Memory Verse: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come”-2 Timothy 3:1
Bible Passage: 2 Timothy 3:1-5
The translated word for “perilous” in 2 Timothy 3:1 is “chapelos” which means troublesome, dangerous, harsh, fierce, full of risk, hazardous, harmful, dreadful, and threatening. The term “last days” refers to the period between Christ’s accession into heaven and his second coming. “Perilous times” constitute part of the last days. The last days are not just a prophesy, it started to form the days of the Bible (Hebrew 1:2, 1 John 2:18-19). The importance of the prophecy and warning against the perilous time cannot be overemphasized because we are living in the fulfilment of the perilous times. The purpose of this study is to carefully consider the writing of Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3: 1-5 on the things that characterize the “Perilous Times” and the position every believer in Christ should take.
- The characteristics of Perilous Times
- Caution for Believers
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF PERILOUS TIMES
According to Paul, the conduct of the people will create perilous times. Some people will be ‘lovers of their own selves ( 2 Timothy 3:2) i.e. they will be self-centred. (Philippians 2:1);’ covetous’- having lust of the eyes, craziness for wealth and materialism (Luke 12:15; 2 Peter 2:3); ‘boasters’- expressing vain glory (Psalms 10:3) ; ‘proud’ – valuing themselves above all others (Proverbs 21:4); ‘blasphemers’ – those who speak immorality of God and sacred things (Mark 3:29); ‘disobedient to parents’- disrespect and dishonouring parents both physically and spiritually (Ephesians 5:1-2); ‘unthankful’- not appreciating God and others for good deeds (Romans 1:21); ‘unholy”- Not pleasing God (Jude 18).
Furthermore, 2 Timothy 2:3 says some people will be ‘without natural affection’ –no family affection and lack of tender love (Romans 1:31); ‘trucebreakers’- treacherous and betraying their friendship (Romans 1:31); without self-control or unrestrained (2 Peter 2:14); ‘Fierce’ – wild and violent, having or displaying an intense, ferocious aggressiveness ( Psalms 11:5); ‘despisers of those that are good’ – All forms of lies, evil speaking against true believers and goodness (Romans 1:30; Nehemiah 2:19);
2 Timothy 3:4 also make mention of the ‘traitors’ – a betrayal of trust (Acts 7:52); ‘heady’ to be rash, reckless, or headstrong (Proverbs 21:29a); ‘high-minded – those who are full of themselves, puffed up (1 Timothy 3:6); ‘lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God’ – All forms of immorality and ungodliness that satisfy the flesh (Philippians 3:19).
CAUTIONS FOR BELIEVERS
Scriptures admonish all believers living in the ‘last days to turn away from all ungodly practices in order not to be caught in the web of the perilous times (2 Timothy 2:15). As true believers, we must therefore receive the prophesies/warning and be conscious of it at all times. We must separate from the company and fellowship of people with the characteristics above (2 Corinthians 6:14-17). We must avoid all forms of carnality and false doctrines (Romans 8:6-7; Ephesians 4:14). We must be watchful and be prayerful to guide against deception and temptation to sin (Mattew 26:41; 2 Corinthians 2:11). We must release ourselves to the Holy Spirit and be sensitive to His leading (James 4:7; Romans 8:14).
This is a perilous time; every believer that wants to get to Heaven must heed the warning, careful to live a separate life from the world and false brethren in order to please God.
- What events will characterize the perilous times?
- What scriptural cautions are believers to adhere to during perilous times?
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