Instructions for Perilous Times
We are not introducing perilous times but are investigating them today. Perilous means: full of danger or risk; exposed to imminent risk of disaster or ruin. So as we look at our passage today, we do not want to be light hearted about it. It is a strong teaching, warning to Timothy and for the church.
We are half-way through 2Timothy, and now as we start into chapter 3 there is a strong emphasis on knowledge and responsibility. Paul is giving some knowledge about end times, perilous times and the expectation, direction of what to do with the knowledge, you know, take responsibility for it.
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
So, in case you are wondering, when did these “last days” come or are they to come (2Tim3:1).
Last days came with coming of Jesus earthly ministry (Heb1:1-2)
1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
Last days will be completed when He returns (2Pt3:3ff)
The mockers will come, mocking, mocking in own lust, discounting the promise of Jesus return and Jesus coming judgment.
7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
In our passage this morning we will see the description of the perilous times, and the perilous men, next week we will look at what to do! Though have to touch on it some today too.
Paul foretold of the coming apostasy through Luke and also directly to the church at Thesalonica (Act20:29-30; 2The2:1-3)
act20:29-30 “29 “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.”
And now look at
1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
Paul foretold to Timothy (2Tim3:1-12) our passage this morning.
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,
7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith;
9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was. 10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,
11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
(Transition) This is a huge, deep section of scripture that meant something to Timothy and to those living in those days “last days” - “perilous times” that should mean something to us today too. So here is the breakdown for this morning.
The coming of perilous times (2Tim3:1)
The nature of perilous times (2Tim3:2-5)
Perilous men to avoid (2Tim3:6-12)
The coming of perilous times
The coming of perilous times
We have already defined perilous and the seriousness of it. We have looked at when they were to come. Now we will expound more on perilous times.
Perilous times will come in the “last days” 2Tim3:1
1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
KJV, NKJV says Perilous; Terrible (NIV); Difficult (NLT, ESV, NASB); Dangerous (AMP, MSG); Hard (CSB) and grievous (ERV)
Notice it says “will” not “may” - now may we press on to the last days
Last days (Act2:16-17; 2Pt3:3; Heb1:1-2)
This phrase was spoken by Peter Act2:16-17 “16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams;”
Consider again 2Pt3:3 “3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,”
Also, also, mentioned before Heb1:1-2 “1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.”
Similar usage; phraseology (1Cor10:11; 1Tim4:1; 1Jn2:18 )
11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
End of Ages have come
ANd we mentioned 1Tim4:1 a little bit ago, you can go back and look
18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.
Last days, end of ages, and here last hour.
(Transition) Since the cross of Christ we have been living “in the last days” so we should not be surprised by Paul, Peter writing of “perilous times”
The Nature of Perilous Times
The Nature of Perilous Times
From the description of the coming (when), to the description of the times (what), things we can, should know (2Tim3:2-5)
2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,
(Do not need to read the above scripture, just leave on the screen)
They will be lovers of self, lovers of money (v.2)
Notice that love, lovers is brought into it from the start, for these lovers of self, of money have lost their first love (ref. Rev2:4), the love of God
The heart of every problem is a problem in the heart.
They will be boastful, arrogant, revilers (v.2) (ref: Rom1:25; Gen3:5)
If we become lovers of self, we are prideful, boastful and become arrogant and revile against the truth.
We love self and things more than we love God and others.
Having the truth and trading the truth, Paul said Rom1:25 “25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” - - - is that not what happen in the garden (think of Gen3:5)
They will be disobedient to parents(v.2)
This lie, this apostasy reaches into the heart of the family.
They will be ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable (unforgiving). (vv.2-3) (ref: Eph6:2)
Children forget to be thankful for all a parent does and tries to teach them and they are disobedient and rebellious. They become unholy in actions for they are to honor their mother and their father, for this was the first command with a promise (ref. Eph6:2)
These are people who do not even try to be reconciled, to agree, they are unyielding and irreconcilable and must have their own way is the way Wiersbe puts it.
They will be gossips (slanderers), who lack self-control and are brutal (v.3)
They become slanders, gossips, false accusers and try to tear down the character, reputation and integrity of others.
Lack of self-control today is easy to see, “if it feels good do it!” or “Do your own thing and enjoy it.”
The Lack of self-control can be manifested in other ways too, like being brutal, untamed, fierce. People act out when they do not get their own way.
They will be haters of good. (Ref: Isa5:20)
When they don’t get their own way they. They stop honoring what is good, they despise good and honor what is evil (selfishness, self-centered actions) Isaiah says Is5:20 “20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
(Do not need to read the below scripture, just put on the screen and leave it there)
4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
They will become treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure vs. lovers of God. (v.4)
Reckless , rash, acting without careful thought, for this is a foolish endeavor
They claim a form of godliness, but deny it’s power (v.5)
These are people who put on a face of religion on the outside in word and actions, but are not true Christians by faith.
They are form without force, religion without reality (Brooks)
Here is one not on your outline but I think is another good example for us.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
Men who are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness.
They are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God and violent
They are proud, boasters, inventors of evil things and disobedient to parents.
They are undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful.
And, finally, they approve of those who practice these things.
(Transition) these things, these hard things to look at and discuss were happening in Paul’s day; and are alive today and Paul gives some instructions on avoiding now.
Perilous men to avoid
Perilous men to avoid
We sing a song about the perilous times, but what about the perilous people that we should avoid. Can we recognize them, can we
Well, OK, this section, this portion of the message will be about men to avoid, perilous men, and men that were unlike the perilous men.
6 For among them are those who make their way into households and captivate silly women, overwhelmed by their sins and swayed by all kinds of desires, 7 who are always being instructed and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
8 As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these people, of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith, also oppose the truth. 9 But they will not make much progress, because, as in the case of those two men, their folly will become plain to everyone.
Perilous men to avoid like Jannes and Jambres (v.8)
Why? They make way into households and deceive (v.6)
Why? They appeal to the lusts of the flesh (2Pt2:3, 18)
Look how Peter puts it
3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
and then down in (v.18)
18 For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error,
They exploit they entice, who those who are easily persuaded in these perilous times. Why?
Why? Because those listening are not learning the truth and arriving at true knowledge of the truth (2Tim4:3-4; Exo7:11, 22; 8:7, 18; 1Tim1:19-20; Mt10:26)
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
OK, let me expand a little on Jannes and Jambres, it says they opposed Moses, it is believed, tradition holds it that they were two of the magicians for Pharoah who resisted Moses and Aaron (you can look at Exo7:11, 22; 8:7, 18)
Those who resist the truth are of corrupt minds, rejected in regard to the truth. 1Tim1:19-20 “19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. 20 Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.”
Those who reject will be made known, for that which was hidden will be revealed (Mt10:26); it will be evident to all
26 “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
Why? Such men will grow worse, deceiving and being deceived (v.13; 2Tim2:16-17)
13 But wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived.
Their babbling will lead to more ungodliness as noted in 2Tim2:16-17 “16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,” - - - the message will spread like cancer, like gangrene.
Is this scary? It should be for you can see this on T.V., hear it on the radio, on YouTube liberal, progressive theology that does not line up with the scripture, or college professors who prey on the weak in faith and lead people away from the truth.
(Transition) OK, enough of the babblers, how about the proclaimers, men who are unlike the perilous men we are to avoid.
From perilous men to reputable men
Men like Paul (2Tim3:10)
(Just paraphrase below, no need to read it all; your time is limited by now)
2tim3:10 “10 Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance,”
Men like Paul taught the same everywhere (1Cor4:17, 11:1; Php3:17)
Paul encouraged the Corinthians 1Cor4:17 “17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church.” Also told them to imitate him (see 11:1)
He also encouraged the Philippians
17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.
Men like Paul that we see in our passage today and who were faithful until the end (2Tim4:6)
Paul while waiting to be put to death at the command of Nero (ref:) 2Tim4:6.
Men like Peter (2Pt1:14)
Peter knew his time would be coming too
14 knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.
(Transition) You have seen a mighty contrast of the perilous and the faithful. So, there will be more to come in weeks to follow, but let me sum this up for today.
(Insert Perilous Times picture here)
It is evident from the scripture and history that we are living in perilous times, end times.
Paul, Peter, Jude, as well as Jesus had warned of these times, perilous times and an abundance of perilous men. So LOOK OUT
Avoid those who reject, or trade the truth
Learn, know, apply the truth and the examples of men like Paul, and even men of today who do not compromise the truth.
(Invitation slide - Choose Jesus)
Have you chosen Jesus? (expand) choose today for tomorrow may be to late.
(Song) (Prayer) (exit)