2 Timothy 3:1 –9, 4:3 – 4
In the Last Days
I. Evil will be loose.
A. Described as “terrible” (KJV = “perilous”)
1. The image of dangerous:
a. General threat of physical violence.
b. A spiritual threat.
2. The image of wearing a person out:
a. Satan (and evil) is relentless.
b. There is a continual grind resisting evil and sin.
B. A “short” list (not inclusive but tpyical).
1. Lovers of themselves = selfish.
2. Covetous = “lovers of money.”
3. Boasters = bragging.
4. Proud = “appearing above others.”
5. “Blasphemers” (abusive) = “to say harmful things against.”
6. “Disobedient to parents = “unteachable/unpersuadable.”
7. “Untruthful” (ungrateful) = thankless or impolite.
8. “Unholy” (wicked) = this is the Greek word for “hurtful.”
9. “Without natural affection” (without love) = the idea is to have a hard heart towards those we should love, e.g. parents, children, husband/wife.
10. “Truce breakers” (unforgiving) = “without offering/devotion.”
11. “False accusers” (slanderous) = this is the word for “devil.”
12. “Incontinent” (without self-control) = “powerless.” The idea is a lack of voluntary restraint, out of control.
13. “Fierce” (brutal) = “savage” or uncivilized, lacking basic things like manners and civility.
14. “Despisers of those that are good” (not lovers of the good) = “hostile/hater of virtue.”
15. “Traitors” (treacherous) = “to give first” or surrender.
16. “Heady” (rash) = “falling forward” with the idea of reckless and out of control.
17. “High minded” (conceited) = “to inflate with smoke.”
18. “Lovers of pleasure more (rather) than lovers of God.” = the Greek word picture is false brother.
***** The word “love” appears six times in this Greek text. Every time it is perverted. *****
II. The “spiritual” will be powerless.
A. The problem:
1. There will be a FORM of godliness.
1.) It will look real.
2.) It will have all the motions.
3.) It will have all the language/vocabulary.
b. BUT it will not be real.
2. It will DENY the power of authentic Christianity.
a. Deny = contradict or refuse.
b. Say we believe but act differently (C. S. Lewis called them “practical atheist’)
B. The reasons for the problem:
1. “Silly” or “weak-willed.”
a. Gullible = “naked heart.”
b. People who are easily influenced.
2. “Laden with sins” (loaded with sins)
a. Satan’s only control is in sin.
b. Death’s only sting is in sin.
3. “Lead away by diverse lusts” (swayed by all kinds of evil desires)
a. “lead away” (swayed) = “driven” not “lured” as in James 1:14 – 15.
b. lusts/desires can be addictive... puts us into slavery of sin.
4. “Ever (always) learning and never able to come to the knowledge (never able to acknowledge) the truth.”
a. “knowledge” = full discernment or understanding.
b. In other words, never coming to a conclusion or action based on belief.
***** Laden with sins, diverse lusts, and ever learning are all related to the fact that we are lovers of ourselves (selfish) which makes us easily mislead.
III. Resistance to truth is the standard.
A. An illustration = Jannes and Jambres (tradition says they were the Egyptian magicians that resisted Moses).
1. (v 8) corrupt minds.
b. NIV uses “depraved” meaning tainted, impure, influence for evil.
2. “Reprobate” concerning the faith (rejected)
a. reprobate = “recklessly extravagant, unprincipled.
b. a person that rejects faith as excessive or unprovable. (Contrast with 2 Timothy 2:15)
***** This rejection is not necessarily in words or deeds – it is in influence. *****
B How we walk into the trap (2 Timothy 4:3 – 4)
1. “Not endure (put up with) sound doctrine.”
a. endure = “hold oneself up against.”
b. sound = “healthy.”
c. doctrine = “teaching.”
2. “Heap up (gather around them a great number) to themselves teachers.
Amos 8:11 “The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land--not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of HEARING the words of the LORD.”
***** The famine is not in the availability, it is in the hearing... How can God’s word be so plentiful and there be a famine? *****
a. We accumulate and seek additional teachers.
1.) Gives us the option to pick and chose what we like and don’t like.
2.) Objective: we can/never will do a thing.
***** We play one against the other. We accumulate so much information that 10 life times would not be enough to do what is learned. We play comparison games. The effect of all this is to DEADEN the sense of the Holy Spirit at work. This leads to a practical abandoning of the faith. *****
b. This comes from:
1.) Our own desires (lusts).
2.) Itching ears: endless curiosity and desire for variety.
3. “Turn away from the truth... turned unto fables.” (Notice this describing the “believer” not the ingorant.)
a. turn away = turn back, pervert.
b. fables = myth, fiction, stories.
***** In the “last days” love will be twisted and perverted, which will allow sin to go unchecked. *****
***** In the “last days” the “spiritual” will be mislead (heaping sins, driven by desire, always learning, never understanding). *****
***** In the “last days” believers will avoid sound doctrine through the multiplication of teachers for the sake of diversity and curiosity. *****