Summary: This is going to be the first of a two-part message from two different passages that relate to the end-times before the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. First, I want to deal with what Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-9.
James O. Davis is the founder and president of Second Billion (TM). You are invited to learn more about Second Billion by visiting www.billion.tv.
This is going to be the first of a two-part message from two different passages that relate to the end-times before the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. First, I want to deal with what Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-9. Paul summed up the closing days of the Church Age in a passage pregnant with doom. He said they would be marked by perilous times. The word here used for “perilous” is one that means heavy, difficult, hard to bear, dangerous. The only other use of this same word is in Matthew’s account of the two demoniacs who met Christ when He visited the country of the Gadarenes. They are described as being “exceeding fierce” in Matthew 8:28. Paul links the arrival of perilous times with the last days. It is an expression first used in Scripture by the dying Jacob. It is used 14 times in the New Testament to describe both the course and close of the Church Age.
Paul’s list of the end-time events can be summarized as follows: he saw a world controlled by people without character. Their supreme concern was love for self and lust for wealth. Their scornful contempt is found in their boastful, haughty abusiveness. Their sinful conduct is toward parents and others. There is no reverence, no regard, and no restraint. Not only are they people without character, they are without conviction. Their false principles show they are ruled by wickedness, wiles and willfulness. Their foremost passion is exposed and their false profession is made known.
Not only are they people without character, but they are without conviction and conscience. In a few moments, you will see their vileness, their victims, their values, and their vanity. Fierce times are upon us today. Illustrations of unscrupulousness, ferocity, and planned wickedness can be found among some nations, and in the general godlessness of the once great nations of Christendom. Organized crime has disgraced the nations of the world. The reappearance of these kinds of lawlessness and licentiousness are they which characterized the days of Noah and Lot.
Evil people have always plagued society, but for most of the last two thousand years the Christian ethic has acted as a measure of restraint. Today, however, Christian standards of morality and decency are being swept aside. Perversion unashamedly and boastfully flaunts itself. Our courts, colleges and communication media are showing increasing bias against the Christian moral code. Ladies and gentlemen, we have arrived at the last days.
FIRST, LET’S INVESTIGATE THE PEOPLE WITHOUT CHARACTER
A) “Lovers of Their Own Selves” (v. 2) -- Paul listed a dozen things to substantiate this aspect of the end times. He wrote down first that people would be lovers of their own selves (v.2). Self-love, of course, is native to the human heart. It is something which shows itself in a child as soon as one can express himself. Nobody has to teach a baby to throw a temper tantrum to get his own way.