This one will likely land me in trouble. The commentary might be pointing the bony finger of condemnation in a direction many will possibly insist it has no right to be poked.
However, we are at the very end of the Age of Grace (Church Age). Every signal for the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ is becoming more visible by the hour. We are, when we see these things begin to come to pass, to look up and lift up our heads, because our redemption is drawing near. These words of the Lord Jesus, as recorded in Luke 21:28, are further affirmed in Mark 37:13 where we see His command: “What I say to one, I say unto all; watch.”
Therefore, in the spirit of “watching,” we must look at what God’s prophets tell us to watch for as the end of the age comes more and more into view. The apostle Paul, in that regard, gave some quite specific things that will mark the end of the age. He did so particularly as recorded in 2 Timothy, chapter 3.
I often refer to these many prophetic indicators as the characteristics of end-times man. Paul, in describing these signals, puts them within a time-frame he calls “perilous times.” He describes many of these characteristics in this prophetic segment of his second letter to Timothy. It is the very first of these characteristics of end-times man I will touch upon here. As I said, it will be more than enough to get me in some trouble, most likely.
The reason I say that is that I believe the most popular thing in all of our culture in America today is involved directly in this condemning characteristic. The younger generation–the Millennials-–are the most into exhibiting this characteristic, but they are by no means the only segment of the culture that is involved. The former president of the United States, for example, engaged in this end-times characteristic on a number of occasions as gleefully reported by his fawning press–and by that I mean most all of the mainstream news and entertainment media.
I’m talking about the phenomenon known as the selfie.
The selfie is but the tip of the proverbial iceberg in pointing out this end-times characteristic. The bulk of that iceberg is made up of the vast social networking services such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The selfie, if I really need to define it, is a self-photograph taken by one’s cellphone or other device–usually from above one’s head so that it presents what, I presume, the selfie-taker believes to be the most flattering angle.
The selfie then is disseminated through the above-mentioned social network services–thus to enhance whatsoever the total self-image and desired celebrity the individual wants to present to his or her, hopefully, geometrically progressing, cyberspace world.
See, I told you I would be in trouble–probably with you the reader.
I know that my view of this is just reaching for application of the apostle Paul’s perilous-times condemnation, in the opinion of many. I still believe this is a primary indicator of where we are on God’s prophetic timeline. People are becoming increasingly “lovers of their own selves,” as Paul prophesied. It might seem like an innocuous charge–even a silly one. But, I think it is relevant much more than any of us can imagine.
In my 2016 book, Rapture Ready…Or Not: 15 Reasons This Is the Generation That Will Be Left Behind, I point to the serious ramifications such self-love has produced and will likely further produce to a greater degree as Christ’s call to His Church in the Rapture nears. Here is an excerpt from that part of the book:
Psychologists and sociologists have for years planted in the minds of Americans that self-esteem is something that is important to making a successful life. These point to the fact that at the center of most every problem of the human condition resides the feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing.
We are told that the radical Islamists who attacked on September 11, 2001 did so because they felt inferior due to U.S. treatment that looked down upon them. The whole matter involving the attacks that took the lives of more than three thousand that day, therefore, convinced those in charge of the U.S. State Department to employ a study group designed to help determine how to make those who hate us, particularly in the Middle East, no longer hate us.
So ingrained is self-love in our nation that we in delusion covet the admiration of those who hate us with satanic rage born out of our support for Israel, not out of envy and low self-esteem on the terrorists’ part.
The terrorists, murderers, gang members, rapists, and all other of those who commit crimes these days are analyzed by the woolly-minded psychologists and sociologists based upon the premise that the perpetrators hate themselves, thus all others who they see as deserving of their victimization.
God’s Word says, “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh” (Ephesians 5:29a). In other words, self-loathing is not part of our DNA. Quite the opposite is true. The Bible says that those who have not the Holy Spirit are of their father, the Devil. Satan is the ultimate example of self-love.
The social engineers tell us the secret to ultimately producing a healthy cultural environment is high self-esteem. A sense of self- worth will make man live up to his own great expectations.
Rather than love of self, however, God’s Word tells us to love others, to esteem others more than ourselves, to humble ourselves before God. This generation is obviously doing none of these.
That we are in perilous times can’t be denied, except by the most willfully uncomprehending. I’m afraid that many of this selfie-immersed generation fits within that universe of those destined to be left behind when Christ calls the Church in the Rapture.
We are very near that time. The prophetic evidence is flashing in every direction one looks today. We must lift Christ at every opportunity so many will come to Jesus for salvation when the Holy Spirit draws them to the Savior.
As a blogger myself, I know that we rarely get feedback. Let me just say – keep up the good work! We need to all finish strong and what you write is such an encouragement, especially since very few Christians want to talk about the end times. It is as if they think that if they ignore prophecy, it will all just go away.
What they don’t know is that they are missing a mighty blessing by being aware and watching. In the past few years, I have begun to let go of this earth. If I were to say that out loud at our Bible Study group, people would be concerned that I am suicidal! But I know that you know what I mean! Thanks again! Look forward to meeting you in heaven. Beth Stertz (www.dependingonthebible.com)
I’ll tell you what the problem is. We are all like the frogs who were slowly cooked to death. Most people are so used to our society’s debauchery that they really don’t think it’s that bad. I have recently even heard a Christian say that they don’t think man’s hearts are on evil continually yet. I just wanted to say look at the news….look at the world…really take a good look! Just turn on the T.V. I don’t watch much television and it is shocking what people can see any time of day. Pornography disguised as art. That’s only one thing. It is shocking to me. Oh, times have indeed changed and most people and Christians are numb to it. Forget about having a conversation about the end times ( that we are more than obviously in). They don’t want to go near that subject. It’s very disappointing. Thank you Terry for your great and encouraging blogs and books. We are not alone. God Bless you.
I agree Terry. When I began reading about the rapture in the early 80’s, It seemed as if it was close then. I now see it as a sketch of a landscape that is quite faint and skimpy, just mere outline of what could be the time of the rapture. Now however it seems that a full blown painting in full colors is emerging with all kinds of details that fit scripture. It feels very close now. Praise the Lord, and Maranatha
Reblogged this on BibleProphecyWatch.
As I finally finished reading your article, I kept thinking that Dave Hunt could have written this. He frequently reminded his listeners of God’s Word which says, “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh” (Ephesians 5:29a). I miss his teaching and think of how shocked he would be of how dark the world looks today. Jan Markell reminds us that: the world isn’t falling apart, but things are falling into place. Maranatha! Titus 2:13
Pastor first of all thank you for all your insight into today’s crazy world, I have to agree with you on the selfie pictures. I personally don’t take those pictures, and don’t go on facebook hardly at all except if I see that a pastor I watch will be on there live. I am however astonished when I go into my page and see how many people I” supposedly” know or want should want to know and all their pictures, I wonder what people are doing with their time. Is it so important for people to know what I look like, as you see all these photos of all these people in all kinds of angles! I find it strange!
I am way to private a person to get involved! Many people from all ages are
All I can say is I’m thankful for all my brothers and sisters around who world who can see through all these distractions, I pray for more to come to know Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ before his return for us!
What about the unwalled villages proviso in Ezekiel 38-39?
Your question is unclear to me. Therefore, I will have to presume you mean to ask how can the Gog-Magog assault as given in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 be near if Israel has such powerful defensive capabilities.
My own view is that the Gog-Magog assault is still in the future –during the Tribulation (last 7 years of human history before Christ’s Second Advent).
Israel’s defensive capability –given as “walls” in this prophecy– will likely be compromised when they make the “covenant made with death and hell” of Isaiah 28: 15, 18.
Dearest Terry, your insight is amazing!! I remember Pastor Jon Courson telling us something very similar a couple of decades ago..something like: first there was the magazine Life, then Family, then Us, & He predicted in the near future you would see on the shelves a magazine called Me & open it up to find a mirror inside..LOL. Who could then foresee the explosion of technology!?!? Always am so blessed by your writings. Love in Jesus,Christy
I couldn’t be more thrilled I didn’t have a smartphone as a kid and teen….or social media. I have a smartphone, but deleted my one social media account several years ago. It’s fantastic!
You’re spot-on, Terry. Some of these verses have also come to my mind in regards to selfies, and the quest for self-promotion has almost gone out of control. Keep preaching as the Lord leads.
Many who are call themselves Christian are seeking approval from the world. Years ago I heard a pastor say that we must be friends with them before we share the Gospel. 2 Tim. 3:2 begins with lovers of self; yet, I believe we have reached as far as verse 5. Thank you for staying true to the Word.
Regarding the scriptures that you referenced, I myself have taken notice of the “selfie-nation”. I am specifically speaking about the new, young crop of “dems” that were sworn in last week. I couldn’t help but notice that there were a great number of photos taken by them during those few days, but not just solo selfies, no, they had taken “group” selfies!! The epitomy of self-love and self-righteousness was just glaring! I just subscribed to your blog and I am enjoying them very much. It is wonderful and sad at the same time to find like minded believers. Sad in that there are so few in close proximity, yet wonderful to know that I have brothers and sisters who I can share my beloved Jesus with, knowing full well that soon and very soon, we are going to see the Lord!!!Amen. 💖💖💖