“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” 2Timothy 3:1
Paul is not warning Timothy about physical dangers. The perils he warns of are far more dangerous. Spiritual perils that can draw Timothy (me, you) away from our walk with the Lord.
The traits mentioned by Paul are all traits that we see today. They are traits that have always been part of mankind, because they are traits of the old creation. Many things have changed over the years, but the nature of man has not.
The true danger of these things is their ability to draw us away from our relationship with our Lord. “Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” This describes so much of the world today. Completely occupied with the pleasures of this world, but completely uninterested in God.
This same attitude can take us if we are not careful and aware. It is so easy to be distracted by the world’s pleasures and leave the Lord to the side. Paul is very concerned that Timothy be warned, and the Holy Spirit had this recorded for our benefit, as we also need the same warning.
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” This is the condition of many today, even amongst professed Christians. Denying the power is to attempt on our own. The power of Godliness is the power of God’s grace to work in our lives a true Godliness. Many are interested in the appearance of Godliness, and the impression they can make to get other’s approval.
Satan will attempt to get us into this mode. Trying to work Godliness in ourselves, instead of allowing Him to do the work. We do not want to be just a “form” of Godliness, but have true Godliness worked in our lives through the life of Jesus in us. Much of the world wants to profess some sort of Godliness, or they may talk about “spirituality,” but they will not acknowledge God’s power to change lives.
Paul encourages Timothy to “shun,” stay away from this kind of person. Why? Because it can become tempting to follow that same ideology. The peril is not in the physical persecution, but in the spiritual harm that can come from being turned back to the things of the world.
At the end of this chapter, we find Paul encouraging Timothy to “continue” in the Word of God, which alone is able to complete the Christian for God’s purpose. Regardless of the condition of this world, we need to stay vigilant by continuing in God’s Word.
Be aware of the trap of Satan to distract you from the truth of God’s Word.