The Call to Remain Faithful to the Word of God.
The Characteristics of Last Days: 3:1-7. Paul warns Timothy that in the last days, difficult times will come. Here the last days referred to the church age. In verses 2-5, nineteen characteristics of perilous times are mentioned. Basically people will become lovers of their own selves. When people love self, money and pleasure more than God, these characteristics will surface. Self love leads to abusive behavior and unnatural affection (Rom 1:21-26). When selfishness abounds people become covetous, boastful, proud, disobedient to parents, thankless, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self control, cruel, have no interest in what is good, betray their friends, reckless and lovers of pleasure rather than God. They have an appearance godliness but deny its power (3:5). Paul wants Timothy to avoid them. They use various crafty ways to influence vulnerable women by their teachings to follow them. These women always learn but never understand the truth. Paul compared the false teachers to Jannes and Jambres, the magicians who stood against Moses (Exodus 7:11). Their minds are depraved and their faith is counterfeit. False teachers have come and gone throughout the church history. They will be exposed (1 John 2:19). In the last days, the churches will be filled with such people and Timothy is exhorted to stay away from them.
Beware of False Teachers: 3:10-13. Paul exhorts Timothy to follow the example of his life and ministry. Timothy was invited to take a close look at Paul’s life and ministry. His life was consistent with his message. Teaching should be the basis of experiences and not the other way. Experiences alone can be misunderstood and misleading (Psalm 73:3, 17, 18). Paul testifies that the Lord had delivered him out of all the troubles. Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ will suffer persecution (3:12). This will be so because of the rise of false teaching. Christians are not immune from suffering and persecution (Act 14:22). God may allow suffering to prove the genuineness of our faith and to develop spiritual strength for greater use (1 Pet 1:7; Rom 5:3, 4; James 1:2, 3). In the last days evil men and impostors will increase. They will deceive others by their false teaching and will be deceived by their own teaching (3:13).
Be Faithful to the Word of God: 3:14-17. Paul reminds Timothy the importance of continuing in the Word of God and convinced of its truthfulness. Conviction comes as a result of learning the scripture from reliable people. The basis of truth must be the sacred writings of the Word of God. From infancy Timothy has known the scriptures from his grandmother and mother (1:5). Only the Word of God is able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ. It is important to teach our children the Word of God. Faith comes as a result of hearing the Word of God (Rom 10:17). All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable. The entire Bible is inspired of God and the product of the creative breath of God (2 Pet 1:20, 21). It is incorrect to say that the Bible contains the Word of God. The Bible is not only our road map to heaven but also the road map for Christian life. The Bible is key to understanding Jesus and the gospel. It is profitable and is the source of our teaching. It is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people go do every good work. It helps to get right with God and stay right. Only the Word of God can make us mature and prepare us for his service. It makes our motives pure and our character more refined. The Bible is all that we need for faith and practice. May the Holy spirit use the Word in us to remain faithful to Christ.