II Timothy 3:1-5; 1Timothy 4:1-3
The Holy Spirit, who inspired the Apostle Paul to write this epistle wants all believers to understand the peculiarity of the times in which we live. It is the ‘Perilous Times’. Though we are living in grace period or gospel time, the scripture declared “that in the last days perilous times shall come”. Perilous Times connote dangerous and difficult times. We are living in the dangerous and difficult times that if a Christian is not having strong conviction about his belief and determination to continue till the end, he might not be able to keep a good conscience till the end (Matthew 24:12, 13). Perilous times shall come, for men shall be wicked. Sin makes the times perilous. When there is a general corruption of manners, and of the tempers of men, this makes the times dangerous to live in; for it is hard to keep our integrity in the midst of general corruption. Therefore, the Holy Spirit admonish all believers, “let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he falls”. (1 Corinthians 10:12).
1. “PERILOUS TIMES”: WICKEDNESS OF SINNERS AND BACK SLIDERS IN THE
2 Timothy 3:1-5
The characteristics of the lives of sinners and backsliders in these last days is unpleasant. These characteristics include:
- Lovers of self: Selfishness, self-exaltation, self-indulgence, self-seeking and self-centredness, 2Tim 3:1, 2, 4.
- Lovers of pleasure: They live carelessly because they are given to pleasure – Philippians 2:21; 2 Timothy 3:4.
- Lovers of money: Some people are so money-conscious that except they are paid, they will not offer their gifts and talents for the work of God – Micah 3:11; 1 Timothy 6:9-11.
- The Love of the world: They are less concerned about morals, salvation, true worship and God’s demands – 1 John 2:15-17; James 4:4; 2 Timothy 4:10.
- Lovers of darkness: Although they profess to know the Lord and identify with the church, they have pleasure in unrighteousness – 2 Timothy 3:4, 5.
- Lovers of strange women and men: Unequal yoke in marriage; It happened to Solomon – 1 Kings 11:1-9; Nehemiah 13:26.
- Lovers of violence who take delight in creating confusion in the house of God – Psalm 11:3-5; 52:3-5.
2. “PERILOUS TIMES”: WARNING FOR SAINTS AND SINNERS IN THE LAST DAYS
2 Timothy 3:1, 2, 4, 5; 2 Peter 3:3-7; 1 John 2:18a, 15-18; Luke 17:26-32; Amos 8:11, 12; 2 Timothy 4:3, 4; 1:13, 14.
God’s passionate warnings to the saints and sinners in the last days, emanates from His “…longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”. God wants us to be wary of the spirit of anti-christ who brings the world into the church. When the church deviates from the footsteps of Christ and follows the world, it usually lowers God’s standard of righteousness. It is possible for those who were once saved to begin to deny the Lord when they become careless and such people often “bring upon themselves swift destruction”. Hence, the Lord commands believers to “remember Lot’s wife”.
The time in which we live are such perilous time that there will be famine of the WORD OF GOD and we need to be cautious lest we be consumed in the coming judgment. If you have the word of God, preserve, guard and cherish it. The difficult and challenging time in which we live is such that there will be scarcity of the word of God.
3. “PERILOUS TIME”: WATCHFULNESS OF SAINTS IN THE LAST DAYS
2 Timothy 3:4, 5; 1 Timothy 4:1; Luke 21:34-36; Revelation 16:15
Children of God need to watch perseveringly as long as life shall last. Knowing that we live in “PERILOUS TIMES” (dangerous times), we should build walls of security around the church and its doctrines, members and the spiritual standard the Lord has given us.
God demands watchfulness from every believer because of much deceit through signs and wonders that is prevalent in the world today. People often deviate from righteousness when there are signs and wonders. As believers, we should not exalt miracle and healing above salvation, sanctification and other Christian experiences that will preserve us unto the coming of Christ. Rather, we should concentrate on the things that will lead us to heaven.
Therefore, watch your life, concentration, interests, perspective on the word of God, “for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” and “be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh”.