The Bible Teaching Ministry of David Hocking
“The Word of our God shall stand forever” Isaiah 40:8

PERILOUS TIMES!

The Apostle Paul warned us in II Timothy 3:1-17 that “perilous times” would come in the future. He said they would come “in the last days” – a term used seven times in the Bible. The words “the latter times” are used once in I Timothy 4:1, and the term “the last time” is found four times. The phrase “the Day of the LORD” is used 25 times, five of which are in the New Testmanet.

The Greek word translated “perilous” is the word “chalepoi” – it is found in Matthew 8:28 where it is translated “exceeding fierce” and refers to two who were “possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs.”

ARE WE LIVING IN PERILOUS TIMES?

What Paul described can certainly fit what is going on in the world at present!

THE PURSUIT OF SELF-LOVE WILL DOMINATE THE CULTURE!

Paul wrote in II Timothy 3:2-4a – “men shall be lovers of their own selves.” He then gave an extensive description of what kind of culture that would be. Ephesians 5:29 makes it quite clear that “no man ever yet hated his own flesh” – yes, it is our natural tendency to love ourselves. Our Lord Yeshua pointed out in Matthew 22:37-40 that it is the problem in loving God and loving others. He told us that the greatest commandment was an intense and thorough love for God, and that the second commandment was like it – “love your neighbor AS yourself.” He did NOT command us to love ourselves; The little word “as” shows that it is a simile and emphasizes that this is what we all do. Luke 9:23 tells us that if we want to follow our Lord Yeshua, we must “deny ourselves.”

THE PASSION FOR PLEASURE WILL REPLACE OUR LOVE FOR GOD!

In II Timothy 3:4b we read – “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” The emphasis on “pleasure” is overwhelming! James 4:1-4 teaches that if this is your goal in life, you will become the “enemy” of God! II Peter 2:14-22 clearly shows that the pursuit of pleasure will control your life through the “lusts of the flesh.” I Peter 2:11 reveals that it will cause emotional turmoil in your heart. Hebrews 11:24-26 makes it clear that seeking the “pleasures” of life can bring temporary enjoyment but it will destroy godly priorities in your life!

THE PRACTICE OF RELIGION WILL INCREASE WITHOUT THE POWER OF GOD!

II Timothy 3:5-9 emphasizes that people will have a “form of godliness” but they will deny the “power” of it. The mention of Jannes and Jambres at the time of Moses (they are mentioned in the Targum of Jonathan) makes it clear that these “magicians” were able to perform miracles up to a certain point (read Exodus 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18-19). Matthew 24:24 teaches that miraculous signs are what will be used by false prophets and teachers to deceive the believers.

THE PERSECUTION OF THE GODLY WILL INTENSIFY!

A part of what will make these days so difficult is that persecution will intensify. II Timothy 3:10-12 tells us that “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL suffer persecution.” We will not be able to escape it. John 15:18-27 reminds us that our Lord Yeshua was hated and persecuted, and so will the believers in Him. But, always remember that our reward will be in heaven (Matthew 5:10-12) and that we should rejoice over the privilege and opportunity that our suffering will bring – Acts 5:40-42 and I Peter 3:14-17. I Peter 4:12-16 also tells us that we should not be surprised when the persecution (whether verbal or physical) comes!

THE PRESENCE OF WIDESPREAD DECEPTION WILL ACCELERATE!

II Timothy 3:13 tells us that deception and seducers are going to increase, NOT diminish – as we draw closer to the return of our Lord. Our Lord Himself warned us that deception was going to come – Matthew 24:4-5, 11, 24. Paul warned us as well in I Timothy 4;1-2 and II Timothy 4:3-4; The Apostle John also warned us that it was coming – I John 4:1-6; II John 7-11.

THE PRIORITY OF THE SCRIPTURES WILL BE THE MAJOR ISSUE OF GENUINE FAITH AND PRACTICE!

II Timothy 3:14-17 lays out the importance of the written Word of God for all of us in facing the “perilous times” that are coming.

We will need the Bible for STRENGTH in dealing with persecution and deception – II Timothy 3:14.

We will need the Bible for SALVATION – II Timothy 3:15.

We will need the Bible for SANCTIFICATION – II Tiimothy 3:16.

We will need the Bible for SERVICE – II Timothy 3:17.

The drifting away from expository Bible teaching in our churches is one of the most serious trends of our day. The teaching and preaching of the Bible must remain at the center of all we say and do. Pastors need to return to the systematic teaching of the books of the Bible, and stop trying to entertain the people for whom they are responsible before God! May God open our eyes!

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