2 Timothy 3:1-5, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
The last days. The phrase is used to describe the gospel dispensation (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:17; 1 John 2:18), which is the last dispensation on earth. The phrase is also used to describe the last days of the last dispensation of earth. There will be a “last day” of these last days when the Lord returns (John 6:39; John 11:24; John 6:44; 2 Peter 3:7). Our study verses are teaching us about the last days of the last dispensation on earth, which will end with a last day when the Lord appears in the clouds.
I’ve heard all of this illustrated by using a box of homemade jelly. Illustration: There was a husband and wife who had a box full of jars of homemade jelly. After months of eating, the husband opened and declared, “This is the last of the jelly.” By the end of the week, the husband used a spoon to gather the last spoon full of the jelly and said, “This is the last of the jelly.” The box can be compared to as the length of days of the earth as a whole. The last jar can be compared to as the last days of the last of the days. The last spoon full can be compared to as the very last day. Are we in the last days on earth? No one knows the last day, but I can at least say we are closer today than ever before.
As we labor to live on this earth, that is getting more and more evil as the days pass, it is easily perceived that we live in very dangerous times. With all the vandalism and destruction of the last few weeks, I worry about my mom even going to the small town she lives near to buy her groceries. I am very sorry to inform you that this will only become worse as time goes on. Sure, we may experience a temporary time of relief by God’s temporal grace, but the gradual trend will be one that becomes worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13).
Question? Why will it and why is it getting worse? Our study verse teaches us plainly, self love. As time goes on, men and women will continually become more engulfed in self love. As we write, there are programs and magazines that already promote this concept. When people’s minds are focused on themselves, they cannot focus on the Lord, neither can they focus on their neighbors needs, only self. Jesus taught us to “deny” ourselves, to love Him, and love our neighbor as ourselves. But the world continually goes down the rabbit hole of everything being about self.
When people love themselves, they will have little to no respect for your opinion; they will have no respect for debate and reasoning concerning facts; they will disregard civil laws replacing it with a satisfaction of their emotions and desires. This attitude is one that is “unthankful” for what we have, thinking we deserve more. This attitude is one that is disrespectful to parents and our forefathers, thinking that we today are beyond their intellect. This attitude is one that will not keep covenant, but declares what I want at the moment is more important (trucebreakers). This attitude is one that looks on itself as being more religious than any before or during the present, but fails to compare their present position to the Word of God (having a form of godliness). This attitude is one that is proud, incontinent and fierce. If we read the Bible, if we receive anything other than an eternal burning hell it’s by mercy and grace. Paul would even go as far as saying these individuals will be “without natural affection.” When the people on earth deny the marriage institution as God gave it, replacing it with those things against nature (men with men, and women with women; Romans 1:25-27); when people have no respect for life and deny their God given responsibility all for the sake of “Self Choice” they have departed from natural affection.
What are we to do? What can I do? In the remainder of 2 Timothy 3, the Apostle Paul gives us instruction and encouragement concerning our life and the example we can be:
- Don’t get down and out when you see it getting worse. Sin is sin. Evil is evil. The world, from the time Adam transgressed God in the garden, had been getting worse. It should be no surprise when you see the things we are seeing. The Lord will win in the end. God always wins!
- Don’t get down and out when people fail to listen to you about the principles of scripture. Paul, in 2 Timothy 3:8, tells us about “Jannes and Jambres” who withstood Moses. If men during that time withstood the man of God, it should not surprise us when people withstand the truth today.
- Remember and hold on to the truth and principles of faith that you have been taught (2 Timothy 3:10). My daddy and mama raised me the best they could. I was taught right from wrong growing up. My parents worked hard that I would have an understanding of God’s Word and be prepared to face the challenges of life. If I fail, it’s not their fault. Sometimes when I see the ungodliness that is going on in this world, I pray and thank God for my parents and their diligent efforts.
- Hold on to your King James Bible tighter than ever before (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Bible was given to by God. It is the truth and the standard.
- Keep on keeping on (2 Timothy 3:14). Don’t get worn down by the ungodliness of this world. The Lord is greater than all and is able to bless you with more than the world can take away. He still hears the prayers of His people and answers them when they call.
- Remember that Jesus is coming. And when He comes to take us home, all tribulation and tears of pain will end (Revelation 21:4-5). The toils of this road will then seem as nothing as we sweep thru the beautiful gate.