By Roy Burner - Minister of the Gospel
Time of the heathen caught my attention in the Book of Ezekiel (30:3): For the day of the Lord is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen. I begin to reflect on America, and other once godly nations, who have entered into evil ways of their own choosing.
Scripture tells of those who having been ignorant of God's righteousness are going about to establish their own righteousness having not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:3). We are seeing many today who delight to walk in their own ungodly ways; justifying such actions with laws, and judicial rulings, being instituted to uphold those ungodly lifestyles.
There has been an influx of ungodliness prevailing in the land that far exceeds Sodom and Gomorrah. Scripture reveals that God turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemning them with an overthrow as an example to those that afterward should live ungodly (2 Peter 2:6).
In America, and other lands, we have seen homosexuality coming into an openness that never before existed. Same sex marriage then followed; then the transgender movement. We are seeing inroads being laid to continue a flow of ungodliness.
In the Old Testament the term heathen referred to any nation, or people, not worshiping the God of Israel, but rather false gods. This seems far away in time but there are many nations today who practice such a manner of worship.
In my military service; traveling to other countries, I personally witnessed such worship. The apostle Paul spoke of such as futility, in saying: Inasmuch as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, shaped by art and man's devising. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men everywhere to repent: because he has appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:29-31).
With the spreading of the Gospel; in fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), many have been exposed to the truths of God's Word; with many casting aside the ways of the heathen, and turning to the saving grace of Jesus Christ!
Time of the heathen could refer to the faithless; those who have been led astray, no longer enlightened towards the things of God. The apostle Paul stated: 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).
He spoke of holding one's faith with a good conscience; which some having rejected, concerning faith, have suffered shipwreck (1 Timothy 1:19). Such had rejected that inner moral voice of conscience, and were straying from the truth of God's Word. Scripture gives warning: Beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness (2 Peter 3:17).
Time of the heathen are those who have endorsed the ways of the ungodly; having become entrenched in ungodly lifestyles, along with enhancing of such to others. Any who are in opposition to such a lifestyle are condemned; when in reality it is those who are caught up in the ungodly lifestyle who are condemned by God's Word (Romans 1:18).
Scripture reveals the nature of such individuals: They walk after the flesh, in the lust of uncleanness, self-willed, presumptions and not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries. They entice unstable souls. They have forsaken the right way and are gone astray. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the midst of darkness is reserved forever (2 Peter 2:10-17).
Time of the heathen is amply displayed in the entertainment industry; with less and less censorship towards foul language, vulgarity, and nudity. It is unfortunate but many churches, in Western nations, have come into acceptance of that which was previously unacceptable.
Scripture reveals that Christ is coming back for a church that is sanctified (set apart from the world) and cleansed with the washing of water by the Word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing: but that it should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:25-27).
The apostle Paul wrote: For you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them (the heathen), and be you separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you (2 Corinthians 6:16-18).
Let not the time of the heathen be a factor in the believer's life. Scripture reveals: Thanks be to God which gives us the victory through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore, be you steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:18).
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