Taken from The End of the World and the Return of the Lord Jesus Christ, by a servant (copyright 2009, 2016; to be published in 2017 – copy freely for personal use):
Signs of the Times
‘You can discern the weather, but you cannot discern the signs of the times… (Matt. 16:3)’
‘Ye that have an ear to hear… (Rev. Chapters 2 & 3)’
The first message Christ preached was ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt.3:2)!’ After He had been baptized and was tempted in the wilderness, ‘Jesus began to preach, Repent… (Matt.4:17).’ Likewise, after faithful disciples of Christ were ‘filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4)’ at Pentecost, multitudes came before them and when Peter had told them how they had ‘crucified and put to death (Acts 2:23)’ Jesus, and how according to the prophets, God had ‘raised’ Jesus, who is ‘both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36),’ the multitudes cried out, ‘…brethren, what shall we do?’ “Then Peter said unto them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness (remission) of sins (Luke 24:47), and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit; for this promise is to you and to your children… And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation (Acts 2:37-40)’.”
…Some may wonder why i begin with the message of repentance. First, Christ commanded that ‘repentance, and forgiveness of sins’ by the ‘grace’ of God ‘through faith in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8)’be ‘preached …to all nations (Luke 24:47).’ And lest i am charged, i remind you that there is forgiveness of sins through repentance and faith in the only One who can grant eternal salvation – Jesus, Yeshua, Yehoshua – ‘God (our) Salvation.’ Second, it is very appropriate for those who desire to be saved from sin to know that both ‘repentance from dead works and faith towards God (Heb. 6:1)’ are not just ‘elementary principles’ for Christians, but essential ones….
…The Lord has ‘established His covenant with us (Gen. 6:18; Jer. 31:33; Acts 3:25; Rom. 11:27; Heb. 8:6-13:20),’ and God sent into ‘the world (John 3:16)’ ‘the Way, the Truth, the Life (John 14:6),’ and ‘the Light (John 1:4, 5; 9:5; 21:23),’ “shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not comprehend it… He was in the world, and the world was made though Him, yet the world does not know Him. He came to His creation, and His creation did not receive Him. And though the Light has come into the world, men love the darkness rather than the Light… their works are evil. But as many as received Christ, to them He gave the right to become children of God (John 1:5-12; 3:19).’ Soon judgment will come, as it was on the Chaldeans (land of Ur – Gen. 15:7): ‘…it will never be inhabited, nor will it be settled from generation to generation,’ ‘a dry land and a wilderness… desolate among the nations… (Isa. 13:20; Jer. 51:41, 43)…
Now, again the whole earth is filled with violence and lies and oppression and all forms of evil. The Lord God sent His prophets and our Lord Jesus Christ, who also sent His apostles into the world to preach the gospel; yet, the world has rejected Christ’ commands and men serve themself rather than their Creator. Soon the Lord shall judge the nations and make many lands desolate. Some “say in these last days, ‘…Where is the promise of His coming? …all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ They forget that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth came forth… which are now preserved by the same word and reserved for fire in the day of judgment (2 Peter 3:3-7).” You may innocently ask what are the signs that we are truly in the last days and how are your theories different from when the Reformers and others said these things? Let us look at our recent times and see:
I. ‘IN THE LAST DAYS…’ ‘Perilous times will come (2 Tim. 3:1):’ It is true that certain people in every generation have had hard and dangerous times. And Paul himself said that ‘all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2 Tim. 3:12),’ yet, he said the lasts days shall be more perilous. More than when Herod slaughtered thousands of innocence male babies (Matt. 2:16), and even more so than when Israel’s temple was destroyed and about 2 million Jews were killed during the time of the Jewish Wars from 66 to 70 AD, the great tribulation shall involve all nations and claim more lives than the seven years of World War II, during which time there were about 70 million civilian and military casualties, including 70 % of the Jewish population of Europe. During the great tribulation, about half of the earth’s population, 4,000,000,000 people, will died by wars, famine, pestilence and persecution (Revelation; Chapters 6–13).
‘Men will be lovers of themselves (2 Tim. 3:2):’ Since Adam sinned, mankind has been selfish, however, Paul is including nominal ‘Christians,’ saying that not only shall the ungodly increase their wickedness, but many in the churches would become apostate and abandon their faith and obedience to Christ; for Timothy knew that Christ and Paul had already warned that before Christ returns ‘the falling away comes first (2 Thes. 1:1; 2:3; Matt. 24:5, 11).’
There was a time when Christians ‘had all things in common …and the Lord added to the Church daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:45-47).’ As Christianity spread throughout the earth there were many schisms and divisions, yet the gospel of Christ reached out to the entire world. According to Operation World the Jesus film and other such Christian media has been seen by over 3 billion people. And though there are more than 4 billion non-Christians worldwide, and though less than 5% of Christian media funds (World Christian Encyclopedia and World Christian Trends; 2001 edition) are spent reaching these, within the next few years, with cable TV, radio, and internet media, nearly every city in the world will have received the gospel of Jesus.
Yet, looking at Christianity in Europe and North America, it is evident that great proportions of each country’s population have left the faith. By one Pew Forum study, about ‘16% of the people worldwide are unaffiliated with any religion (Dec. 18, 2012).’ In many nations that once were Christian, surveys reveal that more than 70 % of the population does not attend church regularly. According to a January 2007 poll “published in Le Monde des Religions …the number of self-declared French Catholics had dropped from 80 per cent in the early 1990s … to 51 per cent today. The number of atheists has risen sharply to 31 per cent from 23 per cent in 1994. …France is no longer a Catholic country …The poll showed that only 10 % go to church regularly… Of the 51 per cent who still call themselves Catholics, only half said they believed in God. Many said they were Catholics because it was a family tradition.” And we see this same result across Christendom, where mankind has loved the world and men love themselves with little care for their ‘neighbor;’ and very few ‘love the Lord God with all their heart, soul and strength (Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18; Matt.22:37-39).’ Because most have forgotten the Lord, from their ‘heart comes …evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, blasphemy, pride… and the like (Mark 7:21, 22).’
Before World War II, nearly 2/3’s of Germany was Protestant and the other third – Catholic. Now, their church attendance is one of the lowest in the world. Globalpost, February 2009, reported that in Germany ‘church attendance is already under 14 percent even among declared Catholics, according to the German Bishops’ Conference. This is less than half of what it was two decades ago.’
And according to the Dublin Archdiocese, ‘Church attendance in Ireland, though still among the highest in Western Europe, has fallen from about 85% to 60% from 1975 to 2004.’ There is no doubt that ‘the love of many is growing cold (Matt. 24:12).’ In America, between 1776 and 1790, nearly every state constitution required that their representatives profess ‘belief in the Christian religion;’ and some states required that, “every person who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office… shall …declare ‘I ___ do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost…” Now, nearly no representative publicly professes such; yet, soon under the Antichrist – every leader will worship the beast or die.
‘Lovers of money (2 Tim. 3:2):’ Though men are caring less for their neighbors and the Lord God, they are increasing their love for ‘mammon – money – riches (Matt.6:24).’ And even if the masses were warned, ‘woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation (Luke 6:24);’ nearly all would still desire more money and pleasures and riches and still not believe or understand the warning. Yet what distinguishes us these days from all other generations? Many significant facts can be displayed, yet i shall focus on four: The ‘prosperity’ message of ministers; the seeking after excessive wealth; the status of corporations as masters; and the one world government with one business language and currency.
Psalm 15 says: ‘Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? …He who walks uprightly… who does not put out his money at usury (interest or for gain) …shall never be moved.’ It is a sad witness in ‘Christian’ nations when Muslims nations limit their fees charged due to religious beliefs, but we charge up to double the amount loaned through credit cards in a 3 to 4 year period; or when many home buyers pay half the amount borrowed on their home back in interest during the first five years of a 30 year mortgage. It was only about 100 years ago when many friends and families stopped helping build each others homes; yet it is true the homes were much more modest than bank loans can offer. In 2008 their were over $ 1.1 trillion of assets under bankruptcy; that amount was nearly as much as the previous 10 years combined; of course Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual accounted for nearly $1 trillion of the amount. Note: the average total assets under bankruptcy between 1980 and 2000 were more than $ 50 billion per year (Business Week; February 9, 2009).
The leaders of ‘Christian’ nations no longer care for ancient laws of the Lord: ‘You shall not charge interest to your brother… on money or food or anything that is lent out (Deut. 23:19);’or ‘If your neighbor falls into poverty, then you shall help him and take no interest from him, but fear God (Lev. 25:36).’ Leaders of nations and banks and most ministers neither fear God, nor would care to have their brethren live with or among them; for the love of money, many oppress others for profits. And legal impartiality called credit scores allow finance companies to charge the poor thrice as much as the rich; so one can afford almost twice the home or car for the nearly the same mortgage. And the rich get credit for investment properties and no interest or cash back credit cards, while the poor pay in excess of 25%. If the lender does not like the borrower, then don’t lend to them; but if they choose to do so – do not show partiality – lest the borrowers cries of injustice rise to heaven and the Lord judges the greedy merchants. If politicians and lenders are not moved by the Holy Scriptures, than perhaps they can hear simple God given wisdom – if you lend to the blue collar laborer at the same rate as the white collared doctor, than the laborer is less likely to default – nevertheless, the failure of the status quo speaks for itself. i wish Ezra’s were raised up to hear the ‘outcry of the people (Neh. 5:1)’ against the energy corporations, banks, medical and pharmaceutical corporations, and ‘the merchants of the earth (Rev.18:11);’ we need for ‘justice for all.’
Most ministers care not for campaigns of justice anymore. Most priests/pastors just want to ‘lord over (1 Peter 5:3)’ flocks and most pastors with over 80 members desire to preserve their comfortable salaries more than go into the world and make disciples in every nation – that is for the ‘missionary’ – a noble term, but not in the five-fold list – yet pastors and evangelists of old were missionaries. The 2009 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff, through a survey of over 4,800 churches revealed that in 2008 for churches with membership between 100 and 300, senior pastors earned over $ 72,000; churches with 300 to 500 members the salary increased to $ 88,500; and for average attendances between 500 and 750 people, the senior pastor made over $ 102,000. i agree with preachers of the 1800’s who said it was an injustice for a minister to make more than their average congregant. The median household income in the U. S. in 2013 was about $51,500; average Senior Pastor in 2013 exceeded $ 90,000.
But what is worst than excessive salaries, is the televangelist and megachurch pastors who fleece the weak minded for salaries and benefits 3 times or more than the average family’s wages. In 2006, directors of the multi-million dollar Angel Food Ministries, claimed over $ 2 million in salaries. In 2005, the false prophet and televangelist Peter Popoff, with his wife, son and daughter reported incomes totaling over $ 1.1 million; and these same totals have applied to the Hagees, Crouchs, Copelands, Meyers, Olstens; etc. After all Jesus had a 17,000 sq.’ mansion on earth and a $ 50 million jet; oh wait!, through Hagee said in his Master Your Money series that Jesus had a mansion, Christ said, ‘the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’ It is also sad how some of these mega-churches give to each other (buy a van, give to building fund) and label it as missions gifting; it is only a sacrificial offering if it cost you something.
Whether ‘disciples of Christ’ receive excessive salaries through book deals or board members, the fact is ‘they are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall… (Matt. 15:14).’ Most of these rich ‘ministers’ could not likely stand through great tribulation. And no other time in history has a generation of Christians desired to store up wealth as have the pass couple of generations. Though the stock and bond markets have loss over 25 % in 2007 and part of 2008, the average 401K account was over $65,000 (U. S. News & World Report; Feb. 2009). The chasing after inflated returns have millions buying term insurance and investing the difference, when many should be purchasing proven traditional products from proven insurers. Many try to flip houses regardless to the fairness toward the previous seller or future buyer; many buy gold or any category of speculation for wealth. The point here is not to teach the need for diversification, but to show greed.
Though most ‘Christians’ listed their assets at about $ 100,000; the truth is that most households in America are in great debt. The love of money – and what it can gain plagues mankind (Mark 8:36). According to Experian, the average American with a credit file has over $ 16,600 in debt, excluding mortgages (U.S. News and World Report, ‘The End of Credit Card Consumerism,’ August 2008); in the last generation, credit card debt among young adults has increased by over 250%. Between 1989 and 2006, America’s total credit card charges increased from about $69 billion a year to over $ 1.8 trillion (Demos.org; April 2008).
In 2009, 56 % of consumers carry an unpaid balance (Fed. Res. Bank of Boston, Jan. 2010). Credit card penalty fees only exceeded $ 20 billion in 2009 (R. Hammer; N.Y. Times, Sept. 2009). Corporations have more power than governments. In 2012, about 30 billion credit card transactions were estimated in America. And this is also being played out in Europe and Asia. The fact that over 30 million or about 14 % of U. S. adults were victims of at least one case of identity fraud in 2006 (Federal Trade Commission; October 2007) has not only increased the cost of protecting e-commerce money by the billions, but is key argument for those desiring single identification chips or cards in our future cashless society. Peter Ayliffe, VISA Europe CEO, by 2012, says using credit and debit cards should be cheaper and more convenient than cash. Nevertheless, security & software businesses will gross about $ 30 billion a year (Secure Computing Corporation of Honeywell Intern).
And what are the benefits to the financial institutions that run this cash-less society? They control the accounts of the masses and of course the by-product – excess benefit packages to the CEO’s, directors, and high level management. But at what cost to the common man? According to the Center for Responsible Lending (July 2007) ‘Banks and credit unions are collecting $17.5 billion per year in abusive overdraft fees, higher even than the $15.8 billion extended in funds to cover the overdrafts.’
Global integration towards cash-less society continues. According to the European Central Bank (2008 release): ‘The SEPA (Single Euro payment area) project represents the next major step towards closer European integration. SEPA will allow customers to make non-cash euro payments to any beneficiary located anywhere in the euro area…’ This will not stop with the EU community; soon all participating United Nation countries – nearly every country in the world – will be urged to take part in such an integrated global market. This will take more control from governments, and give more to international monetarist and central bank board of directors. Countries will retain their names, as do sports teams; yet, their ownership will become more international. If this sounds unbelievable, consider blocks away from the US Securities and Exchange Comm. that Beranrd Madoff was Chairman of NASDAQ as he orchestrated the largest multi-billion $ Ponzi scheme on Wall Street. Consider that in 2017 the U.S. National Debt will be $ 20 trillion, or about $ 60,000 per U.S. citizen.
According to a January 14, 2008 CRS (Congressional Research Service) article entitled Foreign Ownership of U.S. Financial Assets: ‘Foreign investors now hold slightly less than 50% of publicly held and publicly traded U.S. Treasury securities, 25 % of corporate bonds, and about 12 % of U.S corporate stocks.’ And this does not include foreign ownership in real estate. This is an international matter; for example, by some reports foreign ownership in London office space was over 45% in 2006, up from 20 % ten years earlier. On top tens of millions of subprime loans and forclosures, and with tens of millions of workers unemployed or working in subprime jobs; with violatile global markets and political unrest and terrorist threats, nations and financial markets are attached to miry foundations.
Lastly, when a country allows one family to be worth $ 100 billion (Walmart), worth the GDP of many countries, while for years most of their thousands of employees were held to part-time in order to avoid paying health insurance or retirement benefits, then surely we have allowed corporations to rule of government ‘of the people, by the people and for the people’ and no longer ‘promote the general welfare.’
‘Boasters …Proud (2 Tim. 3:2; Rom. 1:30):’ where pride’s grip is in the heart, boasting’s is in the tongue. James says, ‘the tongue is a little member and boasts great things… the tongue is a fire, a world of sin… that defiles the body… full of deadly poison… (James 3:5-8; 1:19).’ What is the spirit of the boaster? It is as the Antichrist, who speaks great things of himself (Dan. 11:36; Rev. 13:5). Now, there has been since the fall of mankind the prideful and boasters, however, in the past two generation with the aid of electric media, overpaid athletes and entertainers have been chosen as role models. The sports industry has become a multi-billion dollar industry; even thousands of adults literally bow to athletes as they perform. This may seem trivial many, but it is noteworthy to Christ who said ‘when you have done all those things which are commanded, say ‘we are unprofitable servants, we have done that which was our duty (Luke 17:10).’ Most today neither ‘do those things which are commanded’ by God, nor desire to be ‘servants.’ In nearly every city, corporations and individuals are lifted up on billboards – high above the name of Jesus Christ. Today, most children are convinced by coaches and corporate ads; even by parents, professors and professionals, that promotion of self and selfish ambition is not only wise, but profitable. Beware, ‘whoever exalts himself shall be humbled… (Luke 18:14).’
‘Blasphemers (2 Tim. 3:2; Rom. 1:30):’ ‘…Those who rule over My people make them wail, and My name is blasphemed constantly (Isa. 52:5)’.” Many people without fear take the name of the Lord in vain (Exo.20:7). Most children are inundated through years of television, movies and video games, where ‘the name of God is blasphemed (Rom. 2:24). Billions reject that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior. ‘Blasphemy’ is not only speaking evil of, but it includes reviling and provoking. The Scriptures teach us that the Lord is provoked when men turn and serve other gods (Deut. 31:20), and when men love some one or thing before Him. He says, ‘I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children… of them that hate Me, and showing mercy …to them that love Me, and keep My commandments (Exo. 20:5,6; Deut. 5:9,10; Exo. 34:6,7; Deut. 10:12,13).’ Men may escape the judgment of men, but no one will escape the judgment of God, especially those who reject Christ (Eccl. 12:14; Matt. 12:36).’
‘Disobedient to parents… (2 Tim. 3:2; Rom. 1:21,30):’ When parents or guardians do not walk in their responsibility to ‘train up’ their children ‘in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6),’ and when they do not ‘teach diligently …the commandments’ of God (Deut. 6:6,7; 11:8,19),’ then not only do they deprive ‘a child …the Holy Scriptures which are able to make them wise unto salvation… (2 Tim. 3:15),’ but they make way for their children to ‘forget the Lord…’ and ‘do evil in the sight of the Lord (Deut. 6:12; 9:20).’
A 2005 Kaiser Family Foundation Study titled Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8 -18 Year-olds: ‘…mid-point 20th century, the U.S. media landscape included TV, radio and records, movies and print media. Fewer than five years into the 21st century, the media landscape encompasses broadcast, cable, and satellite TV, the TV remote control, the VCR, the DVR, print media – books, magazines, newspapers – various audio media (broadcast, satellite, and cable radio, tapes, CD’s, digital recordings – all highly portable), personal computers and the various online activities (e.g., World Wide Web, email, instant messaging, gaming, music, and video streaming), video games (TV-based and handheld), and portable telephones the connect to the internet and do most of what any digital screen will do… 86% of all children in the U.S. have computers in their homes… half of the children have TV’s in their bedrooms…’ The Children’s Defense Fund (State of America’s Children Handbook; 2012): ‘U.S. ranked 1st in number billionaries… in 2010, 16.4 million children were poor…’ 99% of all households with children have at least one TV, VCR and game console. Kaiser study showed that ‘among 7th to 12th graders who listened to audio recordings the previous day… only 11% had listened to Christian music…’ 2005 Kaiser study found ‘48% of boys, and 45% of girls …15-19 had initiated sexual intercourse’ at least once.
‘Unthankful … (2Tim.3:2):’ When was the last time that nations truly offered public thanks to God Almighty. It is the opposite, their governments and courts remove God from their public institutions, from their schools and courts. In France, it became illegal to display a cross at public schools in 2004 under President Jacques Chirac. Well a generation before that in America, the Supreme Court in Engel v. Vitale (1962) and Abington School District v. Schempp (1963) held that ‘reading of (Bible) verses, even without comment’ or ‘school-sponsored pray’ – even voluntary at a school event – is unconstitutional. Not only are our lawmakers and judges unthankful to our God and King; they willfully ‘separate Church from State,’ and moreso as a whole they are unbelievers who directly cause an increase in the ‘non-religionous’ in America; and this is mirrored throughout the world.
According to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, Growing Share of Americans Say They Seldom or Never Pray, displayed that ‘the share of U.S. adults who seldom or never pray has increased from 18% to 23% since 2007.’ And the numbers are much more alarming among the youth. We may be one nation ‘under God;’ but we are not thankful to Him.
‘Unholy (2Tim.3:2; Rom.1:29):’ ‘you shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy (Lev.19:2; 1 Peter 1:16).’ It is written, ‘without holiness no man shall see the Lord (Heb.12:14),’ yet most of mankind does not ‘choose’ to ‘serve (Joshua 24:15; Deut. 10:12)’ God in virtue, but rather follows after their own ‘lusts.’ Nations are full of ‘servants of sin (Rom. 6:12).’ Beloved, ‘know ye not, whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are… whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness (Rom. 6:16; John 8:34)?’
It is sad in this 21st century when few are forced to be slaves that nearly all choose to be slaves to the ‘pleasures of this life’ and to ‘money (Luke 8:14; 16:13).’ O ‘preachers of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5),’ what does this mean: ‘Love not the world, neither the things in the world; if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him; for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (1 John 2:16)?’ Most of the ‘multitudes in the valley of decision (Joel 3:14)’ are being led into that great ‘pit of destruction (Rev. 20:3; Matt. 7:13);’ this is because most of our leaders and ministers are no better than the average sinner. Studies show that over a fourth of all ministers ‘have eyes full of adultery…’ and or ‘have gone astray, following the …loved the money (2Peter 2:14,15).’
And how many fools and widows have filled the coffers of false ministers who tickle their ears (Matt. 23:14; Acts 10:29; 2 Tim. 4:3)? It would often be better that your ‘tithing …be given directly to orphans and widows (Deut. 26:13)’ rather than to certain false ‘storehouses (Deut. 28:8).’
Nevertheless, why are people unrighteous and what proof is there that this generation is more unholy than others? Yes, ungodliness is a choice, our once ‘Christian’ nations has turned from God and removed the Holy Scriptures from public education systems, and parents ‘spare …correction (2Tim. 3:15)’ and allow their children to be spoiled with nearly any desire they have – clothing, jewelry, television, theater, video, internet and especially ‘friends.’ Many Jewish rabbis quote: ‘if a man does not teach his children the Torah, he murders them.’ Yet, most preachers do not warn and object to the sinful practices of the people, ‘the priests murder in the way by consent (Hosea 6:9).’
We are called to be ‘holy (kadosh or qadesh – saint, set apart),’ and thus Paul says, we are ‘called to be saints (Rom. 1:7).’ Yet, where are those who train us to ‘hunger and thirst for righteousness,’ to ‘do justly and love mercy;’ who prepares this generation to be ‘persecuted for righteous’ sake (Matt. 5:6, 10; Micah 6:8). Works such as Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress have been discarded in schools for secular titles; and few desire to be ‘as strangers and pilgrims (Heb. 11:13)’ in the midst of this Vanity Fair; thus, few ‘abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul (1 Peter 2:11);’ but nearly all choose to be ‘a friend of the world’– and they see not that they are in that way an ‘enemy of God (James 4:4).’ ‘The whole world is in wickedness under the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19);’ who ‘deceives the whole world (Rev. 12:9),’ and it is ‘full of every foul spirit …the kings of the earth and the merchants’ are deceived and their ‘sins have reached unto heaven.’
What are signs of this generation? The Vanier Institute reports in their article Contemporary Family Trends 1965 – 2005 (September 2005): ‘cohabitation rates have shot up in the past decade or so, while marriage rates have come down substantially. In 2001, 16 % of all Canadian couples and 8.2 % of all American couples were cohabiting. In Quebec 30 % of all couples were cohabiting… as in Sweden …and in Finland and Mexico …more than 18%’ of all couples were cohabiting in 2001.’ These numbers have only increased, and with young adults becoming more ‘non-religious,’ they will continue in this direction. ‘Fornicators …will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor.6:9).’
The 17th World Congress of the International Association of Youth & Family Judges (August 2006) found ‘over the last 30 years …unmarried cohabitation has become socially widely practiced and accepted at all levels of society. .. Between 1986 and 1989 cohabitation increased from 5% to 15% …in the United Kingdom, over a quarter of children are now born to unmarried cohabiting parents… and these trends are predicted to continue and increase…’ U. S. Census Bureau: ‘The number of unmarried couples living together increased 72% between 1990 and 2000. …The number of unmarried couples living together has increased tenfold between 1960 and 2000.’
In 2002, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that 33% of all births were to unmarried women. By 2012, the NCHS reported over 41% of mothers giving birth were unmarried. The Heritage Foundation (December 2008) reported: ‘Actual marriage between biological parents continues to decline. In 2006, 38.5% of all children born in the U.S. were born out-of-wedlock, up from 28% in 1990. In 2006, the out-of-wedlock birth rate among blacks was 70.7%, among Hispanics, 49.9% and among non-Hispanic whites, 26.6%.’ Currently, in the U.S. over 50% of adults are unmarried. In December 2008, Parliament offered the Cohabitation Bill which ‘provides certain protections for persons who live together as a couple…’ Pew Research Center; December 2011 article: ‘in 1960, 72% of all adults age 18 and older were married; today just 51% are…’ and 44% of age 18-29 surveyed stated yes, ‘marriage is becoming obsolete?’
Additionally, this generation is viewing and paying for pornography at rates significantly higher than ever before in history. According to 2007 reports by TopTenREVIEWS, the leading review site of entertainment and technology: ‘…worldwide revenues for the pornography industry in 2006 were about $ 97 billion. China led the world in ‘porn’ revenues with over $ 27 billion; South Korea had nearly $ 26 billion; Japan …$ 20 billion and the United States …over $ 13 billion.’ However, the U.S. produced the largest number of porn Web pages – over 244 million pages. Germany was second in 2006 with over 10,000 such page, followed closely by the United Kingdom and then Australia. Every ‘Christian’ nation in the world allows at least tens of thousands of pornographic pages to be sold directly from their nation. The epidemic is such that every second thousands are spent on pornography by over 28,000 users. And thousands of new hardcore pornographic titles are released every month…
Google ‘says 2012 saw 1.2 trillion searches in 146 languages worldwide.’ According to the book A Billion Wicked Thoughts (2011), ‘In 1991, the year the World Wide Web went online, there were fewer than 90 different adult magazines… just six years later, in 1997, there were about 900 pornography sites on the Web. Today, the filtering software CYBERsitter blocks 2.5 million adult Wed sites… We collected about 400 million different searches …from July 2009 to July 2010… about 55 million (13%) were searches for some kind of erotic content…’ It is estimated that about 40% of adult internet users have viewed pornography; over 75 million people viewed it each month in 2010. By 16, a child has had ‘multiple hardcore exposures.’
About 20% of the male workforce is said to have viewed porn at work. And no other time in history has so many ministers been ensnared in the sin of fornication through pornography. In a 1988 Leadership magazine survery, 1 in 8 pastors had committed adultery. A 2002 Pastors.com survey found: 54% of 1,351 pastors had viewed internet porn within the last year and 30% in the lasts 30 days. August 2008, a survey by ChristiaNet found that 37% of the pastors answering were struggling with ‘cyberporn.’ In 2000, a Christianity Today survey found the same result; and a CBN article stated that this was ‘America’s # 1’ addiction. In February 2007, the Barna Research Group revealed that 35 % of the men and 17 % of the women had used pornography in the past month.
Another sign is the amount of divorces. The fact that about half the marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, displays both the significance of the number of transgressions before the Lord and a major cause of division and depression in American families. According to the Journal of Psychology and Christianity (Winter 1989; ‘Torn Asunder’) ‘some reports suggest an astounding 50 – 65 % of husbands and 45 – 55 % of wives have had extramarital affairs by the time they are 40.’ A Billion Wicked Thoughts authors Ogas and Gaddam found that ‘cheating wives’ was one of the most popular search terms. A 2004 report from 25 different studies by therapists revealed that ‘25% of wives and 44% of husbands have had extramarital intercourse.’ In more than 1/3 of all marriages at least one partner breaks that commandment ‘thou shalt not commit adultery (Exo.20:14; Deut. 5:18; Mark 10:8, 19; 1 Cor. 6:9).’ A trifold solution; Recall: 1. our ‘vow’ or ‘promise’ ‘as unto the Lord;’ 2. ‘Wife submit to your own husband… Husband love your wife just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her (Eph. 5:22; Col. 3:18)…’
…Another grievous truth of these last days is the amount of abortions, which is a sinful byproduct of our fornicating and adulterous world. According to the Center for Reproductive Rights (2008 ‘Fact Sheet’): about 61% of the world population lives in countries (127) where abortion is legal without restrictions; and 26 % live where there are restrictions. In January 2006 LifeSiteNews.com stated, ‘Spain’s cultural decline continues to spin out of control, as abortion rates reach new heights… the past 10 years their was a 72 % increase to about 85,000 abortions (2004), from the 1995 number of 49,300. Although Spain’s abortion laws limit abortion to …rape …threats to physical or mental health of the mother… 95.7% of all abortions list health concerns of the mother…’
In 2011, in England and Wales their Department of Health listed abortions at ‘189,931 …7.7% more than 2001.’ In Canada they were about 100,000 in 2010. In France, Germany, Italy and Spain there were over 550,000 in 2010. The Center for Disease Control reported in 1972 there were about 587,000 abortions in the U.S.; 1.3 million in 1992; and was over 1.1 million per year the past 20 years (1994–2014). Since Roe v. Wade (1973) to 2014 over 55 million U.S. abortions – deaths of innocent babies. In 2010, there were about 44 million worldwide…
|24 week old fetus (5.6 months): Has taste buds, lungs and can urinate; in 2011, a German hospital delivered a living 22 week old foetus.|
Forgiveness is available to the parents and doctors; yet, how much innocent ‘blood cries out to God (Gen.4:10; Rev.6:10).’ The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (June 2008) reported the estimated number of abortions worldwide was 42 million a year or 115,000 per day. Not long ago, near the city i live in, a women was charged with murder for throwing her baby in a lake. This action is not uncommon to any generation, however, the fact that the Lord hears multiples cries of murder every second from innocent children must significantly contribute to the ‘sins which have reached to heaven, and God has remembered (Rev. 18:5).’
Another sign is the practice and acceptance of homosexuality. On November 30, 2006, by the ‘Civil Union Bill,’ the South African Parliament made ‘same-sex marriages legal.’ It followed the Netherlands (2001), Germany (2001- partnership), Belgium (2003), Canada (2005), United Kingdom (2005- partnership), and Spain (2005). All of these were once ‘Christian’ nations. Sweden (2009), Norway (2009), Argentina (2010), Portugal (2010), and Denmark (2012) legalized gay marriages. Gay parades continued in the U. S., Brazil, the U. K. and even Israel. And by mid-2013, Brazil, France, New Zealand and Uruguay legalized homosexual marriage. In 2009, Obama signed a historical hate crime bill equating ‘sexual orientation’ with gender and race. He is the first president to opening support the nationwide ratification of same-sex marriage. The bill equated homosexuality to race; yet a person can’t choose their race – nor does the Word threaten with hell based on race, yet, it is written, ‘homosexuals… shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor. 6:10; Gal. 5:20).’ In 2004, Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriages and by 2103, the Supreme Court in 2013 struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (U.S. v. Windsor) and in 2015 made ‘same-sex’ marriage legal.
Statistics show that between 3 and 5 percent of the population of ‘Christian’ nations are homosexual. Homosexuals are a major source of sexuality transmitted diseases, including AIDS which currently affects more than 1.3 million Americans. The United Nations estimated that nearly 300,000 children in the world died of AIDS in 2008. Deuteronomy 23:17 states, ‘There shall be no …sodomite of the sons of Israel;’ yet, we now have, largely due to biased and false studies of Alfred Kinsey, legalized the practice that was illegal in the UK and US for hundreds of years. Moreover, 2003 the Episcopalians confirmed a gay bishop; in 2011 the Presbyterian Gen. Ass. affirmed ‘that homosexual priests are free to marry;’ in 2014, their church split. Studies by organizations such as the Pew Research Center, Hartford Institute, or Williams Institute showed how homosexual actions were seen and accepted as ‘not wrong at all’ over the decades; over half ‘Christians’ see no wrong in it.
‘Without natural affection – unloving (2 Tim. 3:3; Rom. 1:31):’ includes the lack of care towards infants and elderly. They are as ancient pagan tribes, Persians, Greeks, Spartans or certain Oriental, African or Indian tribes who practiced infanticide and who killed or neglected the elderly. And though many states recognize unborn babies as humans when murdered in their mother; most of these do not recognize the baby as a human in a first trimester abortion.
‘Truce-breakers, false accusers… (2 Tim. 3:3; Rom. 1:29, 31):’ though marriage and divorce was covered earlier, note, if it appears that divorce is leveling out, it is only because of a rise in cohabitation. Betrayal, lies and gossip are not just scenes on TV, they are prevalent in the world. And of course, children and adults are impacted by TV. Disney, whose revenues were over $ 42 billion in 2012, though their teen-shows teach children quick witted responses, teen dating, gossip, self-governance and often self-ambition, while ‘soap operas’ and ‘sitcoms’ influence adults.
‘Without self-control (2 Tim. 3:3):’ those not able to resist temptations of passion – the foremost of which is fornication; and includes unrestraint against any lust of the flesh or eyes or against pride or lack of control over any sin. In Rome during the first century AD crowds shouted for ‘bread and circus,’ and celebrated about 150 days of holidays per year. Many in recent generations seem to have shouted for ‘drugs, sex and rock n roll;’ and the result has been physical diseases and spiritual decay.
‘Despisers of those that are good… traitors (2 Tim. 3:3, 4):’ A faithful Christian is a ‘lover of good …and sound doctrine (Titus 1:8, 9),’ but in these last days most neither love nor recognize what is good, including sound Christian doctrine. Additionally, if ‘the fearful’ or ‘cowardly …shall have their part in the lake …of fire (Rev. 21:8),’ how shall ‘traitors’ avoid the same judgment? It is clear that ‘Judas Iscariot …was a traitor (Luke 6:16),’ yet Paul said, ‘Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world (2Tim. 4:10);’ here the betrayer or traitors include those who forsake the faith, who ‘knew God, yet glorify Him not… (Rom. 1:21);’ and those who do not ‘do His will (John 9:31; Mark 3:35; 1John 2:17).’ ‘He that is not with Me is against Me…’ ‘…whoever shall deny Me before Me, him will I also deny before My Father… (Matt.12:30; 10:33).’
‘Headstrong, Haughty… lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God (2 Tim. 3:4):’ The reckless and proud are those that usually do not realize their sins until it is too late; additionally, their actions often affect others. Now, the King James Version correctly says ‘lovers of pleasure more than,’ and not ‘rather than;’ for there are many souls in the latter group, but see how many more need to ‘work out their salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12)’ when the former group is included. Thus, Christ said ‘…he that loves son or daughter …etc., more than Me is not worthy of Me (Matt. 10:37; Luke 14:26).’ The fact that most ‘Christians’ desire an hour of TV or video games more than five minutes of prayer or worship or communion with God shows this generation’s addiction to the temporary ‘pleasures’ of the world.
‘Having a form of godliness but denying its power… (2 Tim. 3:5):’ Here Paul is speaking of those that profess to be godly and who even practice ‘traditions of men (Mark 7:8; Col. 2:8),’ yet they are not ‘new creatures (2 Cor. 5:17)’ according to the Holy Spirit. Most people, like the devil, ‘believe in God (James 2:19);’ however, most of these either deny that Jesus Christ is the Salvation of God – the only Way to eternal life – and many more do not keep His words. In cities were the vast majority confess to be ‘Christians,’ they are full of legalized abominations: selling hard liquor on Sunday; strip clubs; selling pornography; etc.
‘Fierce… (2 Tim. 3:2):’ Though in 2010 the U.S. prison population was about 2.4 million, that is 1 in every 99 adults are in prison (the Pew Center reported that the U.S. spends about $ 50 billion on corrections – a rate increasing 6 times that of higher education); and though there are fierce athletes and military forces around the world, here Paul is speaking of the portion of the world’s population which will not hesitate to harm others; of killings, terrorism, and worldwide holocaust. It is worth noting that about 90 years ago Eric Liddell, winner of the men’s 400 meter at the 1924 Olympics, would not run his best event because it was on a Sunday – the Lord’s Day (Rev.1:10; Acts 20:7), at that time more young men desired to be missionaries or ministers than professional athletes. Today, young men are taught to chase after millions of dollars rather than multitudes of souls, and unlike during WWII, most young men have little problem with someone else dying for freedom, but care not to sacrifice themselves (1John3:16).