Nearly 2,000 years ago, the apostle Paul told us “that in the last days perilous times shall come” (2 Timothy 3:1). Other translations render the word perilous as times of stress, hard, grievous, dangerous, distressing, difficult, extremely fierce, terrible, terrifying, and violent. I think it’s evident to any watchful believer in Christ that we are in the last days and that we are currently living through “perilous times.”
In his letter to fellow disciple Timothy, Paul went on to list what to look for in these times (see 2 Timothy 3:2–9). What we are seeing in on our city streets right now—vandalism, rioting, looting, violence, and murder, under the banner of a worthy cause—is a reflection of Paul’s list. We seem to be at a precipice.
Let’s review that list. I’ll add synonyms from other translations (other than the King James version) and my own comments along the way. You can decide for yourself if you are a witness of prophetic times:
- “For men shall be lovers of their own selves” — selfish, self-absorbed, self-centered, the opposite of the love Christ shows to us
- “covetous” — obsessed lovers of money, desiring the rightful property or relationships of others
- “boasters” — pretentious, haughty, stuck up, self-congratulating
- “proud” — arrogant, not humble, swaggering, ignorant, unwise, self-deceived
- “blasphemers” — abusive, mocking and speaking evil of sacred things and of God and His Son
- “disobedient to parents” — not honoring or respectful of parents, disobeying “the first commandment with promise” (Ephesians 6:2)
- “unthankful” — grumbling, murmuring, ungrateful, unappreciative, lacking self-reflection
- “unholy” — cursed, crude, profane, willfully self-defiled, ungodly, knowingly walking away from God’s commandments
- “without natural affection” — cold, unloving, uncaring, unkind, heartless, callous, inhuman, hardhearted
- “trucebreakers” — promise breakers, implacable, unwilling to reconcile with others, unforgiving
- “false accusers” — pointing fingers, shaming, accusing, slandering, gossiping, backbiting, lying about others, not taking responsibility for their actions but blaming others
- “incontinent” — lacking self-control, giving in to pleasure, without restraint, intemperate, dissolute, profligate, unashamedly justifying their giving in to carnal desire
- “fierce” — mean, untamed, angry, brutal, savage, violent, ruthless, unmerciful, unrelentingly cruel, acting like wild animals
- “despisers of those that are good” — opposed to and hating those who are good or are trying to be good, calling evil good and good evil
- “traitors” — without principle, treacherous, turncoats, turning against friends, family, commitments, and allegiances to God, faith, and country
- “heady” — self-important, conceited, full of themselves, excessive claims about self
- “highminded” — pretentious, exaggerated, intellectual mocking
- “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” — self-indulgent, sensual, led away by a variety of lusts, preferring physical pleasure over loving, honoring, and serving their Creator
- “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” — pretending to be holy, acting like followers of God or higher principles but denying, mocking, and abusing God’s power
Paul advises us “turn away” from such and tells that this “folly shall be manifest unto all men.” I believe Paul meant we should turn away from people who behave and live like this, but I also think it means we must turn away from all these evils ourselves. This isn’t about judging others; it’s about living for Christ.
Turning away, for me, includes turning off the popular media voices who want to flip our world upside down while claiming to be full of virtue. I believe among the politically righteous there are wolves in sheep’s clothing, matching Paul’s descriptions of self-congratulating end-times characters.
We are and have been misled and deceived on a massive scale. Could this current unrest—a good measure of which appears to be legitimate protests co-opted by more nefarious actors—be an attempt to distract a nation from what is really going on behind closed doors? I believe it is.
The Way Out
If we deny our Creator, we will remain “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Always learning something new but forgetting God. Always seeking “the truth” but coming up unhappy and short. “These also resist the truth” because they are “men of corrupt minds, reprobate [lost] concerning the faith” of Christ.
Jesus said, “I am the way [and] the truth” (John 14:6). If we want to find the truth, we have to first find ourselves in Him. There is no other way. Any other path is a false path.
There is hope for all of us through Christ, through humility and faith on His name, the faith to exercise sincere repentance and obedience to Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior, and God.
I invite you, plead with you, to turn or return your heart to Jesus Christ so you may be led away from the coming calamity. This is not doom and gloom: this is a way out.
Be safe and lean on Jesus. I promise to do my best to follow my own advice.