Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 3:01-05

(1) But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 

Paul’s reference to the “last days” reveals his sense of urgency.  The last days began after Jesus’ resurrection when the Holy Spirit came upon the believers at Pentecost.   The “last days” will continue until Christ’s second coming.  This means that we are living in the last days.

(2) People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, (3) without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,

(4) treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God –

Why is it so tempting to love pleasure rather than God?  Pleasure is something we can control; God cannot be controlled.  Most pleasures can be obtained easily; love for God requires effort and sometimes sacrifice.  Pleasures benefit us now; the benefits of loving God are often in the future.   Pleasure has a narcotic effect; it takes our minds off ourselves and our problems, Love for God reminds us of our needs and our responsibilities.  Pleasure cooperates with pride.  It makes us feel good when we look good in the eyes of others.  The love God we must lay aside our pride and our accomplishments.

 (5) having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with them. 

The “form” or appearance of godliness includes going to church knowing Christian doctrine, using Christian clichés, and following a community’s Christian traditions.  Such practices can make a person look good, but if the inner attitudes of belief, love and worship are lacking, the outer appearance is meaningless.  Paul warns us not to be deceived by people who only appear to be Christians. It may be difficult to distinguish them from true Christians at first, but their daily behavior will give them away.  The characteristics described in 3:2-4 are unmistakable.

In many parts of the world today, being a Christian is not especially difficult-people aren’t jailed for reading the Bible or executed for preaching Christ. (However, this kind of persecution is very real for many believers.) Paul’s descriptive list of behavior in the last days describes our society-even, unfortunately, the behavior of many Christians.

Lets Bring it Home: Have you chosen to love pleasure, or to love God? How do you know? Check your life against Paul’s list.  Don’t give in to society’s pressures.  Don’t settle for comfort without commitment.  Stand up against evil by living as God would have his people live.

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