v 13 But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.
The reading doesn’t get any easier does it – the picture seems just as dark as yesterday. The advent of Social Media in the 21st Century would not surprise Paul; imposters, deceivers, and fake news account for so much unrest in society and we don’t yet know how to control it all. But this is the world into which we are called to announce Good News. Now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand and remain silent. The need to proclaim a message of salvation from sin and its consequences is more vital than ever. The story of Jesus is about hope, forgiveness, and a beautiful eternity; it is told in starker contrast to the state of the world than ever before! This is not a call to patch up society, covering over the cracks and wounds that are apparent, but a call for nothing less than the transformation of life through following Jesus.
Jesus Himself is at the heart of our message – not just talked about but his love also demonstrated in a myriad of practical ways. But make no mistake, Paul would also expect a verbal expression of the Good News. Not a tub-thumping exercise, but expressions of Grace and Truth going hand-in-hand. It is all very well and good saying that my life is itself good news to other people, but that needs a bit of explaining. The Gospel needs verbal expression as well as a practical demonstration of the love of God. Otherwise I am no different from a social do-gooder. The message is ”God loves you – and so do I. You too can enjoy a personal relationship with God and the eternal life He offers through forgiveness, and acceptance on the basis of faith in Jesus.”