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TEXT: 2 Timothy 3:1-9
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.
This past week, thousands of people in Indonesia marked the 10 year anniversary of one of the most devastating natural disasters in recorded history. On December 26, 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake struck in the Indian Ocean triggering a powerful tsunami that smashed into the shorelines of 14 countries with over 100 foot waves, demolishing towns and killing more than a quarter of a million people around the region. A young lady who was working with the International Red Cross recalled landing in Indonesia two days after the tsunami struck. She said the words of the people who met them first when they arrived were simply, “Go back, go back, go back! This is hell. This is the end of the world.”
As we look around at the turmoil, unrest, war, persecution, violence, hatred, immorality, and animosity in our world, I feel that some of us would be inclined to describe our situation like those Indonesians did ten years ago — “This is hell. This is the end of the world.”
Well, the Bible tells us that it is certainly getting near to the end of the world. So far in this series, we have looked at three broad topics that indicate that we are nearing the end times: (1) Increased selfishness, (2) Increased lawlessness, and (3) Increased religiosity. In our last message, we talked about the increase of “blasphemers” — those who reject God, the laws of God, and the people of God.
The next sign that Paul talks about is that of those who are “unthankful.” The Greek word used here is “acharistoi” (A-KA-RIS-TOY), which literally means “without grace.” The prefix “a” means without and “charis” (KA-RIS) means grace. One of the things we all ought to be thankful or grateful for is the grace offered to us by God. The meaning of the word translated “grace” is to show favor or kindness to someone. God showed favor and kindness to humanity by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins so that we could have a home in Heaven.
However, Paul tells us that in the last days, people will be ungrateful or unthankful. They will despise the gift of God and the grace of God. They will turn their backs on it and reject it. This word tells us that there will be people who are utterly devoid of feelings of gratitude to God.
Last week, we talked about “blasphemers”, and included in their number are atheists who say there is no God. If they do not believe in God, they cannot and will not be thankful toward Him for the simple everyday blessings that they experience — blessings such as life, health, strength, food to eat, clothes to wear, and a place to stay. Since they reject God, they cannot be grateful for the greatest blessing — Jesus Christ himself.
A person who is ungrateful refuses to recognize the debt they owe to God and others. This kind of ungratefulness is closely connected to pride. An ungrateful person feels that they have made it on their own, that everything they accomplished they accomplished without the help of others and the favor of God.
Imagine a child who is ungrateful. They wouldn’t be born without their parents. They wouldn’t have survived without their parents. Their parents fed them, clothed them, made sure they grew up healthy, facilitated their education, and so on. And, yet, the child refuses to say “thank you,” and he or she acts as if everything they have gained and accomplished they did on their own. Of course, no child in their right mind would have this kind of perspective. Simply put, they would not be alive without their parents. Yet, many people go through life acting as if they are completely responsible for their own success and achievements.
The words of King Lear remain true: “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!” As a parent, you wouldn’t appreciate such an attitude in a child. However, God has to put up with that kind of ingratitude from His creation every day. He has to put up with self-centered people who refuse to be grateful for their very lives.
John MacArthur said, “The person who elevates self above all others will feel he deserves everything good he receives and therefore feels no need of gratitude for it. Although he may not put it into words, the ungrateful person despises the very idea of grace, which denotes goodness received that is undeserved. This is a particularly noxious sin to God, whose wrath is revealed against sinners for being unthankful.”
Dear friend, you are alive even though you don’t deserve it. Most of us ate today even though we don’t deserve it. Most of us have some kind of clothes and shelter even though we don’t deserve. Many of us have reached several milestones in life even though we don’t deserve it. Most of all — whether we have taken advantage of it or not — God sent Jesus Christ to this world to save us from our sins, even though we don’t deserve it.
We can’t do much about the ingratitude of those who have rejected the grace of Jesus Christ. But everyday, we can make a choice to be grateful, thankful, and appreciative of the physical, material blessings that God has given to us as well as the most important blessing of life which is salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.
If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.
First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.
But here is the good news. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and right now I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.