Perilous Times

By Pastor Teck Uy

We are living in perilous times. While there seems to be a general outward appearance of peace among the people, the reality is that many have been battling internal turmoil. This is manifested by the sporadic violence happening in the city. But what has been causing this internal turmoil, so that we suddenly see our time as perilous? To fully understand our time, we need to listen to the prophet Isaiah’s rebuke. He said, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isa. 5:20). We can certainly shrug this rebuke off if only a few people are involved, but if this is done wholesale by none other than those who are in governmental authority, then it is a serious matter that we need to consider.

In many parts of the world, governments have been an instrument of the devil to bring about the propagation of wickedness. We used to see gambling as evil and illegal, but today it is now fully embraced by our society because it has been legalized and called attractive and harmless names such as the casino or the lotto. Recently in our own backyard, marijuana, which is illegal in most parts of the world, is now legal and they call it recreational marijuana. Even prostitution has been legalized and so with alcohol. Needless to say, all of these are sinful behaviours in the eyes of the Lord and in the eyes of men. Not only are these among the acts of the sinful nature listed in Galatians 5:19-21, but even the governmental authorities acknowledge that these are sins when they impose what they call a “sin tax.”

What prompted governments to take the step of legalizing these sinful activities? Well, they chose to go with the saying, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” Furthermore, they would rather please men and be politically correct than stand for what is right. Meanwhile, to make extra money out of these sinful practices, they impose what they call a sin tax. Sadly, many believers have also chosen to join in, notwithstanding the fact that the Scripture speaks against these. The apostle Paul fitly described their situation saying, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4).

While we all know that these are not only sinful practices according to the Bible but, based on studies and research, they are also harmful and destructive and there are many believers who indulge in them. What could have prompted them to go against what they were taught and initially believed in? Reading through the epistle of the apostle Paul, we can see three major reasons. The first is that their mind and their consciences have been seared. “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron” (1 Tim. 4:1-2). Because of all the permissive and demonic teachings and influences that they received, they allowed themselves to be carried by the flood of dissipation. They have lost all sensitivity and have given in to sensuality.

The other reason is that their hearts have been hardened. “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts” (Eph. 4:18). They resort to all kinds of rationalization, hoping that they can justify their way out. This was the case of Adam and Eve. They rationalized their actions by putting blame on the serpent. However, the truth of the matter was that their hearts were hardened as they constantly mingled and communicated with the serpent who persistently and deviously told them that they will not die if they eat the fruit of the forbidden tree (Gen. 3:1-7).

The third reason is self-centeredness. They let the Word of God adapt to their situation. “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy” (2 Tim. 3:1-2). For as long as they feel good about it and it brings profit or pleasure to them, they do not care if they violate the Word of God. They are willing to call evil good. They gratify the desires of their sinful flesh. They are unwilling to conform to the Word of God and die to their sinfulness.

As the day of the Lord Jesus Christ draws near, we shall see these attitudes grow, and unless we take a stand, we too shall be swept by this flood of dissipation that will come on the earth. Indeed, we are living in perilous times and we need to stand our ground and hold on to the faith that we have in the Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!