Perilous Times

I. The opening verse of this passage requires a clear background.

A. We are to “know this also” requiring a summary of previous teaching.

1. Stir up the gift of God (2 Timothy 1:6)

2. Participate in the sufferings of the Gospel (2 Timothy 1:8)

3. Holdfast the pattern of sound words (2 Timothy 1:13)

4. Guard the deposit (of truth) entrusted to us (2 Timothy 1:14)

5. Be strong in the grace of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:1)

6. Endure hardness as a good soldier (2 Timothy 2:3)

7. Teach the “Faith Saying” (2 Timothy 2:11-14)

8. Display yourself as an unembarrassed workman (2 Timothy 2:15)

9 Shun profane babblings (2 Timothy 2:16-19)

10. Become a noble vessel (2 Timothy 2:20-26)

B. We are to remember that we are in the “Last Days.”

1. 1 Peter 1:20 – [Jesus Christ] “was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you”

2. 2 Peter 3:3 -- Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

3. 1 John 2:18 -- Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

4. The “Last Days” began with the incarnation of Christ and will continue until He returns again.  Periods of trouble will wax and wane, but will not cease until Christ comes.

C. We are to know that “perilous times” will come.

1. “Perilous” is the translators’ choice for the Greek word chalepos.

a. Its basic meaning is “stress” or “fierce”
b. Its root word means “reducing strength”
c. It is translated by “dangerous” or “difficulty” or “grievous”
d. It could be paraphrased by “strength-sapping pressure”

2. “Times” is a word that means “seasons” or “periods.”

a. 1 Timothy 4:1 -- Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils
b. 2 Timothy 4:3 -- For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears

II. The list that describes the types of people in the “last days” is frightful.

A. There will be self-loving people (2 Timothy 3:2).

1. “Covetous” – fond of silver

2. “Boasters” – braggarts, swaggering

3. “Proud” – arrogant, show-off, gaudy, ostentations

4. “Blasphemers – evil speaking, low, vulgar, taunts, injurious

B. There will be rebellious people – words with “a” = “un-“ (2 Timothy 3:2-3)

1. UN-persuadable by parents – obstinate, stubborn, inflexible

2. UN-thankful – without grace, without thanks, without pleasantry

3. UN-holy – without a desire to be just or moral

4. UN-affectionate – without natural love for family or friends

5. UN-reconcilable – without a covenant; not able to make or keep promise

C. There will be devilish people (2 Timothy 3:3-4)

1. “False accusers” – diabolos (like the devil) – slanderous, liars

2. “Incontinent” – without self-control, lewd, unrestrained, intemperate

3. “Fierce” – brutal, savage, wild

4. “Despisers” – hostile, opposed – to “those who are good.”

5. “Traitors” – treacherous, those that “give over”

6. “Heady” – rash, hasty, impetuous

7. “High minded” – conceited, arrogant

D. There will be deceitful people (2 Timothy 3:4-5)

1. “Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God” – sensually indulgent

a. Jude 1:18-19 -- How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.  These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

2. “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power” – moral, secular

a. Titus 1:16 -- They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

3. “Ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of the truth”

a. John 3:20-21 -- For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
b. 1 Timothy 6:20-21 -- O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith.
c. Romans 1:21-23 -- Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

III. The command is to “turn away” from these kind of people (II Timothy 3:5)

A. There are instructions on how to avoid such people in First Timothy.

1. Teach no other doctrine – do not listen to fables (1:3-7)

2. War a good warfare – do not become shipwrecked (1:18-20)

3. Some will depart from the faith (4:1-3)

4. Refuse the worthless old wives tales (4:7)

5. Withdraw yourself from those who teach incorrectly (6:3-5)

6. Love for money brings evil (6:9-10)

7. Avoid false knowledge and that which errs from the faith (6:20-21)

B. There is a good description about such people in Romans 1.

1. God’s anger is on men who hold onto unrighteous truth (1:18)

2. Those people refuse to recognize God even though they know Him (1:21)

3. They define God in their own terms (1:23)

4. They worship the creation rather than the Creator (1:25)

5. They do not want to think about God or the truth (1:28)

6. They live with and enjoy sinful activity and people (1:28-32)

7. They condemn others unlike themselves, and thereby bring condemnation upon themselves (Romans 2:1-9)

C. There is a warning that such people are among the churches (II Peter 2)

1. False teachers will be among the churches (2:1)

2. They will bring in damming heresies, denying the Lord Jesus (2:1)

3. They will develop a large following, causing evil talk about truth (2:2)

4. They will use self-centered desires to draw people away (2:3)

5. They will use deceitful words to make profit for themselves (2:3)

6. They despise authorities, are presumptuous, and boldly evil (2:10)

7. They speak evil about that which they do not understand (2:12)

IV. The promise to us is that their “season” will not last (II Timothy 3:8-9).

A. Their power will cause damage among the churches.

1. They will “creep” into “houses” (churches – I Timothy 3:15)

2. They will lead “silly women” away with many different desires (3:6)

a. Foolish young women have no genuine faith (Matthew 25:1-12)
b. Fools follow the wisdom of this world (1 Corinthians 1:20)
c. Fools depart from the faith to follow the flesh (Galatians 3:1-3)
d. Fools serve human passions and pleasures (Titus 3:3)
e. Fools disobey the laws of authorities (2 Peter 2:13-15)

4. They will resist the truth for a time (II Timothy 3:8)

a. They will have power like the magicians of Egypt.
b. Their minds are corrupt (focused on sin)
c. Their minds are reprobate (already condemned)

B. They will be stopped from harming and exposed as foolish (II Timothy 3:9)

1. They will have swift destruction (2 Peter 2:1-3)

2. They will utterly perish in corruption (2 Peter 2:12-13)

3. They will “proceed no further”

a. There will be no increase
b. They will be stopped like the magicians were
1) Magicians produced snakes, blood, frogs (Exodus 7)
2) Magicians could not produce lice (Exodus 8:18)
3) Daniel and magicians (Daniel 2; 4)

4. They will be exposed as men of “folly” (madness)

a. And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.  But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.  Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?  And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
b. And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.   (Luke 6:6-11)
Psalm 37:1-5
Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb.
Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
Psalm 37:37-40
Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; For the future of that man is peace.
But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; The future of the wicked shall be cut off.
But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble.  And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them, Because they trust in Him.
2 Timothy


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