2 Timothy 3:1-5 (South Hills)

Sociologist and historian Carle Zimmerman, in his 1947 book Family and Civilization, recorded his keen observations as he compared the disintegration of various cultures with the parallel decline of family life in those cultures. Eight specific patterns of domestic behavior typified the downward spiral of each culture Zimmerman studied.

* Marriage loses its sacredness; is frequently broken by divorce.
* Traditional meaning of the marriage ceremony is lost.
* Feminist movements abound.
* Increased public disrespect for parents and authority in general.
* Acceleration of juvenile delinquency, promiscuity, and rebellion.
* Refusal of people with traditional marriages to accept family responsibilities.
* Growing desire for and acceptance of adultery.
* Increasing interest in and spread of sexual perversions and sex related crimes.

The Apostle Paul, in 66 AD wrote:

2Ti 3:1  Know this also, that in the last days grievous times will be at hand.
2Ti 3:2  For men will be self-lovers, money-lovers, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3  without natural affection, unyielding, false accusers, without self-control, savage, despisers of good,
2Ti 3:4  traitors, reckless, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
2Ti 3:5  having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it; even turn away from these.
2Ti 3:6  For of these are those who creep into houses and lead captive silly women loaded with sins, led away with different kinds of lusts,
2Ti 3:7  ever learning and never able to come to the full knowledge of the truth.


Let's look at this prophetic description, penned by the apostle Paul in his last letter.  Written at the end of a hard fought, yet glorious life lived in service to his Lord.


Last Days
The last days are a period of time directly preceding Christ's return.  In chapter 4 verse 1 Paul makes reference to the latter times.  This reference is a longer, more general time period leading up to the last days, and then the Great Tribulation.

Perilous Times Shall Come
The Greek translated here "shall come" implies both that these perilous or grievous times are imminent and that they will come suddenly.


Men Shall Be
All commentaries that I have seen indicate that Paul is not referring here to heathen man, per se, but that something inherently will corrupt all christianity.  This coincides with other teachings that talk about an apochryphal church that will exist even after God removes His true church.
It is extremely important for us to understand that the deceiver is not resting.  He has taken every godly thing and tried to pervert it so that men will not know the truth.
All commentaries that I have seen indicate that Paul is not referring here to heathen man, per se, but that something inherently will corrupt all christianity.  This coincides with other teachings that talk about an apochryphal church that will exist even after God removes His true church.It is extremely important for us to understand that the deceiver is not resting.  He has taken every godly thing and tried to pervert it so that men will not know the truth.

We must constantly turn to God's word and the leading of the Holy Spirit to make sure that we are not being deceived and to make sure that we are not deceiving others.  We are only immune from deception as long as we die to ourselves and let God lead guid and direct us.


First Paul describes self-lovers. 
Until the middle of the 18th century, men had a sense of a power greater than man.  And while the enemy has constantly diluted and perverted this sense man never worshipped himself as a God.


Barnes, in his commentary sums this selfishness up well when he writes:


The selfishness which is condemned, is that regard to our own interests which interferes with the rights and comforts of others; which makes self the central and leading object of living; and which tramples on all that would interfere with that. As such, it is a base, and hateful, and narrow passion; but it has been so common in the world that no one can doubt the correctness of the prophecy of the apostle that it would exist “in the last times.”


Throughout history, man has worshipped other men as God.  But with the advent of secular humanism and the establishment of "evloution" as a scientific "fact".  It has been ok to worship oneself as god. 


Across the highway, there is a whole office building of people who make their livings telling people that "self-actualization" is the key to happiness. 


And what exactly is self-actualization?


It is the thought that we must appease ourselves and our desires over those of anyone else in order to achieve peace.  It is the ultimate love of self.


In the church lovers of self look to their works and don't look to what God wants them to do.


You know these people.  They're the ones who come up with agendas, programs and plans without waiting on the Lord and looking for where He is working.  They have their own agendas, their own desires, and their will is what they pursue as they do church.


Money-lovers. 
It's not hard to see this in modern America.  We call ourselves a "consumer society".  How many people do you know that are constantly buying, building, acquiring, in order to find a peace that will not come?


Money-lovers in church?  Less than 1% of self-confessed, born again christians tithe.


Proud, Boasters
Pride has been a problem since the fall, but when you add up all the things we've talked about.  We love ourselves, love things and money, and seek to please ourselves to the exclusion of God.  We are proud.  God scattered the people when they tried to build the tower of Babel, but we have split the atom, landed on the moon and now we are trying to create human beings and change genetic structures through cloning.
In the church pride comes when we start to take credit for what God has done in our lives. 


We must come to the realization that we can do nothing of ourselves, but we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us.
We have nothing to boast about.  God used Isaiah to express our worthlessness perfectly when he wrote:


Isa 64:6  But we are1961 all3605 as an unclean2931 thing, and all3605 our righteousnesses6666 are as filthy5708 rags;899 and we all3605 do fade5034 as a leaf;5929 and our iniquities,5771 like the wind,7307 have taken us away.5375
Isa 64:7  And there is none369 that calleth7121 upon thy name,8034 that stirreth up himself5782 to take hold2388 of thee: for3588 thou hast hid5641 thy face6440 from4480 us, and hast consumed4127 us, because3027 of our iniquities.5771


Blasphemers
Returning to Barnes' commentary, he explains blaspheme this way:


The word “blaspheme” originally means to speak evil of anyone; to injure by words; to blame unjustly. When applied to God, it means to speak of him unjustly; to ascribe to him acts and attributes which he does not possess; or to speak impiously or profanely. It also means to say or do anything by which his name or honor is insulted, or which conveys an “impression” unfavourable to God. It means. also, to attempt to do, or say a thing, which belongs to him alone, or which he only can do.


God's name and the name of His precious Son have absolutely NO meaning to our lost friends.


But even more than that, we as a society insist that we can do that which only God can do.  We can fix society, we can heal men, we can create human beings through cloning, and destroy them through abortion, without God.


If you are a christian, then you need to take this issue seriously.  You cannot take the name of the Lord your God in vain.  God's name is HOLY.  The Jews respected God's so much that they would not allow it to be spoken.  You need to show people that God's name is important to you.  You need to refuse to tolerate the use of profanity in your presence.


You also need to draw ethical lines and insist that man cannot control his own destiny.  Otherwise you agree with the deciever and the world and do nothing to point lost man to his need for a savior.


Disobedient to parents
Our children today are being released from the authority of their parents.  Their music, their culture teaches them to revolt against their parents and society


Many times we think about disobedience to parents as a "youth" thing.  But, christian, you need to respect your parents even in your adulthood.  How many families do you know that have "issues".  Issues that stem from this lack of respect for our parents?


Unthankful
People in society today are not gracious, or considerate, or thankful.  They want more, and they impose themselves upon others until they get what they think deserve.


We need to break the mold, as individuals and as churches.  We need to give thanks for all things:


Heb 13:15  By1223 him846 therefore3767 let us offer399 the sacrifice2378 of praise133 to God2316 continually,1275 that is,5123 the fruit2590 of our lips5491 giving thanks3670 to his846 name.3686
Col 3:17  And2532 whatsoever3748, 302 ye do4160 in1722 word3056 or2228 deed,2041 do all3956 in1722 the name3686 of the Lord2962 Jesus,2424 giving thanks2168 to God2316 and2532 the Father3962 by1223 him.846
Eph 5:20  Giving thanks2168 always3842 for5228 all things3956 unto God2316 and2532 the Father3962 in1722 the name3686 of our2257 Lord2962 Jesus2424 Christ;5547

Unholy
How can we be holy if we worship other gods, including ourselves, and revel in our sins.


Holiness is righteousness.  How can we be righteous when we don't even know what is right, or holy.


97 out of 100 people you meet in this state have been blinded to the fact that God exists by a thing called evolution.  How can they be like Isaiah when he faces God in the sixth chapter.


Isa 6:1  In the year that King Uzziah died I then saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. 
Isa 6:2  Above it stood the seraphs; each one had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
Isa 6:3  And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of Hosts; the whole earth full of His glory.
Isa 6:4  And the doorposts moved at the voice of the one who cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
Isa 6:5  Then I said, Woe is me! For I am undone; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of Hosts.


But we can bring unholiness, unconfessed sin right into the church.  We can smile, greet each other and think that noone is any wiser.


You're fooling yourself!


God knows everything.  Everything!


1Co 11:26  For1063 as often as3740 ye eat2068, 302 this5126 bread,740 and2532 drink4095, 302 this5124 cup,4221 ye do show2605 the3588 Lord's2962 death2288 till891 he(3739) come.2064
1Co 11:27  Wherefore5620 whosoever3739, 302 shall eat2068 this5126 bread,740 and2228 drink4095 this cup4221 of the3588 Lord,2962 unworthily,371 shall be2071 guilty1777 of the3588 body4983 and2532 blood129 of the3588 Lord.2962
1Co 11:28  But1161 let a man444 examine1381 himself,1438 and2532 so3779 let him eat2068 of1537 that bread,740 and2532 drink4095 of1537 that cup.4221
1Co 11:29  For1063 he that eateth2068 and2532 drinketh4095 unworthily,371 eateth2068 and2532 drinketh4095 damnation2917 to himself,1438 not3361 discerning1252 the3588 Lord's2962 body.4983
1Co 11:30  For this cause1223, 5124 many4183 are weak772 and2532 sickly732 among1722 you,5213 and2532 many2425 sleep.2837
1Co 11:31  For1063 if1487 we would judge1252 ourselves,1438 we should not3756 be judged.2919
1Co 11:32  But1161 when we are judged,2919 we are chastened3811 of5259 the Lord,2962 that2443 we should not3361 be condemned2632 with4862 the3588 world.2889


Without natural affection.
Going back to Barnes we read of this Greek term:


This expression denotes the lack of affectionate regard toward their children. The attachment of parents to children is one of the strongest in nature, and nothing can overcome it but the most confirmed and established wickedness. And yet the apostle charges on the pagan generally the lack of this affection. He doubtless refers here to the practice so common among pagans of exposing their children, or putting them to death. This crime, so abhorrent to all the feelings of humanity, was common among the pagan, and is still. The Canaanites, we are told Psa_106:37-38, “sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan.” Manasseh among the Jews imitated their example, and introduced the horrid custom of sacrificing children to Moloch, and set the example by offering his own; 2Ch_33:6.


This alludes to fact that we will not love our kindred.  Look at the destruction of the family.  Abandonment of our parents and our children.  Most importantly though, the Holy Spirit speaks to me about the sin of abortion.

This alludes to fact that we will not love our kindred.  Look at the destruction of the family.  Abandonment of our parents and our children.  Most importantly though, the Holy Spirit speaks to me about the sin of abortion.

In the church, we call each other brothers and sisters, yet how many churches are torn apart because we have enmity and anymosity against others in the church.  How many pastors have been torn apart by congregations that are unwilling to follow the loving guidance of a man of God, who has been charged with shepherding God's flock.


When was the last time you spent time with your brothers and sister between some other time than Sunday between the hours of 11:00am and 12:pm?


Where is our love for our lost neighbor, who we haven't shared the gospel with?


Unyeilding
It's our way or the highway.  There are just too too many examples in society today of this kind of behavior.


This is an especially deadly sin for a christian.  We need to be submissive to authority and when we are not we become weapons in Satan's arsenal. 


False Accusers.
Little white lie.  Big corporate lies.  We are a nation of liars.  Today's society teaches moral relevance.

See we even lie to ourselves about lying to ourselves.


Lying as a christian


1Jo 2:4  He that saith,3004 I know1097 him,846 and2532 keepeth5083 not3361 his848 commandments,1785 is2076 a liar,5583 and2532 the3588 truth225 is2076 not3756 in1722 him.5129


Without self-control,Savage, Despisers of good, Traitors, Reckless. Puffed up
Would that we had time to look at these in depth, I encourage you to do the word studies and then look at society and your own heart to guard against these attitudes, as well as to affirm that these characteristics are in rampant today.

Lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God.
How many people are not in church becasue it interferes with their "lifestyle"?

How many people are not in church becasue it interferes with their "lifestyle"?

Today and every other day they are participating in that harmless thing called recreation.  We even have euphemistic terms for more heinous sins all prefaced by recreation; recreational drinking, recreational drugs, recreational sex.


Where is there time for God when we are busy recreating?


Having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it
Clarke in his commentary says this:


Having a form of godliness - The original word μορϕωσις signifies a draught, sketch, or summary, and will apply well to those who have all their religion in their creed, confession of faith, catechism, bodies of divinity, etc., while destitute of the life of God in their souls; and are not only destitute of this life, but deny that such life or power is here to be experienced or known. They have religion in their creed, but none in their hearts. And perhaps to their summary they add a decent round of religious observances. From such turn away - not only do not imitate them, but have no kind of fellowship with them; they are a dangerous people, and but seldom suspected, because their outside is fair.


And this is the crux of the issue.  We need to make sure that in these end times that our churches, our hearts, do not just have a form of godliness without power.


If we truly believe in the power of our faith then it will pervade everything that we are doing.  It will not be something that we compartamentalize.  Putting on our church face for church things and then putting it in the closet when we want to do worldly things.

How many people are not in church becasue it interferes with their "lifestyle"?
This alludes to fact that we will not love our kindred.  Look at the destruction of the family.  Abandonment of our parents and our children.  Most importantly though, the Holy Spirit speaks to me about the sin of abortion. How many people are not in church becasue it interferes with their "lifestyle"?
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