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Tropical Leaves

Know the Signs

October 31, 2022

In the early 1960 some people in the USA had an urgency to build a bomb shelter to protect themselves from a nuclear attack by Russia. We are blessed that it never happened. There is an instinctive reaction for people to protect themselves if they recognize or are warned of coming harm or disaster so they will survive.
God also warns us that there will be a day when his Son will judge everyone and everyone who has rejected him will perish. That is why Peter said God is being patient because he wants everyone to repent and not perish. But God has set a time when the number of Gentiles he has determined would be saved then he will bring his wrath and destroy both heaven and earth.
Jesus teaches that we should watch for the signs of the last days so we will be ready for his coming and have the same heart as his Father for people to repent and not perish.
Paul teaches one of the signs we should be watching for in:
2 Timothy 3: 1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—5 having a form of godliness but denying its power.
Paul tells us that we must be looking out for these terrible times when people become lovers of themselves and not lovers of God. This increase of bad behaviors are signs of the last days before Jesus returns.
Have you notice in the new these terrible characteristics increasing all over the mainland? We are blessed being isolated from the mainland troubles being surrounded by the Pacific ocean but have you notice that these bad behaviors are increasing in our state.
If we see these signs, shouldn’t we also have this urgency to save the lost.
When Paul said to mark this terrible time, he was not speaking about the people in this world he was telling Timothy these terrible times will increase within the church as a sign of Jesus return.
Since this concerns the church this list of ungodly characteristics is something we must look to see if we have any of them.
Because in 1 John: 10, John teaches, “If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”
At times we may fail and find ourselves having one or more of these bad characteristics in our heart, but if you teach yourself to always be aware of what are ungodly behaviors, especially the ones you struggle with you can catch yourself and repent quickly and be thankful to Jesus forgiveness through his blood covenant that covers our sins.
One of the bad characteristics is being rash which comes from having other bad traits of being proud, boastful, no having self-control and being a lover of self. That is why James teaches in:
James 1:19, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
That is why Paul teaches in 2 Corinthians 10:5, to capture your every thought and make it obedient to Christ.
To overcome these bad characteristics, you must always make God your first love and to seek Jesus’ teachings and commands by letting the Holy Spirit recall it to you. Then you can discern with the right Christ like heart before you speak or act and not by your flesh. Do everything always out of love for Jesus and it will keep you safe from sinning.
Paul teaches that the Church must also keep itself from these terrible behaviors and to recognize them and repent from them and not to condone or tolerate them, so the church remains holy to Jesus.
As members of the Christ body, we must always examine ourselves to see if we are in Christ when we gather as his church. To be watchful that these bad characteristics do not reside in it and be willing to correct those who have them so that they can repent back to Christ and be saved and to keep the church holy to Jesus.
Some people think it is wrong to judge within the church, but Paul teaches it is your responsibility to do it.
1 Corinthians 5: 12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."
Paul said you need to recognize when terrible characteristics exist in church and do not get involved with those who have them, because it will corrupt your good character.
2 Timothy 3: Have nothing to do with them.
1 Corinthians 15: 33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."

Jesus teaches that we must not let our brothers or sisters in Christ continue to misbehave but to confront their bad behavior so that can repent from them.
Matthew 18: 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost. 15 "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
Jesus said the purpose of helping your brother or sister to repent from their sin is because their Father in heaven does not want any of his children to be lost.
The reason why we watch out for each other must be out of love so that no one in church gets lost from our heavenly Father.
Paul warns us in 2 Thessalonian 2 about this terrible time when the church rebels against their love for Jesus as a sign of Jesus return and teaches how this terrible time will infiltrate the church in:
2 Timothy 3: 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth--men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
To worm into church is when someone comes to church with false pretenses of what church is and that is to be the body of Christ with Jesus as its head. And the church gives in to these bad behaviors because they are weak willed. Always learning about God’s word but never able to acknowledge it’s truth.
Paul said the terrible times will come to churches and I believe this will happen when the watchmen of churches do not watch for those with bad behaviors and oppose the truth and allowed them to worm their way into church.
The truth is that you cannot assume everyone who comes to church loves Jesus as their Lord and Savior and wants what Jesus came to give them, eternal life with his Father, but seek to take advantage of the goodness and kindness of its members and use it to benefit themselves.
Paul said their folly will eventually be revealed if you recognize their bad intentions. Those who love Jesus are not ashamed to proclaim his name before others especially to their brothers and sisters and confess and show that they serve Jesus and not serving to win favor from others or to take advantage of our sisters in Christ or those who are weak in their faith.
I am not asking us to be the bad behavior police, but we must love each other by helping each other to repent from any bad behavior so that we will never be lost to our Father in heaven. Because the terrible times in churches are here and we do not want to be one who rebels against Jesus.
Be safe in Jesus, Ps. Glenn.

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