“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” ~ 2 Timothy 3:1-5
As I read the above verses, I was struck by Paul’s urgent and serious tone. “But know this…” Touto ginōskō de. This thing you MUST (imperative) understand moreover. You must perceive this. “Perilous times will come”. Chalepos kairos enistēmi. Troublesome, dangerous, hard to bear, fierce, harsh, savage times – in due measure, at a fixed and definite time, when things are brought to crisis – threaten, are impending and close at hand.
Wow. Doesn’t it seem like these “perilous times” have come? Isn’t our world savage, harsh and dangerous, filled with people who love themselves, and their money, much more than they love their neighbor?
Our culture boasts of its blasphemy, disobedience, and disrespect. People are unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving. They slander one another viciously, have no self-control, and are brutal. Good is now considered bad, and what once was bad is embraced as good. Many are traitorous, headstrong, haughty, seeking after pleasure instead of after God. Some profess to know God, yet deny His power, His word, and His authority over all Creation. These are demonically evil times.
Paul goes on to warn Timothy (and us):
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of…” ~ 2 Timothy 3:12-14a
Oh, what a dangerous time we live in! Those of us “who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus” will suffer persecution. It is a given fact. In our country, it is manifesting itself in families divided, jobs threatened, relationships broken, livelihoods disappearing, looming legislation, and much hate. Christians around the world are facing unspeakable persecution: loss of homes and churches, imprisonment, beheadings, torture, rape.
Now more than ever we need to study our Bibles and hit our knees in fervent prayer! I don’t know about you, but I need to spend more time talking to God. God is calling me – and you – to study, watch, and pray.
Know your Bible, Christian! It is your source of armor for this fierce spiritual battle (Ephesians 6).
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17
ALL Scripture. Every word. Not just the ones you like or agree with.
Watch and PRAY.
” ‘Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.’ ” ~ Luke 21:36
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” ~ James 5:16
” ‘Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.’ ” ~ Matthew 25:13
Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering.
The time is short, Christian. Pray for those around us who don’t know Jesus as their Saviour and are lost. Pray that they come to Jesus while they still can. God’s heart’s desire is that all would come to Him!
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” ~ 2 Peter 3:9
” ‘for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ ” ~ Luke 19:10
” ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.’ ” ~ John 3:16-17