“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come” (2 Tim. 3:1).
The Holy Spirit through Paul was warning more than Timothy about troubling times. Timothy was to pass on the truth about the troubles making “full proof of thy ministry” (2 Tim. 4:5). What kind of minister would Timothy be if he was given a warning and did not pass it on to others who would face the same trials? The troubles of those days appear to be alive and well even today. One only has to look and listen briefly to the news of the morning to realize that things are not all right with the world. Peter warned the Christians about the suffering that was coming (cf. 1 Peter 4:12). Consider three areas of trials that are found in such perilous times.
- Self-centered Egotism. Paul wrote further, “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers,” (2 Tim. 3:2). The “me-generation” lived long ago. The philosophy that life is all about “me, myself, and I” is a perilous journey toward a horrible end. While there are opportunities for each person to improve himself, life is not about self-actualization. Man was created to glorify God (cf. 1 Cor. 10:31). Whenever man loses sight of that and seeks to glorify self, he has placed his feet on a path that will abuse and use anything and anyone to get what one thinks is his due. All sin ultimately comes back to what man desires for himself that is contrary to the will of God (cf. James 1:14-15).
- Sacrificing of Home and Family Values. Again, Paul wrote, “disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection,” (2 Tim. 3:2-3). A deterioration of the home and its values as founded by God (cf. Ps. 127:1) is a path of self-destruction. Some were brought up in anything but the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4) and never explored that there was a proper, successful way to live. They did nothing but repeat the mistakes of their upbringing. Others were trained “in the way he should go” (Prov. 22:6) but in time rejected it as a viable course of life (cf. 2 Chron. 12:14). The turmoil that exists today among the homes and families that do not have God as their focus spills over into society. One lives his life based upon his value system, whether it be righteous or unrighteous.
- Sensual Approach of Daily Living. Paul wrote further, “trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those what are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Tim. 3:3-5). It should be no surprise that lying, violence, pleasure seeking and even shallow religious conviction fill the daily living of those who seek life minimizing or totally without God. Terrorism in all forms is found here. Crime and the abuse of mankind’s rights are found here. Life is lived like that of the jungle. It truly is as Isaiah stated, “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked” (Isa. 48:22). Solomon wrote clearly, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34). It is written again, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Ps. 9:17). Jesus came to bring life and that more abundantly (cf. John 10:10). The peace so sought after by people can only be found in the Prince of peace (cf. Isa. 9:6; John 16:33).