In the last days difficult times will come. The one who endures to the end will be saved.
2 Timothy 2:22-3:17 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. 24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, skillful in teaching, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
3 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; avoid such people as these. 6 For among them are those who slip into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, worthless in regard to the faith. 9 But they will not make further progress; for their foolishness will be obvious to all, just as was that also of Jannes and Jambres.
10 Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! 12 Indeed, all who want to live in a godly way in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil people and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work.
Today’s text says: Realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; avoid such people as these… always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Let’s compare that to our time today. Lovers of self-check. Our society and culture promotes a self centered, self serving mentality. Lovers of money-check. Those with a lot of money want more and those who do not have money want the money of those who have it. Boastful and arrogant-check. Slanderers-check. It is now considered acceptable, even in news media, to make claims and accusations about a person with no evidence, investigation or recourse. Disobedient to parents and ungrateful-check. Children are taught in schools and through entertainment media that parents should not punish or discipline them, even that parents just don’t understand. People both young and old are ungrateful, wanting more of what they are “entitled to.” Unholy-check. We are in a time when darkness is glorified and goodness is called evil. Holiness, which was once revered is now rejected. Unloving-check. God is the standard of love, when the standard is removed so is true love. Irreconcilable-check. It is the desire of many to stoke the flames of hatred and division so that we become more and more irreconcilable, divided by race, ethnicity, gender, age, wealth and ideology. Malicious gossips-check. See slander, stories are repeated over and over until it is that to some the lie has become truth. Without self-control-check. Brutal-check. One needs only to look at the situation in our cities, our streets are like war zones. People are accosted in daylight, while others only watch. Are schools are also filled with brutal violence. Haters of good-check. Again, our society calls good evil and evil good. Those who hold to righteousness are mocked and disparaged, while those who do and promote immorality and licentiousness are glorified. Treacherous and reckless-check. Conceited-check. Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-check. It would seem that by the indicators listed, we are in the last days. These are and will be difficult times.
Paul says: Indeed, all who want to live in a godly way in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil people and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. In Matthew 24:4-14 Jesus describes what things will be like prior to His return. “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will mislead many people. And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pains.” Just the birth pains, so Jesus also warns that it will continue to get worse. He says: “Then they will hand you over to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. And at that time many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will rise up and mislead many people. And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will become cold. But the one who endures to the end is the one who will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Paul says: You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work. God’s word, from Genesis to revelation is inspired by God through the Holy Spirit. It reveals His plan and His will to us and for us. Psalm 119:105 says: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. In John 17:17 Jesus prayed for us saying: “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” Regardless of the circumstances and situations in the world, even as things go from bad to worse, we need to hold onto and delve into the truth of God’s word. We need to allow His word to illuminate our path and direct our steps. We need to be equipped for every good work. In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus commissioned us for the good work we are to do until He returns saying: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. May the gospel of the kingdom be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then may you come. Yes, come Lord Jesus. Amen.