Living in the last days
2 Timothy 3:1-17
By Ysrael De la Cruz
Ever since last year, you probably heard a lot of talk about the end times. Lots of modern-day prophets began their predictions because we got hit with an epidemic; this year with the Palestinian war with Israel gives ammunition to the end time talk. You may be asking yourself if we are indeed living in the last days. According to the Bible, we are in the last days; we are in the end times. The end time began two thousand years ago; the moment Jesus spoke about the signs of the end of the age (Matt.24) false prophets; rumors of war, earthquakes, famines and pestilence, persecution, and ungodliness; Jesus did say to his disciples no to be alarmed when these things take place; they are just the beginning of birth pain, (a woman in labor) but not the end yet. All these things have been happening ever since Jesus spoke about them. How do we react or better yet, how do we live in such a time as these?
In 67 AD the apostle Paul wrote a 2nd letter to a young man named Timothy. In this letter he reminded Timothy of the hard times that will continue to happen leading up to the end time, and how to live in the midst of adversities.
2 Timothy 3:1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulties.
The last days are a period of time known for hardships or difficulties.
In verses 2- 9 Paul listed attitudes and behaviors evident of the last days.
v.2) -People lovers of self and money, Proud, arrogant, abusive disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy.
v.3 heartless (unloving), unappeasable (unforgiving), slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving what is good.
v.4) treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit (swollen with pride), lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
v.5) having the appearance of godliness but denying its power. (they appear religious, but their religion has no power since there is no transformation in them). Avoid people such people. Have nothing to do with people who portray such behaviors.
-Avoid those who would prey on the vulnerable in the name of religion or even in the name of God (v.6) They creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins, and led astray by various passions. (This was happening in the Ephesian church as false teachers were preying on the vulnerable)
-Avoid those who always seem to be learning but never arrive at the knowledge of the truth.
-Avoid those who oppose the truth. (v.8) Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. People of corrupted minds and disqualified in terms of the faith will always stand in opposition to the truth. However, Paul reminds us that their folly will be evident. They will not get far in their schemes.
All these things we mentioned are evident in the last days. When you read this text, it makes you look at our society, what is going on around us and you may think Paul was describing out time today. These things are already happening in our midst.
We are in the last days; then how do we live in such times?
Verses 10-17 give us the answer.
-Follow the example of those who are faithful to Christ’s teaching. (v.10)
Timothy followed Paul’s teaching; he knew about his conduct, his purpose in life, his faith, his patience, his love and perseverance in the midst of persecution. (v.11) In fact, Timothy was also persecuted with him in some of the places they traveled preaching the gospel. Follow those who are faithful in doctrine, behavior, purpose, faith, patience, love and perseverance.
-Know that persecution will continue against God’s people. (v.12) Those who want to live for Jesus will be persecute. (v.12) Do not be surprised when you are persecuted for the sake of the gospel.
-Know that there will be an increase of wickedness (v.13)
Evil people will go from bad to worse deceiving and being deceived.
-Continue in what you have learned from the Bible.
-Someone led you to the Lord and taught you the word of God. Someone helped you develop your faith in Christ. Continue in what you have learned and continue to learn.
It is the Scriptures that will make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus.(v.15)
-You must continue to know the teachings of the Bible in these last days.
(v.16)All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness.
God has given us the Scriptures so to teach us, to correct us and train us to do the right things in the world.
(v.17)So that the person of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
So how are you to live in these last days?
Looking at what Paul told Timothy, we can learn how to live.
-Follow the examples of faithful Christians in God’s kingdom.
Their example of sound teaching, faithfulness in faith and love and perseverance.
-Live with a kingdom focus. Do not lose sight of God’s plan and purpose in the midst of wickedness.
-Keep on learning the Bible, God’s word so that you become trained and equipped for God’s work in this world.
Until the end comes, we are to live for Jesus every day of our lives.