1. Paul often warned his brethren of difficult days ahead
a. He foretold of a coming apostasy - Acts 20:29-30; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3
b. Likewise he told Timothy of such things - 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1
2. Paul's words to Timothy are especially helpful - 2 Timothy 3:1-13
a. They describe the "perilous times" that are to come
b. They warn of the "perilous men" that we are to avoid during such times
A. THE COMING OF PERILOUS TIMES
1. It will be "in the last days" - 2 Timothy 3:1
2. This phrase often used to describe the gospel dispensation or Christian age
a. Used by Joel, and applied by Peter - Acts 2:16-17; 2 Peter 3:3
b. Used by the writer to the Hebrews - Hebrews 1:1-2
3. Similar phrases are also used to describe the times in which we live
a. "the ends of the ages" - 1 Corinthians 10:11
b. "the latter times" - 1 Timothy 4:1
c. "the last hour" - 1 John 2:18
4. Since the cross of Christ we have been living "in the last days"; therefore we should therefore expect to experience the "perilous times" of which Paul wrote
B. THE NATURE OF PERILOUS TIMES
1. As described in our text - 2 Timothy 3:2-5
a. People will be lovers of themselves and money
b. They will be boastful, proud, and blasphemers
c. They will be disobedient to parents
d. They will be unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving
e. They will be slanderers, without self-control, brutal
f. They will be despisers of good, traitors, headstrong and haughty
g. They will be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
h. They will have a form of godliness, but denying its power
2. Compare with those in Paul's day - Romans 1:28-32
a. People were filled with all unrighteousness and sexual immorality
b. They were filled with wickedness, covetousness and maliciousness
c. They were full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and evil-mindedness
d. They were whisperers, backbiters, haters of God and violent
e. They were proud, boasters, inventors of evil things and disobedient to parents
f. They were undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving and unmerciful
g. They approved of those who practice things deserving of death
3. What Paul said would occur "in the last days" already existed in his day!
4. Note well: It is the conduct of people that creates "perilous times", and we are certainly living in such times today!
A. MEN LIKE JANNES AND JAMBRES
1. Who will lead gullible families and women astray - 2 Timothy 3:6-7
a. Through trickery and deceit ("creeping into households")
b. Through appealing to the lusts of their victims - 2 Peter 2:3,18
c. While their victims are ever learning, they never come to the knowledge of the truth - 2 Timothy 4:3-4
2. Who themselves resist the truth like Jannes and Jambres - 2 Timothy 3:8-9
a. Though not mentioned by name, it is thought these two men were among the magicians and sorcerers who resisted Moses and Aaron - Exodus 7:11,22; Exodus 8:7,18
b. Those who resist the truth are of corrupt minds, rejected in regard to the faith - 1 Timothy 1:19-20; 1 Timothy 4:1-2
c. Whose folly will eventually become evident to all, as happened to Egyptian magicians - Exodus 7:12; Exodus 8:18; Exodus 9:11
3. Such men will grow worse, deceiving and being deceived - 2 Timothy 3:13
a. Their profane and idle babblings will lead to more ungodliness - 2 Timothy 2:16
b. Their messages will spread like cancer - 2 Timothy 2:17
4. This sounds like many TV evangelists, liberal theologians, college professors
B. MEN UNLIKE THE APOSTLE PAUL
1. A man whose doctrine and manner of life is easily followed - 2 Timothy 3:10
a. As the Corinthians were encouraged to do - 1 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 11:1
b. As the Philippians were encouraged to do - Philippians 3:17
2. Whose purpose, faith, longsuffering, love and perseverance is well documented - 2 Timothy 3:10
a. As he reminded the Philippians - Philippians 3:8-14
b. As he reminded the Corinthians - 2 Corinthians 11:23-28
3. Who endured persecution and affliction, as would others living godly lives in Christ Jesus - 2 Timothy 3:11-12
a. Paul was awaiting his death by Nero in writing these words - 2 Timothy 4:6
b. Peter also knew that he would face an unnatural death for his faith - 2 Peter 1:14
4. What a contrast between the apostles like Paul, and many false teachers today!
1. It is evident that we are living "in the last days"
a. Many people are certainly just like those described by Paul
b. False teachers abound just as Jesus, Paul, and others warned
c. We truly live in "perilous times", with an abundance of "perilous men"
2. How will we survive living "in the last days"...?
a. By avoiding those who reject the truth and lead astray by appealing to our fleshly desires
b. By carefully following the doctrine and manner of life of men like the apostle Paul
c. It may mean persecution, but the Lord will deliver His faithful disciples!
3. What kind of "men" are we following in these "times" in which we live...?
4. Will they lead us to be saved? Are you saved?
-- Don Treadway, April 2011 --