These, The Last Days
Paraphrase of (2 Tim 3:1-5)
The last days, (the days we are now living in) that time period from when Christ ascended until He comes back once and for all to destroy the earth and save His people, will be tough, hard, harsh, and difficult. People are going to care more about themselves than anybody else, and their actions will prove that. Money and material things will be more important to them than things that should be important. They will feel the same way about power and prestige.
They will think they know better and think they are better than you, and they will boast while putting you down and stomping on you. They will even laugh at anything God has to say, and many will even deny that there is a God. For sure, they will ignore what His word has to say about the way they should live.
Children will disobey their parents, even adult children. They will be spoiled, rotten brats, ungrateful for what they have, and totally ignorant about who all and what all was sacrificed in order for them to have what they have in a material way. They will totally not understand the price paid to insure they have the freedom to bad mouth that very same freedom.
What has always been considered sacred by those who came before them, like the name of God, will no longer be. It will be just another word in their vocabulary to use along with curse words, or as an exclamation point in their everyday speech. They will populate their speech with four letter words that don’t even make sense.
They will use the word ‘love’, but have no idea what it really means. They will abuse the word love to describe things they lust for. They will preach tolerance and unity at the top of their voices, but fail to tolerate, and will cause division at every turn that doesn’t mimic their ideas. They will demand apologies should anyone disagree with them, but will not forgive. No, they just can’t bring themselves to forgive, not gonna happen. Forgiveness is one sided.
They will call you names, assign belittling titles to you and everybody like you, while they fail to control themselves, and will commit grievous sins, but will be blind to that fact, calling them 'mistakes'. They will gang up, doing and saying things they should not, in order to maintain their hate toward you. As they pat each other on the back for their slander to you, they will solidify their partnership with other evil doers. They will fail to control themselves as they lie, cheat, slander, and smear, but will demand that they not only have the right to behave that way, but that they have the right to demand you accept their behavior.
If you call something good they will call it evil, and what you call evil, they will demand you accept as being good. In their actions toward any who are different than they are, they will express hate, they will be verbally and physically cruel, and there will be no guilt or sorrow in doing so. They will pigeon hole you into a group, and say that you are the haters, you are the problem, you must be the one to change, and oh yes, change to be like them.
As they move from agenda to agenda, they will abuse old friends, and in their blindness form new relationships with anybody willing to take on their point of view. This will include family against family, and they will refuse to agree to disagree or mend relationships because pride is in their way. They can’t put themselves aside even long enough to save a marriage, a friendship or a relationship. In fact, they can’t put themselves aside even long enough to consider a different point of view or belief. No, it’s their way or no way.
They will say things like “if it feels good, do it”, or ‘you deserve to live a little”. Some may even be in the church house on Sunday but they leave God there when they walk out. They will follow their own evil desires, suggesting God will save them in the end, because no loving God can send anybody to hell, in fact, they seem to think hell has burned out as society waters down religion.
They will talk a good game when it comes to religion, but they won’t live one. They will say “do as I say, not as I do.” In doing so, they will miss the most important things in life, things that could make them happy, joyous and spiritually rich. They will miss the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and miss out on the power of having God at the center of their lives. Their half-hearted show of religion will give them a warm and fuzzy feeling, but it won’t prepare them for a face to face with Jesus Christ, the son of God.
Paul the Apostle was warning a young preacher, Timothy, that this would be his world. We know it continues to be our world today. Paul, as he ends these words to Timothy says, “Stay away from people like that!”.
Why Paul, you said that for a reason, why?
The answer is more than obvious. If we rub elbows and share meals and participate in the hate speech, and expose ourselves to everything vile, will we not become just like they are? Will we not be the people Paul warns Christians to stay away from? Are not some self professed, so-called “religious” people today exactly the definition of those we are to avoid in this passage.
In closing, we all sin, and fall short of God’s glory and require His precious gift of grace obtained through obedience in order for God to claim us. So I’m not suggesting that we are perfect, and the object of today’s post isn’t to say how bad “they” are or how good “we” are. Paul had a stern warning for Timothy, to help keep him pure and walking in Jesus’ footsteps. Let us understand these words of Paul as the same warning to us, and let us heed Paul’s insistence that we avoid rubbing elbows with such people, so that we may walk upright and holy in an ungodly world as best we can, knowing it’s only with the blood of Jesus that we have any hope ourselves.