2 Timothy 3

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Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Passage

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This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that 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.

For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.

10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Analysis

Perilous Times and Wicked Men

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The last days, in which we are even now living (for we know not the day nor the hour in which Christ shall return), it will be dangerous for all men, but most especially for the believers. Persecution has always been with us, for as they persecuted Christ so too do they persecute His flock, but the persecution will continue to grow as time goes on.

All men, young and old, women and men, and even among those who claim the name of Christ, shall be lovers of their own selves. They will be selfish people obsessed with appearances, focused on their own desires, thoughts, and beliefs instead of those of others and our Lord. They will covet that to which they have no right nor claim, boast of their many deeds (even if they’re not real or are highly exaggerated), take pride in everything about themselves (even that which is abhorrent), blaspheme the name of God, disobey their parents (if they have parents at all – single parenthood is a blight on any society), have no gratitude for anything they have been given, and lack holiness.

The Depraved State of Fallen Man

All this we can see online every day – people claim they have a “right” to other people’s possessions and earnings and demand these things be taken from those who have and given to those who have not. People post status updates on social media boasting of their travels, their daily lives, their jobs, and anything else that they touch (even if they must lie). Pride movements that seek not to build up those who belong to them, but rather to tear down those who are not among them, are rampant (and many of the things which people take “pride” in are abhorrent – sexual deviancy, failure to take care of their bodies, sicknesses of mind and spirit, their obsessions, and much more). They blaspheme the name of God everywhere (some directly, as the atheists, and some indirectly as the wicked “Christians”), and they preach disobedience to parents from such places as Disney’s films, popular television programs, and much of the other content targeted at children. They are not grateful to live in a free society where one’s merits can overcome their circumstances of birth, to have food and shelter provided by parents or taxpayers, to have access to the vast stores of information online, or anything else which they have received. And they are unholy, being entirely like unto the world and its masters (the spiritual forces of darkness in the high places), searing their consciences to hide from the truths of right and wrong.

But there is more we can say of these last-days men. They lack natural affection (the affection of a man for his wife and a woman for her husband, the affections of parents for the children, the affections of children for their parents, and the affections of neighbors for one another), replacing them with unnatural affections for unknown persons, imaginary idols, homosexual deviants, con artists, and other people of ill repute and ill will. They break truces, preferring to use the good will of others as a weapon to destroy them rather than to live at peace. They make false and slanderous accusations against others, bringing the innocent before the courts of law and public opinion to harm them unjustly, making pariahs of decent people and imprisoning the innocent, all without being disciplined when their falsehoods are discovered. They are without power, yet they use their powerlessness as a weapon, claiming a victim status to bludgeon the kind and the just, but constantly in fear of being uncovered as incontinent and weak-willed fools. They are fierce in the way a paper tiger is fierce, all the more bold in attacking their opponents because their ferocity is the only thing covering their impotence, for they hate all that is right and good.

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These people are traitors, to their nations (that is, their own people with whom they share blood and ought to share common culture and morality), to their countries (by violating and undermining the very laws that bind such a society together while calling their homes wicked and shameful), to their families (by rejecting natural affection and natural laws that produce upright and strong offspring, by despising their parents, and by shirking the burdens of birthing and raising the next generation as husband and wife), to their own causes (as many “feminists” have caused irreparable harm to women, sexually abused one another, and otherwise set back their own proclaimed causes), and to themselves (for they do not care for themselves as one ought). They are heady and highminded, reckless in their pursuit of their own glorification, destroying that which is good when it displeases them even if doing so causes them harm, rejecting truth out of hand because they believe their feelings overrule them. And they seek after pleasure constantly, rejecting the joy and wisdom in God for temporary and destructive pleasures of the flesh, drinking themselves into stupors, ingesting and injecting drugs that bring short-term pleasure at the cost of their physical and mental well-being, engaging in easy but sexually-depraved acts that result in ailments of the flesh and mind, and prizing short-term benefits to their wallets or “self-esteem” over long-term proceedings that yield lasting financial stability and mental health.

Such people are not of God. They have a form of godliness, for they are made in the image of God and carry themselves as upstanding and righteous people, but they are of their father the devil. While all men have a “god-shaped hole”, as some have put it, they exchange the right and natural worship of their creator for the worship of causes and idols and false doctrines. Even among those who claim to be of Christ, many worship a god of their own imagining, despising the God described in Scripture and the Christ who came to save them from their sins (which, to their minds, are not sins in need of salvation). They speak boldly and loudly, with conviction that comes from the heart, but they speak falsely and with their own gain in mind, driven by the spirit of this world rather than the Holy Spirit. They deny the power of godliness and the realities of the spiritual nature of man, yet they themselves attempt to wield such power and soothe their own spirits.

The Dangers of the Wicked

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These are people we must avoid at all costs, for our own sanity and spiritual well-being. Do not turn them away if they seek after truth and salvation, but rather stay away from what they preach and do. They are agents of destruction, whether they know it or not, and while they act as agents of destruction they cannot be trusted.

How do they come upon you? They are the sort that invade your home while you are unaware, whether by a book you idly flip through or a show you binge or a blog you frequent, or disguised as a good friend or acquaintance. You do not know the damage they will bring, nor what they will do, because they themselves often are unaware, but before you know it they are in your head sowing seeds of doubt, selfishness, and profanity that would surely doom you were it not for the grace and mercy of our Father. Worse, still, because the world is filled with such depravity and profanity, you can hardly tell the malicious agents in your midst from any other in the world.

They come to steal away that which is precious. Sometimes this is plain and obvious, as when a rapist enters the home and destroys a woman’s innocence and chastity, but other times it is less so. They can come appearing as good and just people, only to bring destruction (again I reference the many “feminists” who have been caught in their sexual abuses, and the “Conservatives” who preach moderation and wisdom but vote for excessive debts and destructive policies, and many more such people). They seek to lead the foolish into deeper and deeper sin, to draw them into destruction by way of their diverse lusts. They ensnare your mind, draw out and feed your most depraved nature, feed you new “knowledge” that is devoid of truth, and drag you closer and closer to the very hell from which we are saved.

Many are the forms of these wicked people. Some come as learned men, waving their degrees and academic stations as a banner of authority, but speaking only falsehoods and rhetoric designed to ensnare the foolish and the unsaved. Others come as moral arbiters, preaching the falseness and evil of those good things in this world, and demanding others follow their strictures and abandon truth and goodness. Still others come as raiders and terrorists, destroying what others have built, taking that which they have not earned, and beating others into submission either through the law or through unlawful force. Many guises, all masking the same evil.

Their Folly is their Doom

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Take heart, my brethren, for our Lord Jesus Christ has overcome the world. The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church, nor can our God be defied. Already, the seeds of their destruction are sown, and they shall reap a plentiful harvest in due time.

These are people who resist truth, as the Pharaoh’s magicians resisted Moses. Moses was backed by God, who performed many miracles and wonders that even the magicians could not match, but still they defied Moses by imitation and mockery. They are all reprobate concerning the faith, rejecting and supplanting the plain truths before them in order to destroy others and hide from the truths of their own sins. They are corrupt of mind and spirit, and this corruption is their undoing.

They cannot long survive in this state. Already their follies are being made manifest to all men. The peoples of Western countries are becoming fully conscious of the many foolish and destructive acts of their own governments, and they are taking steps to correct these errors (peacefully, now, but if history is any indication warfare may yet break out). The term “Churchian” has taken root and spread, denoting those “Christian” teachers and congregations that claim the name of Christ but worship another. Many movements that have reigned for a generation are falling under the weight of their own follies – feminism is being destroyed by hysterical women and sexually abusive men, “anti-racism” movements are being destroyed by the racism of their members and leaders, and even some of the atheist branches are being destroyed by the vacuum inherent to atheist belief.

Continue in Faith

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But we who are in Christ know Him. We are endowed with the Holy Spirit, who brings into remembrance all that Christ has taught. We have the Scriptures, which the Spirit makes plain to our eyes, so that we can fully understand the doctrine taught by the saints, their purposes, their faith, their charity, their patience, and their longsuffering endurance. We can know the persecutions that fell on our brethren, the struggles they endured, and the goodness of the God who delivered them from such trials. That same God is our God, who preserved his prophets in the fiery furnace, who brought his people out of Egypt into a good land of their own, who sent his promised Son to be our Messiah, who preserved the saints and even now preserves us.

All that will live godly lives in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. The world hates us, for we were once damned like them but are now made alive and holy through the blood of our Lord. Yet we are promised that no persecution will be too great for us to bear, and our Lord will be with us until the very end of the age.

Thanks be to God for all his mercies! His love endures forever!

But evil men and seducing spirits will continue to work in this world until Christ returns. They will become worse and worse, emboldened by the spirits that drive them in fear of the coming wrath, empowered by the spiritual forces of darkness of this world. They will deceive and be deceived, falling prey to one another’s folly as they also fall prey to their own. Yet, we who are in Christ can continue in what we have learned and been assured of, for we know the God who delivered these teachings and the saints who passed them down to us. We know our God, and we know that he protects us, so we can be as bold as the worst of the heretics and depraved in the knowledge that we are right.

Scripture – Inspired by God, and Useful

We have learned the Holy Scriptures (or, at least, that is what we are to learn). Many of us have learned them from our childhood, and others have learned them at later stages of life, yet all of us are gifted with the Holy Spirit that makes the truths of Scripture clear to us. We can be bold in living and teaching according to what is present within the Scripture.

For all scripture is given by inspiration of God – it is His teaching, and His truth, recorded by men guided by His Spirit. It is profitable for many things – teaching and learning all manner of eternal truths, rebuking all manner of falsehoods and evil teachings, correcting misconceptions and misunderstandings, and instructing others in how we ought to think and live (orthodoxy and orthopraxy). This gift of Scripture is for us, so that we might be perfect as God is perfect, thoroughly prepared for all good works which God has prepared in advance for us to do.

Thanks be to God!

Let us Pray

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Thanks be to God, who sates the thirsty, who feeds the hungry, and who opens the door to those who knock upon it. Surely his goodness and mercy shall be with us all the days of our lives, and we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Preserve us against the wickedness of the world, Lord, for you have called us to be holy. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evils around us and the evils of our sinful flesh that, even now, seek after our own destruction. Grant us discernment, that we might rightly divide good from evil and truth from falsehood. Make us holy, as You are holy.

And, Lord, we pray for the world that is lost in sin and death. We pray that all might become faithful unto You, according to your will, and we ask that you spare them the wrath that we have all rightly deserved. If they persecute us for Your sake, Lord, let us endure with glad hearts and speak all the more boldly. If they should be brought to faith, Lord, make them holy as you are holy. And if they should despise us, mock us, spit upon You, exchange all truth for folly, and punish the righteous but reward the wicked, Lord, let us be bolder still in speaking Your Word and living as You have commanded us to live. In that day of persecution, Lord, preserve us against the wiles of the wicked and deliver us unto You in accordance with your promises.

We ask these things knowing that it is not in vain. You have promised to hear us, and You are our Father who gives all good gifts. In Your holy name, Father, and the name of your Son Jesus, who is Immanuel and the Christ, and in the name of your Holy Spirit, we ask all things.

Amen.

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I have been a false Christian and a pagan, but now I seek to serve the Lord.