Paul’s words to Timothy are still words to live by in 2020. There is no doubt we are in the “last days.” Paul told Timothy he was living in the last days, and we are 2000 years closer to the end than Timothy was.
The following verses describe life in Paul’s day. I believe he is describing 2020, too:
People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (3:2-5)
Sound familiar? I bet you saw most of those behaviors on the news last night. Maybe in your own family. Maybe when you look in the mirror.
Oh, there’s more:
(They are) always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. (Verse 7)
It reminds me of the present day “Woke” movement. It reminds me of modern academia, our “cancel culture,” Bethel worship.
Here’s the thing. We can shake our heads, point fingers, even pray for Jesus’ quick return because things are so bad. Or we can do what Paul told Timothy to do:
I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. (4:1b-2)
Paul goes on to tell Timothy and us that eventually people will not put up with sound doctrine. And the movement will be huge.
But, dear one, it’s not enough to recognize our circumstances in God’s Word, in verses such as these that Paul wrote Timothy. Recognizing that our world is in serious trouble is important in so far as it motivates us to share Jesus with lost souls. If it is true that Jesus’ return is around the corner, then the window of opportunity for people to be saved is closing. Does that bother you?
Paul encourages us to be in the Word, but then to use what we’ve learned to evangelize:
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (3:16)
Do you believe we are in the last days? Then God is asking us to patiently correct, rebuke, encourage each other. We need to be training people in righteousness, not just right living. People need to know Jesus and accept His righteousness.
We are celebrating the birth of Jesus this week. What better time to start a conversation with our unsaved loved ones about what that birth means. Jesus was born to die for them!
These are no doubt the “last days.” What are you and I doing about that?