This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)
At our Gideon camp meeting this Saturday, our Scripture reading was 2 Timothy 3. A visitor to our meeting commented how the passage sounded a lot like today. The way he said it was as if he had never heard that passage before. That is not surprising. Many Christians today live day to day unaware of what is going on around them. It is understandable. Life is full of activities that need to get done. Between work and family, who wants to spend time keeping up with world events when the news can be so depressing if it can be trusted at all? So, spending free time on entertainment of one kind or another is the preferred choice for spare-time activities.
Pastors that do not preach on end-times prophecy only add to the lack of awareness of most Christians. While the congregants may perceive the growing darkness in our country, they do not associate it with the “last days.” They may just assume that these days are no worse than those in the past; many think that we are just more aware of them due to worldwide media coverage. While that may be partially true, the rapid worldwide moral decline is more pervasive, more diverse, and more rampant than anything the world has ever experienced except, perhaps, for the days of Noah or the days of Lot.
So, what did our Gideon visitor hear that sounded so much like today? Paul said that the “last days” would be perilous (i.e., difficult, dangerous, furious) times. Paul goes on to explain what he means by that. He says, “men shall be lovers of their own selves.” Surely men (and that includes women) have always been somewhat egocentric – thinking of themselves ahead of anyone else. But have we ever seen it to the extent that we see it now?
Paul goes on to list other characteristics of “last days” people. They are “covetous” – that is they are avarice, they love money and material possessions particularly when those things belong to someone else. That also includes someone else’s husband or wife.
“Last days” people are “boasters.” They like to “puff themselves” up about their possessions or achievements whether real or presumed. Closely related to that is “pride.” The Greek word here is huperēphanos, i.e., “showing one’s self above others, overtopping, conspicuous above others, pre-eminent.” In other words, they think more highly of themselves than they ought.
“Last days” people are “blasphemers,” “speaking evil, slanderous, reproachful, railing, abusive” of all things pertaining to God. We see blasphemy everywhere these days, in entertainment, in “science,” and in politics (one particular party that has a donkey as its mascot comes to mind). “Last days” people violate the fifth of the Ten Commandments, which says to honor father and mother; they are disobedient to parents. Going along with that, they are “unthankful” either to God or to their parents or anyone who has benefitted them. They are “unholy,” i.e., impious and wicked. “Holy” means to be “set apart,” especially for the service of God. These people are just the opposite.
Paul continues. “Last days” people are “without natural affection,” that is, “unsociable, inhuman, unloving.” The most glaring evidence for this is the abortion issue these days. These “last days” people do not care about human life. They willingly murder unborn babies even up to the moment of birth, and many advocate for infanticide up to two years of age. At the same time, they want to save the panda, the polar bear, the whale, the planet, etc. – “without natural affection.”
“Last days” people are “trucebreakers.” They are untrustworthy. They lie without shame. They are “false accusers.” Think of the many “righteous” people that have been falsely accused by the FBI lately, while those that are true lawbreakers are set free. Paul says that “last days” people are “incontinent.” By that, he means that they lack self-control. Think of the many instances where we see on the news mobs breaking into stores taking anything they want. Think of angry, left-wing protestors that shout down opposing voices and refuse to listen to reason. Think about those that violently attack unsuspecting victims in public and in broad daylight. That last group, Paul defines as “fierce” meaning “not tame or savage.”
“Last days” people are “despisers of those that are good.” They “call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). To end the list, Paul names other characteristics synonymous with those already listed. “Last days” people are “Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4).
Dear reader, does that not sound like the world in which we live? The visitor to our Gideon prayer meeting surely thought so. This is not just true within our nation, but it permeates the entire world, which is why we hear of wars and rumors of wars worldwide. These things have not always been this way. They are much more pervasive today, and they are converging together all at once. That is the major difference between now and then.
We are living in the “last days,” and it is only a matter of time before the Lord says that it is enough, and He puts a final end to it all. Dear reader, are you prepared to meet the Savior when He comes to clean up this mess? If not, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”
 “Things Have Always Been This Way!” — Things Have Always Been This Way! | Ernie’s Musings (erniecarrasco.com)
 Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:28-29
 Thayer’s Greek Definitions
 Thayer’s Greek Definitions
 Thayer’s Greek Definitions