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Written by Bill Bradford
Jesus remarked, " .... when the Son of Man comes, will he really find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8).
The apostles asked Jesus only some days earlier, "increase out faith" (Luke 17:5). They obviously saw the works Jesus did and also heard that high standard of His teaching and realized that they needed more faith!! Probably a whole lot more!
Amazingly, as we get closer to the end of this age, we tend to not exercise faith in our lives nor do we see it as people once did. It is important to understand the reasons why faith in God has diminished.
1) We have more solutions to our previously unsolvable problems today. There have been medical advances to handle our ever growing number of ailments. More medical care is available and we have refined programs where medical and emergency care is extended to more people.
2) We have more wealth and social systems devised by our governments, so people are not without help of some form.
3) We have more knowledge now and knowledge is increasing at a faster rate so where there are problems, we can find a solution.
Where people once lived by faith and had a conscious belief in God because they had no other choice, we now have many choices. There is always a new way of doing things, or understanding things, that will somehow make your life better. Of course, this becomes the goal – to make your life better.
When you dig only a little deeper, you will find that things are not better. Ever wonder why some long for the good ole' days? Why are more diseases emerging every day that we don't have a cure for? Why do people do terrible things to others on a scale we have not seen before – violence, rape, people oppressing others, terrorism, homelessness. Knowledge is increasing, but so are the problems. People are more educated, and quite technologically advanced but it isn't increasing happiness. And one more thing, it seems that 'the few' are benefiting from all this advancement. The vast majority is still in a hopeless condition.
In some ways, life has changed for better. In other ways we it hasn't because human nature still hasn't changed. Jesus knew this when he predicted that as a sign of the end time, there would be wars and rumours of wars, famines and disease even when we use a global approach to find the solutions.
Paul explains further, "For know this (be certain of this), that in the last days perilous (dangerous, or times of stress) will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self control, brutal ... lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God." (II Timothy 3:1-5)
Both Jesus and Paul understood the things would not get better, regardless of man's best effort, because human nature would not change. Rather, it would change for the worse. The knowledge and abilities in which man experiences growth, does not produce the right kind of change. Indeed, we are living in more perilous times than we ever have and it will get worse.
This is why Jesus wondered if He would find faith on the earth when He returned.
It is essential that the people who really seek God, not just know about faith, but actually live by it. The world can erode our faith, and we won't know it. When bad things happened to us, we see the need to have God in our lives. How much was He in our lives before the evil day? Can we honestly say that we live by faith now? Or have we come to believe in the answers and solutions the world is offering us. One last thing about this, of the solutions being offered is a promiscuous lifestyle so many have succumbed to – involving sex, alcohol, drugs and incessant pleasure seeking. Some have sunk into an incredibly selfish way of life, even narcissism, to deal with the increasing stress of the times as Paul explains in II Timothy 3:1-5. Don't get sucked into the horrible pattern of life so many are pursuing now.
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