2 Timothy 3:1-5 The Last Days

2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”
2 Timoteo 3:1-5 “Or sappi questo: negli ultimi giorni verranno tempi difficili; perché gli uomini saranno egoisti, amanti del denaro, vanagloriosi, superbi, bestemmiatori, ribelli ai genitori, ingrati, irreligiosi, insensibili, sleali, calunniatori, intemperanti, spietati, senza amore per il bene, traditori, sconsiderati, orgogliosi, amanti del piacere anziché di Dio, aventi l’apparenza della pietà, mentre ne hanno rinnegato la potenza. Anche da costoro allontànati!”
     In 2 Timothy, Paul spends considerable time warning Timothy about how the enemy works within the church. After giving some examples (2:14-26), he summarizes it by giving a list of behaviors that will infiltrate the church in the last day before the coming of the Lord. We already know that the world is under the control of the devil and not everyone in the church is of a pure heart; but what is noteworthy is the intensity of impurity and corruption that will exist within the church in the last days.
     There are 19 things Paul mentions that will be signs to us in the last days. As we examine the list, we may say, “but that’s not me” to many or all of them. Notice as well that there seems to be visible evidences for all of them. One could make comments on each one but the last one is somewhat subtle in verse 5: “having a form of godliness but denying its power.” The word “form” comes from the idea of a semblance or appearance. A semblance of godliness is quite different from the power of godliness! Some people may profess a faith, having accepted Jesus as Savior, been baptized, know all the spiritual language of the church, but are really living a lie. Our admonishment today is NOT to follow people where no evidence of spirituality exists.
     Read again Paul’s list of 19 signs of the last days. Perhaps it would appropriate for us to ask ourselves: Are we already living in those days?
Pray with me: Lord, I am struck by the amount of corruption and impurity that will be evident in the church before Your return. Help me to never masquerade my spiritual life through a form of godliness but always desire Your full power in my life and faith.

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