In 2 Timothy Chapter 3, we hear about a specific time in the latter days called “perilous times.” It’s a time when man’s fallen nature is not only on display but is legitimized and even celebrated. One look at the news and social media will tell you that we are very much there. More and more, things that used to be considered morally wrong are now seen as good and right while speaking out against them can bring some serious hostility. But what, after all, is the child of God supposed to do? Only the Holy Spirit can answer that in each situation. As for me, I had two very different experiences recently when I chose to speak out on social media, but both taught me the very same lesson.
“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!”2 Timothy 3:1-5
Situation 1: Standing Up for God’s Name
As a teacher, I like to keep in contact with other teachers on social media. I try to stick to the Christian teacher groups, but I do follow a few secular pages. One of them, until about two weeks ago, was Bored Teachers. That was when the page posted a meme that attempted to be funny about a certain teacher issue by using the words “g__ d____.”
At the time, I really debated with myself. Should I say something or just let it go? After all, the site IS secular. Not everyone who subscribes there has a belief in God, much less a reverence for His holy name. On the other hand, the idea that this page should go unchallenged while blaspheming God started to really bug me. If I didn’t say something, who would? Was my silence also acceptance? After all, I’m a child of God and a representative of Him wherever I go. Didn’t I have a responsibility to at least call this public page out on its bad behavior? I prayed about it felt like I should say something.
Hostility and Ill treatment
For the next couple of days, I was shocked by the number of comments I got. Some were downright nasty. Google dictionary describes persecution as “hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of … religious beliefs.” It wasn’t physical, obviously, but it was definitely a preview of what could be some pretty bad stuff for Christians coming soon. Some blasphemed God again and said He was a fictional character. Some posted face palms and gifs accusing me of just trying to get attention. A few tried to justify the use in the context of the meme, and a few told me to “chill.” One girl attempted to “defend” me by saying that my religious beliefs were sincere even if I was a “buzz kill.”
For the next two days, the comments just kept coming. Some of them were so evil that I started to feel guilty for making so many come out in the open against God. Then God highlighted this scripture to me in Ezekiel. It was about a time when God was judging Israel. Ezekiel 9:4 says, “And the Lord said to him, ‘Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.’”
In judgement, God spared those who were not in agreement with bad behavior of their world. I decided that I always want to be counted in that number. I want to stand for what is right when I feel led to do so, no matter the cost to myself.
Situation 2: Standing Up to Other Christians
The second situation happened a couple weeks later on one of those teacher Facebook groups I mentioned. Someone posted the question, “What is God speaking to you today?” But instead of encouraging people to talk about what God has been teaching them in their prayer closets, it was a formula for a “message” based on the color of your shirt, the last digit of your phone number, and the last letter of your first name.
Some of the messages were Bible verses like “God’s grace is enough for you.” But some were no better than fortune cookies: “God sees you and will reward you.” The poster encouraged other teachers to comment their “messages,” and several other teachers followed along.
But inviting anything other than the Holy Spirit of God to give you a message or to speak over your life is divination. It’s not fun or harmless. It’s sin and an abomination to God (Deuteronomy 18:32). I prayed throughout the course of the day about whether to say something to these teachers. Finally, when I just couldn’t get away from it, I made a comment.
Thanks and Encouragement
After last time’s two-day barrage of insults, I hit the “post” button and waited for the attacks. This time, though, I got a stream of “likes” and “loves.” Not only that, there were so many grateful comments from other women who had also seen the error and debated about speaking out themselves. By stepping out in faith despite what I perceived as a “danger” to me, it was a blessing to both me and several others. It strengthened our faith that we could stand together for biblical righteousness even when the majority seemed to go the other way.
Take Your Stand in Perilous Times
As Christians in these perilous times, we will probably find ourselves on the opposite side of the majority more and more. It’s not our job to “police” social media, but in certain situations after seeking God’s direction on the matter, it will be necessary that we speak out against some things. We won’t know the consequences until we do it. It may be hostility. It may be gratitude. Or maybe it will be some combination of the two. But in a time when both God and Satan are marking their people, I want my own behavior to be an indication of the One “to whom I belong and whom I serve” (Acts 27:23). I want to stand for God in perilous times.
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