The Days are Evil
The Days are Evil
“Making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16)
In the New Testament God predicted the continual threat of temptation, people falling away from the faith, the movements and activities of false teachers, the need to remain watchful, careful, sober-minded and true to our God. This is a never ending battle that will exist until the end of time.
- The threat is always with us, it is never ending: Matthew 7:15; 2 Peter 2:1ff
- Hebrews 3:12
- The claims of Scripture will always be ridiculed and attacked: 2 Peter 3:4
- The apostasy is vast and deep, even ensnaring many professed Christians, including even the elders of the flock: 2 Timothy 4:3; Acts 20:28ff.
- The Christian life is described as a life of great joy and external conflict, it is the “the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 1:18; 6:12), meaning deliberate engagement with the enemy on our part (Ephesians 5:11).
What We Believe will be Continually Attacked
- Thus Paul said that he was “Set for the defense of the gospel” (Philippians 1:16).
- The early churches, like those on the island of Crete, faced “many rebellious men and empty talkers” who were teaching that which was false from the motive of material gain (Titus 1:9-11)
- Jude admonishes God’s people to “contend earnestly for the faith” (Jude 3) because others, often in an underhanded manner will seek to undermine it.
- In this Second Letter, Peter reminds us that information in God’s word is true, it isn’t some sort of fairy tale (2 Peter 1:16), rather it is what men recorded being moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21). But then he immediately reminds us of a very large contingent of false teachers who will attempt to persuade us otherwise.
Unfortunately there is this idea that the Bible was written and then for centuries people just naively believed it and finally in about the last two hundred years it was examined or scrutinized for the very first time in history and found wanting. Actually, history teaches the exact opposite. Belief in God, the Scriptures, Jesus Christ and the Christian faith have been examined, scrutinized and attacked from the very beginning (Acts 28:22 “it is spoken against everywhere”).
Do not Judge, Just Go Along?
Years ago, the following was written, but it sounds like it could have been written yesterday: “In the meantime we shall believe as our emotions and our hopes compel us, and no one can rightly condemn us, so long as we refrain from becoming dogmatic and trying to impose our beliefs upon others, and as long as we are honest enough to realize that the question remains open and that no man really knows” (Invitation to Philosophy, Dr. Durant Drake).
The idea of just “going along” with the flow is not a new idea. Actually it is a very old problem (1 Kings 22:13 “Please let your word be like the word of them, and speak favorably”). In contrast, to the idea that everything remains unsettled and an open question, the Bible repeated says, “We know”
- 1 John 2:3,5; 3:16; 4:6; 5:2
- The question does not remain open. Jude says that the faith was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). There are many things that are settled (1 Corinthians 15:1-3; Galatians 5:21).
- In addition, God did condemn people for avoiding being dogmatic when it came to truth, good and evil (1 Kings 18:21). In the time of Elijah there were too many “believers” who were an inch deep and a mile wide.
“It is a strange thing, but these men who insist we should not impose our beliefs upon others, never hesitate to impose their disbeliefs on others. They write books to spread their wretched denials. They stand up in a class-room to impose their skepticism upon the plastic minds of their immature students…We need to be as dogmatic in our affirmations as they are dogmatic in their denials” (Therefore Stand, Wilbur Smith, pp. 484-485).
The Bible: Has the Correct Intolerance
- Exodus 20:3 “no other gods before Me”.
- Galatians 1:6 “any other gospel”.
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?”
- John 14:6; Acts 4:12 “There is salvation is no one else”.
Do not be fooled by people who plead for tolerance, while attempting to undermine the truth of the gospel at the same time. No one is tolerant of all things. Often those who plead the most for tolerance become very intolerant once they gain power. The Bible has the right balance. Embracing what is good and rightly opposing what is evil (Romans 12:9).
The Power of the Truth
- John 3:19-21
- Romans 1:16
- Titus 1:9-11
- 2 Timothy 4:2
- Acts 20: 32
“When we strike we must strike only with the weapon which God puts in our hands” (Dean Howson). This means that we do not use evil or evil methods to attack evil (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
Evil Days: Are Opportunities for Godly Men and Women
- You Will Be Wanted Some Day
“You will be wanted some day by Belshazzar; you were not at the beginning of the feast, but you will be there before the banqueting hall is closed; the king will not ask you to drink wine, but he will ask you to tell the secret of his pain and heal the malady of his heart. Abide your time. You are nobody now. Who cares for preachers, teachers, and men of insight, while the wine goes round, and the feast is unfolding its tempting luxuries? But the preacher, as we have often had occasion to say, will have his opportunity. They will send for him when all other friends have failed. May he then come fearlessly, independently, asking only to be made a medium through which divine communications (1 Peter 4:11) can be addressed to the listening trouble of the world…Every man, in proportion as he is a Daniel, has nothing to invent, nothing to conceive in his own intellect; he has no warrant or credential from the empty court of his own genius; he bears the letters from heaven; he expresses the claims of God. O Daniel, preacher, thunder out God’s word” (Therefore Stand, p. 490).
- Time Is Short and Limited/So Much as At Stake
“Preach our Lord; preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And preach every sermon of yours for the salvation of your hearers. Flee, like very poison---as it is---every other thought, every other motive …Preach your absolute best” (Therefore Stand, p. 494)
- Strike at the Root
“What we need in the Church today are more men that are able to follow the critics up to their lair, slaughter them in their den (figuratively speaking)” (Dr. Robert Dick Wilson).
- Be Public, Get the Message Out
Strike in the open, full and hard, where all the world sees the foe fall (Titus 1:9-11).
- Continue to Stand and Stand Firm
For your sake (Ephesians 6:13) and for the sake of all those who are presently in the snare of the devil (2 Timothy 2:24ff) and for all that will follow you as well.