That word always gets your attention, doesn’t it? It seems we live in an increasingly dangerous world. Warning signs are on our highways letting us know of low overpasses, washed out bridges or road construction areas. If we violate the rules of the road, the law enforcement officer turns on his warning lights.
Amusement parks have warning signs to let us know that even though a particular ride was created for our enjoyment, it may be hazardous to our health.
And then there are the warning labels and disclaimers posted by the pharmaceutical industry. Is it just me or does it seem that those drugs advertised on TV have many potential side effects more threatening than the disease they’re designed to cure?
In an ever evolving modern society with new products, new ideas and new technologies, it is essential that we investigate the risks that may accompany that which is “new.”
All consumers of the “new” are not affected the same way, but if only one out of thousands are adversely affected, then a warning must be issued or posted to protect others who may potentially be at risk.
A 10.0 Magnitude Earthquake
Yesterday when I awoke in the morning, I turned on the TV to see what was going on in the world. I turned to the History channel at one point and there was a program dedicated to exploring the possibilities of a 10.0 magnitude earthquake. Almost every scientist contributing his or her opinion to this potential dilemma agreed that it was highly unlikely, if not almost impossible, that such a cataclysmic event could occur. Still, they speculated as to what might happen and how one might go about warning of such a disaster.
On they went discussing other possibilities related to volcanoes and asteroids. The somewhat cynical part of me suspects that by presenting even the possibility of such horrific, cataclysmic events, (thus inciting fear amongst the general population) funding for research continues.
In other words, scientists almost unanimously agree that such a disaster as a 10.0 earthquake is likely never to happen; still, in the extremely remote possibility it might, they would like several hundred million dollars to continue to consider the possibility.
Warning Signs in Scripture
There is, however, a much greater cataclysmic event that is occurring even now on a regular basis. Warning signs have been clearly posted for centuries and everyone is at risk.
Here is but one of the warning signs posted in scripture: “For the time will come when they (some translations say men) will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.” (II Timothy 4:3-4)
Keep in mind that this portion of scripture, written by the Apostle Paul to Timothy, is given within the context of warning what things will occur in the last days.
“The last days,” when referenced in scripture, points to the time between Christ’s ascension and His return. Our perspective, because of fulfilled end-time prophecies, would influence us to consider ourselves as living in the final moments of the last days.
I believe we are, and never has this scripture warning been more timely and applicable than now. There are many “voices” in the land today engaged fully in the “tickling ears” approach to ministry.
The Gospel Message
I have recently been made aware of some, of great notoriety and repute, who seem to be on a mission to diminish the gospel message in an attempt to be more relevant and less offensive. This, of course, is nothing new, but in view of our proximity to Christ’s return, it does seem to be especially concerning.
One famous preacher has shifted specific and almost exclusive emphasis to the resurrection, at the expense of considering the atoning blood of Calvary’s cross. Scripture teaches us that, “…without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.” (Hebrews 9:22)
The resurrection confirms that God’s plan for the substitutionary atonement for sin was accomplished. These components of God’s eternal plan simply cannot be separated.
Again, Paul writes to Timothy: “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:16-17)
Warning! There will be more and more in ministry who will succumb to the pressure to water down, distort or ignore portions of scripture. What’s the risk to those who follow such as these?
According to II Timothy 3:16-17 if you don’t receive and believe all of God’s inspired Word, you will be receiving unprofitable teaching. You will lack in the benefits of reproof and correction and will not be trained in righteousness. Finally, you will be inadequate and ill-equipped for every good work.
This is serious stuff!
May I encourage you to study God’s word diligently so that you might know the truth? Make sure you are receiving sound biblical teaching and preaching from your pastor and church leadership.
The Solid Rock
We used to sing as children in Sunday School: “The wise man built his house upon the Rock” and when the rains came down and the floods came up, “the house on the Rock stood firm!”
Build your life, your faith and your eternal hope on the solid rock of God’s Word and Jesus’ name.
Storms and floods will come. Adversity and persecution will happen. But if we have built our lives upon God’s unfailing and sufficient Word, we will be able to say with Paul: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
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