Derek Prince - What You Love Determines What You Will Be
This excerpt is from: How to Approach Biblical Prophecy
So now we’ve seen from 2 Timothy chapter 3 that thins are not going to get better they’re going to get worse. It’s not so much things, it’s people. People are not going to get better they’re going to get worse. And, the major factor in their getting worse will be the operation of occult power. That’s exactly where we are today. The occult has come out into the open and become aggressive and active to the degree which was unthinkable in either the United States or Britain even twenty years ago. It’s a fulfillment of prophecy. Now, you could be discouraged. that’s one way to respond. The other way to respond is thank God it proves the Bible is true! When I was teaching in East Africa some of my students who wanted an excuse not to become Christians They say: "I don’t want to become a Christian there are so many hypocrites in the church." I say that may be true but after all, the New Testament shows there will be hypocrites in the church.
So that doesn’t prove the Bible is false, it proves it’s true. That’s one more reason for becoming a Christian. I say the same about what I’m teaching. You think it’s very negative it’s very dark. But thank God it proves the Bible is true. And if we can believe the dark we can also believe the light. But I think frankly if you don’t believe the dark you don’t really believe the light either. You cannot be selective. The Word of God is pure. Every word of God is pure. No word of God is to be set aside. Now let’s go back to the beginning of 2 Timothy 3 and I want to give this a very personal application in the life of each one of us. Not excluding brother Prince. It gives this list from verses 2 through 5 Maybe I should read it once more. As I read it, just ask yourself how many of these things are conspicuous in our contemporary culture. Men will be lovers of themselves lovers of money, boasters, proud blasphemers, disobedient to parents Parents, is that true? It’s true for some, disobedient to parents unthankful, unholy.
And notice, to be unthankful is to be unholy, unloving, but that’s not really the right translation. The old King James had it much better, "without natural affection." In other words, even the normal love that we expect has evaporated in many cases. The love of a mother for her baby the love of a parent for his children the love of brothers and sisters for one another. They are evaporating rapidly. without natural affection, unforgiving [in the margin it says irreconcilable] slanderers, without self-control brutal, despisers of good, traitors headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God Let’s stop the list there for a moment. I want to point out to you that what you love determines what you will be. That list begins and ends with what people love. There are three things: love of self love of money and love of pleasure. That really is the cause of all the other negative features that are listed there. Love of self, love of money love of pleasure.
Why do people love money? Because they love pleasure because money apparently will buy pleasure. But, it won’t buy peace it won’t buy joy. But it will for a little while buy pleasure. And also, the love of money is an expression of man’s pride. Because when we have a lot of money we can be arrogant we can display our wealth we can act as if we’re better than those who have less. It all hangs together. But, the root is the first one, love of self. That is what is breaking up our society today. A survey was carried out a few years ago as to the average number of people living in a household in the United States today. And do you know what the amazing answer was? 1.7 persons In other words, less than two persons can live together today on the average. What’s the reason? Love of self. "Well, if you don’t like the way I live I’m going my way, you can go yours." That has broken up and is breaking up countless marriages.
I tell people who get married there’s a recipe for disaster and a recipe for success. The recipe for disaster is "what will I get out of this?" If you get married on that basis your marriage will be a disaster. The recipe for success is "what can I give to this?" And if you go in with that attitude your marriage will be a success. I’ve had two marriages. The first lasted thirty years our present marriage has lasted sixteen years. Each of them has been happy and successful. Listen, I am not talking from theory. The surest cause of the breakdown of marriage and of the family and of society is the love of self. "You can have what you like but I’m going my way I’ll do what pleases me." That really dominates the thinking of the unconverted people of this nation today. When marriage breaks up the family breaks up. When the family breaks up, society breaks up. The government can spend millions or billions of dollars to find some remedy but there is only one, the family.
Children were designed to have two parents. If one of them drops out, you have an unhappy, frustrated child who will possibly take out his frustrations on society. I say myself the generation that has neglected its children is breeding its own source of judgment. Because the young people that have not been parented that have no been loved that have not been disciplined will grow up to plague our society with violence and hatred. It’s frightening but it’s happening. In this once-blessed nation it is happening. I became an American citizen by choice unlike many of you, in 1970. So, I’ve been one for twenty four years. I have to tell you, the nation of which I became a citizen doesn’t exist today. It’s totally different. Ruth was born an American citizen. She says to me when we return from overseas, "I don’t recognize the nation in which I was born." That’s a tragedy. The root cause, self love. All the other problems stem from that.
Now, let’s give an application. One of the amazing things that Paul says in this passage in verse 5is about all these people who have all these problems and incidentally, they’re not problems. I have to correct myself. I got into the sloppy way of using contemporary language. God does not save us from problems, He saves us from sins. When we call our sins problems we don’t get saved. You don’t have to repent from a problem you do have to repent from a sin. I mean, I find myself using contemporary speech and then correcting myself. These are not problems, they are sins. Blatant, evil sins.