My Dream

Last night I had a dream, and I would like to share that dream with you. I’m not going to lie to you. It was disturbing beyond belief, but I believe God was speaking to me in the dream and so I am going to share it – but be forewarned; it’s unsettling.

I don’t recall all the details of the dream, but what I do remember is that it seemed to take place in an apocalyptic world. I was arrested for being a Christian and taken to a place where other Christians were being held. I recall that there were some deranged people going around killing Christians (and Jews) as they saw fit. Those of us who survived were all taken to a sort of concert hall, but there was no musical performance going on. People were being chosen at random and taken to the stage, where unimaginable horrors were done to them for the delight of the “audience,” and then they were finished off and disposed of in order to bring the next victim onto the stage. I’ll spare you the details of what was done to these Believers, but suffice it to say that it was not pretty. I can still hear the screams of the victims, and it seemed far too real even though it was only a dream.

There were guards assigned to small groups of us, and it was their job to see that none of us escaped this bloody “show.” The guard over our particular group did not seem to be enjoying the spectacle and he kept his back turned to the entire thing, but he still performed his duty to make sure we did not get away. I tried speaking with him in the hopes of reasoning with him during an intermission of sorts. He seemed as thought he may have been a likable person outside of those circumstances, and he didn’t enjoy what was happening one bit; however, even though he knew it was wrong, he continued to do his job so he wouldn’t be placed among those of us awaiting slaughter. I remember crying out to God in the dream, begging him to intervene and strike them all with something – blindness maybe – so we could all escape to safety.

I suddenly awoke from the dream at this point, very near tears thinking about what I had just “witnessed.” I immediately began to pray, but found I didn’t know what or how to pray after that dream. I suppose I could have asked the Lord to spare me, my family and my friends from ever having to experience such horrors, but then I realized that there are Christians all over the world experiencing things like this and more at the hands of the Enemy. Then I thought of Jesus himself, and the torture he suffered before and during his crucifixion. How could I pray to be saved from things like that which my Savior was subject to in order to secure my place in heaven?

Then I began to think about the “guard” in my dream. He was opposed to what was going on and didn’t want to look at it or even think about it, and yet he continued to play a role in it. He is like so many lukewarm Christians; he recognized the sin, and yet he turned a blind eye to it and refused to take a stand for fear of what would happen to him. How like him we can be! We see what’s wrong all around us, and yet we do not speak out against it. Are we not just as guilty as those committing the sin? Ephesians 5:11 tells us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” 

These are dark times we’re in, and they’re only going to get darker. My prayer is that we remain steadfast and true to the Lord’s commands. For many of us, true persecution seems so foreign because we have never lived it; however, so many Christians around the world ARE being persecuted and this is daily life for them. Whether we choose to think about it or not, this reality is making its way toward us. As the End Times draw nearer, things are going to get ugly. We need to stay strong in the Lord and seek strength from him. Let us continue to pray for those Christians who are bing persecuted, and do all we can to spread the message of salvation so that we can save as many souls as we can during our short stay on this earth. Let us not become so caught up in the mundane day-to-day tasks that we forget what it is truly important. May we never lose sight of our purpose for being here. Let us always keep our eyes upward and focused on Jesus.

The Days of Lot

 

What are “the days of Lot” Jesus referred to in the book of Luke? I have seen a number of references to this verse lately, so I decided to do an in-depth Bible study on it.

Let’s start at the beginning. Here’s the passage in context:

Then He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Do not go after them or follow them. For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day. But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” (Luke 17:28-30)

The first thing to notice here is that Jesus is talking about the end times. He is describing what the world will look like before his second return. He’s giving them several warnings: false teachers will come, there will be suffering, and things will be as they were with Noah and Lot. So, how were things with Noah and Lot? Genesis paints a pretty clear picture about how things were in the “Days of Noah”:

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)

The Biblical account of the “Days of Lot” is even clearer. In Genesis 18:20, the Lord himself states that “the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great,” and that “their sin is very grave.” I don’t know about you, but this definitely piques my interest. What were they doing that was so very grave? Genesis 19 answers that question.

Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” (Genesis 19:1-2)

If you read on, you see that they go with Lot to his home. Here’s what happens next:

Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.” (Genesis 19:4-5)

To be clear, “knowing them carnally” means to have sex. Yes, the men of Sodom saw angels of the Lord appearing in the form of men and wanted to have sex with them. I don’t know about you, but that is just about the most repugnant thing I have ever read. These men were so perverse, so depraved, that they planned to rape God’s messengers. They were knee-deep in some seriously disturbing sin. It wasn’t just the men, however. The women of Sodom and Gomorrah were also partaking in these goings-on. The Book of Jude verse 7 tells us, “They were giving themselves over to sexual immorality and going after strange flesh.” (In case you’re wondering, “strange flesh” is any flesh which is unnatural; i.e. homosexuality).

The other major sin being committed by Sodom and Gomorrah was haughtiness, or pride.

Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me. (Ezekiel 16:49-50a)

The picture painted is pretty clear. They believed they knew best, and they did as they saw fit. As Christians, we find their behavior shocking and repulsive, but to them it was normal and completely acceptable.  This was a nation blinded by their perversion. Their sin, which was an abomination to the Lord, was not sin to them, and they were too deeply immersed in their lifestyle led by their carnal desires to see anything wrong with themselves. (Does this sound familiar?)

So, when Jesus says that the end times are like the days of Lot, I believe He was telling us that it will be a time when men and women, as a whole, live only for themselves, and will do what they see is right in their own eyes. As Revelation 18:7 tells us, the world will say, “I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.” People will be prideful, thinking they are better than God and have no need for Him. The world will be rife with sexual sin, and these perversions will be seen as normal and perfectly natural, and will be embraced by those who do not follow the Lord. In a nutshell, the world is going to look an awful lot like Sodom and Gomorrah. Based on what Jesus Himself tells us, I believe Christians today should be watchful. We are certainly rapidly approaching the end times. It may be sooner than any of us think.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-3)

But take heart, fellow Christians, for as Jesus tells us, “He who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)

There will be terrible times in the last days…

I have had lots to think about lately, and much of it has been disheartening. My eyes have been opened more and more to the very sad state of our world, and I am torn between wanting to change it, and wanting to run far away from it and protect my children from it for as long as possible.

In the Bible, we are told that this world belongs to Satan. It is also prophesied that in the end times, this world will become a terrible, ugly, sinful place. 2 Timothy has this to say about those final days:

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 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 such people.”  (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

I am now more aware of this than I ever have been. Everywhere I look, I see these things. People in our world are consumed by greed, selfishness, and living only to fulfill fleshly desires. Morality is gone, and in its place has come a requirement that we all live and let live. “Tolerance” is all that matters now. Who cares if our neighbor is knee-deep in sin? Leave him alone! Let him do what makes him happy, and never, ever “preach” to him about what’s right and wrong. People want to define their own right and wrong.

Romans chapter one has a great deal to say about the depravity of the wicked. I can see it happening all around me. People joke that they’ll be having a party in hell when they get there, because they truly do not believe such a place exists. It’s shocking, because I realize that hell is very much real, and it’s not going to be a wonderful party. It’s a horrible place of eternal torment, and worst of all, without the presence of God. I cannot imagine an eternity without God’s love and grace. The thought of it pains me. It is for this reason that I desire to protect my children from the wickedness of this world, until their foundation is strong and their hearts are prepared to face the sin and ungodliness of this world. Even turning on the TV is exposing them to things their little eyes should not yet be seeing! Nearly naked men and women are on every channel, and no one bats an eye. Sex is spoken about, joked about, and shown in such detail that it leaves nothing to the imagination. My children should not be seeing such things! The Lord’s name is used in vain, along with countless other profanities. Things that the Bible clearly defines as sin are put on display, and we are told to accept as normal, even though the Bible tells us to stay far away from it. Satan is having his way and fulfilling the Biblical prophesies that the final days will be “terrible times.”

My biggest struggle is how to respond to my new-found awakening. I am not sure whether I should stand and fight against what I know is wrong, or if I should do what it says in 2 Timothy and have nothing to do with it all. I realize that would mean cutting a great number of people out of my life, people I could perhaps minister to, if their hearts were receptive to it, and that’s what makes me want to stay and fight. I truly don’t know what to do. What I do know is that my exposure to Satan’s world needs to be much more limited than it currently is, otherwise I fear I may again fall victim to sin, or at least fall victim to desensitivity, which really is just as bad.

There is much to think and pray about indeed.