It’s pretty difficult to avoid the conflicting Biblically related information that the Internet seems to be awash in right now. It seems, no matter which way you turn, someone is advocating one thing, that seems to be in disagreement with what others are saying. Of course, there have always been differing opinions expressed, but whereas this used to be a relatively steady stream, now it has become a constantly increasing torrent.
And the result of this constantly increasing dissemination of conflicting information is division, both within the general populace and also within the Church at large, on many different levels that touch on a wide variety of subjects. One of the main characteristics that the Bible tells us about the end times, is that it will be a time of increasing “lawlessness”, (Matthew 24:12)(Matthew 7:21-23) which is generally defined as “not restrained or controlled by law”. So it doesn’t necessarily mean that there are not laws in force to deal with various mandated requirements, but it can infer that the laws are not being adhered to. Lawlessness, remember that word.
The next question that should come to mind is whose laws are being spoken of? Are we talking about man’s laws or God’s laws? When you do a search of all the times that the word “lawlessness” is used in the Bible, it quickly becomes evident that “lawlessness” normally pertains to God’s laws or directives, showcased by the “man of sin” who is to appear (2 Thessalonians 2:1-17).
I found it interesting that when Jesus spoke to His disciples about what would take place in the end times, He ended that dialogue with the words, “… but take courage, I have overcome the world” (John 16:32-33). Notice that Jesus did not say that they would overcome the world, notice that Jesus did not say that He would overcome the world through them, what He did say was that He HAD overcome the world. That would be in spite of the tribulation, that would be in spite of those of His followers that would be killed, that would be in spite of everything. Jesus has already overcome the world.
What are the two biggest mandates or commandments that Jesus gave to the Church? The answer is the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) and love one another (John 15:12). That would be God’s will being fulfilled by the example and validation of His Spirit within us, loving one another. Makes perfect sense doesn’t it?
Remember what was said of those within the early Christian Church, “behold, how they love one another”? (John 13:3) Is there a contrast between then and now?
Many of the actions and words some Christians display or cast at others today are in direct opposition to what God in the OT and Jesus in the NT specifically asked us to do:
* Some argue and support conspiracies (Isaiah 8:12-13)
* Some demonize political opponents (Matthew 5:44-45)(Luke 6:27-29)
* Some prioritize their own interests and welfare over the interests and welfare of others (Philippines 2:3-4)
* Some advocate nationalism over the Kingdom of God (John 18:36)
* Some bear false witness (spreading misinformation and disinformation) against their neighbours without first taking the time to adequately research and validate any accusations they may have against others (Exodus 20:16)
* Some replace Christ as our Sovereign King and replace Him by trusting in worldly leaders (Colossians 1:18)
* Some say that the Church has failed or is failing. Jesus said that without Him, we could do nothing (John 15:5). If the Church is failing, what do you think are the primary reasons?
When we lose sight of the fact that Jesus said that He has already overcome the world, which includes, of necessity, all of the coming tribulation and falling away that He foretold us would happen and we lose sight of the fact that His Kingdom is not of this world and we start relying on our own endeavours, as the Church, within the world, to further His cause, here on earth, while ignoring His primary directives, we do error.
Jesus never told us as the Church to fight against the world, He told us to spread the Good News throughout the world. Jesus never told us as the Church to demean and slander our neighbour, He told us to love our neighbour as ourselves. And finally, as the Church, He told us to love one another and forgive one another as we have been loved and forgiven. How is it that we have forgotten that?
When I consider that Jesus, the Son of God, actually washed the disciples feet (John 13:5-17) and told them to wash one another’s feet, which is synonymous with forgiving one another for the daily sins that we each commit, and I look at the exchanges that are articulated by some confessing Christians, who supposedly represent Christianity (which unfortunately, infrequently also includes myself), it lets me know how far we have strayed.
The Church has sinned and we continue to sin. Lord have mercy upon us, forgive us, and order our steps anew.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!