Monday, May 2, 2016
Paul depicted the general character of the people living in the last days in his second Letter to Timothy. Here’s what the New Living Translation (NLT) of the Bible says about it, in part: “They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!” (2 Tim. 3:4-5)
That advice is probably more valuable today than it was in Paul’s day because we are living in the days he wrote about. I think it is pretty safe to say that you all know people in your life that fall into one of these categories. Some of them stand out for being selfish, others for their recklessness or carelessness, or pride and arrogance, or their love for all types of fun and pleasure. Many of these will even dare to profess that they know and love God, and may even go to church regularly and may wear crosses or religious medallions ,but to anyone who has basic common sense, it will be easy to see that their actions clearly show that they really don’t know the Lord, much less belong to Him.
To repeat Paul’s simple advice to us, “Stay away from people like that!” Common sense will tell us that, in some cases, it is not possible because we may live with people like these. But even in such cases, with God’s grace we can live with them without being like them. I know many will not believe this applies to them because they feel they are so strong in their faith that nothing or no one can shake them from it. Permit me to remind you of these two bible verses: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12) and “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Cor.15:33) Samson, in the Old Testament, thought his association and mingling with the pagan people in his time would not affect him, and we all know what happened to him. There are some in my own family that I worry about because of the types of people they hang around with. They have the notion, like so many before them, that they will draw their friends to Christ and not be negatively influenced by them. Unfortunately, the latter is usually the end result. Never forget Paul’s advice. Be careful with people in your life that can draw you away from God.
Memory verse for the week: (2 Cor. 6:14) “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”