Perilous         
           Times
In the  
Last Days

[perilous.jpg]

REVEREND AGGIE Richards stood up from
      behind his desk, extending a right hand.
      "Come right in, Mr. Hindel.   Did my
secretary offer you some coffee?"

   Myron Hindel took in the office's warm decor
on his way to the leather chair facing the
mahogany desk.   Myron answered, "No thanks,"
as he shook hands.
   They both sat down, the reverend
diplomatically folding his hands across a desk
calendar.   "What can I do for you, Mr. Hindel?
You sounded urgent on the phone."

   "Sir, I'll be blunt.   I'm
dying: I've got a year,
seventeen months at most,
and I'm looking for a church."

   Aggie sat back, letting the
words sink in.   "I'm sorry to
hear that.   Are you in any
pain?"

   "Reverend, my primary
concern right now is spiritual.   I want to know
where I'm going when I die.   I want to spend my
remaining time in a church that will teach me
the truth concerning my fate."

   Aggie studied Hindel's face.   This was not the
face of a prankster.   This was a face etched with
genuine frustration.   The eyes said it all.
   "Well, Mr. Hindel . . . I'm flattered that you
have chosen us as your--"

   "I haven't chosen you, yet."
   "Oh?"
   "You are the seventh church I have visited.   I
have one question, if you don't mind."

   "Of course."   Aggie sat upright, as if to take an
exam.   "You sure you don't want some coffee?"
   Mr. Hindel shook his head.   "Who wrote the
Bible?"

   Aggie hesitated, not sure of the question.
   Hindel rephrased it: "Is the Bible God's Word,
the actual words God said?"

   "Well, it depends on--"
   "Yes or no?"
   "It's not the simple--"

   Mr. Hindel looked at his watch.   "Reverend, I
would like to visit an eighth church today, if
possible.   Can you please answer yes or no?"

   Aggie moistened his lower lip.   "The answer
is, yes and no."

   Hindel cracked a smile.   It wasn't very deep.
"Reverend, how can it possibly be both?"
   "What I meant was: Yes, we regard it as
God's Word, but no, it is not the actual words
that God spoke . . . After all, men did write it.
Does that answer you question?"

   Mr. Hindel stood up, aiming for the door.
   "Mr. Hindel, please wait!   I
hope this isn't a joke on your
part.   You're not a Baptist are
you?"
  Aggie chuckled, trying
to draw the same from Hindel.
   "I assure you, I am not,"
Hindel said, pulling out a pad
from his coat pocket.   He
wrote down, Baptist Church,
next to the number ten, then started for the
door, again.
   "WAIT!"   Aggie stopped him at the door.
"Could you at least tell me what this is all
about?"

   Mr. Hindel drew a deep breath.   "For the last
two months I have attended the services of six
different churches--various denominations.   In
each case it quickly became evident that they
did not regard the Bible as the actual words of
God.   Having already wasted enough precious
time, I've decided from now on to simply ask
the church's minister, point blank.   Since I now
know your answer, there is nothing left for me
to do here."

   "But why?" Aggie said.   "Does it really matter
who wrote it?"

   Mr. Hindel's eyes began to water.   "I'm sure
you won't deny that I will stand before my
Maker.   God will judge me, will He not?"

   Aggie nodded.
   "Then it only makes sense to find out what
He requires of me . . . in His own words."

UNDER THE INSPIRATION OF GOD, the
      Apostle Paul penned the following
      warning: "This know also, that in the
last days perilous times shall come.   For men
shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous,
boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to
parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural
affection, trucebreakers, false accusers,
incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are
good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of
pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a
form of godliness, but denying the power
thereof: from such turn away."
  2 Tim. 3:1-5

My friend, we can easily expound upon each of
these nineteen sinful behaviors, but we won't.   In
accordance with our opening story, we will be
concentrating on the very last one: "lovers of
pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a
form of godliness, but denying the power
thereof
: from such turn away."
  This one has
the potential of making these last days
"perilous"--more so, than the first eighteen.

The reason is this:
Jesus Christ warned, "fear not them which kill
the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but
rather fear him which is able to destroy both
soul and body in hell."
  Mat. 10:28
   No matter how perilous this present world
becomes due to man's sinful behavior, the real
peril comes from dying prior to getting right with
God.   Our sin results in God's wrathful judgment
upon us when we die: "And as it is appointed
unto men once to die, but after this the
judgment
:"
Heb. 9:27.

The Bible teaches WE MUST BE SAVED.   And it
is only from the Bible that we learn HOW to get
saved.   Without the Bible and everything it
teaches, there is no hope.   The Psalmist said it
best when he told God: "My soul fainteth for thy
salvation: but I hope in thy word."
  Psa. 119:81
The Bible claims to be the inspired, inerrant,

infallible Word of God.   It is the "owner's
manual"
of the human race.
   The Bible provides the answers to our most
profound questions: Where did I come from?
Why am I here?   How am I to live my life?   Where
am I going when I die?
  God gave us the Bible to
answer these questions and, in doing so, give us
hope: "For whatsoever things were written
aforetime were written for our learning,
that we through patience and comfort of the
scriptures might have hope."
  Rom. 15:4

Tragically . . .
Many modern-day ministers doubt that the Bible
was authored by God Himself.   They will often
cite apparent discrepancies in it, claiming that
fallible religious men were ultimately behind its
origination.   These ministries may have a form of
godliness, but they are denying God's power
behind the Bible's conception.   They are even
denying what God said:
"For the prophecy came
not in old time by the will of man: but holy men
of God spake as they were moved by the
Holy Ghost."
  2 Pet. 1:21

By casting such doubts, these "ministers" are
destroying people's trust in God's Word.   The
promises concerning salvation are robbed of any
credibility.   In the person's mind, they don't have
"God's Word on it."   After all, if the Bible was
written by mere men, who's to say they are
right?
   What assurance can anyone have in the words
of mere men?   By denying that the Bible is the
actual words of God, they deprive those
listening of any real hope--perilous times indeed!

Ask yourself . . .
Does it make sense for a minister to claim that
God is real and then deny that a real God would
let us know what He expects of us?   Does it
make any sense for a minister to stand up in a
pulpit and tell you that God loves you, while at

the same time, doubting the Bible as God's love
letter to mankind?   Are they teaching a God that
is mute?   Would a loving God keep us totally in
the dark?   Would He sit back, watching us grope
in spiritual darkness, as we look for Him?
   No, my friend, read it again: "For whatsoever
things were written aforetime were written
for our learning
, that we through patience
and comfort of the scriptures might have
hope
."
  Rom. 15:4

"[D]enying the power thereof" . . .
Many ministers, "having a form of godliness,"
have taught their congregation that if we did
once have the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word
of God, we no longer do.   In doing so, they deny
God's power to preserve His Word.   They deny
His ability to keep His Word intact for future
generations.   They deny Jesus Christ Himself,
who promised: "Heaven and earth shall pass
away, but my words shall not pass
away
."
  Mat. 24:35
   These ministers may have a form of godliness,
appearing very spiritual on the outside; but, by
denying the reality of God's preserving power,
they usher in a world without hope.   They help
turn the last days into perilous times.

"[F]rom such turn away" . . .
Jesus warned: "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for
wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that
leadeth to destruction, and many there be which
go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and
narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and
few there be that find it."
  Mat. 7:13-14

Jesus said, most people are going to Hell; few
will go to Heaven.   Why?   He gives us one
reason in the very next verse: "Beware of false
prophets, which come to you in sheep's
clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."

(Mat. 7:15)   What does Christ mean by coming
in "sheep's clothing"?   The answer is the very

thing we've been discussing.   Those that disguise
themselves in sheep's clothing normally project
a form of godliness.   They act like they are of
God, "but inwardly they are ravening
wolves"
--they deny "the power thereof[.]"
   The Bible says: "They profess that they know
God; but in works they deny him"
(Titus 1:16).
Jesus further said of these false prophets: "Ye
shall know them by their fruits."
  Mat. 7:16

My friend, please take the time to think about all
you've just read.   What is your minister teaching
you?
  Does he believe that we have the inerrant,
infallible, perfect word of God?   That Bible he
brings to the pulpit--does he preach out of it as
if those were God's very own words?   Whose
words is he giving you every Sunday--God's or
just another set of man-made opinions?

If it's not God's Word, then what hope do you
really have of avoiding God's eternal judgment
for your sin?   Wouldn't you rather have God's
promise on the matter?   The Bible says: "In hope
of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie,
promised
before the world began;"
Titus 1:2.

"Many will say" . . .
Lastly, you may not believe that any minister,
preaching and teaching in the name of God, can
be a false prophet.   But, read carefully the words
of Jesus Christ, Himself:
   "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he
that doeth the will of my Father which is in
heaven.   Many will say to me in that day, Lord,
Lord, have we not prophesied
[PREACHED]
in thy name? and in thy name have cast out
devils? and in thy name done many wonderful
works?   And then will I profess unto them, I
never knew you
: depart from me, ye that
work iniquity."
  Matthew 7:21-23

On the back [below], you will find GOD'S
plan of salvation . . .

IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven?
  The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).

BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you
from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God,"
Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;"
Romans 3:23.

SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: Not of works, lest any
man should boast."
  (Eph. 2:8-9)   Baptism, good
deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are
all examples of good works that cannot save you,
because: "Not by works of
righteousness
which we have done, but
according to his mercy he
[Christ] saved
us
,"
Titus 3:5.

THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through
Jesus Christ.   He said: "I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me."
  (John 14:6)   THAT'S
WHY
: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us
."
  Romans 5:8-9

THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your
mind
); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner
and can't save yourself.   And call upon Christ, and
Him alone, to save you.   "if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus
[REPENT], and
shalt believe in thine heart
[TRUST] that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved."
  Romans 10:9

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