Was It Always This Way?
At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matt. 24:10-13).
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. (1 Tim. 4:1-2).
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a “form of godliness” but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
the least to the greatest, all are
greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. 14 They
dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no
peace. 15 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no
shame at all;
they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen;
they will be brought down when I punish them,” says the Lord.
16 This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. (Jer. 6:13-16).
In the Greek Islands, one can seek out the home of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine. In the area, one can also find an olive tree, supposedly dating from his time. If this is so, this tree would then be some 2400 years old. The trunk of this tree is very large but completely hollow. The tree is little more than thick bark. There are a few long, straggling branches, but they are supported by sturdy wooden poles every few feet. It has an occasional leaf here and there and might produce a few olives each year. In the fields around, however, are olive groves in many directions. The strong, healthy, young trees with narrow trunks are covered with a thick canopy of leaves, under which masses of olives can be found each year. The tree of Hippocrates can still be called an olive by nature, in that it still shows the essential unique characteristics, but it has long since ceased to fulfill an olive’s function. Tourists file up to inspect this ancient relic, having some link to a dim history, but the job of the olive tree passed long ago to many successions of replanted trees. Do you know any churches (or even people) like the tree of Hippocrates? The form is there, but the function is not. They have stopped reproducing and are satisfied just being big or having a noble history. (Copied).