LIVING IN THE END TIMES
Thursday, 19 December 2019
2 Timothy 3 : 1-17
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.” -2 Timothy 3:1
Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit prophetically speaks about “perilous times” with apostasy characterizing the final days of the church age. The severity of such dangerous times will increase as the return of Christ approaches. Paul cautioned Timothy of false teaching that will come in the church and in the passage today he speaks of the last days.
A detailed description of people in the last days is given concluding that these people will be having a form of godliness but denying its power. Paul lists out 21 character traits of worldly people during end times, followed by 9 qualities for Timothy to follow. Finally, Paul anchors it to the Word of God. Though the events of the end times and the attitude of people listed out by Paul will be a reality, the hope for a child of God is his dependency on the Word of God, which is sufficient to make every believer of Jesus Christ adequate and equipped for every good work.
In other words, we can draw a contrast between “wordless” people who are the people of the world and Christians who are rooted in the Word. The marked difference between the two categories will be revealed during the end times.
Characteristics of the people of the world are seen in 2 Timothy 3:2-4:
Lovers of themselves- full of themselves and how to please themselves!
Lovers of money- which will in the end bring them much trouble and grief
Boastful, Proud, Abusive, Treacherous, Blasphemers, etc- thinking so highly of themselves and scoffing at God
Disobedient to parents, Ungrateful, without self-control- when the Bible clearly tells us to honour our parents that all may go well with us, we find disrespect and disobedience to them, amongst many in our day.
Many will be having a form of godliness but denying its power. They may appear/profess to be a Christian but they will reject the power that makes them godly (2 Timothy 3:5). “Denying its power describes religious activity that is not connected to a living relationship with Jesus Christ.” (NKJV Study Bible). It will all be meaningless rituals without having one’s heart in it! This is quite dangerous! Jesus describes such people in Matthew 23:28 NLT: “Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
Let us analyze ourselves in the light of today’s reading. Do we only carry a form of godliness with no true power within us? Do we agree with and follow godless people? May the Holy Spirit convict us in areas we have gone away from Him! When we realize what is wrong in our lives, let us repent and turn back to the Saviour for forgiveness and a new victorious life in Him! Let His Powerful Word which makes us wise for salvation in Jesus Christ also convict, correct, teach us to do right and instruct us to live godly lives in the power of the Holy Spirit!
Think on it:
“Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live.”
-2 Timothy 3:16 CEV
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