Restraint in a Time of No Restraint

 

I want to share about the Hebrew word "para." Figuratively, it is used throughout the Old Testament to describe "loose living". It is a description of the end times. We can take all the different passages about the last days - particularly about professing Christians in the End Times - and we can just say "para." That's it, "para." That is the descriptor, not totally, but by and large.

Jesus said that lawlessness will be prevalent. Lawlessness is a lack of coming under God's rule in our lives - people out of control. Jesus compared the spiritual atmosphere to the time of Noah when every intent of the thoughts of man's heart were only evil, continually. Think about how filled our own minds have been with evil thoughts at times. It's really a prevailing thing. Jesus also compared the end times to Sodom and Gomorrah where people were utterly given over to the worst forms of debauchery.

When the Apostle Paul talked about the apostate church in 2 Timothy 3 he was in prison in Rome and seeing his brothers and sisters in the Lord thrown to the lions. He had an urgency and a reality of life and death. In that environment - probably in some dark, dank cell - the Lord gives him a sight of the Church of the end times. It comes welling up and the adjectives and words just fly out of his mouth. It seems that Paul is overwhelmed. He says perilous times will come. Why? Because men will be full of self-love. Instead of loving God with all their heart and instead of loving others as themselves, they love themselves. In the middle of Paul’s list of descriptive terms he says "without self-control." Why? Because they're lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God. They have a form of godliness, but they keep the power of God at bay. His whole description brings it all together and is a picture of "para" - being without restraint.

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