Sampling – A small part or quantity intended to show what the whole part is. We live a in a world where we can take giant leaps now in technology that pale the step taken just a few years ago. We used to look at something new every 10 -20 years and marvel at it. Now there can be a total makeover of an old invention that warps it ahead 20 years in just a matter of hours. We have ipads, iphones, iyi, iyi, iyi. I am a keyboard player and through the years keyboards offered “patches” of sounds and those patches were just for that particular keyboard and probably could handle very little memory. Now keyboards can communicate with each other and switch sounds through midi communication and those little patches now have turned in to massive sound libraries. There are piano samples that actually take up 1 gb of memory just for the piano, just so they can be more realistic. This is all possible through “sampling.” In 2 Timothy 3:1-9, Paul is writing about the coming days ahead and he says things will become very difficult. He calls these days the “last days” which point to the continued regression of the world up to the return of Jesus Christ. Part of the regression he speaks about will be men loving self, loving money, boasting, arrogant, revilers (insulting criticism), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips(wanting to do harm with their gossip), without self control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. They will also hold onto a form of Godliness, but they deny it’s power.
These people are “samplers” but are not of Christ. They have become so smart and sampled so many different things (through technology) that they now can come across as part of The Way of Christ. As Paul mentions in verse 7, “Always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” In today’s society you can go to any TV channel, any newspaper, any street corner, and see “these people.” Many of them are driving how we live our lives today and even what we think. Many of them are higher up leaders in mainstream churches. They are every where. This sampling, like in keyboards, has increased so much it has taken on it’s own life form and come across as good to those in the Christian Faith. Instead of taking the whole truth of God’s Word, these people have led us to believe that “sampling” God’s Word is a better way to live. The increase in these last days people have overtaken many Christians and led them down a path that is wrong. Societal relevant faith has replaced God centered faith and if you will stop your busy life for just moment and look, really look at what’s going on around you, it will cause you to say, “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” Of course, in these last days those who are weakest will be the easiest prey and the manipulation of truth and fact will catch their attention and then it will be too late. I believe that has already happened and that now those who are Christians are “buying in” to this evil way of living. We have almost become as Christians like the Stepford Wives. We are made to do anything our society (even Christians) says to do, even when it doesn’t line up with God’s Word. We have a tendency to take the easy way out anyway, so true Godly conviction is thrown out the window, and knowledge has become our resource for truth. We have come to believe our knowledge (which is also sampled) is the answer. Knowledge becomes helpful only when it is filtered through Godly wisdom that is found in God’s Word. You can actually learn something and never see truth in the essence of what you have learned. SAMPLING! A heart that is not turned completely to God will take the knowledge they have and amp it up to the point of absolute truth through human reasoning. For believers that is a huge mistake.
So what’s the point? Be aware!! All around us the world is polluting the truth in the lives of non-believers and believers. Paul warns that a partnership with the world is falling prey to the evil of these “last days.” Here’s what Paul says to do, “reject this practice.” In verse 9 he says that those who participate in this “sampling” will not make any further progress. The characteristics of a last days society are going to continue to be seen and believers are going to have to make a stand somewhere. If you are “real” (very few are) and upfront in your faith and not allowing the indoctrination of the world to control you, then you will make every effort to distance yourself from such people and practices. If you allow yourself to continue to be deceived, then you are part of the problem, and not part of the solution, and you will have to deal with a coming King in someway or another. The Bible calls this time in our society Apostasy, which means the abandonment of all religious faith. Do not go down this path and quit sampling anything the world offers. Why? Because Something Wicked This Way Comes….Matthew 7:13 – Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
The Pilgrimage continues….