Signs of the Last Days
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money [affluence and materialism], boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, un-thankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal [drug addicted and prone to senseless violence], despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Tim 3:1-5)
These verses read like Twentieth Century headlines. A further word about one of these signs:
"Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" This has been remarkably fulfilled in a prevalent philosophy of today. "Hedonism," the philosophy that the end and object of life is pleasure, is not new. But today, for the first time, it has received general acceptance throughout the world. The various conditions predicted in 2 Tim 3:1-5 are further proof that we are in the "last days" of this "present evil world."
Capital and Labor Strife
“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabbath.” (James 5:1-4)
Strikes and walkouts, the cries of laborers for their wages (both realistic and fanciful), are signs of the last days. We hear them steadily increasing. The exorbitant profit of the industrialist and capitalist have heaped up until the "last days." The "Lord of Sabbath" has heard the cries of the workers. Since the return of the Lord, much of the injustice against the working man has been corrected. The protection of the rights of the working man is a phenomenon of our time. We have only to reflect back to 1894 when the then-future president Howard Taft wrote of the Pullman Strike of 1894, "It will be necessary for the military to kill some of the mob…they have only killed six…as yet, this is hardly enough to make an impression." The Proud Tower by Barbara W. Tuchman, page 478.
Never before in human history has the right of the worker to pressure management for higher wages and better working conditions been guaranteed by laws. But both capital and labor are tarred by the same sin of selfishness (as exemplified in many labor unions). Labor's demands will continue to increase for both just and fancied rights (for example demands for a share in the profits). Management will share just so much of its profits and the death struggle will be upon us. This equalizing of the scales of justice between capital and labor marks us as in the "last days" of James 5:1-4, another sure sign that Christ has returned.
Revolution and Anarchy
“…For the day of the Lord is at hand, For the Lord has prepared a sacrifice; He has invited His guests (Even now the Lord’s great army is amassing its forces). “And it shall be, in the day of the Lord’s sacrifice, that I will punish the princes and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with foreign apparel (capital, the rich, the selfish). In the same day I will punish all those who leap over the threshold, who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit (labor, the poor, the selfish and unruly, the unrestrained masses).” (Zep 1:7-9)
Throughout the Christian Age, economically speaking, there have been basically two classes: the "haves" and the "have-nots." A large middle class is a peculiarity of our era and locates us in the Day of the Lord. For centuries, the wealthy have been aligned with church and state in the exploitation of the masses.
We are in the "Day of the Lord" spoken of by Zephaniah. To recompense the exploitation's of the past, the returned Lord has prepared a sacrifice from the avaricious accumulations of the wealthy. And the guests (the masses, the “sea” class) have been invited to share. This economic leveling has resulted in the large middle class of our day (although of late it has been dwindling). As the gap between the rich and the poor grows many of those who were once consider the middle class are now joining the poor.
Demonstrations, riots the struggles between capital and labor, racial majorities and minorities will progressively get worse in the day of the Lord's presence until they end in complete anarchy. Already, anarchy is just below the surface—ready to burst forth at the slightest provocation (in fact it has already reared its ugly head to some extent in protests by the BLM, Black Bloc and Antifa). While the Lord is balancing the scales of justice for the past wrongs of the vested interest class, the exploited class by their unjustified demands and violence reveal that they have nothing better to offer (Thus they too will be punished in the Day of the Lord as stated in Zep 1:7-9). Because their ideologies are honey-combed with selfishness and deprivation, they will accomplish but one thing: the destruction of our social order.
The events that Zephaniah foretells take place during the Day of the Lord (the day of his presence). The magnitude of the prophecy rules out a 24-hour day—or a shorter period of time. The masses are invited to share the economic excess of the wealthy and time is required to reveal the deceit and violence of the exploited as they rebel against the status quo. The whole revolutionary trend of our day, with its periodic violent eruptions, is another sign that the Lord has returned.
Continued with next post.
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