Tuesday, March 15, 2011
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy . . . having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!—2 Timothy 3:1–2, 5
An oxymoron basically is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms, like “jumbo shrimp,” “virtual reality,” “friendly fire,” and “found missing.” Then there is one of my favorites: “fresh frozen.” You might go into a restaurant and ask, “Is this fish fresh?”
“It is fresh frozen,” the server will say.
“Well, is it fresh?” you will ask again.
“It is fresh frozen.” Why don’t they just tell you that it is old?
Then there are other classic oxymorons, like “exact estimate” and “airline food.” We can add “genuine imitation” to that list as well.
The idea of genuine imitation is what Jesus conveys in a story known as the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. Prior to Jesus’ return, the devil effectively will flood the market with cheap imitations of the real thing. In fact, there will be so many genuine imitations that people will have a difficult time distinguishing the true from the false.
Why will the devil do this? Because it is effective. When it is revealed that a so-called Christian has been living a double life that is a complete contradiction of his or her profession of faith, some people might think, Well, that person is a hypocrite, so I am not going to be a Christian either. I am going to turn my back on this. They are all just a bunch of phonies. They fell for the devil’s trap.
So according to Jesus’ parable, there will be many in the last days who believe—and many who will fake belief. They will sit side by side in the same churches. They will sing the same songs. They will read the same Bibles. They will say the same things, to some degree. But in reality, these people are never really believers to begin with.
Copyright © 2011 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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