Perilous Times II Tim. 3:1- 5 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Perilous means “full of or involving something that is likely to cause injury, pain, harm, or loss.” So, perilous times are dangerous times. There have always been men like the ones described in verses 2-5. The reason that the last days are perilous is that these men are not just in the world; they are in the church.
Perilous times come in the last days. We must be in the last days because the men described in this passage are here. They are men and women who are:
Lovers of their own selves – 2 Tim 3:2 – the underlying cause of the trouble in these times is that men love themselves. They say they love God [Matt 15:8] and they talk of their love for others. However, the truth is that they love themselves first and foremost. They are selfish, not selfless. We are to love God with all our heart, soul and mind [Matt 22:37] and one another as Christ loved us [Jn 13:34]. Rather than love ourselves, we are to hate our own lives [Lk 14:26].
Covetous – 2 Tim 3:2 – “marked by an inordinate [exceeding the normal] desire for wealth or possessions or for another’s possessions; having a craving for possession.” See Rev 3:17 and Lk 12:15. They want more from the Savior, rather than more of the Savior [contrast Phil 3:10].
Boasters – 2 Tim 3:2 – a boaster is a person who praises himself. See Prov 27:1-2 and Prov 25:27. Men talk more about themselves and what they’re doing than about the Lord. Our only worth is found in what Christ is doing through us [Gal 2:20], not in what we are doing for him.
Proud – 2 Tim 3:2 – the mind that is supposed to be in us is the humble mind of Christ [Phil 2:5-8]. Christ was only concerned with accomplishing his Father’s will [Jn 6:38; Matt 26:39] and bringing glory to Him [Jn 17:4]. He made himself of no reputation. Today, men do their own will and build their own reputations. We’re completely flipped.
Blasphemers – 2 Tim 3:2 – to blaspheme is to speak or act in a way that shows irreverence for God and his words. For example, God is blasphemed by men cursing [Lev 24:11]; by God’s enemies mocking because of the sins of his children [2 Sam 12:14]; by saints shipwrecking the faith of others [1 Tim 1:20-21]; by servants dishonoring masters [1 Tim 6:1]; by wives disobeying their husbands [Titus 2:5]; etc. You see all of these among Christians today.
Disobedient to parents – 2 Tim 3:2 – children are to obey their parents in the Lord [Eph 6:1-3]. Today parents don’t command their children [Prov 6:20-23] and children don’t obey. The authority in the home is gone. Husbands are to obey God [1 Cor 11:3]; wives are to obey their husbands [Titus 2:5]; and children are to obey their mothers and fathers [Eph 6:1-3; Lev 19:3].
Unthankful – 2 Tim 3:2 – ingratitude is at the root of the moral decay in this country [Rom 1:21]. We are always to be thankful in everything [1 This 5:18] and for everything [Eph 5:20].
Unholy – 2 Tim 3:2 – the world has infiltrated the church and the home; there is no separation [2 Cor 6:14-18]. We are to be holy as he is holy [1 Pet 1:15-16]. Few preach holiness today.
Without natural affection – 2 Tim 3:3 – Natural affection is the affection of a man for a woman and a woman for a man. Unnatural affection, called “vile affection,” is homosexuality and same-sex marriage [Rom 1:26-28]. And you see it even in the church because pastors will not preach against it and in some cases even accept it as natural. According to gaychurch.org there are at least 8,210 gay-affirming churches around the world. Rom 1:28 tells you why.
Truce breakers – 2 Tim 3:3 – a truce is an “agreement” between enemies or opponents to stop fighting or arguing. Christians are supposed to be “one” in Christ [Jn 17:22-23] and husbands and wives are supposed to be “one” in marriage [Eph 5:31]. But churches and families break up because they refuse to quit fighting [1 Cor 1:10-11].
False accusers – 2 Tim 3:3 – these are folks who bring false claims or charges against others. The Pharisees falsely accused Jesus and the men in the synagogue of the Libertines falsely accused Stephen [Acts 6:9-14]. We expect that kind of behavior from religious adherents against Christians. But it is perilous when Christians make up lies about each other. Christians are to take the wrong even when they have a legitimate claim against a brother [1 Cor 6:6-8].
Incontinent – 2 Tim 3:3 – “lacking self-restraint; not being under control.” Temperance is a very important part of the fruit of the Spirit. It is essential in the ministry [1 Cor 9:25-27]. And it is missing in many Christians and churches today. Their lusts and passions control them.
Fierce – 2 Tim 3:3 – “violently hostile or aggressive in temperament; marked by unrestrained zeal or vehemence.” You see this kind of behavior when it comes to attacks on the King James Bible. The opponents to the words of God will use good words and fair speeches to deceive the simple [Rom 16:17-18] but they will be fierce in their criticisms against believers.
Despisers of those that are good – 2 Tim 3:3 – “to dislike something or someone very much.” You see this in the attitude many churches have toward the old hymns and toward the preaching of truth and sound doctrine these days [2 Tim 4:3-4]. Men who stand for the truth are called divisive, narrow-minded, and even bigoted, though they are right.
Traitors – 2 Tim 3:4 – “a person who is not loyal to his own country or friends, or who betrays them by helping the enemy.” Many Christians have betrayed the Lord by befriending the world [Jas 4:4]. They are not loyal to the Lord because they love their pride and lusts [1 Jn 2:15-17]. They have given place to the devil [Eph 4:27].
Heady – 2 Tim 3:4 – “willful, rash, impetuous [controlled by emotion rather than thought].” Headiness is so characteristic of this generation. Long-suffering and meekness are the fruit of the Spirit. With long-suffering we can rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him [Ps 37:7]. With meekness we can be submissively obedient to him. Willful, emotional decisions are always bad decisions.
High minded – 2 Tim 3:4 – “pretentious” [having or showing the unpleasant quality of people who want to be regarded as more impressive, successful or important than they really are]. Paul warned us about this in Gal 6:3; 1 Cor 8:2; 1 Cor 10:12. The current addiction to social media is evidence. Christ is supposed to have the preeminence in all things [Col 1:18].
Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God – 2 Tim 3:4 – many Christians love pleasures more than they love God. Many go to church to be entertained. The pleasures of this life have choked them and they can “bring no fruit to perfection,” [Lk 8:14]. God’s desire in you is “to will and to do of his good pleasure,” [Phil 2:12-13], not yours.
They have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof – 2 Tim 3:5 – they know how to put on what looks like a godly appearance, but they are powerless. They are like the Pharisees in Jesus’ day [Matt 23:27]. True godliness is the result of the divine power of God within us that we receive through the knowledge of him [2 Pet 1:3]. We must exercise ourselves unto godliness [1 Tim 4:7-8].
Conclusion: Paul told us what to do with these folks, “From such turn away,” [2 Tim 3:5]. We must or we will end up like them and our churches will end up in apostasy like theirs.