They will be without self-control and brutal, and they won’t love what is good. […] They will look like they are religious but deny God’s power. Avoid people like this.
Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Today I’m going to do something that I talked about all the way back in my first post. Twenty-eight posts later I’m finally getting around to it. No problem, better late than never.
There are many passages in Scripture about the End Times, of course. Today I’m going to look at 2 Timothy 3:1-9. There are plenty of other topics I could get into based on what’s in this passage, but I’m going to try to stay on topic, and stick to this passage only. So here goes.
A Reading of 2 Timothy 3:1-9
In the CEB translation, 2 Timothy 3:1-9 is its own section entitled “Avoid people like this.” Here it is.
(1) Understand that the last days will be dangerous times. (2) People will be selfish and love money. They will be the kind of people who brag and who are proud. They will slander others, and they will be disobedient to their parents. They will be ungrateful, unholy, (3) unloving, contrary, and critical. They will be without self-control and brutal, and they won’t love what is good. (4) They will be people who are disloyal, reckless, and conceited. They will love pleasure instead of loving God. (5) They will look like they are religious but deny God’s power. Avoid people like this. (6) Some will slither into households and control immature women who are burdened with sins and driven by all kinds of desires. (7) These women are always learning, but they can never arrive at an understanding of the truth. (8) These people oppose the truth in the same way that Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. Their minds are corrupt and their faith is counterfeit. (9) But they won’t get very far. Their foolishness will become obvious to everyone like those others.2 Timothy 3:1-9 (CEB)
This is one of the passages that really jumped out to me when I came back to the faith. Besides Revelation, this passage is one that made it clear to me that we are now in the End Times. There was no longer any doubt. So much of this applies to our world today. Let’s take a look.
(1) Understand that the last days will be dangerous times.
This is clear enough, and very true today. I need not explain all the mortal danger we face in our world, from disasters to viruses to violence and hate. Now, a look through the Bible will show you that times have always been dangerous. People have always had to face mortal peril.
But verse 1 is setting up the rest of this passage. We face a special kind of danger now, in the End Times. The End Times are spiritually dangerous. Paul gets to that point in a few verses. But first, he explains more mundane dangers.
(2) People will be selfish and love money. They will be the kind of people who brag and who are proud. They will slander others, and they will be disobedient to their parents. They will be ungrateful, unholy,
Are people today selfish and love money? I say yes. Our capitalist society does not force anyone to become selfish or love money, but many people naturally end up that way in a capitalist society. It’s one danger of capitalism. Money isn’t evil in and of itself, but what we do for money and what we do with money can be evil. Most importantly, if we love money then we’re committing a grievous sin. We can’t serve both God and Mammon (money/greed) (Matthew 6:24). If you can think of people who will do anything to get money, they likely fit this description. But beware that you’re not judging them though, only observing.
Do people today brag and are proud? I say yes, but I don’t know if they do it any more or less than people of other eras. Pride is a sin that has afflicted humanity since the very earliest days. Hey, it even afflicted some of the angels themselves! So is the sin of pride a problem for the people of today? Of course it is, because it’s been a problem for all people throughout time. Why would things be different now?
Do people today slander each other? I say yes. Gossip seems to be a popular topic on YouTube, and there’s a whole subculture of exposing people’s dirt and taking them down. It can get kind of vicious sometimes. And certainly in political discourse most civility is gone. People don’t speak to each other with respect anymore, as Christians are called to do.
Being disobedient to parents, well, this is one part where I have to refrain from commenting. How does this verse apply when one has abusive parents? We are called to forgive, yes, but forgiveness does not have to mean accepting an abusive, dangerous person back into our lives. Separating from parents and vice/versa is sometimes the right thing to do. I’m not commenting on this part because of the complexity of the issue.
Are people today ungrateful and unholy? I definitely say yes. People aren’t grateful to God for their blessings, talents, accomplishments, and successes. This increasingly secular world attributes all their success to themselves, never to God. They don’t give thanks like they should. More and more people don’t acknowledge or care about God. It’s not that they’re unholy because they don’t believe in God. Many young people today were raised in non-believing homes, so how can they be blamed for not believing? They’re unholy because they mock God, mock the idea of God, and assert that He’s not necessary. That God is an old idea from another time. That is what makes people unholy.
(3) unloving, contrary, and critical. They will be without self-control and brutal, and they won’t love what is good.
Are people unloving, contrary, and critical? I say yes. I’ve written a few posts recently about how people are unloving. Check Part 13, Part 26, and Part 28. Contrary means argumentative. I say people are definitely contrary, because if I look at the news I see people arguing all the time. Seems like no one can agree anymore, everyone wants to argue instead. And people are critical of others, which we can see in things like the YouTube culture of taking down other video creators. Sometimes this is justified, sometimes it isn’t. This is “cancel culture,” among other things.
Are people without self-control and brutal? I say yes. Self-discipline is lacking with most people, and hedonism is the order of the day. Just do whatever makes you feel good. Follow the callings of the flesh, not the spirit. Don’t think about the things of heaven or anything spiritual, only think about seeking out pleasure. That’s not right, which I touched on in Part 27. Are people brutal? Looks that way. It looks like there’s more and more violence in the world. That’s not a good thing.
Do people not love what is good? I say yes. Like I said above, people aren’t focused on the spiritual. People today are following the callings of the flesh, and so they love and respect the wrong things. That’s almost inevitable when you’re living a worldly life instead of a spiritual one.
(4) They will be people who are disloyal, reckless, and conceited. They will love pleasure instead of loving God.
Are people disloyal to each other? Disloyal to their family and friends? I don’t know. This is so individual, it’s hard for me to tell. I’ll leave this one alone. But on another note I’ll point out that criticizing your country for its flaws, shortcomings, and injustices is not disloyalty. In fact to speak up and say those things shows great loyalty, because you care enough to speak up.
Are people today reckless and conceited? I say yes. It looks to me like a lot of people don’t think about the long-term. They make risky choices in the here and now for short-lived, short-term pleasure or gain. They don’t think about how the choices they make today will affect them in years to come. And society and advertising reinforce these mistaken attitudes and choices. As for being conceited, yes, it goes back to the line about being proud, above.
Do people love pleasure instead of God? Oh, absolutely yes! People want what makes them feel good, and they don’t care about God anymore. They follow the call of the flesh, the world, and seek out worldly pleasures to feel good right now instead of the spiritual pleasures that would make them feel good forever. But they don’t want to hear about that. On this note, in this verse Paul is now starting to touch on how these End Times are spiritually dangerous.
There are a lot of ways to lose one’s salvation in these End Times, right at the final hour. Following the call of the flesh and pursuing the world’s pleasures instead of staying spiritually strong, following Christ, and working on our faith is a way to lose our salvation that everyone is in danger from.
(5) They will look like they are religious but deny God’s power. Avoid people like this.
When I read this verse, I think of the New Age. People like to look spiritual and they seek out different types of spirituality, but one thing they don’t want to do is acknowledge that CHRIST IS THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. They’ll do anything but acknowledge that. They want to talk about “the universe” as a god, talk about Buddha, all these different things. But they don’t want to respect Christ. That’s like the line they don’t want to cross while everything else goes.
Then we have an instruction: “Avoid people like this.” OK, that’s clear enough. My first instinct is to minister to people like this, to try and show them the error of their ways. But here’s a clear command from Scripture. I guess it’s best to wait for the Holy Spirit to show us who can be ministered to and when. Who’s ready to receive the LORD’s truth.
(6) Some will slither into households and control immature women who are burdened with sins and driven by all kinds of desires.
Again I think of the New Age. I think of gurus, and how successful they are at sucking people into their twisted spirituality. Some are legit cult leaders, like Teal Swan. Others only want to sell crystals, books, meditation courses, and whatever else to any men or women willing to buy. When these “teachers” suck people into their spirituality and start molding their worldview, they begin to control these people like verse 6 says.
The people of today are spiritually starving. They want faith, they want to believe in something more than what we see in the visible realm. This is because they gain worldly success and still don’t feel happy, something’s still missing, and they need more. They look into spirituality for happiness and peace, but they go looking in all the wrong places. The answer is Christ, but people have a bizarre dislike for Him and even His very name. It’s sad, because He is the answer they’re looking for and He wants to heal them of their pain! Well, spreading the message is a never-ending mission, so we keep on trying as best we can.
As for “burdened with sins and driven by all kinds of desires,” it goes back to the part about loving pleasure instead of God. A life of doing whatever you want traps you into always pursuing something else you want, and never being content. Never stopping. If you always go after what you want, and get it, then you’re always wanting something. If you stop to enjoy what you have, thank God for it, and be content with it, you can free yourself from wanting anything besides God. The bottom line is: A person always pursuing what they want becomes a slave to what they want. Their desires really do drive them. I wrote about this in a post I made awhile ago. If you spend your life living this way, it makes sense that your conscience would get burdened with sins over time.
(7) These women are always learning, but they can never arrive at an understanding of the truth.
I also wasted time getting sucked down the false, heretical, satanic, spiritually dangerous rabbit hole of New Age. Oh by the way, I’m a man. That’s why I haven’t said anything about these verses calling out women. Men can be just as guilty and deceived, as I once was.
Anyway, when you get into New Age, there’s always something new to learn. Always some deeper mysteries to unravel. Always some new spiritual practice to get into. It never ends. No answers, only more questions, more dead ends. And none of this will ever lead you to the truth, of course, because it’s not the truth. Jesus is the one and only truth (John 14:6). After wasting so much time in New Age, the truth of Christianity was like a breath of fresh air for me. I hope many more New Agers will find this truth too, as many as can be saved before The End. If it’s God’s will, then it will happen.
(8) These people oppose the truth in the same way that Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. Their minds are corrupt and their faith is counterfeit.
Who were Jannes and Jambres? Interestingly, 2 Timothy 3:8 is the only place in the Bible when their names appear. Tradition says they were the chief magicians of Pharaoh who opposed Moses and Aaron in Exodus 7. Here’s an article you can read to learn a little more.
The important thing is that whether they mean to be or not, people following false beliefs like New Age are opposed to the true God. The LORD is incompatible with New Age (etc.) beliefs, but that’s another topic for another time.
Their faith is counterfeit, it’s a copy. It’s false. Their minds are corrupt because of, mainly, the Leviathan demon. Leviathan is the chaotic, demonic force of “the Universe,” among other things. “The Universe” is an impersonal yet conscious force that makes reality run according to many New Age belief systems. It’s like a God to them, but New Agers don’t know it’s actually Leviathan. I had Leviathan on me too due to my involvement with New Age, and I needed deliverance to remove it. Interacting with New Age also opens the door for a variety of other demons, and all demons corrupt minds. Read Part 4 of my Cast Down Jezebel miniseries for a little more detail.
(9) But they won’t get very far. Their foolishness will become obvious to everyone like those others.
Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Jesus Christ is the truth, and all other “ways” are lethal distractions. They’re spiritually lethal because they don’t lead to salvation, only damnation. Jesus is the one and only way. All other “ways” are godless.
The godless never know when they’ll stumble, or what will trip them up. They walk in the dark. Since they credit all their success to themselves, God will bring them down a few notches to humble them. If they’re wise they’ll turn to the LORD and be humble from then on. If they’re unwise they’ll stick to their godless beliefs and curse their “bad luck.”
“Commit your work to the LORD,and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3) Living without God is foolish. God will help and watch over the plans of those who love Him, but frustrate the ambitions of those who don’t. When God brings their plans crashing down, all will see that they’re no smarter than anyone else. Their false, godless spirituality will mean nothing then, because it is nothing.
They won’t get very far, the godless. And if they keep going the way they do without REPENTING and changing their ways, they won’t like where they get to at all!
Avoid People like this
Like I said, this passage is one that really jumped out at me when I read it after coming back to the faith. It’s a spot-on description of today’s world. We know from this and other Bible passages that these are the End Times.
Listen carefully to the types of people being described in 2 Timothy 3:1-9, and avoid them like Paul warns. Don’t associate with these people, don’t follow them. Most importantly … don’t be them! If you read this passage and see yourself being described, then it’s time to REPENT, turn back to the LORD Jesus Christ, and change your ways. Jesus will help you and instruct you, so you don’t need to fear. But you do need to turn to Him while you still can! And put down all your New Age and so on.
Does any part of 2 Timothy 3:1-9 jump out at you? Let us know in the comments below.
It was great doing this End Times Scripture review today. I’ll have to do more of these posts in the future!
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Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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