1. The last days is a topic that is really misunderstood in the religious world. They seem to think that all the behaviors we just read is what is going to usher in the last days before Jesus returns. In fact most of the religious world thinks that these last days have† just started in our generation. Is there in truth to this? Is Paul giving a sign, which will usher the last days before Jesus comes back? Lets take a look at the word of God says on this matter. Lets examine the first part of this by seeing if Paul is giving us a signs when Jesus will return. Mat. 24:36-44. Unless you want to conclude the Bible is contradicts itself Paul is in no way given us some sort of sign of the return of Jesus.
Now what about the phrase last days what does it mean and when do the last days start? The phrase last days used here refers to the Christian age. Peter makes its very clear when these last days began Acts (Joel ). Isaiah 2:2-4 prophecies of the establishment of the church in the latter days which occurred on the day of Pentecost. We can also see this from verse 5 that last days were in effect right then because Timothy was told to turn away from such people. We are going to take a brief look at all these characteristics in moment but all Paul was doing was informing Timothy that during the last days or the Christian dispensation that difficult would come because there would be people who had the bad characteristics.
Lovers of self. (selfish)This is one quality that people have had throughout the ages we definitely see this today. In the last 20 years or so you have seen a push for people to put themselves first above everyone else. It that mentality that says its all about me.
Covetous, lovers of money When people become lovers of money they total ruin their lives because all they can focus in on becoming more and more rich. We defiantly live in a country who mindset is toward greed. Everyone wants to make a quick buck and will do all kinds of evil things to obtain it. For example the HOSPITAL CORPORATION OF AMERICA was fined $800 million dollars for double billing Medicare. Jesse Jackson took money from a charitable organization to support his mistress and their child.
Boasters There is nothing more obnoxious than one who is boaster of himself and how good he really is. This is the opposite of being humble. These people will talk about how much money they have or continue to talk about the great things they have done are going to do and these are usually those people who are loves of themselves. Lets take a quick look at King who was a boaster. Dan. 4:30-32. We should always be humble and give god the glory for the accomplishments in our life. 1Cor. 10:31†††
Proud showing one's self above others, overtopping, conspicuous above others, pre-eminent 2) with an overweening estimate of one's means or merits, despising others or even treating them with contempt. We have a biblical example of this in 3John 1:9-10
Blasphemers ††This word means to speak against or to speak evil of God or of your fellow man. How many times have we seen this today where people speak against God and say horrible things against their fellowman?
Disobedient to Parents This is another characteristic that could be observed throughout human history and this is especially true in our day and age. I cant help but wonder if the reason why we have such a growth in disobedient children is because we as parents donít spend the kind of quality time with our children as we should. Its hard for us to compete against the hours of TV that they watch will fills their heads with how much smarter they are than their parents. Then this is amplified when they go to school and hear the other kids talking about how much better they are than their parents. I heard a statistic once that said the average full working mom and dad only spend about 15 to 30 min quality time with their children during the day. 15 to 30 min just isnít enough time to combat the negative things are children are exposed to everyday. If we lived under the law of Moses we have a lot Children who would have been stoned look at Deut. 20:20-21. †Under the NT note what Paul says Eph. 6:1-3. If a child will not obey their parents they certainly will not obey God. We as parents need to try and spend as much quality time with our kids as we can and must be sure to raise our children based on Biblical principles and not allow them to be disobedient and it will serve them well for the rest of their days.†
Unthankful or Ungrateful These are people who donít show any respect for others and what the do for them much less God himself. Luke 17:12-19 Only one was thankful. We definitely have people who are not thankful today. We should never take our salvation for granted doing so is being ungrateful.
Unholy simply means someone who opposed to all things that are Godly. We would call this a wicked person today one who loves evil more than good.
Without natural affection or unloving This caries of the idea of being heartless some people get to the point where they simply have no love for anyone. Without love you cannot be a Christian.
KJV Trucebreakers NKJ unforgiving ESV unappeasable This caries the idea of a person who is unwilling to reconcile their difference. They will are unwilling to forgive some no matter what.
False accuser or slanders Now this† is an interesting word as it is applied to satin some 34 times and it where we get our English word Devil. (diaboloi). This word can be defined as someone who is satin like in that they make false accusation about someone in order to destroy the reputation. Sometimes this word is translated malicious gossip. There were people who are doing this to Paul in acts 21:21-25 claiming that he had no respect for the law of Moses and was demanding people no longer keep the customs such a circumcision. Not only was this a problem in the 1st century it has been a problem through out history. You see this kind of behavior in politics all the time.
Incontinent or without self control This has always been a problem throughout history we see it today in many forms and fashion. Some loose all self control when it comes to drinking alcohol or doing drugs. Some will gamble away their entire family fortune because they just cant seem to stop. A lot men today seem to have difficult time of controlling themselves when it come pornographic material. We could go on and on but lets move on to next one.
Fierce or brutal This has the idea of being untamed, vicious one who has little regard for life. The Romans were very brutal and so have a whole host of other countries thorough out time.
Despisers of Good These are people that are opposed to all things good.
Traitors Is one who betrays another Judas was called a betrayer Stephen accused the Jews of being betrayers in Acts 7:52.
Heady, Headstrong, reckless. This means someone who has reckless behavior One who gives little thought to what they are about to do. We as Christians should be just the opposite we should have focused lives and not just jump into something without considering if its godly or not.
High minded or haughty this is someone who so proud or so prideful that all they can think about is their own self importance.
Lovers of pleasure instead of lovers of God. This last one here once again has been a problem though out history. The Roman culture was always indulging in those things that bring pleasure and people today are doing the same. We should follow the example of Moses Heb. 11:24-25.
Vrs 5 Some people will have some form of Godliness in their lives maybe they go to church maybe the wear the name Christian yet by their actions they deny the power of God that make a mockery of his word. No fits this description better than those in hollow wood. In one breath the praise God and in another they speak such foul things that will make your jaw drop.
Vrs 6: This is another problem that prevalent then and it is now. When men go into to houses and talk gullible women into adultery or fornication.
Vrs 7: I know a lot of people like this. There are many intelligent people out their that continue to learn but they refuse to acknowledge the truth. For example I just recently sit down with the woman pastor/minister at the First Christian Church and showed her how scripture plainly taught that she should not be a pastor or preacher of the public assembly. She even agreed that what the Bible taught but she said she feels that she was called to be a preacher and she cant explain why the Bible teaches that but she was going to continue to by her feeling instead of what the word of God said.††
Vrs 8-9 According to Jewish †† Tradition (Targum of Jonathan) these are the names of the magicians that withstood Moses in Exodus 7:11. Paul is saying just like these† men of old these people that have all these bad qualities are people who resist the truth who have corrupt minds. The idea of having corrupt mind is someone who has engulfed themselves in so much sin they cannot clearly distinguish between what is right and what is wrong. Because of this they are disapproved or disqualified when it comes to pleasing God. In verse 9 Paul is basically saying just as the 2 magicians were able to trick the people for a short while there magic their false ways will be brought to light when compared to the truth. Notice what Jesus says in Mat 7:15-16. People can only fool you a certain length of time eventual their true colors will come to the surface.
Vrs 10-12 Notice the contrast from the evil people to what Timothy does. Timothy had carefully followed Pauls doctrine and his way of life No wonder Paul told the Philippians that there was no one more like minded than Timothy.Philp 2:20. Again, we see the importance of carefully following or conforming ourselves after the word of God. Paul was the perfect example in all these areas mentioned in these verses. We know that his manner of life was that of purity and servitude to God his purpose was to preach the gospel and press toward the goal of heaven his faith was in God and his word. No matter what happened to Paul he put his faith in trust in God and he always gave God the credit for being delivered from these persecutions. In fact look at what Paul wrote in 1Cor. 10:13.† You also notice that Paul specifically names 3 cities that he faced persecution in which was during his 1st missionary journey with Barnabas the first city Antioch of Pisida Paul gave one of his longest sermons recorded and was asked to preach again. When he did a great number of people showed up and this made the Jews jealous so they persecuted them and ran them of the city Acts 13:50. In Iconium they were successful for† awhile until the Jews stirred up the crowds and they were about to stone them when the fled for Lystra which was Timothys hometown. Acts 14. In Lystra Paul healed a man and the people tried to worship them. Then Paul was stoned and drug outside the city. This is strongest implications that we have that Timothy was an eye witness of these persecutions and that on Paul 1st missionary journey is when Timothy was converted. We know by the time the Paul started in 2 missionary journey and reached Lystra in Acts 16 Timothy was now a disciple and was well spoken of in the brotherhood in Lystra and Iconium. All this indicates that Paul and Timothy first encountered one another on his first missionary journey.
12 We have already covered† this earlier but I will say again if a Christian lives a godly life you will suffer persecution in one way or another.
13 Those who practice evil and being imposters will continue to advance and become even more evil. I like the last part there were it says they not only deceive but will be deceived themselves. There are a lot of imposters out there that claim themselves to be Christians or teachers of the truth and some of them have become so wrapped up in the lie they themselves are deceived the lie is true. TBN people for example.
14-15 Here is yet another plea for Timothy to continue to remain steadfast in the word of God which he had learned and been assured of. In verse 15 we see that Timothy had been acquainted with the Holy scriptures from birth which he was taught from his mother and grandmother which in context would primarily be referring to the OT. Then you see back in verse 14 that Timothy had been assured of the things that he had learned because he learned from Paul the fulfillment of the OT and ushering in of the NT because he was an eyewitness of Paul teachings which were confirmed by signs and miracles. We see both the teaching of the Old law and the new law combined here.
Take another look at verse 15 and how it links the Old law to the new law. Within context the Holy scriptures here would refer to the old Testament and notice how they OT is able to teach or make wise Timothy for salvation but see the only way this salvation is possible is through the system of faith which is in Christ Jesus. Gal. 3:23-25. Rom 15:4, 1Cor. 10:1-11 It was the OT that used to teach people about Christ in the 1st century. Peter used in on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, Stephen used it when he defended himself before the Jews in Acts 7 Paul used in Acts† 13 to teach the Jews about Christ. Philip the evangelist used it to in Acts 8 to covert the Eunich to Christianity. Through out the entire NT you will see many references back the OT. (other examples Heb. 3:12-19, Heb. 11, James 5:7-11). The OT is a valuable book that we should not neglect to study because we learn a great deal about God and many good and bad examples on how to treat God. When some people find out that you go the church of Christ they will say oh you guys donít believe in the OT. That simply is not true. Though we are not under the authority of the Old law it is very important because without the new NT just wouldnít make much sense.†
Vrs 16-17 Notice Paul is telling us that all scripture is inspired or God breathed. Some get confused and donít understand the scripture refers both to the old and new testament anything that is written under inspiration of God is considered as scripture. 2Peter 1:21, 1Cor 2:9-13, 1Cor 14:37.† It can be understood Eph 3:1-5. This within itself teaches that the NT is scripture because the it was inspired by God.
Another way to show this is from 2Peter 3:15-16
Also 1Tim. 5:18 the first one is a quoted from deut 25:4 but the second one is not found in OT but is found in Luke 10:7.
Doctrine simply means teaching
Reproof means to convict or rebuke someone. The word can be use to expose false doctrine.
Correction has the idea of self improvement to bring yourself from a wrong state to a right state.
Instruction in righteousness the word can teach us how to discipline ourselves so as to be faithful servants of the lord.
The word man here simply mean humans. The word of God can bring us to spiritual maturity or full age. Heb 5:14. It makes us fully equipped for every good work. This is why Paul has stressed over and over again not to go beyond that which is written .