The Call to Remain Faithful to the Word of God.
The Characteristics of Last Days: 2 Timothy 3:1-9.
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. They are influenced by false teachers. Rather than living for Jesus these people became lovers of self, money and pleasure. When people love self, money and pleasure more than God, these characteristics will surface. Self love leads to abusive behavior and unnatural affection (Romans 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. False teachers 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 church history. They will be exposed (1 John 2:19). In the last days, the churches will be filled with such people. Timothy is exhorted to stay away from such people.
Exhortation to Follow Paul’s Example: 2 Timothy 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 based on the Word of Godand not our experiences. Experiences can be misunderstood and misleading (Psalms 73:3, 17, 18). This was a fatherly reminder to Timothy. 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 (2 Timothy 3:12). In this world you will have trouble but take heart Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). Christians are not immune from suffering and persecution (Acts 14:22). God allows suffering to prove the genuineness of our faith and to develop spiritual character to prepare us for greater use (1 Peter 1:7; Romans 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). Satan uses false teachers to deceive many people even in the church. The best way to maintain our hope in Christ is to keep our focus on Christ.
Be Faithful to the Word of God: 2 Timothy 3:14-17.
Paul reminds Timothy the importance of continuing in the Word of God. He should give close attention to the Scriptures and be convinced of its truthfulness. We should learn the Scripture from reliable people. The truth is sacred. From infancy Timothy has known the scriptures from his grandmother and mother (2 Timothy 1:5). The Bible is not given to make you wise and to solve all your problems. 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 from childhood. The Bible is key to understanding Jesus and his gospel. Faith comes as a result of hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable. The entire Bible is inspired by God. The fact that the "Bible is breathed out by God" gives us confidence that it is trustworthy (2 Peter 1:20, 21). It is incorrect to say that the Bible contains the Word of God. It is 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 salvation. It is profitable for our teaching. It teaches us what is true and makes 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 us to 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 God help us to focus on His Word and remain faithful to Him.