2Ti 3:1-5 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
As we read Paul’s statement in verse one of this chapter, it is easy for our minds to run to the conditions around us currently. Many declare that we are living in the last days. This is certainly true, but not necessarily an indication that this generation will see the end of the world. The scripture has been telling us that we are living in the “last days” ever since Christ was crucified.
Verses two through five above are one extended sentence. Paul describes the condition of men in the “last days.” He then tells Timothy to “turn away” from such men. Paul was warning Timothy that he was going to see the “last days.”
It is true that we are living in the last days. It is also true that Paul, Timothy, Peter, and all the other disciples of Jesus who lived after His crucifixion up to this time are living in the last days. Those who love Jesus have always been in peril from those who do not. Jesus told us quite plainly that if they hated Him, they would also hate us.
Paul did not indicate that every day would be filled with peril. He said perilous times (in the plural) will come. As long as we live, there will always be seasons (times) in our lives when we are in peril. Sometimes, it may be from outward persecution: at other times, it may be an inner turmoil in our lives. In waring us against the behavior of ungodly men, Paul is also telling us the things to guard against in ourselves.
Carnal man is prone to selfishness and greed. Our carnal nature makes us proud and unthankful for life’s blessings, living as though we got those things for ourselves. Ungodliness will come easily into our lives, making us contentious. We will find ourselves prone to lying (even to ourselves) and hard-heartedness.
In our carnal nature, we are without self-control. We resent those that labor to do good in His kingdom. We are untrustworthy and inflated with our own sense of self-worth. Our desires will run toward the empty things of this world rather than loving God.
This carnal spirit will be found in places where men profess with the lips to believe God. There is an outward appearance of piety and faith. However, their trust is in self and their desire is for worldly goods. Their actions deny the very truth their lips express.
This is certainly an ugly picture that Paul painted with these words. It is a picture we need to look at deeply. Herein is described the absolute depravity of man. No wonder Paul advised Timothy to turn away (repent) from such.
Only when we realize that this is our lot without the wondrous love of Jesus can we truly seek repentance. The Holy Spirit must show us our depraved state before we seek our Redeemer. How amazing that God would draw us to His son! What wonderful news that the Son will in nowise cast us out when we are drawn to Him by the Father!
May God bless us to turn away from ourselves and look only to Him!