2 Timothy 3: End-Time Godlessness

Why did Paul think perilous times would come in the last days?

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2 Timothy 3:1 You need to know that perilous times will come in the last days.
King James
2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

How does Paul’s description of people in the last days compare with what we see in the world today?

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2 Timothy 3:2–7 Loving themselves, people will be boastful, greedy, and proud. With no respect for God, they will be abusive, rebellious and ungrateful. Their love is conditional, focused on what they can get. They blame others for their mistakes and make promises with no intention of keeping them. Riding an emotional roller-coaster, they are easily angered and despise the goodness in people. Loving pleasure more than God, the prideful will betray their friends and react without thinking. They have a religious form with only a façade of righteousness, not the Holy Spirit acting with power in their lives. Do not fellowship with these people, for they are the kind who slip into homes and entice the naïve, catering to fleshly desires. These people seem always to be learning, but they never come to grips with the truth.
King James
2 Timothy 3:2–7 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

What is the difference between a religious form and the power of the Holy Spirit working in people’s lives?

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2 Timothy 3:5–7 They have a religious form with only a façade of righteousness, not the Holy Spirit acting with power in their lives. Do not fellowship with these people, for they are the kind who slip into homes and entice the naïve, catering to fleshly desires. These people seem always to be learning, but they never come to grips with the truth.
King James
2 Timothy 3:5–7 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Why do you think many people have difficulty recognizing and accepting the truth?

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Romans 1:28 Since they don’t want to admit God’s existence, they develop perverted beliefs so they can do whatever indecency feels good to them.
2 Timothy 3:8 Like Jannes and Jambres who opposed Moses, people with corrupt minds and false beliefs resist the truth.
King James
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
2 Timothy 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

The strength of a lie is its ability to masquerade as the truth. What will expose the lie for what it really is?

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Mark 13:22 “False messiahs and ministers will perform such great signs and wonders that even God’s people would be deceived if that were possible.”
Mark 16:17–18 “These miraculous signs will follow those who believe: Under my direction and authority, they will cast out evil spirits, and they will speak in new languages. If they pick up serpents or drink something poisonous, they will not be harmed. They will place their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
1 Corinthians 3:13 Every person’s work will be tested. The fire on Judgment Day will reveal the eternal value of each person’s work.
2 Timothy 3:9 When their ways are exposed as foolishness, they won’t get anywhere.
King James
Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
Mark 16:17–18 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
1 Corinthians 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
2 Timothy 3:9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

How much impact did the life of Paul have on Timothy?

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2 Timothy 3:10 You have full knowledge of my teaching and how I live, with longsuffering, patience, and love, my faith and purpose being clearly evident.
King James
2 Timothy 3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

Why should those who live godly in Christ Jesus expect persecution?

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Matthew 10:25 “What is good enough for the teacher and master is good enough for the student and slave. If the master is called Beelzebub, it is even more likely that people will speak evil of his household.”
Luke 6:26 “Woe to the politically correct, those who say what people want to hear, for that is what their fathers liked about the false prophets.”
John 15:20 “Remember what I said before. The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you. If they had listened to me, they would listen to you.”
2 Timothy 3:11–12 You know how the Lord delivered me from the persecution and suffering I endured at Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, for all who live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted in some way.
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved Christians, don’t regard your terrible ordeal as something unusual, because it’s there to demonstrate your faith.
King James
Matthew 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
2 Timothy 3:11–12 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

Other than physical abuse, in what ways might Christians be persecuted?

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2 Timothy 3:11–12 You know how the Lord delivered me from the persecution and suffering I endured at Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, for all who live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted in some way.
King James
2 Timothy 3:11–12 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Why did Paul think wickedness would get worse?

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2 Timothy 3:13 Religious hypocrites and obviously evil people will become worse and worse, deceiving themselves and others.
King James
2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

What can sidetrack us from the truth we have learned?

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Luke 8:13 “The seeds that fell on rocky ground are those who hear the message and eagerly accept it, but their roots are shallow. In times of temptation, they forsake their faith.”
Roman 16:17–18 Now I beg you, my friends, to watch out for people who stir up strife and create divisions among you concerning the teaching you have heard and accepted. Avoid them because they serve their own interests, not the purpose of our Lord Jesus Christ. With their eloquent speech and enticing words, they deceive innocent people.
1 Corinthians 9:26–27 I run the race with relentless determination. I don’t fight like the boxer who throws punches at the air, but I surrender my body, making myself a captive to Christ, lest I should miss the truth of my own preaching.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Don’t be misled by listening to the wrong message. Bad company corrupts good character.
2 Thessalonians 2:10 Because they had no love for the truth that would save them, those who perish will be victims of all kinds of enticements for wrongdoing.
2 Timothy 3:14 Be faithful to all you’ve learned and know is true, for you know who taught you.
Hebrews 6:4–6 Those who have seen the light, accepted the gift of salvation, and received the Holy Spirit, having tasted the goodness of God’s word, experiencing the spiritual strength of the world to come, if they turn away, they have no means to gain repentance and forgiveness, since they crucify the Son of God a second time, putting him to open shame.
King James
Luke 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
Roman 16:17–18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
1 Corinthians 9:26–27 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
Hebrews 6:4–6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

What texts would Timothy have known, which pointed the way to salvation through Christ Jesus?

Author’s Thoughts
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2 Timothy 3:15 From a child, you have known the sacred texts that can point the way to salvation through Christ Jesus.
King James
2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Paul preached that they were no longer under the Mosaic Law, so what scripture was he saying was God-inspired

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Galatians 5:1 Therefore, we should live in the freedom that Christ has provided, and not be servants to the laws and traditions that were an impossible burden.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is inspired by God, important for teaching, correction, and discipline—for showing people how to live in righteousness.
King James
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Is there a difference between scripture and God’s Word? Why?

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2 Timothy 3:17 God uses his Word to perfectly equip us for all the work he has for us.
King James
2 Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.