Creflo Dollar - The Behavior and Character of the Last Day Society - Part 5
If you have your Bibles, go with me to the book of 2 Timothy chapter 3, verses 1 through 9. 2 Timothy chapter 3, verses 1 through 9. For, this will be the third week, we've been talking specifically about "The Behavior and Character of the Last Day Society". The Behavior and the Character of the Last Day Society. You see, it's not only gonna be wars, rumors of wars. It's not gonna only be frequency and intensity of storms and earthquakes and famine and all those things are going to happen. They are signs of the time, but there's also the sign of the time by looking at the behavior and the character of people. And if you'll notice how people act and how they carry themselves, the Bible says pay attention to that because that is also gonna be a sign of the time. And church ain't even what it used to be.
And so let's look at 2 Timothy chapter 3, verses 1 through 9. I'm gonna read it in two versions. Let's start off with this one. He says: "This know also, that in the last days perilous," or dangerous, "times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such," he said, "turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith".
Now, let's look at this in the NLT. 2 Timothy chapter 3, verses 1 in the NLT. He says: "You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times", very difficult times, "for people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! They are the kind who work their way into people's homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. (Such women are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.) These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have deprived minds and counterfeit faith. But they won't get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as with Jannes and Jambres".
Now, this is pretty strong and it's something that we pay attention to. It's not like, "Well, your parenting was so bad that, you know, everybody's got the same situation that's going on". No, he says, "Pay attention to this, now, because it'll be a sign of my return". Now the good news about it is that also in the end times God promised that your children will return from the enemy, amen? They'll return from the enemies. So we've discussed out of this, what we decided to do is to teach on each one of these things so that you can have a real clear understanding of what this means so you can recognize it when you see it. So, so far we've talked about self-centeredness. We spent some time talking to you about lovers of money. We spent time talking about the boastful and the proud. We spent some time talking about scoffing at God and what that means and to look out for that.
Last week we spent an entire session on dishonor and disobedience where parents were concerned. And today, we're gonna begin with the ungrateful and the ungodly, and I'm gonna put that together and call it ingratitude. The ungrateful and the ungodly: ingratitude. He says you will see ingratitude like you've not seen it before. Just people that are just ungrateful. People who, you'll do things for folks and they're so entitled that they don't even know how to say thank you for that. You get 'em something nice and it happens to be the wrong color, they say, "Well, that's nice but I would rather if you got me that, like", boy, give me that shirt back.
See, ingratitude, I define it like this: it's forgetfulness of or a lack of appreciation for the kindness or for a gift received. Forgetfulness of or a lack of appreciation. A lack of appreciation for kindness or a gift received. He says you'll see that in the last days where there'll be a lack of appreciation for God. There'll be a lack of appreciation for the things that people do for you. There'll be a lack of appreciation for the favor of God that's shown in your life that somehow, even in spite of yourself, the blessings of God showed up in your life. And there'll be this gross lack of appreciation that you'll see. Let's look at what the Bible has to say about just being thankful. In 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 and 18 in King James first and then the Amplified. 1 Thessalonians 5:18, he says: "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you". So he says: "In every thing".
Now notice he didn't say, "Don't thank him for everything," but he says, "in everything". So even in the midst of bad times, find a reason to thank God. Find a reason, you know, something happened and it wasn't a good thing but in the midst of it you can say, "Well, Lord, it could have been worse. And I thank you, Lord, that you're taking care of me while I'm going". So that's what he means by "In every thing give thanks". "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus". Now, it really hit me that this is the will of God. It's God's will for me to be thankful and to give thanks. So I try to, when I pray in the morning and throughout the day, I try to just spend a lot of my time thanking God, spending time thanking God. You have this happen, but it could have been like this. "Oh, Lord, they turned my gas off, but at least I've got my lights," you know? In everything, learn how to be thankful.
But then don't forget about the favor and the mercy and the grace that God has shown you and pause and take time to be thankful for what you're experiencing, the good things. Be thankful for the little things that you see in your life. You wanna see things increase in your life? You wanna see things accelerate in your life, good things? Learn how to be thankful and give thanks. Learn how to be thankful and give thanks. Now that may not be enough to get you to do a cartwheel or a shout, but I tell you what, it'll change some things in your life when you can learn how to be thankful and give thanks to God, amen? Now look at this in the Amplified Bible, the same Scripture here. He says, "Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstance may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus". It's the will of God for me to be thankful and give thanks.
You know, we're going around trying to, "O God, show me the will of God for my life. Show me the will of God for my life," and he says, "Let's start here. Be thankful and give thanks". Start with thanksgiving, I mean, don't wait just on the holiday of Thanksgiving, but he said do that every day. In your life as a Christian, start your day out with being thankful and grateful for what God has already done rather than spending time trying to get him to do something else, amen? And learn how to be grateful and thankful to other people. When somebody does something nice for you, be thankful. Tell 'em "Thank you". Don't sit there and talking about, "Well, I just can't believe that, you know, you didn't do more". See, that's gonna bring the flesh up in you, you know? You're supposed to bury that, cuss that's gonna come out. You be, yeah, be thankful and give thanks, amen?
Now look at Colossians 3:15. It's the will of God for you to be thankful. Why ask God about anything else concerning the will for your life and you're not willing to step into that will? Be thankful. I double dog dino dare you to take about 15, 20 minutes, and just thank God. Just be grateful and thankful for what he's already done. Some of you need to have a flashback and just look at what God has done. Some of you should have been, could have been, would have been dead had it not been for the invisible hand of God getting on your life. And I don't think that needs to just happen without you taking some time to say "Thank you," praise the Lord, amen. Colossians 3:15, he says: "And let the peace of God rule in your heart, to the which also you are called in one body," and watch he responds to this, "and be thankful". Be thankful, praise the Lord.
I'm thankful, man. I'm thankful that I'm alive this morning. I'm thankful that I'm well this morning, praise God. I'm thankful that I woke up in my right mind this morning. I'm thankful I can see. I'm thankful that I got use of my limbs. Taff and I got a revelation of how quick you can lose your mobility. I'm thankful that I have mobility. I'm thankful, glory be. I need to calm down. I'm thankful. I'm thankful for this church. I'm thankful for you. I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for what God has done. I'm thankful for what he wouldn't let happen. I'm thankful that I didn't crash in the Pacific Ocean. I'm thankful that cancer didn't kill me. I'm thankful, praise God, that I know his healing. I'm thankful that I can speak in tongues, and I can pray the perfect prayer. I'm not gonna sit up here and look deep when God has done so much. He delivered me out of a pit, he put my feet on solid ground. He put a new tongue and a new song in my mouth and somehow, throughout the day, I gotta say thank you. Oh my God, thank you.
Be thankful. Anybody can complain, but let me tell you what happens when you can complain. You maintain the same status. You wanna stay in a problem longer than what you should have? Start complaining. You will cancel the expiration date just by sitting there complaining about it. You better thank your way out of debt. You better thank your way out of depression. You better thank your way out of lack. You better thank your way out of a bad hurtful relationship. You better thank your way out. And every time the devil knocks on the door and tries to get you down again, you ought to start thinking about something that you ought to thank God for. Thank your way out of that thing, praise the Lord. C'mon, Psalms 105 and 1. My God. But he says in these last days, you're gonna see ingratitude. Let it not be you.
Look what he says, Psalms 105 and 1: "O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people". That's what you're doing when you're giving thanks to the Lord. You're letting his deeds be known among the people. That's what happens when somebody comes to you and say, "How you doin'"? "Oh, I just thank God that all is well with me and all is well with my family and all is well with my friends. I just thank God". You're letting people know, according to this Scripture, the deeds that God has made and done in your life. Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, amen. Now, that's what God wants to happen. But now, what are the consequences? What are the consequences for this not taking place?
Well, Deuteronomy chapter 28, let me show you what God did in the Old Testament under the law. Deuteronomy 28 and verse 48. For time's sake let's just look at the NLT. It blew my mind. 47 and 48 in the NLT. He says: "If you do not serve the Lord your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you. You will be left hungry, thirsty, naked, and lacking in everything. The Lord will put an iron yoke on your neck, oppressing you harshly until he has destroyed you". I'm like, "Whoa". When I read that, I said, "Let me back up. Let me see what they did. Because of their attitude and their ingratitude, because they wouldn't be thankful and grateful to God and have enthusiasm for God, all of this happened"? That's what happened under the law. And I'm like, "Wow, you must still have an attitude about this or you wouldn't have, you know, shown it to us".
Remember the law... was not saying the law was perfect. We were not perfect, you know what I'm saying? So anytime you wanna see the heart and the attitude of God on something, you can see the perfect attitude and heart when you go back and look at how he expressed it under the law. Now look at Romans chapter 1:18 through 24. You see, when we refuse to be thankful or to express gratitude, what happens is, is we grow hard-hearted and proud. You refuse to be thankful, you refuse to have the right kind of attitude there, you'll grow hard-hearted and you'll grow proud. We take for granted all God has given us and we become our own gods. Take for granted for what he's done to us. Don't do that.
Romans 1:18, I'm gonna read 18 through 24. He says: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not," in other words, they were not thankful. "They knew God, but they glorified him not," they were not thankful. "They knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but they became vain in their imagination, and their foolish hearts was darkened". Because they didn't give thanks to God. "Vain in their imagination, and their foolish hearts darkened. Professing themselves to be wise," watch what happened, "they became fools". They became fools. They became fools. "And they changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into the image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things".
Look at these things that happen as a result of not being thankful. "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness," because they wouldn't be thankful, "through the lust of their own hearts," because they wouldn't be thankful, "to dishonour their own bodies between themselves," because they would not be thankful. Now, there are consequences for that. And one of the things that you're gonna see in these last days is these kind of consequences come on the unthankful. People wonder, "Well, why are these things happening in my life"? 'Cause you're ungrateful and you're unthankful. And when that happens, this is the consequence that comes your way. So ingratitude is one of those signs of the time that you'll begin to see more and more and more. Let's look at the next one. The Bible talks about in the last days we will see slander. Slander, it will be wicked slander that you'll see.
Now what does it mean to walk in slander? It means making a false verbal statement that damages someone's reputation. Slander is lying about someone with the intent of causing others to view that person in a negative light. So now, all of a sudden, whoa, you gotta make sure that you're not broken and messed up so much on the inside that it moves you into slander. This is like a boomerang. This thing will tear you up. I mean, there are people that have no idea of the consequences that are on the way in their life because of slander. And with the invention of social media and people having their own podcasts, it's become very, very famous to slander people. And when you do that, I'm telling you there are some consequences.
Let's first of all look at what the Bible has to say about slander. Go to Proverbs chapter 10 and verse 18 in the King James and then The Passion Translation. Proverbs 10, verse 18, King James, so you'll know what's in the Bible. That's why I'm showing you these Scriptures, that when the Bible said that in 2 Timothy that these things were gonna be signs of the time, the Bible talks a lot about the things. It's God all the time trying to warn us to not walk this kind of way. In Proverbs chapter 10, verse 18, he says: "He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that utter a slander, is a fool". All right, now notice what he says. The hatred part has something to do with the lying lips part, and a lot of times it's somebody that's broken or mad or upset or been hurt by something and now their lips are lying and they are slandering and he calls them a fool. Now remember, a fool says in his heart that there is no God, all right?
Now look at this in the TPT. He says: "The one who hides his hatred while pretending to be your friend," he says, watch out, there's a lot of that's gonna happen. So as Christians, you've got to be very discerning about who you hanging out with. You hear me? "The one who hides his hatred while pretending to be your friend is nothing but a liar. But the one who slanders you behind your back proves that he's a fool, never to be trusted". Now you gotta pay attention to these Scriptures. The guy that slanders you behind your back has given you evidence that you will never be able to trust him. And there are some of you who, you know, God bless your heart, some of you try to help people that God won't even help. "The one that slanders you behind your back," the one that's doing this stuff behind your back, "proves that he's a fool".
Listen, when somebody tells you they're a fool, believe 'em. Don't go to them talking about, "Now, baby, you're not no fool, girl". No, no, no, they just told you they're a fool. You better pause. All right, now, look at this, now. 1 Peter chapter 2 and 1 before we look at the consequences. 1 Peter chapter 2 and 1. He says: "So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech". He said be done with that. You're not gonna be the ones that are demonstrating these signs in the last day. I decree and declare over your lives right now: you are done with evil behavior.