember the comedian holding up a head of a decapitated Trump?)  They will be disobedient to parents; which means unpersuadable, uncontrollable, unleadable.  Did you happen to see the guy cursing with vile obscenities and hitting the man who told him to quit keying people’s cars?  
    Man will come to the point rather than thanking God for their blessings, they are selfish and claim they deserve more than they are getting.  My mercy, look at the snowflakes!  They are void of any sense of gratitude.  They protest that they don’t have enough.  “When people stop expressing a heart of gratitude toward God, unholy attitudes begin to materialize, then followed by unholy behavior.” (Renner)
    There term “unholy” means actions that are impure, ill-mannered, improper, unclean, indecent, coarse, vulgar, crude, or lewd.  These are actions that are unsanctioned by God.  It is not ironic that what God has called unholy is what society thinks is funny.  “Lost society is oblivious to the deception that is dragging it lower and lower into depravity and judgment.” (Renner)
    Take time to read those characteristics and think of how they are coming to pass.  Next week, we’ll take a look at verse 3, but verse 2 is enough to set one’s teeth on edge.  The last days- we are in them.  One of the main signs is that people will be “blinded” by Satan.  Keep your eyes open to guard yourself in these last days.
    Three years ago, on this date, I was in the throes of a heart attack.  The Lord has been good to give me a few more years.  Listen, He is in charge, and I’ve lived each day since then with that realization.  I always knew that, but it wasn’t necessarily brought to “heart.”  
    So, my friends, thank you for your prayers during that time, and your continued prayers and concern since that time.  The ol’ heart is still a tickin’.