Article: Signs of End Times for The Church – Part 2 | Roshan Benzy George

 

This is a startling verse in Revelations chapter three, which literally says that ‘Jesus Christ is outside the church’. The context of this verse is in association with the Laodicean church, which is the last of the seven churches described in Revelation chapter two and three. These seven first century churches in Asia Minor symbolize the different types of churches which existed throughout the centuries, and also exist at the present time. The last church, Laodicea, which is discussed in Revelation 3: 14-22, specifically symbolizes a church that is no longer under Jesus Christ.

The Greek compound word ‘Laodicea’ means ‘people’s right’ or ‘people ruling’. This rightly impinges the notion that in the ‘last days’, it is no longer Jesus Christ who is ruling the church, but people. It is a kind of church that boasts about its worldly possessions, but does not realize its spiritual wretchedness (Revelation 3: 17) This is a prototype of the church in the ‘last days’ – rich in their worldly wealth, yet lacking true spiritual discernment from Jesus Christ. Therefore, Jesus Christ is outside the church advising it to buy true richness from Him (Revelation 3: 18). However, it is not the Laodicean church alone that characterizes the end times; in fact, all the churches mentioned before Laodicea, also have their remnants in the end times.

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The characteristics of the people living in the ‘end times’ are also worthwhile noting; it is mentioned by apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3: 1-5 – “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”

The verses in 2 Timothy 3: 1-5, give a true picture of humans, especially, in the last days. However, Paul is referencing such people in the church, who are ‘having the appearance of godliness but denying its power’. At present, modernism and liberalism have infiltrated the church so much that the believers have become more like what Paul is referencing. These are the characteristics of an apostate or a false believer. Sometimes, we find ourselves in these verses, if we read these verses honestly. And that is a wake-up call to get up from our spiritual slumber, and to return to Jesus Christ, our Lord.

The apostles also warn about the potential false teachers. Peter, the apostle, warned the church about this when he said, “there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them….” (2 Peter 2: 1) Here, the apostle says that they would even deny the Person of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, he also adds that there will also be mockers, for he says, “scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.” (2 Peter 3: 3) They will be mocking the fundamentals of faith, and by despising holiness, they will follow their own sinful desires. The characteristics of the apostate teachers can be further exemplified in the words of our Lord, Jesus Christ, – “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits [deeds and actions].” (Matthew 7: 15,16)

Let us not follow the examples of falsehood, but be holy to the Lord, for it is written, “Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” (Revelations 22: 11) The time is short, and Jesus’ arrival is at hand. As the signs of His coming are unravelling before us, let us keep watch and pray so “…. that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21: 36)

As it is with the Laodicean church, in the last-days’ church, Jesus Christ is outside the church knocking the door. In such a condition where a particular church does not provide a platform for its believers to have an encounter, Jesus Christ is ready to make individual relationships with those who want it, for He says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3: 20) Will you ignore His knocks? Or will you hear His knocks and open the doors of your heart to Him?

To read Part 1 go to: https://kraisthavaezhuthupura.com/2021/11/07/english-article-262/

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