What is this world coming to? The Word of God let's us know exactly what will take place with regard to this world, the end time events, and the glorious future for the children of God. Last week we spoke of the dangers of any study of prophecy.
With that in mind, we want to continue this evening with a message that will answer the question of 'What this world is coming to'.
Read: 2 Timothy 3:1-9
I. Signs of the Times
A. The Last Days are described as "Perilous Times" (v.1).
1. How do we know we are near the end?
2. We look to the signs of the times.
3. In this passage we learn that the last days will be "perilous times."
4. "Perilous" comes from a word that means "violent, dangerous or savage."
5. It's only other usage in the NT is in Mt.8:28 where the demon-possessed men are described as "exceedingly fierce."
Mt 8:28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
6. Though evil has been with us in every generation, it seems that standards of morality and decency are ignored more and more as time goes on.
7. This wickedness will reach an 'exceedingly fierce' point as the last days draw to an end.
B. People Will Lack Character (v2-3).
1. The people will be "lovers of themselves."
a. Never in history has our society been so motivated by self-gratification.
b. Me-first has become the American way of life.
c. What's in it for me? Whether it is work, play, or even worship.
2. The people will be "lovers of money."
a. The refusal to deny self anything has already brought on enormous debt.
b. Christians lament that they 'can't afford' to tithe or give to missions.
c. The reason? They have over-extended themselves with things.
3. The people will be "boasters, proud" and "blasphemers."
a. 'I don't need God…I don't need anyone!'
b. They are self-made and arrogant.
4. The people are described as "disobedient to parents, unthankful."
a. Isn't amazing that Paul could see into what the world would become? NO
b. Remember, God inspired the Scripture.
c. The Lord revealed to him a future time when the family unit would be broken down.
d. He certainly could be writing about the conditions of our young people today.
e. Oh, how we need to pray for our children's workers and youth workers.
f. Children are so bombarded with the philosophy of the world that our church is on the frontline of this battle!
5. People are "unholy" or profane.
a. You cannot watch TV without hearing explicit profanity.
b. We aren't visiting Mayberry anymore.
c. Even cartoons are vile…the Simpsons, South Park, etc.
d. Beyond profane language, are the profane subject matters addressed as normal!
6. People are "unloving, unforgiving, slanderers."
a. Our court system is clogged with frivolous litigation.
b. Class action suits are being filed on everything from tobacco to McDonalds.
c. I heard a couple of weeks ago about a guy who was suing Atkins because he developed heart trouble.
d. Neighbors sue one another over where the leaves drop…
7. People shun "self-control."
a. They are "brutal, despisers of good."
b. Instead of uplifting what is pure and good, our culture uplifts what is filthy and wicked.
c. Look at the heroes placed before our children.
C. People Will Have No Conviction (v4-5).
1. People are "traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God."
2. You would think that people would flock to worship God?
3. They have "a form of godliness but deny its power."
a. There are many who profess to be religious but deny God's power.
b. They deny His creation, His Word, His Son and His coming.
c. Paul tells us that we are to "turn away" from them.
D. People Will Have No Conscience (v6-9).
1. Paul talks about these false religionists "who creep into households."
2. One common strategy of the cults is to speak first to the woman of the house.
3. Why do you think that is true?
a. Because it is in direct opposition of God's plan for the family.
b. God established the man to lead the family…especially in spiritual matters.
c. He specifically forbids women to be leaders within the local church, but note the increase and acceptance of women pastors today.
4. Such deceived people are "always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
5. In v.8-9, Paul gives the illustration of the two Egyptian priests who "resisted Moses."
a. Though they could replicate some of Moses' miracles (snakes, water to blood)
b. They could "progress no further."
c. So it is with the deceivers of today, they may mimic and counterfeit the work of God, but they are limited in how far they can go.
What should be our response as we read and consider these verses? Realize that our time is short. What we do for Christ must be done today! We cannot sit back and think we have plenty of time. We are living in perilous times. People are bound in sin and we have the key! Jesus!
Paul challenges us to be not unwise…but understanding the times…take full advantage and do all we can to see others brought to a saving knowledge of Him. We can see the condition of our society, we can see the need of those around us, but what will we do?
Look at the rest of this chapter. Paul admonishes Timothy with regard to the last days, but also with regard to Timothy's responsibility to live godly in the midst of a darkened world. We must be the light! We must shine that others might see our good works and glorify God. What do others see when they look at us.