Key To Surviving In Perilous Times | Jonathan Brentner

I am persuaded that we need an unflinching focus on the joy ahead for us as we face the new year knowing life will likely become even more difficult to navigate than it was in 2021.

Author: Jonathan Brentner

What can we expect in 2022?

Personally, I would very much like to experience the fulfillment of Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. I know it will happen soon, but who can say if this will be the year when Jesus takes us to the place that He’s preparing for us (John 14:1-3)?

The only safe prediction I can make for the upcoming year is that the “perilous times” (2 Timothy 3:1-5) of the past few years will continue unabated.

The word translated “perilous,” or “difficult” in some translations, is chalepos. This term denotes the last days as “dangerous” and “hard to bear.” In Matthew 8:28, the word depicts the fierceness of the two men possessed by demons. The text says that they were “so fierce that no one could pass that way.”

Such are the ominous times in which we live, and they will grow increasingly treacherous leading up to and during the seven-year Tribulation.

How do we cope with these turbulent days as we eagerly await Jesus’ appearance?

RECOGNIZE THAT WE ARE WITNESSING THE FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY

As we look in greater depth at some of the attributes Paul lists in 2 Timothy 3, it becomes increasingly apparent that they aptly describe the time in which we live. I believe there’s much consolation in this as it assures us that God remains sovereignly in control. He saw this day coming long, long ago and inspired the apostle to write about it just before his death.

The critics tell us that these terms describe all of the past two thousand years; they claim nothing has changed to signify that the Lord’s return is at hand. While it’s true that these things have, to some degree, marked every period of history since Paul’s day, I disagree with the scoffers for two reasons:

First, the current “perilous times” come at a time when many other prophetic signs are converging as never before in history.

Second, we are witnessing a heightened and demonic quality to these attributes that not only indicates the added fierceness of our day, but also the nearness of the Day of the Lord.

Consider the following ways that make today different from any previous time in the past two thousand years:

UNMATCHED EGOTISM

Pride is something that affects everyone. As we look at the apostle’s list in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, however, we catch a glimpse of the unmatched egotism that exists today. Notice the emphasis in verse 2, “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy.”

New Testament commentator William Barclay describes such a person in this way, “He might even seem to be humble; but in his secret heart there is contempt for everyone else. He nourishes an all-consuming, all-pervading pride; and in his heart there is a little altar where he bows down before himself.”[i]

Today, it’s not enough for some to have an opinion, but it so often comes with veiled “contempt” for all those who disagree. Those on the left do not even attempt to win an argument, but they rather seek to destroy all those who disagree.

The globalists of our day believe they have the wisdom and insight to decide who lives and who dies in their pursuit of global power. Such is the demonic quality that makes their arrogance unrivaled by those who lived in the past.

HEIGHTENED BRUTALITY

Barclay say that the word Paul used for “brutal” in 2 Timothy 3 “denotes a savagery which has neither sensitiveness nor sympathy.”[ii] The term signifies a viciousness of character that displays a complete lack of human sympathy or compassion. Is this not what we already see in the ruthless and deadly policies now in force in so many countries around the world?

The word “heartless” in 2 Timothy 3:3 denotes someone totally lacking in natural affection toward others. The globalists that control many governments across the planet are egotistical, callous people who do not care who they destroy or murder in their quest for world domination and the enslavement of all those under their control.

Why do people assume that those who fiercely defend the barbaric practice of abortion can be trusted to govern? The brutality extends far beyond unborn children.

PERILOUS TIMES ON STEROIDS

When one compares Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 with what the globalists have planned for the future of the world, it’s nothing less that “perilous times” on steroids.

The goal of these elites is simple: Reduce the population to a more manageable level for the communistic world order they seek to impose upon humanity.[iii]

Because so many people, even those securely in Christ, cannot imagine that these elites could be so murderous and deadly in their intent, they remain blind to the dangers of their agenda and thereby oblivious to the nearness of the seven-year Tribulation. They naively believe that the Holocaust of WWII cannot happen again despite the evidence that history is repeating itself before their very eyes.

THE BEAST OF THE TRIBULATION

The beast displayed at the UN headquarters in New York City reveals the fierceness of what awaits people who will live under the New World Order. The eerie similarity of this image to the beast described by Daniel (7:7-8) and by the Apostle John (Revelation 13:1-4) speaks to the nearness as well as to the satanic brutality of our day as we witness the antichrist’s kingdom beginning to take shape.

The audacity behind the setting up of this image tells me that the elite are quite confident in their agenda for world domination to the point of flaunting their beastly agenda to kill and enslave. They remarkably refer to the image as “The Guardian of International Peace and Security.” Do they know they are quoting 1 Thessalonians 5:3?

How is this not a bright red flashing light telling us that we live in the last days?

ADOPT THE ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE OF SCRIPTURE

Apart from the eternal perspective we see on the pages of the New Testament, I would be drowning in despair.

Surviving these perilous times necessitates a two-world outlook that values our eternal hope above all earthly aspirations. This comforting perspective, which Paul aptly describes for us in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 and Romans 8:18, results from both knowing and firmly grasping the specifics of what the Lord has planned for us in eternity.

The Rapture signals the beginning of treasures that Jesus has in store for all who believe. That’s when we receive our new glorified bodies, and our Savior takes us to the place He’s prepared for us. This anticipation alone reassures our souls as we encounter the terrors of our day.

The Bible also tells us that the Lord is going to judge the wickedness, brutality, and violence of our world; count on it. The Old Testament prophets spoke of this as the beginning to the “Day of the Lord;” we refer to it as the Tribulation as described in Revelation 6-18.

At His return to earth, Jesus will throw the antichrist into the lake of fire and totally destroy the kingdom that the elite now labor so diligently to put in place. We will witness Jesus’ display of unmatched and spectacular power when we return with Him at the end of the Tribulation.

MEDITATE ON THE SPECIFICS OF YOUR HOPE

The specifics of our everlasting hope help us face the dark days in which we live. It’s our anticipation of Jesus’ imminent appearing, our celebration in heaven, our return with Christ to the earth, our reign with Him during the millennial state, and the wonders of the eternal state that anchor our souls during these “perilous times.” We must keep these joyous truths at the forefront of our minds during the dark times in which we live.

It’s because of this needed focus that I wrote The Triumph of the Redeemed – An Eternal Perspective that Calms Our Fears in Perilous Times. My book not only provides many details of our joyous future in eternity, but demonstrates why we can have confidence in the promises of Scripture regarding our “blessed hope” and all the wonders that go along with it.

Satan not only works to add intensity to all the qualities that Paul lists in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, but he’s also laboring overtime to create fear and despair among believers. If he can push our expectation of forever to a far distant and signless return of Christ, he can take away the anchor we so desperately need for the time in which we live.

You see, our focus on the joyful adventure ahead of us keeps us from looking to the moment to get us through the dark days of our lives. It’s not that we forgo making plans, setting goals, or preparing for our future, but that we hold our earthly aspirations loosely knowing that we live on the edge of eternity. It’s when we fail to look beyond the confines of this life that the dark shadows of the approaching Tribulation begin to pull us into fear and despair.

I am persuaded that we need an unflinching focus on the joy ahead for us as we face the new year knowing life will likely become even more difficult to navigate than it was in 2021.

Maranatha! Come soon, Lord Jesus! Will 2022 be the year? That’s my prayer.

My new book, The Triumph of the Redeemed—An eternal Perspective that Calms Our Fears in Perilous Times, is now available on Amazon.

[i] William Barclay in his commentary of 2 Timothy 3

[ii] William Barclay in his commentary of 2 Timothy 3

[iii] For backup to this statement, see my previous posts on transhumanism.

Irreducible Elements of the Gospel

The gospel is the great nonnegotiable of Christian truth. We aren’t allowed to add to, subtract from, embellish, or rejigger the sacred message of how sinful men can be reconciled to a holy God.

That’s why the apostle Paul reserved his sternest warning for anyone who would dare to mess with the message: “If any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed” (Galatians 1:9).

The preacher is left with one option when it comes to faithful gospel proclamation—and it’s not an elusive option reserved for scholars. Paul expected his audience to be able to clearly differentiate between the one true gospel and all the other pretenders. It is an expectation implicitly placed upon all believers. With that in mind, we recently asked John MacArthur to identify and explain the essential truths of saving faith—the irreducible elements of the gospel.

Our destinies hinge on the unshakable nature of those truths. Any variation in just one of them and the hope of eternal life completely collapses.  

If you present a different god than the God of Scripture, you are effectively calling people to idolatry. If you preach another Christ you do not have the Lord; you have a liar or a lunatic. If salvation by grace through faith alone is corrupted with even the smallest amount of works-righteousness, “Christ will be of no benefit to you” (Galatians 5:2). If we don’t repent from our former sinful ways, we will perish (Luke 13:3,5).

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