The Evil Circumstances of These Times
As those who must give account of others and the talents we have received from the Lord (Hebrews 13:17 and Matthew 25:14-29), we cannot afford to be ignorant of those circumstances militating against our christian lives, those of our families, our ministries and the church at large. Remember, the Lord laments the ignorance of His servants and people (Isaiah 42:19-20; 56:10-11; Hosea 4:6; Matthew 23:16-22).
Our times are filled with a myriad of evil circumstances with which Satan wants to stop as many as possible from making the rapture. These are times when the Devil’s high-tech is in operation to ensure the ruin of the unwary, the insincere, the unteachable, the seekers of all things but heaven, and the presumptuous. These are times of iniquity upon iniquity, causing great depreciation and outright backsliding from the things that were held before. (Matt. 24:12; 2 Thess. 2:1-3). Our times are the times of doctrines of the devils in divers forms ( 1 Tim. 4:1-4; Matt. 24:24; 2 Peter 2:1-3). We are in times when gain has become godliness (1 Tim. 6:3-12); when brotherly love and friendship among brethren have disappeared into the winds (contrast Jn. 15:12,17; 13:35; Heb. 13:1), when materialism and capitalism have taken over the lives of many a minister; when many are sinning and yet “serving and hearing from the Lord”; when competition, envy, criticisms and murmurings abound; when Church leaders, workers and whole congregations cannot see their sins and shortfalls and amend; when the word hardly works on people; when ministers serve empty dishes from their pulpits, howbeit with eloquence. Moreover, these times are the times of many masters (James 3:1-2); the times of raising ministries or churches on polluted and sinful foundations; the times of complete worldliness and concentration on the things that pertain to the flesh; the times of multiplicity of churches/ministries by the self-called and by those called by some businessman or woman; the times when diligently listening to God’s word to search and correct our lives are things of the past; the days of Pentecostal rascality; the times when multitudes ( ministers and flocks) presume they have reached heaven already, behaving as if there is no possibility at all of being lost eventually, even though one had been saved before (cons. 1 Cor. 9:27; 10:2). What shall we say more? These are times when mentioning sins in the course of preaching is now an obsolete aspect of homiletics; when every message is crafted to satisfy the needs of the people in this world. We are in times of stiff opposition, antagonism against the Church from within and from without, the days when every person is right in his/her own eyes, having nobody to listen to; the times when the Spirit is “leading” everybody; the times when everybody wants to teach, preach, counsel and minister to others but never wants to be taught and counselled first; when everybody wants to tell others how God is using him/her; when the things that lead to heaven have been abandoned (2 Thess. 2:3); when becoming a christian, worker and pastor have been made easy, even with the load of lies, malice, immorality, anger, pride, love of money and the like hanging on their necks. It is the times when most preachers preach to stark sinners as though they are preaching to Cornelius, telling them to receive Jesus without mentioning repentance from dead works (cp Acts 20:20-21; Heb. 6:1-2; Luke 13:1-5).
Men and brethren, our times are the times when the minority are asking for the old path (Jer. 6:16), and the majority (but ignorant) have headed speedily down the broad way, yet “being sure” of making heaven at last (cons. Matt. 7:13-14).
Now, having gone through this myriad of the cankerworms, the palmerworms, the locusts and the caterpillers our times are replete with, is there any hope at all? Can the stones be revived out of the heaps of the rubbish? (Neh. 4:2). Will there be balm in Gilead? (Jer. 8:22). Can the dry bones live? (Eze. 37:1-3). I can hear the Lord God saying, “the stones will be revived out of the heaps of the rubbish and will be built into the walls again”; “there is surely balm in Gilead”; “the dry bones shall live and shall form a formidable army and that very very shortly” (Eze. 37:4-10). Since this is the case, let us see an outline of what He wants to do and then conclude our treatise with what he would have IGMC of the hour ministers keep abreast of constantly and engage in, to achieve the task He has set for Himself.