IN PERILOUS TIMES – Will Your Love for God Hold?
Read below or listen to audio file (voiced by Chioma Phillips):
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away. 2 Timothy 3:1-5
*all scriptures are from the NKJV unless otherwise stated
Certainly we are in the last days, which are the days of the end of this second age. They are perilous, according to scriptures but interestingly, they are also the days of love. But this love that will be prevalent in the world will be the love of self and not love for God, except for those who by their walk of faith with God, have been perfected in the love of God and are ready to express the same for Him, no matter what. According to Revelation 13:6, it is the age of blasphemy against God, blasphemy against God’s sanctuary and blasphemy against those who live in heaven. The question is this, in these terrible days of blasphemy against God, will your love for God hold or will it wax cold in the face of complacency? For in these last days, it will be “embarrassing” to profess love for God, for the beast from the earth has been given power and authority to blaspheme and also to make mockery of God and by that make ashamed those who love and stand for God. Love for God and love for the humans He loves will be tested to its fullest capacity, with all things available to the man of sin. Will your love for God hold when it looks like doing so is an offence in the eyes of the world? Will you still love God when it seems you are alone on that path of love? Each one must answer these questions sincerely. For in a little while, all who dwell on the earth will be tested.
A more excellent way
When the Lord indicated to me that He would be shifting the Ecclesia (the true Church) from the era of the gifts of the Spirit to the days of love (the more excellent way that Apostle Paul spoke of in 1 Corinthians 12) and about which I wrote in a previous article, I didn’t know how this reality was really going to play out, but I knew it would somehow have something to do with the testing of the hearts of God’s people. A little while after publishing that article, as I was taking a walk one morning, the Lord started painting a picture in my heart about how such a level of love for Him is going to play out in the days to come. He asked me a very straightforward question “If a man rapes your six year old daughter and puts a bullet in your son’s head, will you still love Me?” Sincerely, I am not sure I answered that question, but it gave me an indication of what wanting to love God in the days of the blasphemy of the man of sin may look like. Truth is, prior to Him asking me this question, I had not thought about the extreme things that could be required of God’s people in the days of the end of time. I must point out that this question was for me, and not necessarily for everyone reading this article right now, but if you feel in your heart that it’s pointing you to whatever God has been indicating to you in your own personal walk with Him, then I think you need to take it very seriously. I also think that the question is more of an indication of what is possible for those days and not necessarily a prophecy of what will happen, but either way, God will always be glorified in His people. For I believe it is the power of an endless life (the water of life) that will be unleashed from the throne of God upon those who love Him enough, even in the midst of tribulation, that will lead men to repentance. For while the devil, who is the enemy of God’s people is busy plotting, we must not forget that there is a promise that salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ will come upon the people of God, even in those days. So it’s not all the gloom and doom of the devil, but much more of the boom of love in the heart of the people of God.
Of utmost importance is that, the gifts of the Spirit have done their part; they will now be subjected to love, for it’s time for a more excellent way, that is, the way of love and selflessness. Meaning that the futility of trying to use the gifts of the Spirit outside of love for God and love for the humanity He loves, will be glaring for all to see and it will come with great consequences. Especially since a faction of the church has mastered the use of the gifts of the Spirit for monetary gain. It shall not continue.
When I say love as a more excellent way, I do not necessarily mean love in the emotional way that humans have defined and used over the ages. Love as a reality is more than feelings or emotional attachments to things or people. Love, for me, is that life of God in a man that connects him to whom he is originally in God and by which he loves God and through which he loves the men that God loves. God is love. It is a more excellent way because it is the only way that God chose to express Himself on the earth as Man (Jesus) and also by which every man that must manifest God, must also choose. It is tied to faith, by which we please God, and also to hope, through which we are anchored to the things at the right hand of God, where Christ sits. And without love, all knowledge, mysteries, spiritual gifts, prophecies etc. are useless.
The branded marks of God
But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. Galatians 6: 14&17.
It is obvious from the above scripture that Paul knew that the reality of the mind of Christ which submits in obedience to the purpose of God, is the same as the mark of God which separates a man from the world. For as the mark of the beast may not necessarily be a tattoo or some form of branding on the skin, but rather that of a branding of the mind towards an alliance with the identity (name, mark and number) of the man of sin, so the mark of God (name and mark) will be the mind of Christ which makes a man rejoice in tribulation, counting nothing of this world as gain, but holding on to the hope of the joy that is set before him in Christ who sits at the right hand of God, the Father. In these last days, two marks will separate all humanity into two groups; the group of those who bear the mark of God (the mind of Christ) and those who bear the mark of the beast. Those who bear upon them the mark of God, which is the mind of Christ, will mourn in the wilderness of their separation unto God, while being nourished with the manna which comes from God and the water which comes from the Rock, who is Christ that leads them. These ones who bear the mark of God will be blasphemed by the world for the sake of Christ, they will mourn in rejection but their sorrows will be turned to joy. And that’s why Jesus said in John 16:20 “Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.”
The mind of Christ
The mind of Christ is the mark of God upon the foreheads or minds of His people. The Apostle Paul as a forerunner of faith to those who are coming after him certainly was a man who understood what it means to follow God with everything. He gave a very strong indication to anyone who will care to listen, concerning the reality of taking up our cross and following Christ. And like I have said a few times in some of my articles, when Jesus said “take up your cross and follow me daily” He knew where it would lead each one who heeds His call, that is, to the hill of Golgotha, the place of death and skulls. But what does the mind of Christ look like, why should we need it right now and how does it point to the mark of God? To try to answer these questions, let’s look at this scripture:
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:5-8.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ, for me, simply means that there is a way Jesus was with God the Father as God in His own right, but regarding His assignment, He despised the shame, the pain and the death on the cross because of His love for God. And because His word to us is to pick up our cross and follow Him right to the very hill of death that His own cross took Him to, His ways which are interpreted as the way He thinks (the mind of Christ) must also now become our ways. Meaning that what will separate us from the world in the coming days is the mark of God, which is the mind of Christ and by which a man can go through whatever may come in the form of tribulation, without losing sight of the hope that is set in God. To put it another way, what will separate the saints of God from the world in the coming days will be our love for God, which will be expressed in whatever form of pain or suffering or pleasure that God will assign to each one as the symbol of their own death on the cross, just like Jesus. For no greater love can a man have for his friend than to lay down his life for them. In this case, Jesus calls us His friends and because He has already done what a true friend does, it is time for us to also do the same for Him.
Will your love for God hold?
A lot of things are going on in our world and especially as the pandemic is tearing into the economies of the world, the various sectors and the family system etc. It is clear that things will not return to normal after now and in fact, an altered world filled with all manner of laws and policies that will undermine human rights, will be the new normal. But it’s all just a precursor to the real things that will come shortly on the world stage. It is both the age of perilous times and the age of love.
So as you prepare to enter into whatever new age is coming on the earth and the various things that will follow, when tested, will your love for God hold? But I pray for you that no matter what may come in the days ahead and no matter the situation you will find yourself in, that the love of God for you and your love for Him will keep you safe in Him. God bless you. From your brother.