|"This know also..." Paul's words to Timothy (and to the Church), describing the perilous times to come, were not just a warning to turn away from these characteristics, but to turn away from those who portray or embody them as well. To any child of God it is obvious that these characteristics absolutely define the times we live in now. There is no place in history where these things have been so utterly fulfilled as to the point where they seem to be overflowing and ready to explode, as today. |
If fallen, sinful man is a vessel for these things, I cannot imagine how he could hold any more of it. Even the world's heroes, icons, leaders and entertainers manage to glorify and justify these things to those who follow them. Simply turn on your tv, or walk through a bookstore, or go to a university campus, or even sit down to dine at a local restaurant. These characteristics are pervasive, invasive, and almost overpowering.
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." ~ 2 Timothy 3:1-5
These verses were read from the pulpit a few weeks ago, and I was suddenly struck by the following understanding:
Turn away from people who love themselves.
Turn away from people who are covetous.
Turn away from people who boast.
Turn away from people who are proud.
Turn away from people who are blasphemers.
Turn away from people who are disobedient to their parents.
Turn away from people who are unthankful.
Turn away from people who are unholy.
Turn away from people who are without natural affection.
Turn away from people who are truce breakers.
Turn away from people who are false accusers.
Turn away from people who are incontinent.
Turn away from people who are fierce.
Turn away from people who despise others who are good.
Turn away from people who are traitors.
Turn away from people who are highminded.
Turn away from people who love pleasure more than they love God.
But this is nothing new. What I am writing has been written many, many times before. So why write about it now?
For personal reasons. I write about this now to share my convictions with you. I've heard this passage before, but this was the first time I thought to apply that last phrase from verse 5 to each of these characteristics of the last days. I have only just realized the scope of the words "...from such turn away". This resonated through me during the service when I heard it. Why? Because I don't always turn away from these things. How? Every time I allow myself to be "entertained" by this world's media. Am I so prideful and self-assured as to think that I can somehow filter out this garbage from the things I let into my home, in the form of "entertainment"?
Why would I ignore this warning before? When I watch a program that I may even deem as "innocent," yet plainly it contains some element of the characteristics from 2 Timothy 3:1-5, why do I not turn away? Why have I been so prideful for so long, thinking that I could pick and choose which parts of the Bible I want to ignore because they infringe upon my use of time, and the lusts of my flesh? Why do I turn away from only a few of these things: the ones that are gratuitous, glaring, outwardly dangerous, and avoidable? Why not all of them? Am I in less need than Timothy of this prophetic warning? Do I know more than Paul? Does my confidence in my flesh outweigh my fear of God, who breathed these words into existence?
These are perilous times today. Timothy saw a vision of the future through the apostle Paul's words that was comparable only to the days of Noah. Now, in the nearness of the extent of their fulfillment, do I heed them? Or do I obey the flesh?
"But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." ~ Romans 13:14
Make no provision for the flesh. There is my answer. And to what end? Obedience to my Lord and Master; glory to God the Father; separation from the world; and the edification of God's saints - my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Able to write to you by the grace of God,
Aaron Everingham and his wife Brittany live in Edmonton, Canada, and by the loving grace of God they were saved through the ministry of an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in June of 2007.Â He is currently preparing for a life of serving the Lord as a pastor of a local New Testament Baptist Church.Â For more articles like this one please visit his blog at Aharown Qadowsh.
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