Godlessness in the Last Days
3 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.
All Scripture Is Breathed Out by God
You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.”1 Timothy 3:1
End Times thoughts are pretty much on people’s hearts a lot it seems. It is a topic that even those who are not Believers wonder about and question. In particular with the world-changing so dramatically it seems, I mean, almost week by week we hear of something new happening that is shocking and appalling across this globe, we wonder ourselves. I know I have.
Since Jesus’ words in Matthew 24 of what to expect before He returns that final time; the Gospel writers and New Testament writers speak of being in the Last Days and even the Revelation of John compared to the apocalyptic writings of the Old Testament have brought much discussion and debate. And almost 2000 years have passed since Jesus Himself spoke of it, and yet here we are.
The Last Days began after Jesus’ resurrection when the Holy Spirit came upon those first Believers at Pentecost. These Last Days will continue until Christ’s Second Coming. And so although we attempt in our own small way of thinking to put this statement into reality, the reality is we are living in the Last Days.
So Paul’s statement to Timothy and then in-depth thoughts that follow is him bringing a sense of urgency. It’s a call to Timothy on two levels I believe. The first is to never forget this world is not our own, things will come to an end whether in our lifetime or a generation to come. We must stay diligent in our faith and walk with Jesus Christ.
But the second and more fascinating aspect at least to Paul’s writing here is he doesn’t go into ‘signs and wonders’ of the Last Days – he speaks specifically of the perilous times coming through the attitudes of humankind. As John Calvin writes, he’s not speaking of bad times, but bad people. That really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? This is the sort of atmosphere that will mark the Last Days.
In light of the entire letter to Timothy, it is a call for discernment. He’s encouraging him to stay firm, stay committed and fight the good fight of faith. That same encouragement is for us. Who knows when Jesus will return? But we should live each day, with the fast pace change of our world, not in fear, but with a determination to live for Christ. We must stand against evil and do everything within our being to be ready for that glorious event.
2 Timothy 3 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
We have already seen it mentioned times over the last several chapters, but Paul once again is warning Timothy of the godlessness which will take place in the future. The identifying characteristic for the “last days” will be the behavior of people. They will be religious and rebellious.
A Form Of Godliness
Paul’s listing is self-explanatory. All these traits center around selfishness and pride. But verse 5 is particularly intriguing. They will have the appearance of godliness without its power. So, let’s first ask ourselves, where does the power of godliness come from? The obvious answer is Jesus, but more specifically, that power manifests itself in us when we begin to look more like Christ. An appearance of godliness is a man-made system of religion that ultimately relies on self instead of Jesus.
People like this are always searching for something new and exciting. They jump from one thing to the next looking for that next temporary high, but they never are satisfied. But the other factor here is that these people believe they are Christians. For instance, the “form of godliness” may be talking with a certain spiritual lingo to convince others of their depth. It may involve a rigorous system of discipline to restrain their sinful habits. It may be that they work themselves into a frenzied emotional state.
Spiritual lingo, discipline, and emotional experiences could be legitimate proof of spiritual maturity. They could also be fake. The proof is always found in the fruit. Over time, we will be able to see if these actions lead to a glorification of Christ and His characteristics or a glorification of self as well as a justification of sin. This is the critical point Paul is making when he writes that they “deny His power.”
“From such turn away – not only do not imitate them, but have no kind of fellowship with them; they are a dangerous people, and but seldom suspected, because their outside is fair.”Adam Clarke