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As we start the New Year, we must think of the words Jesus told his apostles when they asked him about the signs of the end. His first words
were, “Don’t be deceived”. . . Or don’t let anyone fool you!
Although he was speaking about those who would come claiming to be the Messiah and fool many people, the words ‘Don’t be deceived’ covers many things.
Paul’s letter to Timothy describes what it will be like in the last days and defines best the days we are living in right now.
This letter to Timothy is found in the New Testament: Book of 2nd Timothy, Chapter 3, Verses 1-5, and he says,
But realize this, that in the last days there will be
terrible times. People will be lovers . . .
of themselves and lovers of money,
proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents,
ungrateful, using profanity and showing contempt for - and all that is sacred.
They will be without love, unfeeling, heartless
taking pleasure in getting revenge, and ready to
ruin someone's reputation by telling lies and
They will think, speak and act immorally, and will
ridicule people trying to do what is right and good.
They will be brutal, hating anything that is good.
They will be treacherous, reckless, pompous,
lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
Some will pretend to be religious or holding to a
form of godliness, but they will not believe God's word and will deny God's power,
so stay away from these people.”
At the last supper, Jesus told his disciples, “If the world hates you, just remember that it has hated Me first. If you belonged to the world,
the world would love you as it’s own. But I chose you from this world, and you do not belong to it; that is why the world hates you.
Remember what I told you. ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you too; if they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours too. But they will do all this to you because you are mine; for they do not know the one who sent me.
They would not have been guilty of sin if I had not come and spoken to them; as it is, they no longer have any excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also.
They would not have been guilty of sin if I had not done among them the things that no one else ever did; as it is, they have seen what I did and they hate both me and my Father. This, however, was bound to happen so that what is written in their Law, may come true; ‘They hated me for no reason at all.’
The Helper will come – the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God and who comes from the Father. I will send him to you from the Father, and he will speak about me. And you, too, will speak about me, because you have been with me from the beginning.
I have told you this, so that you will not give up your faith. You will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time will come when anyone who kills you will think that by doing this he is serving God.
People will do these things to you because they have not known either the Father or me. But I have told you this, so that when the time comes for them to do these things, you will remember what I told you.”
This reading is found in the New Testament, John Chapter 15: Verses 18-27 and Chapter 16: Verses 1-4
Jesus also said,
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. ( Matthew 10:28 )
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