Perilous Times Will Come
January 22, 2021
Greetings in the name of our glorious Lord.
Anytime a person falls, gravity creates a force that drives the person to the ground. This momentum is not easily reversed. So it is in the Last Days. Scripture gives every indication that many professing Christians will move (with increasing velocity) away from the things of God and toward the things of the world. In the days ahead, it will be increasingly difficult for many to swim against this powerful current.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
Verse 1 – Throughout Church history, the full counsel of God has been unpalatable to many who have claimed the name of Christ. In each of those difficult times, men’s ideas were substituted for God’s truth. John Montgomery has provided a list of what he calls “The Damnable Epochs of Church History” in which he identifies and discusses seven specific movements that are clearly unbiblical, ungodly, and destructive to the Body of Christ.
- Under Sacramentalism, the church replaced God with rituals, form, relics, men’s traditions, and sacraments.
- Under Rationalism, reason was god.
- Under Orthodoxism, god was sterile, impersonal orthodoxy.
- Under Politicism, god was the state.
- Under Ecumenism, god was uncritical and undiscerning. Fellowship among purporting Christians took place regardless of doctrinal truth.
- Under Experientialism, god becomes personal experience.
- Under Subjectivism, self has become god.
- It would be appropriate to add to Montgomery’s list MYSTICISM which seeks to determine truth about God by intuition and feeling, and PRAGMATISM which attempts to determine what is true by what produces the desired effects.
Note: These specific movements do not come and go but seem to be collected or accumulated as the years go on. Thus the battle for truth within the church rages on.
29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
From 2 Timothy chapter 3, we learn that these difficult times (meaning perilous or grievous), will come in the Last Days.
The phrase Last Days can have several meanings in scripture that include: (1) the entire sweep of history from the times of Nebuchadnezzar (Lifetime of Daniel) to the time when Christ sets up His kingdom (Daniel 2:28-45); (2) The time just prior to and including Christ’s 2nd coming; (3) The last days began with the earthly ministry of Jesus as found in Hebrews 1:1,2; (4) In First John, John warned his readers that it was the “last hour” and that many antichrists have arisen (2:18). From this passage, we are still in the Messianic time between Christ’s 1st and 2nd comings, all of which may properly be called the Last Days.
The plural “times” in 2 Timothy 3:1 is Kairos (Greek), which refers to periods of time – seasons, epochs, or eras, of varying degrees of danger and difficulty the church would experience throughout its history. As Paul makes clear a few verses later, these perilous times will become more and more frequent and intense, whereas the intervening periods of relative tranquility will become less frequent and peaceful as the return of Christ nears.
Paul’s description of these seasons of danger is specific. Here are a number of characteristics of ungodly men and women that will corrupt the church until He returns.
- 2 Timothy 3:2 – Lovers of self – Whenever love for self is raised, love for God and the things of God is lowered. Self-esteem, self-worth, self-fulfillment, and positive self-image have been imported into the church from anti-biblical secular psychology. MacArthur writes: “The roots of this modern infatuation with self-love can be traced to the humanism of the 19th century, especially in the development of evolutionism. If man is seen as the product of impersonal chance, God is ruled out, making the elevation of self perfectly acceptable. Because there is no basis for right and wrong, the individual’s natural bent to self-centeredness is reinforced and he finds consummate justification for being his own god, who does his own will. Each man is the captain of his own ship and master of his own fate and cannot allow his self-will to be hindered or he does harm to his well-being, so the thinking goes.” Because no outside absolutes are recognized, personal beliefs and personal actions must be based solely on what seems best at the moment. Rather than unconditional submission to God, there is unconditional submission to self.
- Love of Money – This phrase does not refer to the rightful earning and use of money to feed, clothe, and otherwise provide necessities for ourselves and our families. This is the inordinate desire for money and for the things money represents. Materialism. God’s Word is wonderfully balanced between necessities, contentment, corrupt love, and greed. See
2 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Timothy 6:8-10 and 2 Peter 2:3.
- Boastful – A boastful person claims greatness that he does not possess. They brag about their accomplishments. They are know-it-alls who try to deceive people into thinking they are brilliant. They exaggerate their abilities, accomplishments, talents, reputations, and value. They are always the heroes of their own stories.
- Arrogant – A person who is boastful is invariably arrogant. Those who are characterized by these twin evils are perpetually self-exalting and determined to have their own way. Arrogance has the literal meaning of placing above, hence the idea of superiority.
Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
The boastful and the arrogant are much more alike than different. It is a rate instance when a person who is one, is not also the other. In the modern church of today, it becomes harder and harder to find those who are meek and humble – and especially difficult to avoid those who are proud and conceited.
- Blasphemers – Evil speakers, profane, abusive, foul-mouthed, contemptuous, and insulting concerning the person and truths of God.
- Disobedient to Parents – Rebellious, undutiful, uncontrollable.
- Unthankful – Ungrateful, lacking in appreciation.
- Unholy – Impious, profane, irreverent, holding nothing sacred.
- Unloving – Hard-hearted, unnaturally callous, unfeeling.
- Unforgiving – Implacable, refusing to make peace, refusing efforts toward reconciliation.
- Slanderers – Spreading false and malicious reports.
- Without self-control – Men and women of uncontrolled passions that function outside of God’s desires, such as that of one man and one woman in the bonds of holy matrimony.
- Brutal – Savage, unprincipled.
- Despiser of good – Hater of whatever or whoever is good, utterly opposed to goodness in any form as revealed in God’s Word.
- Traitors – Treacherous, betrayers of the Lord.
- Headstrong – Reckless, self-willed, rash.
- Haughty – Making empty pretentions, conceited.
- Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – Sundays used to belong to the Church; today it belongs to Saturday night parties followed by Sunday morning sleep-in and a day of NFL.
While many make a profession of being a Christian, there is no evidence of the Jesus they profess in their lives. William MacDonald states: “While there might have been reformation, there never was regeneration.” These have a form of godliness, as did the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day, but their conduct denies validity. Hebert wrote: “It is a fearful portrayal of an apostate Christendom, a new paganism masquerading under the name of Christianity.”
As the end nears, perilous times will come because what characterizes the lost in their conduct also characterizes professing believers. Don’t be fooled or disillusioned for what a man sows, he will reap. When it is all said and done, God will not be mocked.
Grace be with you,
Pastor Jay T. Barsaleau