1BUT UNDERSTAND this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]. 2For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. 3[They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. 4[They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God. 5For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them]. 6For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate silly and weak-natured and spiritually dwarfed women, loaded down with [the burden of their] sins [and easily] swayed and led away by various evil desires and seductive impulses. 7[These weak women will listen to anybody who will teach them]; they are forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth. 8Now just as [a]Jannes and Jambres were hostile to and resisted Moses, so these men also are hostile to and oppose the Truth. They have depraved and distorted minds, and are reprobate and counterfeit and to be rejected as far as the faith is concerned.(A) 9But they will not get very far, for their rash folly will become obvious to everybody, as was that of those [magicians mentioned].
10Now you have closely observed and diligently followed my teaching, conduct, purpose in life, faith, patience, love, steadfastness, 11Persecutions, sufferings--such as occurred to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra, persecutions I endured, but out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12Indeed all who delight in piety and are determined to live a devoted and godly life in Christ Jesus will meet with persecution [will be made to suffer because of their religious stand]. 13But wicked men and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and leading astray others and being deceived and led astray themselves. 14But as for you, continue to hold to the things that you have learned and of which you are convinced, knowing from whom you learned [them],15And how from your childhood you have had a knowledge of and been acquainted with the sacred Writings, which are able to instruct you and give you the understanding for salvation which comes through faith in Christ Jesus [through the [b]leaning of the entire human personality on God in Christ Jesus in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness]. 16Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God's will in thought, purpose, and action), 17So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly EQUIPPED FOR EVERY GOOD WORK (AMP).
Are we living in perilous times? The type people Paul is describing in chapter 3 of second Timothy could have existed at any period of time in world history. What makes people from other times in history so different from people who will be running things during the end times? Aren’t evil people evil in whatever time period? The difference today is the ability to communicate, influence, deceive and destroy on a scale never conceived of in all of man’s history. Today we have missiles and atomic bombs that can reach any part of the world, 24/7 cable TV and the Internet. The ability for one person to do evil is not limited to one area; he can carry it forth to the entire world in seconds. Today one man in power can affect outcomes in every corner of the globe. The internet is a great place for truth but it is also a great place for propaganda. It is through these mediums the message one day will go forth that all the world’s problems will be solved if we can just get rid of the Christians and the Jews. The world will respond and the persecution will be on.
But God knows this and that is why Paul is writing about it. God is not surprised or caught off guard. His plan began billions of years ago (billions for us, His is a timeless world) and He is fully prepared. We only need to get on board with what He is doing.
Paul ends this discourse on peoples in the end times with the declaration that the bible is the “Inspired” God breathed word of God. God through the Holy Spirit moved upon men to write down the word that was given to them in their spirits and what was written was to prepare every Christian for good works. What Paul is saying is that we need people who believe in the inspired word of God. We should be people who are inspired by the word of God and so inspired by the word that we will do good works.
What are the good works that Paul is talking about? Holy Spirit inspired works. The Holy Spirit inspired the men who wrote the Word and He is the power of the Word so it will do and accomplish the will and purposes of God. Jesus spokedmuch about how the Holy Spirit will be another comforter, another one like Jesus. Jesus instructed the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they were endued with power (the Holy Spirit) from on high. In the end times we will need more of the Holy Spirit than any other time in history. We need to have a super supernatural relationship with the Holy Spirit.
The end time relationship with the Holy Spirit will require us to have a deep intimate, knowing experience with Him. We need to be a totally unselfish, God first people, the opposite of the type of people in the world. We need sensitivity to His (Holy Spirit’s) leading, His instructions. We need to know how to walk in His power. We need to be like Elijah and Elisha, like the 70 that Jesus sent out to heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead and preach the gospel.
Some people believe that the Holy Spirit power at Pentecost was given just to get the church started and that once the Bible was complete that the gifts and miracles were no longer needed. But the opposite is true. We need the Pentecost power of the Holy Spirit even more for the end time’s church than ever before.
When it comes to the end times we are talking about the end times REVIVAL. The last revival will be greater than the first. Peter preached on that first Pentecost and 3000 people were saved. The last revival will see so many saved that 3000 will look like a small group. How did it happen on the first Pentecost? Through the power of the Holy Spirit. The end time revival will require even more dependence on the Holy Spirit. There will be more miracles, deliverances, healings and salvations than ever before.
In Africa there are evangelists who have gatherings of a million people or more and salvations in the hundreds of thousands. Those who get in line with the plan of God and accept the power of the Holy Spirit will see that take place in every continent in the world. We will see and participate in a move of God that has never been seen before.
I will soon be putting together a study on the authority of the believer and the power of the Holy Spirit for the end times. I believe the world is about to change. God is the real hope and change and I want to be a part of it. I want us all to be prepared.