Summary: This sermon series calls attention to what society will be like during the last days before the return of our Lord.
Living in the last days: Selfishness & Greed
Introduction: I'm going to spend the next couple of weeks explaining through the Bible, what the state of society will be like, living in the last days before the coming of Jesus. It promises to be informative, interesting and thoroughly biblical.
Ill. You may have heard the story of two friends who met for dinner in a restaurant. Each requested filet of sole, and after a few minutes the waiter came back with their order. Two pieces of fish, a large and a small, were on the same platter. One of the men proceeded to serve his friend. Placing the small piece on a plate, he handed it across the table. "Well, you certainly do have nerve!" exclaimed his friend.
"What's troubling you?" asked the other. "Look what you've done," he answered. "You've given me the little piece and kept the big one for yourself." "How would you have done it?" the man asked. His friend replied, "If I were serving, I would have given you the big piece." "Well," replied the man, "I've got it, haven't I?" At this, they both laughed. (Daily Bread - August 11 1992)
This is symbolic of what will be prevalent in the world in the last days: Society will be Selfish and Greedy. We read in 2 Timothy 3:2 what people will be like in the last days
Scripture: II Timothy 3:2 “People will be lovers of themselves...”
Selfishness in the last days
A few of us were talking after service Wednesday night how the selfishness of the last days seems to present today. I have said it before but bears repeating, there are many people in the world that make it very difficult to be nice. But before we jump to judgment let's see what's behind it.
In the last days people will be '...lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God'. - 2 Tim. 3:4
Their only concern is themselves. 'How will this effect me? How will that benefit me? How will this elevate, promote, or profit me?' Notice that selfish people aren't happy people. Selfish people are miserable people. They aren't happy unless they are constantly being entertained. It's because they are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. a love that can not be gratified for long. In the last days people will be consumed with gratifying their lusts.
There are many words in 2 Timothy that describe the attitude of people in the last days. But I chose four of them to illustrate how selfish people will be in the last days. They will be proud, boastful, ungrateful (v.2) & conceited (v.4)
1) They will be proud. They are proud of their looks, they are proud of their works, they are proud of their life either good or bad, they are proud of it! If they do nothing, then they are proud of doing nothing. If they do wrong, they are proud of doing wrong. If they do good (in their own eyes) they are proud of doing good. Even though doing good seems to be the proper thing to be proud of, we can be deceived, thinking it will earn us eternal life in Heaven. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” -Eph. 2:8
2) They will be boastful. Samuel Brengle of the Salvation Army made a great point about boasting: He mentions the axe can not brag about chopping down trees. After all, if it weren't for the lumberjack who made it, sharpened it, carried it from tree to tree, swinging it over and over, what could it do? If He threw it to the side it would just be another piece of iron. (Sermon Central ill.) A braggart is someone who will strut around telling anyone who will listen how great and special they are. People in the last days will be boastful.
3) They will be ungrateful. They may say 'thank you' but that doesn't mean they are thankful. It's seems rare to even hear someone say 'thank you' anymore. Someone once said “The ungrateful man is like a Hog eating acorns under an oak tree, He never looks up to see where they came from.” (Sermon Central ill.) People in the last days will be ungrateful. Ungrateful to others, and ungrateful to God - deliberately forgetting that their blessings come from above.
4) They will be conceited. Is there anything that describes selfishness better than being conceited? I don't know that there is. In 3 John, we read about a conceited church leader named Diotrephes. In verse 9: “I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.”