2 Timothy 3:1-9 – “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.” NKJV
There is a song from the late 50’s, “Standing on the Corner” released by the Four Lads where the guy was standing on the corner watching all the girls go by and deemed it to be the best occupation possible. In Matthew 7, Jesus spoke of identifying people by their fruit and that is impossible without observation. Some people are self-appointed fruit inspectors and watch others in order to judge and by comparing themselves with others they feel elevated in their spiritual walk. The apostle Paul warned of that approach and said if we compare ourselves to others we are not wise. However, the Bible does tell us to watch and we are to know those who labor among us and that is not possible without observation. Much can be discerned about a person by watching and listening.
Paul gives Timothy an easy method of identifying the Last Days and the Perilous Times that would come. He does that through identifying the characteristics exhibited by people and I believe it would be worthwhile for us to consider those characteristics and determine the Times in which we are now living. Without attempting to be exhaustive or exegete each characteristic let’s list them and you can dig a little deeper separately.
What are the characteristics of people in the Last Days that lead us to Perilous or Dangerous Times?
- Men will be Lovers of Self – – They will be self-centered, self-absorbed, interested in pursuing their own interests regardless of how it affects or impacts others. They will be more than narcissists, they will be selfish and idolize self.
- Lovers of Money – – A simple understanding is covetous and absorbed with the power and influence it affords. Driven by the dollar and captivated by possessions.
- Boasters – – Filled with vainglory and have an inflated view of their own worth and ability.
- Proud – – Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall and these people are full of themselves and their pedigree the standard by which they judge others.
- Blasphemers – – Rejecting the knowledge and authority of God, booing him at their political conventions, banning him from the public arena, and unafraid to speak impiously of God.
- Disobedient to Parents – – Can we not see this is a present problem? I’ve observed head-strong children tell their parents what to do when to do it, and how to do it. I’m talking about underage children using profanity toward their parents and demanding their way or threatening a tantrum. I can tell you how that would be been received by my parents and my children can tell you how I would have responded.
- Unthankful – – I am often shocked at how few people express any gratitude and how seldom I hear ‘thank you’ or ‘please.’ I’ve watched people receive the blessings of the Lord or a gift from someone and demonstrate no thankfulness whatsoever but rather look askance at the giver and gift.
- Unholy – – Morality is absent, anything goes is the mindset, and they live without any semblance of piety or reverence for God and the things of God.
Time won’t permit me to list each one and reflect on them so shall we list them and you contemplate if they are present realities in our society. 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. I’m sure that each of you can identify numerous of those traits and characteristics in encounters you had just yesterday.
Paul’s warning was TURN AWAY FROM THEM and realize that a little leaven leavens the entire lump. Bad company corrupts good morals and taints the life and darkens the testimony. It leads to deception. We are seeing each of those traits or characteristics becoming more and more pronounced and prevalent in today’s society. We need a revival of God to bring us back to our moral foundation. As these characteristics grow darker the world becomes more dangerous. These are reasons to watch people and the pray, pray, pray. God will have a harvest and if we will be on the alert we can be used of the Spirit of God to pluck some as brands from the burning and rescue them from the very gates of hell.
God, bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!