In our six feet apart, masked connections, and the rushed conversations we have with one another, it does not take long for someone to bring up the craziness we are surrounded with and the sense of dissolution and darkness.  Leaders even talk about the dark times ahead which should be counter intuitive for a politician of any stripe unless there is a reason to instill fear.  The church of course has the task of proclaiming the “joy of salvation” until Christ comes again.  How to keep the joy while seeing the peril of “the Lie”.  Martin Franzmann wrote a devotional on 2 Timothy 4:18 in which he wrote the following.  The quote at the end is from someone called Oepke, in NTD, 8. p. 147.

The Church knows that God is at work and is reigning through all history; but it knows that that reign remains a hidden reign until it is God’s good pleasure to make it manifest, that the Church remains the Church under the cross until the end, that its greatness is the paradoxical greatness of the Church of beggars, mourners, hungerers and thirsters, and the persecuted, of those who died -and behold we live. The Church, therefore, takes sober cognizance of the fact that as the Kingdom develops in history, there is a parallel development of the Kingdom of Darkness, that for the future … and for the end particularly, we are to expect, not composition and compromise, but an intensification and a radicalization of the antithesis; that the lie will use the weapons of truth in order to assert and maintain itself. The thought of the Antichrist therefore contains the sharpest conceivable protest against every shallow belief in progress and every attempt to create heaven here and now; the thought of the Antichrist is the strongest possible incitement to sobriety and vigilance.