READ OR LISTEN TO PART 1 HERE!
In our last blog we started exploring what Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-5:
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…2 Timothy 3:1-5
Verse 2 started with “For men shall be” because the characteristics of people during the last days perilous times make it APPARENT what time it is. We already dug into the first 9 descriptions the Bible gives in this passage; let’s dig into 9 more. Why? Not to condemn people or to give in to fear, but to understand the times, minister to those we encounter, and make sure we don’t conform to the times we’re living in.
Our downward progression continues with trucebreakers. These are people who make a deal, cut a covenant, or have a treaty with someone and just… break it. Their word means nothing and their promises are empty.
For example, if someone loans others money, they always have a reason to break the truce. Some will even borrow money, promise to pay it back and don’t, but then go on vacation. It goes back to being lovers of self so for last days trucebreakers, it’s all about them and what “self” wants to do, rather than keeping their word or God’s word.
2. False Accusers
“False accusers” in 2 Tim. 3:3 is very interesting because it’s from a Greek word diabolos (S:1228) which usually is translated devil. Like the devil, a false accuser is a slanderer.
They talk badly about people (usually with an attitude), accusing with little regard for truth and tearing down people’s names and reputations. They’ll slander people and drag their names through the mud, gossiping, repeating falsehoods, and harming them without a second thought.
Incontinent means powerless or without power, so speaks of someone without self-control. We hear of incontinence in modern times relative to the common medical concern where people have a physical challenge controlling their bladder.
Similarly, the incontinent the Bible describes lack temperance and self-control so they are are completely unrestrained. Rather than being moderate, restrained, or contained within the right limits, the incontinent do whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want, wherever they want, with whomever they want. Incontinent!
Fierce is from a Greek word defined as savage or not tame, and that breaks down to not gentle. The fierce are not calm or self-controlled, but wild and hostile.
This fierceness is evident in the violence, anger, and intensity of the times. In scripture, when you see the word fierce it’s usually in conjunction with anger or wrath, which is consistent with the climate and conflict in the last days. Rather than having self-control, meekness, love, patience, or gentleness, many people in the last days (often wounded by the other negative behaviors of this time) are fierce.
5. Despisers of those that are good
In perilous times men shall be despisers of those that are good. This means they are hostile to virtue and opposed to goodness. Whereas a bishop must be “a lover of good men” (Titus 1:7-8), this Greek word is literally the opposite. They’ll despise you for doing and being good. You do the right thing or hold to God’s Word and people get mad!
Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” You definitely can see this happening in the last days.
We use the word traitors a lot in modern times but the Biblical definition is interesting to consider. It speaks of giving or surrendering another into the enemy’s hands.
Traitors sell others out, and turn them into an enemy. When they used to fight with and for someone, they’ll turn around and fight against them. That betrayal, though occurring throughout history (Judas is a prime example), is characteristic of men in the last times, and a logical part of the progression when people are selfish, unthankful, trucebreakers, false accusers, and fierce.
Heady speaks of being rash, headlong, and off the cuff. The Greek word literally means “falling forwards” because their headstrong and reckless actions don’t end well. Rather than using wisdom and obeying the written word, the heady do what pops in their head to do.
Their actions are not based on the word of God, but on what they THINK. The heady do what seems right to themselves, neglecting the Biblical fact that “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12; cp. Prov. 16:25).
The highminded will probably remind you of the proud and boasters, but that makes sense because pride is such a major problem during perilous times. The highminded are puffed up – inflated with self-conceit and lifted up with pride.
The highminded (like Satan in Isa. 14:13-14) think their way is better than God’s way so they disregard God’s Word and disrespect God’s order. Their arrogance and elevated view of themselves clouds their judgment and causes them to detrimentally step out of line.
9. Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God
Finally, we see our list end with where it started: with the focus of our LOVE. Verse 2 started with “men shall be lovers of their own selves” and verse 4 ended with “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” During perilous times, you see self-lovers and pleasure-lovers more than God-lovers.
The lovers of pleasure are more fond of pleasure than they are fond of God, so the target of their affection and attention is pleasure, lust, desire, and sensual delight. That desire supersedes God – His will, His word, and His way – as what is most important to them and what shapes decisions and actions.
The last days are real and perilous times are here, but when we see people trending in this direction, remember: we can take hope in the fact that (1) God warned us in His Word of men being like this, and (2) when we are saved, we don’t have to live like or be like the world in this hour. Let’s learn, love, and LIVE His Word (2 Tim. 3:14-17) in the last days just like Jesus wants us to.
READ OR LISTEN TO PART 1 HERE!
Which characteristic of people in the last days most stands out to you? Which one do you see the most? Comment below and let us know, then continue studying in Just Word Academy today!
Explore the Word of God concerning living in the last days & the events of the end times! Dig in with 5 classes & 12 interactive lessons including questions, cross-references, application to now, and more!