Study Notes

2Timothy 3:1-15

3:1 In The Last Days

Although we as Christians tend to think of the last days as referring to only the short time leading up to the Great Tribulation, the term actually refers to the days since the ministry of Jesus Christ. The writer of Hebrews said, "God...

Hebr. 1:2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son...

The writer of Hebrews was living in the Biblical period known as the last days.

But as this period progresses, we are coming to the last of the last days, the beginning of the end. Jesus often referred to the last days in reference to the end of them, the end of the age, the time of the resurrection of men (John 6), the time when judgment would come (John 12:48), the time when God's Spirit would be poured out upon all mankind (Acts 2:17).

The church has always lived in the last days, but we are approaching the culmination, the finale of them. We can tell by looking at the world around us and comparing them to what the Bible says about this period.

Some may think that this is wrong to do, that we shouldn't be trying to discern the days that we live in. But on the contrary, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for not doing this.

Matt. 16:1-3 And the Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Him asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. But He answered and said to them, "When it is evening, you say, ‘ {It will be} fair weather, for the sky is red.' And in the morning, {‘There will be} a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot {discern} the signs of the times?

We are most certainly supposed to discern, to judge, the signs of the times.

By the way, the Greek word for "last" is ES-khat-os. This is why we call the study of the last days "eschatology."

Difficult Times

As the last days progress, difficult times will come. Difficult for who? For the righteous. Why? How will they be difficult? Because in the last days, mankind is going to become increasingly more evil. As the human race continues to reject God and pursue its own wickedness, life will become more and more perilous for those who desire to live righteously. It will not be enough for the unrighteous to practice their wickedness, but they will attempt to force the righteous to accept their practices, to embrace their evil. And when they do not, they will become violently opposed to them.

Take for example the sinners in the city of Sodom. The Bible says,

Gen. 13:13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the LORD.

At first, the wicked people in the city were accepting of their coexistence with Lot, a righteous man who lived in the city. But eventually, when he would not accept their sin as normal or righteous, they turned violent against him and his household. They said, "he is acting like a judge." They surrounded his house and tried to break in to attack.

This is a picture of what happens to the righteous as the days turn more evil. No longer content to practice wickedness in private, they begin to parade in the streets, to make their unrighteous acts lawful and normal. When the righteous protest and refuse to accept, then the righteous are accused of being judgmental and intolerant. Ultimately, the righteous are attacked, good being called evil and evil being called good.

3:2-4 Attributes Of People In The Last Days

Paul lists many things that we can expect near the end of this age that we call the last days. Unfortunately, the list sounds exactly like what we see in our society today.

Lovers Of Money

Mankind has always loved money. Greed seems to be a natural byproduct of being a sinful human being. Indeed, one of most children's first words is "mine!" But we have seen in these recent times an incredible increase in the love of money. More than ever before, we are obsessed with the stock market, the accumulation of wealth, the security to be found in retirement plans.

I don't want to sound like a gloom and doom prophet, but if you love money, you will be abandoned by your lover. You are in store for a huge disappointment. James prophesied,

James 5:1-3 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!

In the last days, there will be such an incredible financial crisis on the earth that gold and silver is described as rusting! Are you trusting in your IRA, your CD, your technology stocks, or your 401K? Are you trusting in the equity of your home, or your prospering business?

You should be trusting in the Lord. Because all of these things are going to be destroyed in the last days.

Disobedient To Parents

As the last days progress, children are described as being disobedient to parents. How we have seen this nightmare come true! Discipline is non-existent, and the authority of mothers and fathers is quickly being legislated away under the guise of protecting children from abuse.

Children are being taught in our schools to threaten their parents, saying, "If you spank me, I'll report you for child abuse."

Parents, I want to warn you. No matter how difficult the days become and the laws are made, you need to continue to discipline and spank your children. The Bible says that if you do not, then you hate them, that you desire nothing good for them, that they will die without it.

Prov. 13:24 He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.

Prov. 19:18 Discipline your son while there is hope, And do not desire his death.

Prov. 23:13-14 Do not hold back discipline from the child, Although you beat him with the rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from Sheol.

Without firm discipline, your child will rebel against you, against the Lord, and against righteousness. My children never died when I spanked them. But they would be on the path to hell if I hadn't.

Haters Of Good

Because men love the darkness, they hate the light. When you live righteously, and love goodness, the unrighteous will hate you. Take comfort though, Jesus knows this.

John 15:18-19 "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before {it hated} you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."

Today, men are haters of good. It is more acceptable in many people's sight to be a homosexual witch supporting abortion than to be a married pro-life Christian. Truly saints, the days are evil.

3:5 Form Without Power

Meanwhile, the church itself has embraced wickedness and evildoers. We have brought homosexuals, psychologists, and atheists into our pulpits. Thus, we have by and large seen that the church is embracing a form of godliness, but denying its power. We follow the rituals, but have no relationship with our Creator. We dress the dress but don't walk the walk. We have the buildings, but no foundation. Paul said "avoid such men as these." My continual prayer is that God would shut the doors of every liberal, Christ-denying church in our city. There are those of us that could really use their buildings!

3:6-7 Those Who Enter And Capture

These false teachers now have the ability to enter into women's households. They don't come in through the door, but through the television set. These poor people are held captive by these eloquent, well-dressed teachers. But they are teachers of heresy! Thus, their students are always learning, but never coming to a knowledge of the truth. Saints, the heresy flows so abundantly through these false prophets, that the best piece of advice that I could ever give you is to turn off TBN and every other so-called Christian TV station and just read your Bible instead.

3:8-9 Men Who Oppose The Truth

Jannes and Jambres were the magicians that opposed Moses in Exodus 7. They were religious men, and proved their power by duplicating the miracles that Moses brought. In the last days, false teachers will also demonstrate their power with signs and wonders.

Jesus warned us,

Matt. 24:2-254 "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance."

So just because someone is getting up out of their wheelchair doesn't mean that the preacher is of God. The antichrist will also be doing signs and wonders. He is...

2Ths. 2:9-10 the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.

Don't be deceived by miracles. Listen to the messengers' message instead.

3:10-12 Persecution For Righteousness

Instead of being like the people of the last days, we should be living as the apostle Paul did. Teaching the same gospel, having the same faith, living the same righteous life.

But be warned, if you live a godly life, you will suffer persecution for it in these last days. Are you willing to go against the flow of a wicked world in exchange for eternal life?

3:13-15 Salvation Through Faith

If you are not a born-again Christian here today, it has probably become obvious to you that the Christianity that most people see is not the Christianity of the Bible. It's not about the TV evangelists, or the preachers that beg for money. It's about the fact that each human being is a sinner, separated from God.

But the good news of Christianity is that

Rom. 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

If you by faith will receive the free gift of God, you will be saved.

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