All things are known by God, even things in the future. The Holy Spirit revealed some things known by God, among which is the subject of this article. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Tim. 4:1). “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy . . .” (2 Tim. 3:1,2).
Satan is constantly going about seeking whom he may destroy. He has the advantage in that he controls those in this age who have the political power, the financial power, the social power and the communication medium. Those without the gospel are bombarded from all sides with temptations and pressures to fill their lives with the things of this world and they think nothing about the time when all must leave this life and come before God for the judgment of all things done in this life.
There is a day of judgment coming. “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10).
Since in these days – this dispensation – some shall depart from the faith, and all men must die and come before Jesus Christ to be judged for eternity, what can we do and say to keep men from going back to the things of this world? One of the foremost problems in the church today is the falling away of those who are weak and untaught, and those inclined to love the world.
One of the wiles Satan uses to take many from the word of God is self-love. Men are so prone to serve their own minds and bodies that they will constantly seek any avenue to pacify their lusts. That is self-willed.
1. Money-loving. “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Tim. 6:10). The love of money is at the root of all sin. Did you know that the love of money is involved in 99 percent of all sins? All prostitution is based upon the love of money. All alcohol, illegal drugs, theft, lying, killing, etc. In some way the love for all these things is related to the love for money. Wealth is a powerful force for evil because those who possess it use it to serve their love for self.
2. Pleasure-loving. “. . . Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;” (2 Tim. 3:4). More money is spent daily in the world for pleasure than for the operation of all nations on earth. That includes all forms of games and sports, movies, television, radio, music of all kinds, literature, hotels and resorts, most luxury ships, travel of all kinds, toys, drinks, restaurants, candy, cakes, cookies, and dozens of items and related things not mentioned here. Think of all that is spent every day on these things and you will understand the force of pleasure-seeking on the mind and bodies and billions the world over. This takes away from the love of God and His word. Satan uses this avenue to draw many from God and to himself.
3. Over-bearing. “. . . Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents” (Rom. 1:30). “Despiteful, proud and boasters” will define that attitude which is opposite that required by God for His people. Elders, deacons, teachers, preachers and Christians in general are so over bearing toward others that the gospel is hindered around the world.
4. Blasphemous. “He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,” (1 Tim. 6:4). “Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord” (2 Pet. 2:11). Jesus taught that men will be judged by every word that comes out of their mouths. “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matt. 12:37). James says the tongue is hard to control, but he who controls it can control his body (James 3:1-10).
We must strive to put money, pleasure, evil attitudes and evil and harmful speaking out of our lives and teach our children and others to do the same. All these things are vanity and vexation of spirit; they will be terminated with time and earthly existence, and “then whose shall these things be?” “What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” You will have to answer that question!