“Us” preachers like for folks to tell us what a wonderful job we did on a sermon or some other expounding of GOD’S WORD, but our purpose is to lift up God and not ourselves. What follows is what God’s word tells us is to happen in the future. There are no time lines telling us when, but many sources tell that there will be an ending to what we know as EARTH.

It is my prayer you will read this passage carefully and prayerfully. I chose the Message translation for its easy reading and more up-to-date wording. Even if you reject the modern translations, please consider the truths contained. I believe these are some heartrending passages, and I pray some will come to a closer relation to its author.

2 Timothy 3:1-17 (MSG) --  1) "Don't be naive. There are difficult times ahead. 2) As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, 3) dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, 4) treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. 5) They'll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they're animals. Stay clear of these people. 6) These are the kind of people who smooth-talk themselves into the homes of unstable and needy women and take advantage of them; women who, depressed by their sinfulness, take up with every new religious fad that calls itself 'truth.' 70 They get exploited every time and never really learn.

8) "These men are like those old Egyptian frauds, Jannes and Jambres, who challenged Moses. They were rejects from the faith, twisted in their thinking, defying truth itself. 9) But nothing will come of these latest impostors. Everyone will see through them, just as people saw through that Egyptian hoax. 10) You've been a good apprentice to me, a part of my teaching, my manner of life, direction, faith, steadiness, love, patience, 11) troubles, sufferings — suffering along with me in all the grief I had to put up with in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra. And you also well know that God rescued me! 12) Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble; there's no getting around it. 13) Unscrupulous con men will continue to exploit the faith. They're as deceived as the people they lead astray. As long as they are out there, things can only get worse. 14) But don't let it faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers — 15) why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother's milk! There's nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16) Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another — showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way.

17) "Through the Word, we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us."

Dear friends, I pray God has touched your heart and you will accept the new life He has for you as you turn your life over to Him, following His son Jesus.

J. Frank Hay Jr. is a pastor and chaplain in Orangeburg.

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