I have lived a long time and I have seen a lot in my lifetime, but there is something different in the air these days, something
unholy, something evil. It is not my usual policy to focus on what is going wrong in the world, for my focus is on the Gospel which is
the Good News of Jesus Christ. But I can no longer remain silent about what is going on around me. What we see is good and evil
becoming more clearly obvious. Those things that are of God have now been so distanced from that which is of the devil that any
God-fearing man or woman can clearly see each. Light and darkness have no gray between them, and this is forcing each of us to
choose which world will be ours – the Kingdom of God or the kingdom of Satan.
Saints, we must learn to abhor what is evil, just as God abhors evil. This holy action is actually becoming more difficult with each
passing day because of the blurring of decency and morality all around. What was once considered anathema is now just another
minor infraction against whatever sense of morality is left within us. That which is profane is now open and for the most part widely
accepted due to the hardening affect of sin on our hearts. Via media we have seen so many murders, adulterous affairs,
deceptions, lies, brutality, and un-holiness of all sorts that we give hardly a thought to them when they invade the movie we are
watching or our favorite television program.
Watching almost any TV program is an attack against that which is good, against everything that is moral and right not to mention
against the Word of God. Sin, evil, and social indecency are not new. Take a look at our television menu of programs to see how
defiled and demonic we have become. Violence, greed, homosexuality, lust, gossip, murder, deception, and every other known sin
now is flaunted openly and each has a strong following in the viewing public. Censorship is loosening at an alarming rate.
Recently I watched a program on TV entitled “Bait Car.” This is a police program designed to capture car thieves by leaving a
vehicle abandoned with the keys still in the car. What is amazing is the absolute absence of any hint of personal conscience by the
criminals. The concept of ‘stealing being wrong’ is nowhere to be found. With no thought whatsoever, the thieves drive off
laughing and going about their business apart from any hint of decency. How do people become so calloused that even at the
tender age of 14 young men and women steal cars?
The pages of history books are laden with such things; however, it can be argued that the world has sunk to new lows in these
categories of godlessness. There is a heightened level of irreverence that seems to pervade all of society. For example, when
was the last time you watched a sporting event and did not hear (or see bleeped out) the vilest of profanities? What was
unspeakable in public just a few years ago is now commonplace among the old and young alike. The natural boundaries of human
decency have all but been obliterated. The Church must awaken to these times in which live and fully understand this season.
Anarchy, lawlessness, and public disorder are now becoming the order of the day. Rebellion against established authority has
risen to new heights around the world as we see masses of humanity rampaging in the streets often in total abandonment of
respect for life and property. The changes that are often needed for which the masses yearn may be quite necessary, such as
freedom, human rights, and democracy, but even these social maladies do not warrant rampant lawlessness and senseless
Corruption and deception are nowadays often referred to in the same sentence with the word “leadership.” Leadership positions
are often corrupted within our government, in education, in sports, in business, and public service Power and fame and fortune
seem to pollute people in every sector of life, and sadly enough this now includes leadership within the Church. Scandal, infidelity,
and perversion have found their way into those who are called by God to lead us. I am especially saddened by this defilement of
Church leadership, and I am sure the heart of our heavenly Father is broken as a result of it. Church, let us be instructed from Holy
Scripture and discern the times in which we live…
"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."
There is wisdom in the final statement of the apostle Paul: “…and from such people turn away.” Distance yourself from evil doers;
this is his admonition to us. Have nothing to do with people who demonstrate these evil characteristics. Indeed the biblical
precept is true that is found in I Corinthians 15:33: “Do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.” We the people of
God cannot afford to be deceived in this way because we can ill afford to be corrupted. This is not a call to retreat to the mountains
and live in a Jesus colony, but it is a call to “be in the world but not be of the world.”
This call to separation is a trumpet call to the Body of Christ. It is a clarion awakening to return to a walk of holiness. This is not a
return to man-made, empty religion and legalism disguised as holiness, but it is to walk by the Spirit and not carry out the lusts of
the flesh. The motivator for such purity is not because we are fearful of God (fearful of His wrath or eternal judgment or divine
rejection) but we are motivated to walk uprightly because we love Him in reverence for who He is and for the great love He has
manifested toward us in our Savior Jesus. It is an honest approach to a life in covenant with God.
The work the Church has left to do is great. This is not a season for self-indulgence, self-seeking, or sinning, it is a time when the
lost must be harvested for Christ and the people of God discipled into spiritual maturity to ready the Bride of Christ for His return.
It is the season in which the Kingdom of God is being restored on the earth as the Church moves in her authority in the powerful
name of Jesus Christ to defeat and control the forces of darkness in the spiritual realm; this will result in righteousness on the
The words of the apostle Paul are prophetic; indeed the general condition of the world has declined into the mire of wickedness
and evil. But Church, do not lose heart. We have overcome the world! By the Spirit we will rise above this mess and soar with the
eagles, as it were, enjoying fellowship with God through the Holy Spirit. We will enjoy the good things our Father has promised us;
we will see His goodness in unfathomable ways; we will experience His power working through us to do the works of Jesus; and
we will ready ourselves to meet our Lord in the air. May our Lord Jesus be exalted and magnified through His Church! Amen.
|These Times In Which We Live
By Bishop Randy Barnett