Summary: Our OWN idea of pleasure could be loving the self, money, or being proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, etc.
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
Notice that in the last days, there will be terrible times – not just because of earthquakes, tidal waves, super typhoons, etc, but because of people -- people who are not lovers of the good, who are not lovers of God! They are “lovers of pleasure”!
Does it mean if we love God, we will not enjoy pleasure? Or, we have to make a choice: either enjoy God, or enjoy pleasure? And we can only have pleasure in ourselves, money, being boastful, abusive, etc., etc.?
God’s Word explains it further in Hebrews 11:24-25, “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the PLEASURES OF SIN for a short time.”
We also read in 2 Peter 2:12-13, “But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish. They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. THEIR IDEA OF PLEASURE is to carouse in broad daylight…”
Now, what is also our own idea of pleasure?
Our OWN idea of pleasure could be loving the self, money, or being proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited and other pleasures of sin – finding great joy NOT in God!
But God is the Greatest Pleasure. We read in Psalm 43:4, “Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise your with the harp, O God, my God.”
We read it in English Standard Version: “Then I will go to the altar of God, to God MY EXCEEDING JOY…”
And He wants His children to find enjoyment in Him. In fact, He commanded them:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27).
We also read in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the LORD…”
1 Chronicles 16:10-11 states, “Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.”
In Psalm 32:11, we read: “Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!”
And Paul wrote in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
Yes, He wants His children to enjoy the GREATEST pleasure. So, He commanded them to delight, to rejoice with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind in HIM! To rejoice in Him always!
Finding other pleasures apart from Him is the greatest sin we can commit.
Besides, aside from His command, there are at least five reasons why we need to find our pleasure in Him.
First, let’s go back to Hebrews 11:25, “He (Moses) chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasure of sin for a short time.” Our own pleasure no matter how “ideal” we conceive it, or whatever enjoyment we can have in this world is only “for a short time.”
But God’s pleasure is ETERNAL. We read, “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Ps. 16:11).
Second, let’s read Luke 8:14-15, “The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
The pleasures of sin “choked” us and prevented our maturity. But God’s pleasure motivates us to persevere and GROW.
Third, consider Titus 3:3-8, “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress theses things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.”