Thursday, April 7, 2016

Reflection - Attitudes, Motives and Conduct

Source (book): "Faithful to the end", Chapter 8, Question 3, Page 125.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


Paul states: 'People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.'
PHOTO: Paul states: "People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them."
Picture posted by 華頁編譯 (Hua page editor) on 16 November 2015 at 10:09:01 AM

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2zFg10jVeK4/VwVGYeTcmPI/AAAAAAAAjg0/od3AYUS8fLkHoc2R7X86AaDB1CV0N1pjA/s1600/cI6hZUZXPUyertMZzrJ6fg%25E4%25B8%258D%25E4%25B8%2580%25E6%25A8%25A3%25E7%259A%2584%25E6%25B6%2588%25E8%25B2%25BB%25E8%2580%2585%25E4%25BF%25A1%25E5%25BF%2583%25E8%25AA%25BF%25E6%259F%25A5%25E7%25B5%2590%25E6%259E%259C.png
http://www.mpages.co.nz/MpageMeadia/News/cI6hZUZXPUyertMZzrJ6fg%E4%B8%8D%E4%B8%80%E6%A8%A3%E7%9A%84%E6%B6%88%E8%B2%BB%E8%80%85%E4%BF%A1%E5%BF%83%E8%AA%BF%E6%9F%A5%E7%B5%90%E6%9E%9C.png
http://www.mpages.co.nz/news/ShowArticle.aspx?ArticleID=8796



Go through Paul's list of the terrible people of the last days and reflect on your own attitudes, motives and conduct. Are there any items in the list that may describe how you are functioning in this world? Commit yourself to God by asking Him to free you from sin and self-love, and to give you victory.

Go through Paul's list of the terrible people of the last days.

Terrible People [1]
Here in 2 Timothy 3:2-5, Paul states: "People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them."


Daniel's dream of the four beasts represented four kingdoms, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome full of 'Terrible People'.
PHOTO: Daniel's dream of the four beasts represented four kingdoms, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome full of "Terrible People".
From our perspective we see a kingdom that is grand, powerful, and something to behold, but from Gods perspective, it is a beast which is holding back his kingdom.
In 2 Timothy 3:2-5, Paul states: "People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them."
Texts posted by Timothy, http://www.confidentfaith.net/gods-perspective-daniel-7, Gods Perspective: Daniel 7
Picture posted by Hugo Beato in 2015

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Pocd9kAKOFo/Vt1DNdQzdCI/AAAAAAAAjKg/1osptNzekEY/s1600/slide_7.jpg
http://images.slideplayer.com.br/7/1851878/slides/slide_7.jpg
http://slideplayer.com.br/slide/1851878/
http://www.veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/03/reflection-human-conduct.html



A major theme in Paul's description of terrible people is misplaced love. People in the last days will love the wrong things and thus damage themselves and society. New Testament scholar Ben Witherington III terms this a "vicious-person list" that shows "the full-blown manifestation of self-centredness and self-love" in the last days. [2] Let us examine the characteristics of the people in the last days.


he full-blown manifestation of self-centredness and self-love
PHOTO: A "vicious-person list" that shows "the full-blown manifestation of self-centredness and self-love" in the last days.
Picture posted by Chiang Mai-Wandering on 22 January 2016
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sI8rB_H0ULI/VvPUJVMLV2I/AAAAAAAAjY4/HM4427fnNxUJ7ySPyvGnW5XFeB246BsAA/s1600/Seed-Of-Chucky-seed-of-chucky-29035508-1024-768.gif
http://www.chiangmai-wandering.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Seed-Of-Chucky-seed-of-chucky-29035508-1024-768.gif
http://www.chiangmai-wandering.com/small-things-and-thep-doll-craze/
http://www.veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/03/reflection-misplaced-love.html



Lovers of Themselves [1]
Self-love is the spring of all the other items in the list
People in the last days will be lovers of themselves (Greek: philautos). Self-love is the spring of all the other items in the list, as John calvin, William Barclay, and others have pointed out. Self-love is the basic problem in the human condition. It comes naturally to sinful man. For sinful people, the self is in the centre of the universe. Others are used to serve the self. Even God is employed to fulfill the wishes of the self and to ensure the comfort and significance of the sinful self.


Self-love is the spring of all the other items in the list
PHOTO: Self-love is the spring of all the other items in the list
People in the last days will be lovers of themselves (Greek: philautos).
Picture posted by meme-lol on May 2015
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/--7S1SNEmJdU/VvPUIt4cDxI/AAAAAAAAjYw/-zdomgDbbKALLJud-LvJL-4Te5LMicUtw/s1600/Formula-to-measure-narcissism.png.jpg
http://meme-lol.com/wp-content/uploads/meme/2015/06/Formula-to-measure-narcissism.png
http://meme-lol.com/funny/formula-to-measure-narcissism/
http://www.veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/03/reflection-misplaced-love.html



Lovers of Money [1]
Bible commentator David Guzik refers to an article carried in The Los Angeles TImes on November 30, 1992 about a woman called Brenda Blackman who had some success in conducting a course titled "How to Marry Money". He wrote: "The course attempts to show men and women how to marry rich, and cost 39 USD per person. In the course Blackman offered helpful hints, such as how to search through your prospective mate's chequebooks to study their deposits and then assess their income levels. She built her student's confidence by leading them in a chant several times through the lecture: 'I want to be rich! I deserve to be rich! I am rich! I was born to be rich!' In one class, Blackman was asked by a woman if it was all right to settle for a man whose income was about 100,000 USD a year. 'No way' she replied. What if he was perfect in every other way? 'If he was in his peak earning years and he was maxed out at 100,000 USD - forget it,' Blackman advised. When someone asked her about the place of love in such relationships, Blackman said that finding a mate with that much money is the hard part; learning to love that person is easy by comparison. 'How could you not love someone who is doing all these wonderful things for you?' she said. Blackman was single as she taught these courses." [7]



Lovers of Money

PHOTO: Lovers of Money
Courses offered helpful hints, such as how to search through your prospective mate's checkbooks to study their deposits and then assess their income levels. It teaches that it is not all right to settle for a man whose income is about $100,000 a year.
Picture posted by Venkatesh TK on 5 April 2011 at 1:12 PM
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lglulKDk9Xw/VwVGXnw2knI/AAAAAAAAjgo/8AW2Gdi2psYT1qGLoa7qsR8hW5DMDZG7Q/s1600/START-WRITING-YOUR-FAMILY-BUDGET.jpg
http://www.fpgindia.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/START-WRITING-YOUR-FAMILY-BUDGET.jpg
http://tvkfinancialplanners.blogspot.sg/



We lived in a time when greed is portrayed shamelessly as a virtue. Many people say that money makes the world go around. In some sense this is true because money is at the root of a lot of human behaviour these days. We do live in a money-crazed world. It is greed that makes businessmen adulterate (contaminate) milk and other food products, build dangerous buildings with inferior material, devise elaborate schemes to cheat people, and so on. The television series American Greed is most informative on human nature and behaviour - it tells stories of how businessmen, professionals, and others sacrifice integrity and ethics to cheat, kill, steal, and destroy, causing much damage and pain to themselves and others in the process. What the programme reveals is but the tip of the iceberg, and anyone can easily develop parallel series - British Greed, Singaporean Greed, Korean Greed, and so on. The inordinate (excessive) love of money is a global disease. It makes people forget compassion and kindness and tempts them to do all kinds of evil.



Greed is portrayed shamelessly as a virtue

PHOTO: Greed is portrayed shamelessly as a virtue
The inordinate (excessive) love of money is a global disease. It makes people forget compassion and kindness and tempts them to do all kinds of evil.
Picture posted by theburningheart

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9Vk4Hh2AwaQ/VwVGYNcMbdI/AAAAAAAAjgw/bB0REJGi3xAfJGLzPyCU1Pxr8YWhTj0xg/s1600/are-we-teaching-greed-to-our-children_thumb.jpg
https://konekrusoskronos.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/are-we-teaching-greed-to-our-children_thumb.jpg
https://konekrusoskronos.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/education-a-crisis-of-values-virtue-a-return-to-arcadia-or-how-to-get-out-of-the-quagmire-of-materialism/



In 1 Timothy 6:10, Paul asserts that "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil". Greed is the other name for the love of money. The Bible calls "greed" idolatry (Colossians 3:5; Ephesians 5:5) because greed is the worship of money and reflects slavery to it. It takes the place of God and dominates our ambitions and desires. It corrodes the soul. Ask any recovering gambling addict and he will tell you the stranglehold is true. The Lord Jesus declared that we cannot serve both God and mammon (money or material wealth associated with the greedy pursuit of gain) (Mathew 6:24). A clear choice has to be made - between freedom and bondage.



Greed is the worship of money and reflects slavery to it.

PHOTO: Greed is the worship of money and reflects slavery to it.
The Bible says that greed is idolatry, a sin on par with adultery and murder, which disqualifies those who are not redeemed from its grip from any inheritance in the kingdom of God.
Photo by Jesus Solana
Picture posted by Chuck Bentley on 18 November 2015

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aPQizZiID9s/VwVGZeUEt5I/AAAAAAAAjhA/BJY8XC1A0SE17w2ayB1sjWbiVVauLVpUg/s1600/greed-Photo-by-Jesus-Solana-CC-BY-Resized-Cropped.jpg
http://affluentinvestor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/greed-Photo-by-Jesus-Solana-CC-BY-Resized-Cropped.jpg
http://affluentinvestor.com/2015/11/do-you-struggle-with-greed/



Lovers of Evil [1]
People in the last days would not be "lovers of the good" but "unholy"; they will be evil and seek to do evil. This is partly due to sinful human nature which loves to do evil and rebels against the goodness of God. Thus, if restraints are removed, people prefer coarse language instead of good words - as we are hearing more in films, literature, plays, and ordinary conversations. Sadly, coarse language and ideas come into our homes and minds so easily - through cable channels and the internet. When we uncritically consume such media, it is akin to opening the door to anyone to come into our homes at any time.



Sinful human nature loves to do evil and rebels against the goodness of God

PHOTO: Sinful human nature loves to do evil and rebels against the goodness of God
People in the last days would not be "lovers of the good" but "unholy"; they will be evil and seek to do evil.
Picture posted by ChrisChoper Mioan, Published on 18 October 2014
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-61HHQkEWD_E/VwVGaLAv1BI/AAAAAAAAjhM/UVp9rmIJ370C8fouXIPH7lxkpRM_Xs7ZA/s1600/maxresdefault.jpg
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/sWEt7XtladU/maxresdefault.jpg
https://www.savetubevideo.com/?v=sWEt7XtladU



The love of evil is also due to an inversion of values. Lover of evil call good bad and evil good. This is actually an old habit but it will become more prevalent (widespread) in the last days. The prophet Isaiah wrote long ago, "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter" (Isaiah 5:20). What Isaiah wrote is aptly contemporary (appropriately current) in our day.



Lover of evil call good bad and evil good.

PHOTO: Lover of evil call good bad and evil good.
The love of evil is also due to an inversion of values. This is actually an old habit but it will become more prevalent (widespread) in the last days.
Picture posted by Lobosolitario - Angel y demonio
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EY8wMK0HaiA/VwVGXxK-ksI/AAAAAAAAjgs/gzyg-qyJk0I9Pfv_7z4Wdii5CNwOZ3v8A/s1600/a2.jpg
http://i1205.photobucket.com/albums/bb421/L0B0S0LITARI0/ANGELES%20Y%20DEMONIOS/a2.jpg
http://s1205.photobucket.com/user/L0B0S0LITARI0/media/ANGELES%20Y%20DEMONIOS/a2.jpg.html



(Isaiah 5:20)

PHOTO: The prophet Isaiah wrote long ago, "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter" (Isaiah 5:20).
Picture posted by Taringa!
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KTvSvjQNcPU/VwVGbVwbPDI/AAAAAAAAjhU/qEih9pcx12UrOtYuk8C4NqyoOL0hWiO_g/s1600/sendero%2Bd%2Bangelles%2By%2Bdemons%2B%252844%2529-1.jpg
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-I1h9sDz_Vsw/ToQGYh6NURI/AAAAAAAABDQ/x1XdAOrlZhE/s1600/sendero+d+angelles+y+demons+%252844%2529.jpg
http://www.taringa.net/post/imagenes/18599267/Nombres-de-criaturas-del-mal-ideales-para-tus-PJ.html



Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter

PHOTO: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter" (Isaiah 5:20). What Isaiah wrote is aptly contemporary (appropriately current) in our day.
Picture posted by Rina Cabrera, Religion & Spirituality
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BYpbrhCxrJc/VwVGWYd63II/AAAAAAAAjgY/RVPFrMC5tNgGXxdleUyX1ZI83jHobcGhw/s1600/62281c0ef3fff18c9e82db463f6c516c.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/62/28/1c/62281c0ef3fff18c9e82db463f6c516c.jpg
https://de.pinterest.com/pin/473511348294369129/


There is a moral confusion today. Moral standards are being rapidly eroded and disposed. Take for instance the agenda of strident gay activists; they want to make the gay lifestyle not only acceptable but also desirable and part of mainstream society. In the name of human rights, confused society is inverting values and considers those who promote morally questionable practices as good and those who opposed them as bad, bigoted (biased), and guilty of hate speech. What was considered immoral is now being legalised and what was considered as normative human values is now made illegal. What has happened regarding the gay agenda has also happened in other attempts to invert what were held to be common values of human decency and well-being. What the prophet Isaiah wrote is increasingly becoming true before our very eyes: "Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed" (Isaiah 59:14 NLT).



There is a moral confusion today.

PHOTO: There is a moral confusion today. Moral standards are being rapidly eroded and disposed. Confused society is inverting values and considers those who promote morally questionable practices as good and those who opposed them as bad, bigoted (biased), and guilty of hate speech. What was considered immoral is now being legalised and what was considered as normative human values is now made illegal.
Picture posted by ForWallpaper.com
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yj2pMTaRp7w/VwVGZFObjxI/AAAAAAAAjg8/j4GnmfZXd8cg3qxxcSF3A5zrh8mvldIHg/s1600/good-vs-evil-girl-version.jpg
http://images.forwallpaper.com/files/images/e/e712/e712929a/141663/good-vs-evil-girl-version.jpg
http://cn.forwallpaper.com/wallpaper/good-vs-evil-girl-version-141663.html



Lovers of Pleasure [1]
God gives pleasure but people want pleasure apart from Him, because of the huge lie that God is a pleasure-killer. That was the lie in Eden - when the devil confused Eve by deliberately misquoting God. The Lord had said to the first couple, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden . . . but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil". This statement was twisted by the devil to "Did God really say 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden?'" (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:1). Such satanic deception continues to our day.



The devil confused Eve by deliberately misquoting God.

PHOTO: The devil confused Eve by deliberately misquoting God. The Lord had said to the first couple, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden . . . but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil". This statement was twisted by the devil to "Did God really say 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden?'" (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:1). This is aka to "Did God really say 'You must not have any pleasure in the world?'". This is not true, God is not a pleasure-killer. God gives pleasure but people want pleasure apart from Him.
Picture posted by Comori Nemuritoare
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CcykUIHWrC4/VwVGWlIM75I/AAAAAAAAjgc/tMBTinEZJ8IUjePW1bd9qkX73gh0LShwg/s1600/Adam-si-Eva-1.jpg
http://comorinemuritoare.ro/bLOGOS/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Adam-si-Eva.jpg

http://comorinemuritoare.ro/bLOGOS/?paged=2



The lie in Eden - when the devil confused Eve by deliberately misquoting God.

PHOTO: The lie in Eden - when the devil confused Eve by deliberately misquoting God.
"You are free to eat from any tree in the garden . . . but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" - become twisted by the devil to "You must not eat from any tree in the garden".
Painting by Mihly Von Zichy (1887) - Despair of Adam and Eve
Picture filed under zichy

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BH5SPKy-DTY/VwVGVspOHQI/AAAAAAAAjgQ/TiC2ZfL3GRUHOEn2Tc3oXGWFqmhLhyv-A/s1600/31madach.jpg
http://www.wga.hu/art/z/zichy/31madach.jpg
http://www.wga.hu/art/z/zichy/



The psalmist speaks to God: "At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11 ESV). God is the author of pleasure and there is nothing wrong with pleasure as created by God. What is wrong is pursuing pleasure apart from God. Such illegitimate and sinful pursuit of pleasure will destroy us. Distorted pleasure obtained anywhere other than in God has destructive effects. In fact, true pleasure comes with knowing God and obeying Him. Those who love pleasure rather than God are on the wrong path - of destruction.


God is the author of pleasure and there is nothing wrong with pleasure as created by God.
PHOTO: God is the author of pleasure and there is nothing wrong with pleasure as created by God. What is wrong is pursuing pleasure apart from God. Such illegitimate and sinful pursuit of pleasure will destroy us. Distorted pleasure obtained anywhere other than in God has destructive effects.
Posted by pixshark.com
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oOf3GNm1rj8/Vpru_VWMeVI/AAAAAAAAius/BbaNFC_6g3A/s1600/Eve-Apple-After.jpg
http://michaelherbphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Eve-Apple-After.jpg
http://pixshark.com/eve-and-the-apple.htm



Modern society is increasingly and blatantly hedonistic (sensually self-indulgent). Consider some modern advertisement slogans: Just Do It; Obey Your Thirst; Nothing is Taboo; Break All The Rules; Live Without Boundaries. Or consider the growing spa industry and how those who sell all kinds of services promise to pamper the bodies of consumers who are sold to the unrestrained pursuit of pleasure that money can buy. Hedonism (sensual self-indulgence) is big business today. We can see a confluence (merging) of how those who love self, money, evil, and pleasure are the big time customers today.



Modern society is increasingly and blatantly hedonistic (sensually self-indulgent).

PHOTO: Modern society is increasingly and blatantly hedonistic (sensually self-indulgent). Service industry sell all kinds of services promise to pamper the bodies of consumers who are sold to the unrestrained pursuit of pleasure that money can buy.
"You are probably very naturally good looking and don't need to waste your time, money and effort on all of the crazy gimmicks that the beauty industry is flooding our society with. You are very humble, grounded and genuine in everything you do in life, and you embrace yourself just as you are. All of the treatments, surgeries and diets in the world couldn't create the type of confidence you have in yourself, and that is the most attractive thing ever! This makes you a beautiful person inside and out." - Jessica Flores,  28 April 2015 at 8:30am
Picture posted by Ashleigh Burn on 28 April 2015
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6gE7DynQrww/VwVGUfwoPcI/AAAAAAAAjgE/rWlV_gToQDUR4g27pR9uXuqwp9s4fSzuA/s1600/12cce012-5603-4282-991d-b3404d48220d.jpg
http://cdn.playbuzz.com/cdn/59ea6e1c-51c9-413b-862a-b7fb525e092f/12cce012-5603-4282-991d-b3404d48220d.jpg
http://www.playbuzz.com/ashleighburns10/how-willing-are-you-to-suffer-to-be-beautiful



Society is increasingly and blatantly hedonistic (sensually self-indulgent)
PHOTO: Society is increasingly and blatantly hedonistic (sensually self-indulgent)
Posted by the-skyrock-team on  Wednesday, 24 June 2015 at 6:42 PM

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-j7kjjaajHI0/VwVGcUYJxWI/AAAAAAAAjhg/0dx0BETnZ_EkLIFTStLOxiO1CUnpurw8g/s1600/wir.skyrock.net%2B%2528dancer%2529.jpg
http://sable.skyrock.com/tags/gbi9gM8vcJM-Danse_49.html


The unrestrained pursuit of pleasure

PHOTO: The unrestrained pursuit of pleasure
Those who love self, money, evil, and pleasure are the big time customers today.
Artwork by Constantin Razoumov, La charmeuse orientale, Made of Oil on canvas
Posted by the-skyrock-team on Wednesday, 24 June 2015 at 6:49 PM

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JVvGmQpZkac/VwVGckU-0zI/AAAAAAAAjhk/_7UGR5cNQkMxygn_ldbTOe29cJupISnKA/s1600/wir.skyrock.net.jpg
http://wir.skyrock.net/wir/v1/resize/?c=isi&im=%2F8321%2F63368321%2Fpics%2F3253738932_2_3_IEujLTdp.jpg&w=600
http://sable.skyrock.com/tags/gbi9gM8vcJM-Danse_49.html



Blatantly hedonistic pleasure

PHOTO: Blatantly hedonistic pleasure
Consider some modern advertisement slogans: Just Do It; Obey Your Thirst; Nothing is Taboo; Break All The Rules; Live Without Boundaries.
Credit: Alexander Nicholson / Getty Images
Picture posted by Taylor Kubota, Men's Journal

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7Hc2F7mYnXQ/VwVGar7c6rI/AAAAAAAAjhI/KyJ6K2B-3YQfxciYRnmF-fnINEclC3b8w/s1600/mj-618_348_the-rules-of-watching-porn-with-your-spouse.jpg
http://img.wennermedia.com/article-leads-horizontal/mj-618_348_the-rules-of-watching-porn-with-your-spouse.jpg
http://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/health/how-to-watch-porn-with-your-partner-20151109



Against such ungodly pursuit of pleasure is the Bible's consistent message: "Deny yourself". The narcissistic pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain results in life that is less than human. Directing our lives by avoiding pain and pursuing pleasure is to live the life of animals. In this regard, people who allow others to direct their behaviour by a carrot-and-stick conditioning process are often functioning as nothing more than circus animals.



Against such ungodly pursuit of pleasure is the Bible's consistent message: 'Deny yourself'

PHOTO: Against such ungodly pursuit of pleasure is the Bible's consistent message: "Deny yourself". The narcissistic pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain results in life that is less than human. People who allow others to direct their behaviour by a carrot-and-stick conditioning process are often functioning as nothing more than circus animals.
Picture from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - The Nightmare (1781), an oil painting by Anglo-Swiss artist Henry Fuseli (17411825)
Because of the popularity of the work, Fssli painted a number of versions, including this c. 179091 variation.

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-acSJHigxwr0/VwVGXTRMOnI/AAAAAAAAjgk/MMMaQeLVksAiFozLxVX7RouygWgYuJecA/s1600/Johann_Heinrich_F%25C3%25BCssli_053.jpg
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8d/Johann_Heinrich_F%C3%BCssli_053.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nightmare



The Christian life is lived not by reflex responses conditioned by carrot and sticks but by choice made according to the truth and love of God. It often involves suffering, deprivation, delayed gratification, patience and endurance. Lovers of pleasure would have great difficulty understanding Jesus or accepting what He said: "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33) or what His disciple Peter wrote: "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps" (1 Peter 2:21). Paul himself reiterated this point when he reminded Timothy that "everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12).


Lovers of pleasure would have great difficulty understanding Jesus or accepting what He said.
PHOTO: Lovers of pleasure would have great difficulty understanding Jesus or accepting what He said: "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (
John 16:33) or what His disciple Peter wrote: "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps" (1 Peter 2:21).
Picture posted by Ecumenical Catholic Church of Christ, Published on 6 October 2013
(Video of Archbishop Hristo Pisarov - Theology of prosperity and the Gospel)
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-asaRP6uwJT8/VvPULIfYnMI/AAAAAAAAjZQ/3cBVz2jqNAon0SSESE0xfV04jxYtq5BrA/s1600/maxresdefault.jpg
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/DhPXwvqXyLM/maxresdefault.jpg
https://www.savetubevideo.com/?v=DhPXwvqXyLM



More Ugliness of the Terrible People [1]
We have noted that the basic problem with the terrible people of the last days is a misdirection and distortion of love. They are lovers of self rather than the lovers of God. They love money more than they love people, and they love evil more than truth or righteousness. They also love pleasure more than living by the rules of God. Such misplaced love will produce yet more ugly characteristics in their lives, some of which are listed by Paul.



Misplaced love of the last days
PHOTO: Misplaced love of the last days
A "vicious-person list" that shows "the full-blown manifestation of self-centredness and self-love" in the last days.
Picture posted by Chiang Mai-Wandering on 22 January 2016
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sI8rB_H0ULI/VvPUJVMLV2I/AAAAAAAAjY4/HM4427fnNxUJ7ySPyvGnW5XFeB246BsAA/s1600/Seed-Of-Chucky-seed-of-chucky-29035508-1024-768.gif
http://www.chiangmai-wandering.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Seed-Of-Chucky-seed-of-chucky-29035508-1024-768.gif
http://www.chiangmai-wandering.com/small-things-and-thep-doll-craze/



They are boastful, proud, and conceited.
The apostle John warns his readers to stay away from "everything in the world" - comprising the "cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does" (1 John 2:16). The sinful love of pleasure and the greed that comes from the love of money are made worse by the sinful pride of life. This human pride and arrogance is evident in modern lifestyles, words, and possessions. People end up boasting about their wealth, health, looks, and achievements. If self is at the centre of one's universe, one will be full of boasting and pride. On the other hand, if Christ is at the centre of a person, then that person will be markes by gratitude and humility. Alas, humility is difficult to find in a world walked with pride.



Boastful, proud, and conceited
PHOTO: Boastful, proud, and conceited
An excessive sense of pride is commonly called hubris, which is detrimental to emotional and social development. This is the pride a person feels because of who he thinks he is.
Most people in this category have a distorted sense of self-perception, and may have delusions of grandeur (glory). They are often arrogant and conceited.
They feel that they deserve praise for who they are, not just for what they have achieved.
Posted by Forging Ahead on 5 August 2015
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kICSwcpkGAU/VvPUK8wQMkI/AAAAAAAAjZM/m0Vg80mtN3QMeSoCmmPA6RmysnRmLdmng/s1600/hubris.png
http://i0.wp.com/www.shivharsh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/hubris.png
http://www.shivharsh.com/http:/www.shivharsh.com/category/pride/



They are disobedient to parents, ungrateful, and without love (King James Version renders as "without natural affection".
They reject all authorities, except their own authority. The age of Enlightenment in the late 17th and 18th century, for all its promise to free the human race from the darkness of ignorance and the tyranny of tradition, resulted in the rejection pf external authorities and the enthronement of the self as authority. We still feel its effects today, as Scripture and tradition are rejected for the authority of self. Increasingly there is a loss of the fear of God, and loss of respect for parents. Each man does what he thinks is right or what he wants to do. One of the effects of such self-centredness is the loss of even natural love. Even so called "loved ones" are merely instruments for one's own agenda and pleasure. There is increasingly no loyalty and gratitude, no respect and reverence, only self-admiration and self-love.



Disobedient to parents, ungrateful, and without love

PHOTO: Disobedient to parents, ungrateful, and without love
They reject all authorities, except their own authority. "Loved ones" are merely instruments for one's own agenda and pleasure. There is increasingly no loyalty and gratitude, no respect and reverence, only self-admiration and self-love.
Picture posted by William Kendall on Tuesday, 8 November 2011 at 6:34 PM
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7xc7t-Vt6Ew/VwVGZ0oN2bI/AAAAAAAAjhE/kOhVeBXuI00149dM1hIg6jaJo-k4Sz7Jw/s1600/kid-1.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-RtVZut3NENw/Trm3fzN3ksI/AAAAAAAACs4/q286g9SLG4M/s1600/kid.jpg
http://williamkendallbooks.blogspot.sg/2011/11/of-spoiled-brats-and-over-indulgent.html



They are abusive (Greek blasphemoi; that is blasphemous), brutal, and unforgiving.
Newspapers and other media remind us of this daily. Our living environment increasingly feels like a jungle in which we have to fend for ourselves as we are surrounded by people who neither follow common courtesy nor live according to social rules. Even the unspoken rules have become more self-seeking. We see the rough and brutal treatment of others - even of family members. This happens everywhere: on the road, in the train, in the park, in the school, at the workplace, and on the streets. People are afraid to walk alone at night in most of our cities. Even peaceful rural landscapes can hide little hells where people abuse others in unimaginable ways.



Abusive (Greek blasphēmoi; that is blasphemous), brutal, and unforgiving.

PHOTO: Abusive (Greek blasphemoi; that is blasphemous), brutal, and unforgiving.
We see the rough and brutal treatment of others - even of family members. This happens everywhere: on the road, in the train, in the park, in the school, at the workplace, and on the streets.
Picture posted by Arkan on 18 May 2014
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FJpH8qWBqqc/VwVGbyBG_LI/AAAAAAAAjhc/hXNCvrUiGbwZ0LCeH8gGfIiacYlkAO-MQ/s1600/wasak-1.jpg
http://wereblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/wasak-1.jpg
http://wereblog.com/my-heart-is-in-tears-by-looking-at-this-but-these-pictures-shows-that-no-one-seems-to-care



They are treacherous (traitors).
The trust among people has declined due to the loss of character and values. People feel that others cannot be trusted. Children are told by anxious parents never to trust strangers or accept sweets from them. Friends betray friends. There is even a television series on people who kill their "BFFs" (best friends forever). Loyalty is a rapidly abandoned virtue. Driven by extreme self-interest, people are willing to betray friends, family, or country for short-term goals and gains.



They are treacherous (traitors)

PHOTO: They are treacherous (traitors).
The trust among people has declined due to the loss of character and values. People feel that others cannot be trusted. Friends betray friends. Driven by extreme self-interest, people are willing to betray friends, family, or country for short-term goals and gains.
Painting by Mihly Von Zichy (1887) - The Tragedy of Man
Picture filed under zichy

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-j_jzmpHUsCE/VwVGVeqyuiI/AAAAAAAAjgM/qf_qIQhbk18IyP7eieWufq_oX1JdctOLg/s1600/30madach.jpg
http://www.wga.hu/art/z/zichy/30madach.jpg
http://www.wga.hu/art/z/zichy/



They are without self-control and rash.
They act on impulse - not surprising for a generation trained to "just do it", and are self-seeking. Acting out of self-centredness and driven by their impulses and uncontrolled desires, they develop addictive behaviours. They talk about freedom but do not realise their bondages. Indeed we live in an age of increasing and crippling addiction. The newspaper recently carried a report of a 23-year-old young man in Penang, Malaysia, who was found dead after 15 hours of continuously playing online games. His addictiion, literally, killed him.



Without self-control and rash

PHOTO: Without self-control and rash
Acting out of self-centredness and driven by their impulses and uncontrolled desires, they develop addictive behaviours. They talk about freedom but do not realise their bondages.
Picture posted by Beyond Reach Film Work on Saturday, 14 February 2015 at 9:19 PM
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9GxadUjxfPM/VwVGURrHH5I/AAAAAAAAjgI/VU8qpZQ8zDwNiaovKgsY9FxXZC9W-RzNg/s1600/0_0_0_0_604_856_csupload_66672965.jpg
http://www.beyondreachfilmworks.com/blog/assets/0_0_0_0_604_856_csupload_66672965.jpg?u=635595457914989311
http://www.beyondreachfilmworks.com/blog/2015/02/14/God-Is-Relevant-220.aspx



They have a form of godliness but deny its power.
This is a general description of religion in the last days, but is also generally true of the church in the last days. There will be a semblance of godliness but it would only be a thin veneer, a cover for the lack of real godliness. Even in church, we can find such people. They will want to be spiritual without Jesus and His love. Or if they go to church, they want rituals without relationship and they practice a nominal form of Christianity. This is an external form of Christian culture without internal reality and power, as has been repeatedly seen in the history of the church. People who go for such religion are opposed to the truth and have a depraved mind, according to Paul (2 Timothy 3:8). Thankfully, not everyone in church is like that. God has preserved His own true flock in the church, who through the centuries have been witness of God's grace and power and have shown true godliness. But the majority seem to be just like the people of the world. They are merely nominal Christians or, as J.C. Ryle puts it, "formal Christians" with "neither substance nor fruit in their Christianity." [8]



They have a form of godliness but deny its power.

PHOTO: They have a form of godliness but deny its power.
They will want to be spiritual without Jesus and His love. Or if they go to church, they want rituals without relationship and they practice a nominal form of Christianity. People who go for such religion are opposed to the truth and have a depraved mind, according to Paul (2 Timothy 3:8). They are merely nominal Christians or "formal Christians" with "neither substance nor fruit in their Christianity." [8]
Painting by Mihaly von zichy - Romantic Encounter (1864)

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-weRjjyOzM0E/VwVGUjwFxlI/AAAAAAAAjgA/nhNKtFEQDYE0ULdARyiG4vcrD_ITLg5XA/s1600/1339636748-1196915-romantic-encounter.jpg
http://nevsepic.com.ua/uploads/posts/2012-06/1339636748-1196915-romantic-encounter.jpg
https://www.tumblr.com/search/von%20zichy



Reflect on your own attitudes, motives and conduct.
Embarking on the journey of retirement from the workforce. No longer interested to remain overly active in the pursuit of the working life culture, eg. promotion, master new technology, marriage, buy a car, own a better home, earn more money and have a more pleasurable lifestyle. Motive is to have a lifestyle that is appropriate for retiree. Try to avoid circumstances that will lead to quarrel, disagreement, argument and being on the defensive.



Embarking on the journey of retirement from the workforce.

PHOTO: Embarking on the journey of retirement from the workforce.
Motive is to have a lifestyle that is appropriate for retiree. Try to avoid circumstances that will lead to quarrel, disagreement, argument and being on the defensive.
Picture posted by mijael on 27 February 2013

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Bpfm1fDWclU/VwVGbgM27FI/AAAAAAAAjhY/h0zsczClicUgVIt2OCIYmABHTU5XIyyAQ/s1600/wallpaper.php.jpg
http://tuswallpapersgratis.com/wp-content/plugins/download-wallpaper-resized/wallpaper.php?x=2048&y=1536&file=http://tuswallpapersgratis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Bosque_aleman-1024x768-977301.jpeg
http://tuswallpapersgratis.com/bosque-aleman/



Become active in pursuing better physical health. Do regular exercises every day, especially in the morning, to maintain the body's good health. Try to have proper activities and healthy diets to stop irregular heart beats, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, lungs infections and influenza. Keep away from stressful activities like getting a new qualification degree or diploma. Remove stress further by having regular early morning walk in the park connectors or green corridor. Do simple hand exercises that are good for stiff shoulder. Motive is to have a healthy body and to minimise the number of visits to the doctors, clinics and hospitals.

Maintain good relationship to others, and especially to God.

 

Remove stress further by having regular early morning walk in the park connectors.
PHOTO:Remove stress further by having regular early morning walk in the park connectors or green corridor.
Maintain good relationship to others, and especially to God.
Picture posted by International Education Exchange Council (IEEC)

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-l_zOWTvLia8/VwVKyq9IF0I/AAAAAAAAjh4/SbQAizg-LHQ8L7Qoi_g_oxOyIG4ZKIacg/s1600/0f85f8d02d00bb87418efe1e56641140.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/0f/85/f8/0f85f8d02d00bb87418efe1e56641140.jpg
http://www.sfsuieec.com/back-to-my-roots/



Become active in pursuing better spiritual health. Read the Bible in the morning at a private corner of the house. Attempts to do reflections and blogging of interesting people in the Bible, especially the women of the Bible. Pray to God daily. To do the will of God and spiritual fulfillment. Motive is to led a life that is pleasing to the Lord. This require the efforts to ask the Lord to help us to stop those acts of terribleness. Although we still sins but the Holy Spirit is able to cleanse us so that we have a better conduct towards God.



Become active in pursuing better spiritual health.

PHOTO: Become active in pursuing better spiritual health. Read the Bible in the morning at a private corner of the house. Pray to God daily. Motive is to led a life that is pleasing to the Lord. Although we still sins but the Holy Spirit is able to cleanse us so that we have a better conduct towards God.
Picture posted on 20 March 2016 at 4:46 AM
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pkCXjWugwzg/VwVGXIUYkkI/AAAAAAAAjgg/JQ5fJpDGRX4XoNIXe3IdpGZgdgmf8alTQ/s1600/Cd_TFgUWIAAOwqm.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cd_TFgUWIAAOwqm.jpg
https://twitter.com/olchisprotte



Are there any items in the list that may describe how you are functioning in this world? Commit yourself to God to free you from sin and self-love, and to give you victory.

Although there is the passion to repent and trust the Lord, from the normal day activities we known that our trust in the Lord is still negligible - almost none. Our faith in the Lord is still so tiny.



Repent and trust the Lord

PHOTO: Repent and trust the Lord
Repent and believe the gospel.
Public domain photo - Manassah repents
Picture posted by Rick Brentlinger

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OfaVp9CXz44/VwVGaxQ_kbI/AAAAAAAAjhQ/o64Vicp4zbUGxSXP_uoKqqIJWx1qcrwCw/s1600/repent5.jpg
http://www.gaychristian101.com/images/repent5.jpg
http://www.gaychristian101.com/Repentance.html



For example, we are still worrying about the financial situation giving that our income is now more limited. We worry that we will not have enough money to pay for all the medical bills. We worry about money matter to keep our daily activities going.

We worry about our failing health, poor eye sights, irregular heart beats, poor organs (kidney) functions, high potassium in the body and muscle-aches. Some days we feel very tired and is in no mood to generate a happy environment. At times we feel that we cannot make it to God's favourable side because of our "self-love" and poor conducts.


Poor self-control in many matters. May God grant us victory over these sins.



Dear Lord, We commit ourselves to You and pray that You will free us from sins and self-love, and to give us victory. Please keep Satan away from us and help us to flee from him successfully. We pray that we will do your will and led a life that is pleasing to You. Amen!

PHOTO: Dear Lord, We commit ourselves to You and pray that You will free us from our sins and self-love, and to give us victory. Please keep Satan away from us and help us to flee from him successfully. We pray that we will do your will and led a life that is pleasing to You. Amen!
Painting by Orazio Gentileschi - Mary Magdalene [1626-28]
Posted by ellingtoncoltrane on 12 June 2014

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-r4HGLYV7j-Q/VwVGVeM5xxI/AAAAAAAAjgU/AiafXYAFR84rgp0Bx7EdAGUn908Lg14Ow/s1600/14380854406_144e1b59ec_o.jpg
https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2909/14380854406_144e1b59ec_o.jpg
http://gandalfsgallery.blogspot.sg/2014/06/orazio-gentileschi-mary-magdalene-1626.html


Reflection - Attitudes, Motives and Conduct
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012



Reference
[1] From "Faithful to the end" A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, Copyright  2014 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-241-0, PART THREE: UNLIKE THE WORLD, Chapter 8 "The Terrible World And Its People" (2 Timothy 3:1-9), Page 113-123.

[2] Witherington, Letters and Homilies (Lectures) for Hellenized Christians, 349-350.

[7] David Guzik, Enduring Word Media, http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/5503.htm.

[8] John Charles Ryle, Formality, The Inheritance of our Fathers Series 32, no. 2 (Grand Rapids: The Inheritance Publishers, n.d.), 7. n.d. - "No Date"


NIV, New International Version, Holy Bible, New International Version, NIV Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

1 John 2:16 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+John+2%3A16&version=NIV

1 Peter 2:21 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Peter+2%3A21&version=NIV

1 Timothy 6:10 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Timothy+6%3A10&version=NIV

2 Timothy 3:1-9 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+3%3A1-9&version=NIV

2 Timothy 3:2-5 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+3%3A2-5&version=NIV

2 Timothy 3:12 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+3%3A12&version=NIV

2 Timothy 3:8 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+3%3A8&version=NIV

Colossians 3:5 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians+3%3A5&version=NIV

Ephesians 5:5 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+5%3A5&version=NIV

Genesis 2:16-17, 3:1 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+2%3A16-17%2C+3%3A1&version=NIV

Isaiah 5:20 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+5%3A20&version=NIV

Isaiah 59:14 NLT - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+59%3A14&version=NLT

John 16:33 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+16%3A33&version=NIV

Mathew 6:24 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mathew+6%3A24&version=NIV

Psalm 16:11 ESV - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+16%3A11&version=ESV