By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
Love of pleasure is an entrapment that has befallen many. Scripture reveals in the last days (which we are in) perilous times shall come, with lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God being one of its characteristics.
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. Men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous (money lovers), boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent (without self-control), fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady (reckless), high-minded, lovers of pleasures more (rather than) lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:1-4). When one has been of a generation that has witnessed the power of God; in revival spirit with tremendous influence on lives of many, it is indeed sad to see a withdrawing from God for love of pleasure!
In a study by the Barna Group it was found that Generation Z (those born in late 90's and early 2000's) to be the least religious in America's history; less likely to attend church services, with the reason given: Church is not relevant to me personally or they would find God elsewhere.
It seems as if the only way to attract the youth of today, is for the church to intermix with the ways of the world; as an inducement to gain their attention. What happens when all the hype, of such entertainment (love of pleasure), dissipates and no real relationship with God exists? What happens when one comes back to reality, having been deceived into acceptance of the delusion presented to them; embracing of a worldly culture, in the midst of a supposed godly environment?
When the youth come to the opinion that the church is not relevant or I will find God elsewhere; will they not seek after the more colorful traits of a worldly environment, after having been introduced to such?
The mainstream media helps introduce ungodly agenda; social media's moral compass has also become disoriented with enhancement of ungodliness; the internet helping to nourish lustful enticements; along with movies and television. All of these devices give amply room for acceptance of profanity, vulgarity, and nudity.
The morals of yesteryear have for the most part dissipated with the ushering in of that which appeases the appetite; with the love of pleasure being an influence towards drifting away from once godly morals. Scripture reveals: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father, is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof; but he that does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:15-17).
All people are tempted differently according to individual weaknesses. Our adversary, the Devil, knows the right bait; to bring his deceptive nature to fullness, and to ensnare His victim! The bait used falls into three areas of life: The lust of the flesh (physical desires); the lust of the eyes (personal desires), and the pride of life (self-interest). When Satan, or the Devil, caused the fall of mankind; it was through these three areas of weakness.
Scripture reveals: When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired of, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat (Genesis 3:6). Love of pleasure is being pushed to the hilt by an ungodly society.
Scripture gives warning: The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). A Bible commentary noted: The wrath mentioned is not a revelation of future judgment of God or of the Great Tribulation but a present revelation that parallels the present revelation of God's righteousness.
Apostle Paul expressed his concern for the church in Galatia: I marvel that you are so soon removed (turning away) from him that called you unto the grace of Christ unto another gospel; which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would (want to) pervert the gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:6-7).
You did run well; who did hinder you that you should not obey the truth? This persuasion comes not of him that called you (Galatians 5:7-8). A Bible commentary noted: The Galatians were making good progress spiritually; but there were some encouraging them to embrace a different way than previously taught.
There are those today who are walking away from the Unadulterated Word of God; picking and choosing that which does not bring a reproach on their desired lifestyle, or love of pleasure. Tolerance and acceptability has become the norm, in many churches, rather than take a stand for the Unadulterated Word of God!
Jesus addressed the church of Ephesus, saying: I know your works, and your labor, and your patience (perseverance), and how you cannot bear (endure) them which are evil: and you have tried (tested) them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars.
And has borne (persevered), and has patience, and for my name's sake have labored, and have not fainted (Revelation 2:2-3). The comments to that point would have gratified the soul, except what is revealed in the next verse: Nevertheless, I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love (Revelation 2:4).
Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come to you quickly, and will remove your candlestick (light) out of this place, except you repent (Revelations 2:5). A Bible commentary noted: The church was to repent of its present lack of love and devotion; and return to the things that were characteristic of its first love in its former years!
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