Perilous times are foretold for the end When the one who betrays might as soon be a friend When he who walked with you in the midst of God's throng Proves a broken-off reed who didn't belong When the crowd turns away from the truth they once knew To embrace a strange fire of the enemy's brew When the mystic is favored much more than the teacher And intolerant is the name reserved for the preacher
For myriads have tasted of the heavenly gifts Then at some unknown point the set compass shifts And they show by the fact that they do not endure That they never knew the One Whose salvation is sure For He's promised He cannot lose one of His own Yet His wheat grows with tares that His enemy's sown So these goats dressed as sheep might say all the right words But pasted-on wings do not turn moles to birds
They learn the same Scriptures and enjoy the same songs But haven't yet come to the cross for their wrongs Haven't taken it up and followed the Lord Have never been born of His Spirit Who is poured Into all whom the Father has chosen for His Son Those predestined before the world had begun So among the elect in the pews sit the dead Unregenerate men taking up masks instead
And some will sit thus for the rest of their life While others walk away overcome by the strife Of their trials, distractions, desires or greed Rather trusting the world to provide all that they need For discipleship costs and most think it too high A price now to pay of their self who must die Most are tripped by the weight of that covenant walk Which accompanies a faith that goes past mere talk
It is God's grace alone which grants genuine belief And with it repentance for proud or for thief While the course remains bumpy until dying day The saved may fall down, but they can't fall away For salvation from first to the last is of the Lord And His Spirit within is what keeps saints secured It's our duty and privilege to obey and abide Yet how could we without His power inside?
Now besides a new fuel we receive a new nature The old man is dead, we are made a new creature One that's being conformed to the image of Jesus So we live to please Him now and not to please us But because of this switch the world is enraged For when light shines in darkness its evil's front stage They hate us the same as they hated our Master And as time nears its close their fury swells faster
Persecution's been promised for all who are godly Could be mocking, rejection or harm that is ****** It cannot compare though to what's been exchanged In the gift of redemption for our souls long-deranged So we dare not forget when the blows are received That those doing the punching are still dead and deceived Still locked in the grip of the enemy's force Still blinded by sin, still enslaved to its course
Just judgment will come if they do not repent If they keep on rejecting God's Lamb Who was sent So it's best left to Him to defend us against The disdain and discord of a world that's incensed For they're already judged who refuse to believe And we would be too but for mercy's reprieve Being saved from God's wrath that is soon to be poured Out full strength onto those who His truths have ignored
In the meantime the Father's maturing His children Forging character depth through both trials and discipline So let's not lose hope in the face of our sorrow But rejoice that He's working it out for tomorrow Since we have a sure treasure stored for us in heaven And we'll soon be set free from all sin-staining leaven Let's press on toward Christ's likeness worked in us by grace And look hard for first moments our eyes see His face!
"'However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.'" ~ Acts 20:24