by David Kemper
LANSING, MI – Are we living in ‘perilous times’?
II Timothy 3:1 - “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:”
This passage then goes on to describe what Paul meant by ‘perilous times’. It sounds like the world today. What is different from any other day is that it is a global situation. Does the Bible give instruction about being prepared physically for such a time? My approach is found in a simple but direct passage,
6) Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
7) Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
8) Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
9) How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
When will you rise from your sleep?
10) A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep—
11) So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.
Be committed to Jesus Christ first and foremost.
Matthew 6:33 says “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
It is impossible to properly be prepared for worldly difficulties without putting Jesus first. It does say though, that if you put Jesus first He will make it possible to prepare for the physical danger that we face. Put Jesus first! “Pray without ceasing”, read your Bible, be fanatically faithful to church and witness for Christ at every opportunity.
Make sure you put your family second to Christ.
It’s natural for us to be so concerned about the success of our church, ministry or job that we neglect our family and they go the way of the world. It is essential that we provide for our family’s spiritual welfare. But it is also essential to provide for their physical welfare.
I Timothy 5:8 - “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
It’s clear that this means physical welfare. I have been preparing for the difficult times ahead for many years. I keep a thorough and balanced supply of food and water in my house. Our own government encourages us to do that! When our government gives us such warnings, it is past time for us to prepare. I have found that such preparation gives me peace about having done what the Bible says in this area. I would encourage all to do the same.
Put your local church third in this list of priorities.
During the time of pandemic there seems to be a new saying. That is ‘the building is not the church; we are the church’. I understand the point of the saying. I fear that many have been lost to the local church because a saying like this is all some need to absent themselves from church.
Remember that local church attendance is a command.
Hebrews 10:25 - “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
This command is in the context of the persecution of the early church. To be strong in the Lord we must obey His commands. Going to church provides an encouragement we cannot get any other way.
Continue to reach out to your local community in every way possible.
The great commission was not to be obeyed just during easy times. It is to be obeyed in every age and circumstance.
Matthew 28:19-20 - “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”
Our methods may change due to the problems of the pandemic, but we have no excuse for disobeying our Commander-In-Chief’s last command. REACH OUT! God will bless you.
There are physical things we must do to provide for and protect our families and churches. May we be busy doing them. May God provide, protect and keep safe all of the churches and ministries in the SBC. And may He keep us pure through His Spirit.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I am a 72-year-old army brat (my dad was a career soldier). As a result, I was raised and have lived in four different countries and numerous states. I became a born-again Christian in 1971 shortly after returning from a tour in Vietnam. I have been an ordained minister since 1975. I have enjoyed dual careers, pastoring and being a systems analyst (computer programmer). I have pastored churches in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and now Michigan. I have been pastoring the Discover Life Church in Lansing, MI for almost three years now.