Summary: A topical sermon about the end of days, revealing the state of a violent world that despises the good of God's people and the good of God himself.
Living in the last days: Haters
Introduction: From an article from Fox News: Rev. Faye Musa knew immediately why suspected Boko Haram militants burst into his home last year as his wife prepared dinner in the family's northeastern Nigeria home. His stance against Christian persecution in the divided African nation had long made him target.
Musa, who served as the general overseer of Rhema Assembly International church and secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Borno, saw the intruders near the front door of his home in Maiduguri as his wife, Mercy, prepped food. One of the couples daughters, Zion, had spotted the armed men just seconds earlier jumping a fence.
“Today you are a dead man,” one of the gunman said as he dragged him to the porch. “Call your Jesus to help you, Mr. CAN man!”
Zion Musa begged the attackers to spare her father, a request met with a misfired bullet that caused her to faint. She survived but her 52 yr. old father – a man who worked closely with open doors, a nondenominational group tracking persecuted Christians worldwide – did not (Fox news Jan. 12, 2014)
Sadly, we are hearing more and more of these stories lately.
Transition: Haters may seem to be a strange title for any sermon. But it encapsulates both of our two main characteristics in people in the last days: despisers of the good and violent. Let's begin with the first.
I. In the last days people will despise the Good
If there is one phrase that describes the decadence of the last days it is “despisers of the good”
We read in the NIV version of 2 Tim. 3:3 that men will be “not lovers of the good” and the King James says “despisers of those who are good” but most lexicons, translations, and commentaries agree that the words in this clause should be translated as “not lovers of good” better translated “haters of good”. In the original Greek, there was no personal pronoun. The point is it's not just good people they hate but the good itself they hate.
Men will be both- haters of good people and haters of the good in general; (church, truth, justice, love, civility, etc.) And since we know from James that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, ...” It really makes clear to where exactly their hatred lies doesn't it? Paul describes man in Romans, as “God- haters”. Haters of God are also haters of good, for God is good. Isaiah said “woe to those who call evil good and good evil...” (5:20) Notice the devil turns good things into bad things and vice verse: He calls darkness light and light darkness, he calls freedom bondage, and bondage freedom. So in a world where evil men are defining what “good” is, instead of a holy God, judgment can't be far off. God will not be mocked.
This all may seem to be gloom and doom, and I promise that is not my intention. We must realize that as Christians we are called to stand out from the world in which we live, and as a result God will take care of us. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28