Merlin Affleck – Perilous Times – British Columbia Special Meetings – January 15, 2022

Hymn 369 – Where Others Conquered

 

Wish I had something warm and fuzzy for this meeting, but I don’t. 

 

2 Timothy 3:1 – “perilous times shall come”

Verse 12 – “all that shall live godly shall suffer persecution” 

Talking about the future, not going to be easy times. Last couple of years, turn our thoughts to perilous times or dangerous times. So much uncertainty. Feeling like we are in perilous times and in danger of losing things that are valuable, and it takes us out of our comfort zone. Basically, expect it – not an unusual thing. 

 

Little by little this world changes and we hardly realize it has changed until we take time to look back. I grew up in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s – thought it was normal, simple. At school we would often stand up and sing “Oh Canada”, sometimes “God Save the Queen” and often repeat the Lord’s prayer…that was normal but is not allowed now. Not one child in my classroom was from a broken home. Saturday night the town shut down and nothing was open on Sunday. Nothing like that now. Illustration – put a frog in scalding water, it immediately jumps out; put it in cool water and warm it up slowly and you can roast him to death. 

 

Saying: “Hard times make strong people; strong people make good times; good times make weak people; weak people make hard times”. I started in the work in Moosomin – a lot of the friends there had experienced the dirty 30’s – valued what they had and content with what they had. There are perilous times coming, what do we expect? How do we prepare? 

 

Isaiah 28:16 – This chapter speaks about Jesus as the chief corner stone. Jesus, Paul, and Peter all talk about it as well. Says in this verse “he that believeth shall not make haste”. Another version says, “People won’t be running”. Back in Isaiah’s day, not good either. Looking for Jesus’ coming, and people would not be running scared. Only thing secure now is the chief corner stone. World is becoming more perilous because people are moving away from God. Back in the 60’s, God fearing people, Christian values and laws of land based on it. Looking back, we have moved away from that – will become perilous times, during our times. 

 

Have been studying about Jesus being born. Galatians 4:4 “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son…” That fulness of time – perilous and very low time in history, the exact time when God brought Jesus into the world – religiously, economically, socially, and politically. Reason for that- on the Judgement day we will stand alone before God and we can’t say “things were too perilous, I couldn’t do it” but He will say that He brought Jesus in at perilous time – no excuse not to get the power to do it. Wise men – perilous time and King said, “You go find baby Jesus and come back to me” and God warned them not to do that. Peter and John said in Acts 4: 19 “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye”. The main point today is that you are going to have to make some decisions going into the future, decisions with regards to children. All of us will have some choices and decisions that will not be easy to make – ARE WE GOING TO LISTEN TO MAN OR TO GOD? Get this balance right. If listened to the King, would have put baby’s life in danger. They listened to God. Joseph and Mary also got messages from God. Joseph was getting message through dreams. We dream when quiet and sleeping. Devil wants us to have no time for God, even in the night. Glad in the night when a thought comes from God. Joseph was a great man and got a message “you have a difficult decision here, I’m going to take you out of your comfort zone – go to Nazareth”. Going into perilous times – be sensitive and quiet and must get it right, and from God, and what is at stake? The life of Christ! Get message at the right time like Mary and Joseph.  

 

Things to expect: 

Luke 21:26 “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” Expect it, don’t be surprised. There is going to be a lot of fear. Guess what? No more fear than now – for the last 2 years. Media has a way of feeding that fear. When this fear goes away, next will be the environment. Don’t listen to all the news (both sides), it’s all disturbing – pitting one person against another, all mixed up in politics and in money.  

 

Revelation 21 lists those going to a lost eternity and first one mentioned is the “fearful” … wonder why? If our confidence is in God and following Jesus and we’re confident that Jesus is on the throne, no need to be fearful. Some of this threat and fear over us has to do with death. If our reaction to all this is fear and paranoia – not a good sign. “To depart and be with Christ is far better” – way better than what we have now. Isaiah said people are running – running scared because death is a threat. Seeing Reid sitting here – his Grandpa Hugh went to see doctor and doctor said, “Your health is in trouble, you need to go home and get house in order”. He replied to doctor “My house is in order”. His wife, Florence, asked him if he should have said that. Hugh replied “what will we change? “What will we do different?” 

 

Luke 17:26, 27 – Jesus cited 2 times when perilous times come and God shuts things down. Jesus said you expect that time to come again; level of sin is going to creep right back up. There are going to be scoffers but don’t ever kid yourself – it happened in Noah’s day. Our God is practical – looking down on His creation and when He sees nothing fruitful coming out of earth to Him, He will shut it down.  

 

Verse 28 – Days of Lot – another time in history – foreshadowing that He will do it big scale – shut world down. Children are being taught now Sodom and Gomorrah – okay with gender stuff etc. Always happened in history. When we get to a certain level, God will shut it down. Kind of exciting to think that in my lifetime that it has moved that far.  

“Dare to be a Daniel; Dare to stand alone; Dare to have a purpose; Dare to make it known” Our Bible is full of inspirational people. Dare to be a Shiphrah and Puah; Dare to be an Esther; Dare to be a Paul; Dare to be a follower of Jesus.

 

Exodus 1:15 – Shiphrah & Puah – these were professional midwives, delivering babies and had instruction from top down to do harm to baby boys, and they wouldn’t do it – had to deal with it like Peter and John i.e., “do we hearken to voice of man or voice of God”. Would have cost them their head. Professional friends put in hard places, being asked to do something from above, morally wrong, hard decision, hope God’s people can dare to be a Daniel, Shiphrah and Puah. If you do the right thing for God, God is no man’s debtor – BIG ACT OF FAITH TO ACT ON THIS! It is going to get worse – people in different professions being asked to do something morally wrong and have worked hard for their careers. Hope you can dare to be a Shiphrah and Puah and not bend to what is being asked. Society now has an attack on children and was currently too. Admire people who are not afraid to bring children into this world. Daughter of Levi – had this little boy and hid him because he needed protection. Little ark was made of reeds and slime, typifying discipline and love – just the right mixture. Put something in that child – refused all the riches of Egypt, suffered affliction and became a leader. 

 

Daniel – 1st Sunday a.m. of 2022, 3 of them in the little meeting all spoke of Daniel – not coincidence – in the mind of a lot of us – these are perilous times and world is uncertain. How did Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego get through it? Inspired by this – if they could do it, so can we. Daniel 1: 8– King’s diet put before Daniel, he said “no”. Times when we will be put under a lot of pressure (may not seem like it is such a bad thing and even a little appealing) but know the answer is “no”. That was an enemy King, didn’t let him decide what He will put in his body. Powers are going to say, “You do what we say even with your own bodies, we know better than you”. Realize where that is coming from, like Peter and John – “DO I LISTEN TO MAN OR TO GOD?” 

 

Daniel 3 – everyone bowing down to monstrosity – “Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it and right is right even when nobody is doing it”. Dare to be a Daniel – easy to join in when everyone is doing it, get emotion into it – what was happening in chapter 3. If you don’t bow to this, we will turn up the heat to you = coercion! (the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats) Will make it very hot for you – world is going to tell you – “if you don’t do what we ask you to do, we will turn heat up – even lose your job, career, wages – we’re going to make it hot”. In all these cases, when they did what was right, they always prospered. God is no man’s debtor. 

 

Prayer of Jesus in John 17:14 “…the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15, I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil”. Jesus doesn’t expect us to escape this, but all Heaven is behind God’s people with the decision they have to make. 

 

Go into the future with courage!