Intro: We live in what Scripture refers to as the last days—the age of grace following the resurrection of Christ and the impartation of the Holy Spirit. The last days and the times of difficulty involve the clash of two kingdoms—the world and heaven. The closer we come to the return of Christ, the more difficult and volatile times will become; sin will be rampant (Mat 24:12). However, we cannot give in to the world’s pressure to reject Christ’s righteous commands of love (Mat 22:37-38).
In our passage today, Paul is instructing Timothy to hold onto sound teaching and to give the Church—the redeemed people of God—a solid foundation to serve Christ and his kingdom. The appearance of godliness is not enough; God cares about the inner attitudes and beliefs of our hearts. Our daily behavior identifies the kingdom we serve. How we treat people matters greatly to God.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 NLT The Dangers of the Last Days
1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.
Prayer: Lord, help us to set aside our selfish inclinations and genuinely care about people coming to know you. We reject the spirit of pride and look to please you in how we love and serve your kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.