Summary: The last days are perilous, unthankful times marked by godlessness, powerless religion, and corrupt ministry.
Living In Unthankful Times
Introduction: The Humanist’s Prayer
Lyman Abbot once paraphrased the Lord’s Prayer to reflect the philosophy of those without God. We might call it the Humanist’s Prayer:
Our brethren who art on earth,
Hallowed be our name.
Our kingdom come,
Our will be done on earth,
For there is no heaven.
We must get this day our daily bread;
We neither forgive nor are forgiven.
We fear not temptation,
For we deliver ourselves from evil.
For ours is the kingdom and the power,
And there is no glory and no forever.
(James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 446.)
Note: Perilous times means difficult, troublesome, trying, uneasy, hard, violent, threatening, and dangerous days. The picture is that of people turning to and fro, here and there, not knowing which way to turn. “The last days” is a Biblical term that points to the end of the present age, the days right before the return of Christ, and the end of the world. It should be noted, however, that the marks of the end time are somewhat characteristic of all ages, but they are to be intensified in the last days. (The Preacher’s Outline And Sermon Bible: 1 Thessalonians – Philemon. Leadership Ministries Worldwide. Chattanooga, TN. p. 256.)
I. PERILOUS TIMES ARE MARKED BY A GODLESS SOCIETY. 2 Timothy 3:1-4
Illustration: Differing Perspectives
Shortly after the Communist revolution in Cuba, there were strong persuasive attempts at turning the people away from God. In grade schools, teachers would ask their students whether God could live up to His promises or not. Of course, the students said yes. The teacher would then illustrate how impotent God actually was. The teacher instructed the students to fervently pray for candy. After ten minutes, the teacher would ask if anyone received any candy. The students responded with a sad "No." Then the teacher would ask the students to ask the Communist state for candy. With expectant hearts, the students did so, and the teacher went around the room filling the students hands with sweets.
This truly is a differing perspective. Communism as a cure for social ills has no room for a loving God. The state’s protection of the individual for the benefit of the state will never replace God’s own Son dying for our sins on the cross. (James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) pp. 110-111.)
A. A Godless Society Is Self-Centered, Covetous, Proud And Boastful. 2 Timothy 3:2a
“…lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud…”
1. Self-centeredness highlights the lives of unthankful people. Matthew 25:43
a. They have no concern for others.
b. They have no concern for God.
c. Their selfish ambitions control their thoughts, their actions, and their lives.
2. Materialism dominates the lifestyles of unthankful people. 1 Timothy 6:10
a. They don’t want more, they want the most.
b. They don’t want better, they want the best.
c. They have a craving for things that cannot be satisfied.