Light for the Last Days

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We live in perilous times

2 Timothy chapter 3. If you could turn to the Bible and read this chapter: 2 Timothy chapter 3 starting at verse 1:

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was. 10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.

2 Timothy 4.1-5

Words of the Apostle Paul which begin with a statement about what’s going to be happening in the last days when, he says, they’re going to be perilous times.

He describes some of the perilous times, some of the situations, some of the attitudes people will have towards God and towards one another.

I remember when I was an unbeliever and a member of the Communist Party in 1969, sitting on an underground train, going from Hounslow to Piccadilly.

On the advertising board, there was this verse written down. It was a Bible verse on the underground. I sat there on the Piccadilly line thinking, ‘That sounds a bit like today’.

By then, I’d already had people talking to me about Jesus and the Second Coming. and I thought, ‘Supposing Jesus comes while I’m on this underground train and I’m not ready to meet Him…’ And it was just one of the things which probably led me towards becoming a Christian about a month or so later. But it’s true, aren’t they? These words are true. That was in 1969. How much more does it sound like the world today?

If you look through this passage, Paul says that apart from the signs of how people’s behaviour changes, there’s going to be a situation in which people will have ‘a form of godliness’ but deny God’s power.

It speaks about people, evil men, and imposters, growing worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. He speaks about a time coming when they will not endure sound doctrine but will do things according to their own desires. Because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers, they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

Does that sound like today? Does that sound like the state of the church today?

A fable is a story which people have made up. You can either believe the truth which God has given to you or, you’re going to believe a story which people have made up. This is what you see happening more and more in the church today.

I’m going to be saying a little bit more about that later, about people believing fables, stories which have been made up rather than the truth.

Some of these people are bishops in the church and some of them are leaders who are established and recognized by others as being leaders of the Christian flock. Unfortunately, they’re leading people astray.

And Paul tells Timothy here that what you should do is believe the holy scriptures which are wise to give you salvation and to endure, and to preach the Gospel, preach the Word being ready ‘in season and out of season’. To convince, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and teaching.

The one thing I want you to learn from this talk tonight is that we have a response to what’s taking place in the world today. That is the Gospel. We have responsibility to take the work the Gospel into the world that people might hear the Good News of Jesus Christ and find the way of salvation which is going to deliver them from the wrath to come.

But what about the state of the world today? If you look around the world today, in our country, you can see a state of discontent, frustration, and unrest. Whatever society you look at today, people are in a bad place.

There’s an alienation from government, from those in authority. Here, we’ve got the prices going up, we’ve got shortages, we’ve got taxes going up, people striking for more pay, the rail workers, the posties, the nurses. It looks like we’re heading for a time like that of the 1970s when, you remember, everything closed down, society ground to a halt and began to melt down. It could happen here too.

And there are so many issues around which people don’t have any solution for. We have the whole migration question.

We feel sympathy for people who are fleeing their countries, those in need, but we have a situation now where thousands of people are coming across the channel and we don’t have a place to put them, we don’t have resources to look after them, nobody has an answer to this.

It goes on and on, we have people who are frightened and worried about violence and lawlessness, about racial tensions around the country, and nobody has an answer to it. They talk about it yet they don’t have an answer.

Young people are concerned about the future: will they be destroyed by climate change? They push for zero carbon emissions leading us into a situation where we may not have enough food, enough energy, or enough money to keep society going. All these crises are building up, you can see them, I could go on, give you some more examples.

What is ‘woke’?

And we even have a kind of ‘woke ideology’ being imposed upon us through the universities and the media, which seems to be intent on destroying our culture and replacing it with something that goes against all the traditional moral values we’ve had, to the point of potentially creating a very controlling and very totalitarian way in which the ideology is being imposed. All these things cause people to be anxious.

I guess I feel anxious sometimes, when I look at these things taking place in the world. It reminds us that Jesus said would happen in the last days. There’s going to be a situation in which you’ll see what you call the

distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Luke 21:24-26

I’ve said it before, but the phrase which is used for in perplexity there in Greek is ‘aporia’,

which means ‘with no way out’: a crisis which has no way out.

Is the world really in crisis?

We’re seeing so many crises coming on the world which seem to have ‘no way out’. I’ve talked about a few things happening here, in the UK, but they’re nothing compared to what’s happening in other countries: Ukraine, Russia, Iran, China, countries that are seeing oppression, war, crises bringing mass casualties.

Countries in Africa, the Middle East facing poverty, war, oppression.

A total catastrophe taking place now for the people of Ukraine as Russia is deliberately destroying their infrastructure, leaving many with no electricity, running water, with little food, and condemning them to freezing conditions or starving in the coming winter.

Do we think we’ve got trouble? Look at what’s happening there.

You’ve got China and I’m going to say a bit more about China. A ramping up in the situation which is extremely dangerous. With Xi Jinping taking power to himself and pushing for zero Covid agenda. I don’t know if you saw the news today, but it showed people in such in China where they’ve been totally locked up for weeks on end, not able to go out of their houses.

Whole areas are being completely shut down and, if they do go out, they’re tested. If they test ‘positive’ for Covid, they’re then sent to quarantine centres which are really like concentration camps. It’s hard to get out of them, and it’s becoming a total tyranny. People are beginning to rebel against it and there’s a crisis taking place there.

You see what’s happening in Iran. A situation, basically, a revolution against the Islamic Republic by those that are totally alienated from the regime. The government is responding with more and more violence and repression. Can you see an answer to it? The answer would probably be the fall of the government.

But you have a very difficult situation there as well as with what’s happening in Ukraine and everywhere else. You can see these crises coming.

The Middle East also continues to be in a dangerous situation. We’ve got Israel warning of its potential attacks on Iran’s nuclear sites because Iran is moving towards developing a nuclear bomb and Israel says they won’t let them do that. Additionally, within Israel, we’ve got an increase of terrorism, a new government which the world seems to condemn because they say it’s too ‘right-wing’ but which, in reality, wants to create some order in Israel. The situation is very dangerous.

Antisemitism raising its head again

We’ve also got a rise of anti-Semitism. I don’t know if you’re aware of this but the Jewish Community around us here is really concerned about the growing anti-Semitism in the world.

Anti-Semitism is coming from some left and Islamic forces who don’t like Israel and blame the Jews about what is going on in Israel and is also coming from some right-wing sources which say that the Jews are behind the New World Order and who are blaming the Jews for what’s taking place.

Put all these situations and you’ve got some classic antisemitic things coming out which are causing the Jewish people to be concerned.

Ordering the broken world

You’ve got so many things taking place. I’ll say a bit more about them. Whether with Covid, or other crises, there are all sorts of things happening.

We’ve got world leaders coming together for conferences like the COP27 and the G20, and the question is: Do they have any answers?

Many people feel, when they hear what they’re saying, that not only they don’t have any answers, but they’re also part of the problem, and they’re making things worse through the things they do.

That’s interesting. If you go to Psalm 2, there is a Psalm which speaks about the nations, the world leaders coming together and which says,

Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.

Psalm 2.1-3

‘Rulers of the Nations coming together taking counsel together’. Do you see that happening? You’ve got these conferences COP27, G20; they’re all happening all the time. They keep having these conferences, coming together.

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Are they coming together to sort out God’s world under God’s way? No! For the most part, they are against the Lord, against God, and against His Anointed. What’s the Hebrew for His Anointed? It’s ‘His Messiah’. Therefore, if they’re against His Messiah, if they’re against Messiah, they are anti-Messiah. Therefore, they are ‘anti-Christ’. You’re seeing the nations coming together with this Antichrist agenda.

And they’re saying, ‘let’s cast their cords from us’. What are their cords? The cords represent the restraining influence of God’s Law and God’s Commandments on humans. And they’re saying, ‘Let’s have…’ In fact, one of the modern translations of the Bible says, ‘Let’s have done with all this slavery to God’, which is not a bad translation of it.

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That’s what they’re saying: ‘Let’s have done with God’s Law, God’s Commandments; let’s make up our own, make up our own religion and do what we think is right’. And it ends up with somebody which is anti-Christian taking control. Some people feel it’s not just aiming to make the world worse but to wipe out half the world’s population. So, where is it all heading?

Prophetic writings

When I was doing my university course, I studied literature. One of the things I read was a book by Fyodor Dostoyevsky called ‘Crime and Punishment’. Has anyone read it? It’s about a man called Raskolnikov who murders an old lady in Saint Petersburg then goes through a time of guilt and breakdown in his family. Finally, he goes through repentance and restoration. At the end of the book, he has a dream which many people have considered prophetic. I’ll read to you Raskolnikov’s dream:

“He dreamt that the whole world was condemned to a terrible new strange plague that had come to Europe from the depths of Asia. All were to be destroyed except a very few chosen. Some new sorts of microbes were attacking the bodies of men, but these microbes were endowed with intelligence and will. Men attacked by them became at once mad and furious. But never had men considered themselves so intellectual and so completely in possession of the truth as these sufferers, never had they considered their decisions, their scientific conclusions, their moral convictions so infallible. Whole villages, whole towns and peoples went mad from the infection. All were excited and did not understand one another. Each thought that he alone had the truth and was wretched looking at the others, beat himself on the breast, wept, and wrung his hands. They did not know how to judge and could not agree what to consider evil and what good; they did not know whom to blame, whom to justify. Men killed each other in a sort of senseless spite. They gathered together in armies against one another, but even on the march the armies would begin attacking each other, the ranks would be broken, and the soldiers would fall on each other, stabbing and cutting, biting and devouring each other. The alarm bell was ringing all day long in the towns; men rushed together, but why they were summoned and who was summoning them no one knew. The most ordinary trades were abandoned, because everyone proposed his own ideas, his own improvements, and they could not agree. The land too was abandoned. Men met in groups, agreed on something, swore to keep together, but at once began on something quite different from what they had proposed. They accused one another, fought and killed each other. There were conflagrations and famine. All men and all things were involved in destruction. The plague spread and moved further and further. Only a few men could be saved in the whole world. They were a pure chosen people, destined to found a new race and a new life, to renew and purify the earth, but no one had seen these men, no one had heard their words and their voices.”

Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky

It’s interesting. He’s talking about a situation where humanity is faced with a plague and disorder, and where people, he says here,

“They did not know how to judge and could not agree what to consider evil and what good; they did not know whom to blame, whom to justify.”

Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky

It’s quite prophetic. I’m not saying that it is biblical, but it’s an interesting thing which is written down. This was written in 1866 by the way. It tells us something. It tells us about the times we’re living in, perilous times, difficult times, times when people are afraid of what’s coming on the earth.

Where is the church?

You’d think that the church would be warning people that these things fit in with what the Bible says is going to happen in the last days. That it would be calling people to repent and believe and be saved from the wrath to come. However, there’s a deafening silence about these happenings coming from the church, and as we read back in Timothy, ‘people have a form of religion but are denying the power thereof’.

So, what is the power of religion? You see, some preachers stand up and they’re shouting ‘Power, power, power, power!’ That’s not actually the power which the Bible speaks about. The power according to Romans chapter 1 is the Gospel. Paul said,

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Romans 1.16-17

It speaks about salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. One source of power which we have, the main source of power, the real power we have is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This brings us back to what I was telling you from 2 Timothy chapter 3.

If we see these disasters, these crises coming on the world, what can we do about them? We can’t stop the disasters, but we can tell people how to be saved from the trouble that’s coming, through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, through the Gospel. That’s what the church should be doing. Is it doing it?

One of the features of the last days will be a worldwide rejection of the Gospel, including the official churches abandoning the Gospel and replacing it with an alternative religion which doesn’t have the power to save. And you can see that it’s happening.

A lot of the churches are saying to the world:

Please world, let us be with you, let us hold on to your coattails because we’re not so different from you. Don’t kick us out, because of those nasty things in the Bible which you don’t like. We’ll ditch those ourselves so that we can be just like you. We would accept homosexual marriage and all that and would accept that ‘all roads lead to God’. We won’t offend you in any way because we don’t really want to be offensive by preaching the Gospel. So please, let us come to your party and carry on and not offend you.

Unfortunately, the Gospel is offensive. Because it’s calling people who are sinners to repentance, that is, if we are offending people in the true way.

If we’re offending people by the Gospel then, that is not an offense in God’s eyes, it’s something which God wants them to hear.

Yet, we have bishops in the Church of England and the Church of Scotland telling us how much they approve of the gay lifestyle, and gay marriage, apologizing for texts in the Bible which tell you that these things are sinful, making Jesus into a kind of New Age social worker. They say, ‘He wasn’t sure what He believed. He was just a man like us; not the Son of God who came down from heaven to save us.’

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And they also say that Christianity is just one of many options you can choose to find your way to God, and that Jesus didn’t really mean it when he said,

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 14.6

But Jesus did mean it. There is One Way to God, only through Jesus Christ. Because God is Holy and we’re sinful and only Jesus has crossed the gulf between a holy God and sinful humanity.

But what you’re seeing taking place is a replacement of Christianity with a new religion which is not Christian. It may have a form of Christianity, but it’s not biblical and it’s not truly following Yeshua Ha Mashiach / Jesus the Messiah.

Will you support a One-World religion?

This situation ends up with a global religion with New Age principles. I spoke about this this morning when I was shared about the event some of us went to. Derek came with Barbara and I and Javad came down to the Tower of London to an event called ‘About Us’ which was promoting Evolution and saying that, in the beginning, there was nothing, then nothing exploded and created the universe which we live in now.

Saying that everything is interconnected, the product of chance and that therefore, we don’t have any special significance but that we are instead part of the universe because we came out of the Big Bang.

We were a bit incensed by these statements, so we gave up this leaflet ‘Questioning Evolution’ and some other leaflets and talked to people as we were giving them out.

I was saying,

“You’re being told a lie. There was no Big Bang. In the beginning, God created the heavens of the earth, and God loves you. God sent Jesus to die for you, to save you. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.”

Tony Pearce

Some people were mocking us, some people took the leaflets.

One man came up to me and said, “You’re right. This program which you’ve just watched is rubbish. There was no Big Bang.

I said, “Do you believe in God? You’re a Christian.”

He said, “No. I just don’t believe in evolution. It can’t be true.

I gave you some reasons this morning. I’m not going to go into that again now. You can watch the morning service video if you want to.

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However, the point is that what was happening there was an alternative expression of religion. The whole thing was religious in nature, it had religious music, flashing images, and it was used to indoctrinate people into this New Age, New World Order religious system.

Tony Pearce

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