Tuesday, 5 May 2020 2 Timothy 3: 1-17
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” - 2 Timothy 3: 16,17
In our reading today, Paul warns us that godlessness and evil schemes would increase at the approaching end times. At the same time, Paul warns and encourages Timothy (his son in the Lord) to teach the Scripture soundly.
Rev. Billy Graham, 'The world’s greatest missionary evangelist’ (according to Christianity Today, the evangelist of our time) has been “sounding the alarm for humanity to repent and turn from their sin … just as Noah did in ancient days.”
Scripture gives us signs pointing toward the return of the Lord Jesus. Matthew 24:5-8 gives us some important clues to discern the approach of the end times, “For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” An increase in false messiahs, an increase in warfare, famines, plagues, and natural disasters—these are signs of the end times. Beware that these events are only the beginning of the process; the end is yet to come.
Paul also warned that the last days would bring a marked increase in false teaching. “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Tim. 4:1). The last days are described as “perilous times” because of the increasingly evil character of man and people who actively “resist the truth” (2 Tim 3:1-9).
As Paul encourages Timothy that he must continue in the sound doctrine taught to him and in the Holy Scriptures which is able to make one wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. (2 Tim 3:14-15)- we too are to take heed of this command that we may keep ourselves ready for the coming of the Lord.
The Bible gives us clear direction about some vital aspects, which enables us to focus and escape the corruption that would accompany false teachings:
The best placement for man (God intended): “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…”(1 Peter 2:9-10). We are called to make a difference in these dark days.
Self-Assessment and God’s remedy: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him [Jesus] the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). We who are far away from God can come to Him through Jesus Christ who has paid for our sins so that we are acceptable to God.
Clear warning against perilous times and men [Vs.3-5]: Paul states that there will come times of difficulty in the last days. “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.” He warns us to stay away from such people.
Prayer: Lord, enable me to hold fast the inherent truth in the Scripture; then use that SWORD (of the Spirit) to fight and stand as a guardian against the deceit of the devil.