28 Oct. 2 Timothy 3:1-17

28 October. What did Paul mean by the 'Last Days'?

"Remember this! In the last days there will be many troubles because people will love themselves, love money, boast and be proud. They will say evil things against others and will not obey their parents or be thankful or be the kind of people God wants."

"They will not love others, will refuse to forgive, will gossip and will not control themselves. They will be cruel, will hate what is good, will turn against their friends and will do foolish things without thinking."

"They will be conceited, will love pleasure instead of God, and will act as if they serve God but will not have his power. Stay away from those people. Some of them go into homes and get control of weak women who are full of sin and are led by many evil desires..."

"But you have followed what I teach, the way I live, my goal, faith, patience and love. You know I never give up. You know how I have been hurt and have suffered, as in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra. I have suffered, but the Lord saved me from all those troubles."

"Everyone who wants to live as God desires, in Christ Jesus, will be hurt. But people who are evil and cheat others will go from bad to worse. They will fool others, but they will also be fooling themselves."

"But you should continue following the teachings you learned. You know they are true, because you trust those who taught you. Since you were a child you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise. And that wisdom leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."

"All Scripture is given by God and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right. Using the Scriptures, the person who serves God will be capable, having all that is needed to do every good work."

          (2 Timothy 3:1-17)

 

 

Have you ever heard someone say that we must be in the 'last days' because, "In the last days… people will love themselves, love money, boast and be proud. They will say evil things against others and will not obey their parents... They will not love others, will refuse to forgive... they will be cruel, will hate what is good, will turn against their friends and... will be conceited, and love pleasure instead of God"? (2 Timothy 3:1-4)

They're not wrong - all these things are happening around us today. But Paul wasn't talking about the future; he was talking about the Roman empire in 67AD, and he tells Timothy in the notoriously selfish and materialistic society of Ephesus to "Stay away from those people."

So what did Paul mean by the 'last days'? Before his death, Jesus promised that he would return again to judge the nations of the earth and completely renew the world that we know (see Mark 13: 5-8 & 26-31; Matthew 25:31-46). Jesus's resurrection and ascension into heaven marked the start of the 'end times' that would precede his 'second coming'.

Paul and others in the early church believed that Jesus would return very soon, so Paul spoke about being in these 'last days'. He wasn't wrong - the 'end times' had already started; but Jesus didn't state any timing for his return (see Mark 13:32-35), and we are still in the 'last days' today.

So in his letter, Paul reminds Timothy that circumstances will be difficult in these ‘last days’ before the second coming of the risen Lord Jesus. People will be selfish, ungrateful and irreligious; they will love pleasure rather than God, and will hold to the outward form of religion while rejecting its real power.

Paul reminds Timothy of the persecution he suffered at Antioch in Pisidia, Iconium and Lystra (Timothy’s home town, where Paul was stoned and left for dead) on his first missionary journey – when he first met Timothy (see Acts 13:14-14:20). He warns Timothy that everyone who lives a godly life in union with Jesus Christ will be persecuted.

Timothy, however, has known the Holy Scriptures since he was a child (see 2 Timothy 1:5 & Acts 16:1). He already recognises that “All scripture is given by God and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right” (2 Timothy 3:16).

So Paul advises him to "continue following the teachings you learned... [because] that wisdom leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."

The photo shows the Decumanus Maximus at Antioch in Pisidia where Paul was persecuted on his first missionary journey.

You can read more from Paul's Second Letter to Timothy @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/16-pauls-l…/the-last-days/


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