Listen:  113.2

2 Timothy, chapter 3, is one place that tells us about the characteristics of the last days.   Let’s read 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’ refers to the end of the church age, in which we are now living.  We’re told to expect perilous, or difficult times in these end times. With all the liberality and open attacks by the enemy on the Lord’s people, these days are certainly difficult.  Morality has shifted drastically in the last generation so that what was wrong twenty years ago is considered completely right today.  We have a warning in Isaiah 5:20-21, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!”

Let’s look at a few of the characteristics of the behavior of people during the last days.  Notice that these people have a form of godliness, which means these are people who profess to be saved.  However, their actions show them to be ignorant of God’s saving grace and we are instructed to turn away from these people.

  • Men shall be lovers of their own selves.  The craving to only please yourself; the tendency to be selfish in all things is so prominent today, even among professing Christians.  Many so-called ministers today seek to capitalize upon man’s selfishness.  They offer Christ to men as the one who will give them all they want; the one who will pander to their every desire; the one who will give them prosperity.  This only feeds the selfishness we find in so many today.
  • Covetous.  Men are not only lovers of themselves; they are also lovers of money.
  • Boasters.  Rather than being humble, men boast of their accomplishments.
  • Proud.  This comes from a Greek word meaning to appear above others.  These people think of themselves as better than others in contrast to God’s Word in Philippians 2:3 which tells us, “…in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”
  • Blasphemers.  Those who speak with no regard, or fear of, our great God.  Those who use His name for their own financial gain.
  • Disobedient to parents.  These are headstrong children who are beyond the control of their parents.
  • Unthankful.  So many have no true gratitude to the Lord.
  • Unholy.  This speaks of those who profess to be saved, but inwardly have no regard for the Lord.

The list goes on in the rest of this chapter.  Does this sound like the day we are living in?  It certainly does seem that we are living in the last of the last days.  May the Lord give us the discernment and desire to follow Him, no matter what others are doing.  May we be God-pleasers and not man-pleasers.  As we read in 2 Timothy 3:14, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.”  The last days are upon us.  May we continue in the precious truths found in God’s Word, and not follow the way of those who pretend to be saved, but really do not know the Lord.  Let us question everything by the Word of God.  May we be above the morality of our times and live according to the Word of God.  Perilous times are here, but we are assured in Romans 8:37, “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”  (113.2)