I don’t dream as much as I did as a child. However, when I do have dreams, they are often vivid. I’m not sure what causes adults to dream, but stress has led me to have nightmares in the past as if I was living a bad dream. Whenever I read the Bible, current events tend to determine what I learn or pick up from a particular passage. When I think about the words below, the apostle Paul could be talking about right now, 2023 in America.
But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]. 2 For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane,2 Timothy 3:1-2.
As an optimistic individual, I try to see the positive in any given situation. Yet, the older I get, the sadder I become about the spiritual condition of America. When I was a high school Bible teacher, I could make a difference in the lives of my students. Yet now I just have this blog platform, Express Yourself 4Him to determine if what I’m experiencing is simply a nightmare or is this really happening?
[They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. 4 [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God, 2 Timothy 3:3-4.
One of my former pastors regularly reminded his congregation that “hurt people hurt other people.” Whenever anyone tries to replace God with something else, a void grows in this person’s heart. Paul’s message to a teenage pastor named Timothy is merely the byproduct of hurt, lost and lonely souls. May the words of Jesus in Matthew 18:1-6 help convict community and political leaders. Only when America’s leaders repent and turn back to God will this current nightmare end.
by Jay Mankus