Woe, Deliver Me: The Contractions of the World in the Last Days

Pictured: The first eternal bump, 2011.

I’m not sure we fully understand the tremendous and sweeping effect technological advances have had in our own lives over the last twenty years nor just how in the last days of the ‘in the last days’ that may place us on the spiritual timeline…

Now, it may well be true that ‘where there is a will, there is a way’ — even if that way means you have to feign some visit from an angelic host yourself or start your own sci-fi religion. Nonetheless, I can tell you that finding a serotonin fix for an idealogical itch was not as easy in the 80s, baby, as it is today.

Back then, we knew what the 5 o’clock news fed us or what the front of the newspaper disclosed from around the world, but we did not see the world then as we see it now — in livestream, round-the-clock, 24/7, clips and bites and clicks and professionalized rants.

If you were born after that time, let me repeat again: It was different then! Your good citizen obligations consisted of voting, paying taxes, paying your bills on time, raising respectable kids, and maybe picking up a stranger for church. If social media has made anything abundantly clear it’s that these are no longer your only good citizen obligations! Far from it!

Did you post your black square on social media when they told you to?

Have you pinned that badge around your profile picture yet like they want you to? (You know, the only ones they provide…? You have to do your own artwork if you disagree with the powers-that-be.)

Have you put up some yellow and blue to stand in solidarity and, thus, showcase your support and awareness of world-wide affairs?

Did you include every possible pronoun (made-up and standard), exception, or caveat in that post?

Did you even fact-check that?

Do you even care?!

Slowly, ever-so-patiently, we have been trained like Pavlov’s dogs… with notifications, bells, tweets, likes, and whatever else they’ve come up with now, to run around salivating and foaming at the mouth about everything — everything someone did, didn’t do, said, didn’t say, believes, doesn’t believe, affirmed or didn’t affirm, etc…

Within the last twenty years this passage has been fleshed out. Suddenly, this requires no inconvenience whatsoever.

Have phone? Will scratch itch.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions…

2 Timothy 4:3

Dear friends, when you can find a priest or minister to affirm nearly any sin in the book, we have certainly met that time a-coming: It is here.

And that wasn’t always so… so easy.

That should be noted.

We’re way past the 90s chat rooms, baby…

“Accumulate” and the plural “teachers” — both imply that there won’t just be one or two weirdos saying what someone wants to hear (yes, THAT much has always been around) but PLENTY of them to choose from (THAT has not always been) affirming whatever you want. Is that not so now? Have you been on YouTube, Discord, or the internet lately? (If not, take my word for it: they’ve all accumulated.)

Serotonin, which is released by your body when scratched, feels pretty nice by the way. I can hardly resist a good itch; I scratch myself raw because of that addictive stuff. Do you get the picture yet?

Every time a notification dings, a pervert gets its wings…

per·vert verb | pərˈvərt | 

[with object] alter (something) from its original course, meaning, or state to a distortion or corruption of what was first intended: he was charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice

• lead (someone) away from what is considered right, natural, or acceptable.

Evident-ly

Social media, the 24/7 broadcasting of news and world events, and the pressure found therein to become a ‘global citizen’ has changed us — our nation and the world — for the foreseeable future. Even if all of that were removed today, our heads would be left spinning in its absence for all of the skills, truths, and clarity these things have stealthily stolen. Well, for some anyway…

A lot of Christians know about 2 Timothy 3, but I wonder how many take note that we also live in its day — and that this too has not always been.

Have you read it lately? Let’s look at it again:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

2 Timothy 3:1-5

Terrible times abound. Some versions read ‘times of great stress’. Endless articles on the uptick in anxiety and stress in our nation alone can confirm.

I’m still not sure what part of ‘last days’ people misconstrue (other than to say that all time since Jesus has been ‘the last days’), but… I truly believe that the WHOLE of these verses, taken together with other passages concerning ‘the last days’, have not been true of the WHOLE of our world population — until now.

Again, have you been on social media lately?

Sadly, as Jesus noted, thoughts of the heart become action. And when they don’t, He classified them just as harshly. What I mean is that much of the vitriol and sin that was once relegated only to pages and walls in bits and screenshots has been leaking into our ‘reality’ over the last few years.

Keyboard warriors have become real murderers (BLM riots).

Self-lovers and loathers online have become real criminals (Jussie Smollett).

Those who claimed they weren’t hurting anyone with their perverted thoughts and private actions have become real stalkers, abusers, and traffickers (Take your pick; they abound).

Nothing stays hidden forever. The thoughts and intents of our hearts become our actions… which is why Jesus’ emphasized the importance of cleaning that little ticker. The devices of man in making our intents easier to accomplish have also made the acting out of our thoughts more abundant.

People are lovers of themselves today to a grossly epic degree. In fact, they love themselves so much that they’ll call abuse towards others loving. The general pedophile doesn’t think he’s harming children; he’ll tell you he’s loving them — as he loves himself.

The distortion and perversion of God’s designs is not a harsh and narrow sermon: It is the wide reality staining many real children’s nightmares.

Lovers of money? Boastful? Proud?

Have I any need to point them out?

Those who love money currently run our Disjointed and Fed-up States. Many motives may be at play, but surely this is one of them.

Dare I point out the ministers and priests who have shushed scandal and abuse and tried to make it go away so that they could keep their pride, reputation, standard of living, income, or title? And if the love of money, boasters, and the proud can be found within the Church, you can bet your rainbow flags and hard-earned paid leave time that these things can be found lurking within Fortune 500 labels, with the credentialed, titled, and well-paid.

Let’s skip ahead and speed up a little:

without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…

It’s true that all of these things have existed within the fabric of human beings for a very, very long time — since the beginning. But after qualifying this passage with ‘in the last days’, Paul also qualifies it by stating that ‘People will be’ these things…

Not some people.

Not wicked people.

Not the most reckless people.

Not criminals or outcasts or degenerates.

No, he simply says “People”. You know, in general…

I’m glad he didn’t put an all in front of that; we’re bad enough off as it is with the general populous brand of ‘People’ acting this way.

Generally, this is all true right now.

It is unquestionably true online. How long, I wonder, before it becomes unquestionably true offline? A few more years? After a civil war? In one or two more generations? Whatever the case, it is not far off…

Truly, we live in the last of ‘the last days’.

And the technology of the past twenty years, to a large degree, has helped usher that in, but I think some of us are so near boiling in the pot that our skin has grown calloused: We no longer recognize just how much has changed and how much we have been molded into the image of Paul’s warnings…

Or, well, perhaps we see it in the world but yet think the Christian bubble around us outnumbers them?

It is doubtful, friend. Again, today ministers of every kind (every denomination now) embrace and affirm EVERY SIN IN THE BIBLE and can be ACCUMULATED too. Oh, and so many of them have pretty ‘forms of religion’!

Are you certain you have not miscounted friend from foe?

All The More

Why did the writer of Hebrews say “and all the more”?

Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 

Hebrews 10:25

That “Day” is regarded as Jesus’ second coming or the Day of the Lord, the Day of Judgment (as I understand it from various commentaries).

Apparently, we will “see” that Day approaching…

It’s not meant to be a secret to God’s kids, even if we can’t know the exact day or hour. I believe we will know the season of His coming; I mean, as with the writer of Hebrews, that we will indeed see it coming. And if we recall Jesus’ rebuke to those among Israel who did not recognize the time of His first coming, this should be no great surprise.

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Have you fallen asleep, friend? Do you think this world will continue to go on as it has before, on and on, and that talk of Jesus’ return is mostly just that? — So far off that it need not concern you today? Or just far enough off that you have time for repentance and holiness later?

Dear saints, “The footsteps of the midwife are already in motion…” (John Mark Mcmillan, Deliver Me)

But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 

For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 

But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-6

Take note also, dear ones, that technology has finally made Revelation 13 possible.

That capability has not always existed, but it does today, friend.

And the second beast required all people

small and great

rich and poor

free and slave

to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, so that

no one

could buy or sell

unless he had the mark —

the name of the beast or the number of its name…

Revelation 13:16-17

The pandemic of 2020-21 taught us well that all of these things ARE possible already.

So… are you paying attention to the inspired Word of God concerning the times and seasons of ‘the last days’?

Or is that Day just another apocalyptic binge-series you’ve already tuned out?

Stay sane and sober, saints. This is still our Father’s world… but as the world progresses in denial of Him, it will also continue in its hatred of His children.

Jesus already told us so.

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