2 Timothy 3:1-5 King James Version
3 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
This is quite a list of people to turn away from. The admonishment is not that we should not witness to these people groups mentioned here. We MUST witness to them, but in the loving, gentle, patient way that we talked about in our last lesson. The people on this list are certainly opposing themselves, and must learn to restore themselves to the place where God can guide their path. They have lost their way and will have a hard time coming back if we are not apt to help them along. The types of people mentioned here are indeed the hardest of all to witness to as well. Most are so full of themselves there is no room for anyone else, especially God. But if we can help to get just a little bit of themselves put to the side, there is where our opportunity is to chare the gospel with them. We must watch for these moments carefully and take advantage when we see them arise.
The condition of these men is the reason perilous times have come. When more and more people start to act on the manners described here our society starts to break down. People will not care as much about others. The neighborly manner in which we treat each other will slowly vanish. Responsibility for one’s actions will disappear and accountability will vanish. As a result, people will think they can do whatever they want with impunity. If they are called out for their immoral behavior, the one who is on the right side will be called wring and will face persecution. Right will become wrong and wrong will become right. The biblical morality we once lived by will be replaced by an ever-changing worldly morality that will cater to the whim of those who have given into the lusts of the world.
Can anyone truly deny that we are currently seeing this happen today more than just 10 years ago? I can give a hundred examples of this but I will stick with a few. We see school shootings and mass shootings going up all the time. Instead of centering on the critical problem that is driving these shootings, we say it’s the fault of the gun that person is handling. Instead of doing a better job tracking and tacking care of those with mentality issues. We let them loose on a society that has little protection from them. Instead of defending our schools in practical ways we simply lock the doors, making it even worse if a shooter does get in somehow. The shooter is rarely held accountable as they should be. They get a prison cell where they are catered to and the taxpayer pays for their life to the tune of $50,000 a year. There they can finally get the help they need, but they rarely do. Here we see these attributes form the list above: disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, fierce, despisers of those that are good.
The second example I will site is the prevalence of the gender identity discussion. We are adding genders all the time instead of just looking at a person and knowing what sex they are biologically. I hear on Facebook you can now choose from 56 different genders when choosing a sexual identity. We wonder why our children are confused? In our schools, it is taught that it does not matter if you identify as any of these genders. All should be accepted for who they are and what they are. In many states it is against the law to council those that are claiming such status as is against their biological identity. You have to let them do whatever they want to do. I cannot imagine what our society will look like when the next generation takes over. It will be sexual nirvana for those who are raised in it, but total sexual chaos for everyone else. In the list above, we see lovers of their own selves, covetousness, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, without natural affection and blasphemers in this group.
This is only the beginning of what we are seeing today. Our society is falling farther short of the glory of God every day and people are caring less and less about it. In fact, our minds are being numbed to what God wants as our ability to express disgust with these things is challenged more and more by what is becoming the mainstream. Godly ways are called wrong, worldly passions are indulged in and no one seems to care. It is harder and harder to find someone that will stand up for what is right and decent. Harder and harder to speak the truth. Harder and harder to witness to those whose hearts are gone so far away.
We must turn away from hanging around with such people all the time because we might get pulled into their own ditches and mistruths. We might find ourselves sympathizing with them. We must turn away from all these practices, which I am not going to try and explain one by one. We must turn away from close friendships that might entangle us. But we cannot turn away from doing everything we can to get them to trust us sop that we might bring the truth to them. And we must present that truth in the method that Paul explains at the end of the previous chapter: with gentleness, patience and meekness. We must slowly instruct them in the ways of a God who loves them just as much as He loves us. God’s desire is to have them turn from their ungodly ways, to stop opposing themselves and to come back to Him. Can we be such witnesses for the Lord? They may all look on the outside like they are godly but they do not know God’s power to save. Many would love to be saved from their ways, but they deny there is a power that can do that. We must show them the power of God unto salvation that is Jesus Christ. They need that power to touch their lives, and we can be the instrument of God to make that happen. Let us not leave them to the devil’s whims. Let us shine our light so brightly that they will be drawn to us!