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II Timothy Chapter 3

Memory verses for this week:  Psa 121:7  The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. 

Introduction:  In chapter 2,  Paul urged Timothy to pass the word of God on to those who could teach others.   He wanted them to all become good soldiers for Jesus Christ.  Paul had suffered much for preaching the gospel, and he encourages Timothy to stay in the battle, and to constantly study the Word of God.  In chapter 3, we study about the last days of the church.  There are 21 outstanding features in this prophecy of church conditions in the last days. 

I.  Characteristics of the Last Days

2 Tim 3:1  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

The last days mentioned in this verse are being fulfilled in this hour.  J. Vernon McGee said this about the last days.

“The last days” is a technical term used in several places in the New Testament; it speaks of the last days of the church, immediately preceding the rapture of the church. The last days of the church are not the same as the last days of the nation Israel, which is mentioned repeatedly in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament the last days are called the “end of the age” or “the time of the end,” which is the Great Tribulation period. That is quite different from the last days of the church, which precede the rapture of the church.

The apostasy that began in the church in Paul’s day will continue. Paul warned the church at Ephesus that false leaders would enter the church after his decease. He told them in Acts 20:29–30: “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” They won’t give out the Word of God but will fleece the congregations. Believe me, false teachers shear the sheep pretty close!  “Perilous times shall come,” which means grievous or desperate times are coming. That doesn’t look like the conversion of the world, does it? It doesn’t appear that the church is going to bring in the Millennium or is going to convert the world. The Bible doesn’t teach that it will. That is the pipe dream of a great many idealists and a great many folk who have lived with their heads ostrich-like in the sand and have never faced reality. 

2 Tim 3:2  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

2 Tim 3:3  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

We will now look at the 21 things.  This means that men shall be self-occupied, as contrasted with the Godly of all ages who found their joy and delight in looking away from self to God.  Today we find people who are covetous, proud, and boasters of great things.  Many churches today boast of their wealth and programs.  But God is not pleased.

Rev 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Blasphemers are ones who deny the Deity of the Son of God and the Virgin birth.  They deny the blood atonement of Jesus Christ.   Those who are disobedient to parents break the commandment that was the first commandment given with promise.

Ephesians 6:1-2  Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 

“Unthankful”:  This is the denial of divine providence… the utter forgetting of the Source of all blessings, both temporal and spiritual. 

“Unholy”: This speaks of a person who totally in the world and sneers at the bible.  One who rejects anything to do with the Holy things of God.

“Without Natural Affection”:  Not loving according to the ways that God designed man and woman.  The foundations of family life are being destroyed.

“Trucebreakers”: Those who break promises and vows.

“False Accusers”:    People who will  lie for gain.

“Incontinent”:  Those who have no self control.

“Fierce”:  Those who are savage in their actions.

“Despisers of those that are good”:  We live in a society that calls good evil and evil good.

Mat 5:11  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Mat 5:12  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Isa 5:20  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Isa 5:21  Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!


2 Tim 3:4  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

2 Tim 3:5  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

2 Tim 3:6  For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

“Traitors”:  Those that betray those who trust them.

“Heady”:  Acting without thought.

“Highminded”: Those who are puffed up, doing things our way versus following God’s Word.

“Lovers of Pleasures rather than lovers of God”:  All around us we see men and women seeking pleasure rather than committing their lives to God.  And sin has a very short span  of satisfaction.   Moses chose to stand with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin “for a season.”

Heb 11:24  By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;

Heb 11:25  Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

Heb 11:26  Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.

“Having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof”:  These are those who have false professions and no real salvation.  The Spirit is not recognized and God is ruled out.

Verse 6 might also go beyond sexual permissiveness and refer to feminism.  

"Silly women, laden with sins and led away with divers lusts": 

These seek sexual pleasure without regard to God and his plans

for the man and the woman.  God setup the man as the head of the family, and we can not improve upon His plans.  Some women seek to gain authority and desire to usurp authority over men. 

 2 Tim 3:7  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2 Tim 3:8  Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”:   These are truth seekers, but they want the truth to be according to their way of thinking.

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way,  the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 

These in the last days can be compared  to Jannes and Jambres in the days of Moses.  They were magicians in Egypt who withstood Moses.  These will resist the truth.

2 Tim 3:9  But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

We can rest assured that they will not get very far… They are standing against God so they are on the losing side.

II.  The Authority of the Holy Scriptures

2 Tim 3:10  But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

2 Tim 3:11  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.

In contrast to the false teachings and evil practices of the last days, we now have the example of Paul himself.   He stresses the importance of cleaving to the Holy Scriptures as our security against error.   In verse 10, he tells Timothy that he has known my doctrine and manner of life.   Perhaps Paul’s greatest gift was that of teaching.  He unfolded the truth which God had revealed to him for a blessing to others.  Paul’s life lined up with his doctrine.  Timothy knew Paul’s purpose, faith, and longsuffering.   He endured  all things for Christ’s name and the gospel.

2 Tim 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Paul had endured many persecutions and afflictions.  If we are not enduring any persecution, we are probably not living up to God’s standards.

2 Tim 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

In the end times, it says evil men will wax worse and worse.

2 Tim 3:14  But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

2 Tim 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.

We are to continue in the things that we have learned from the Word of God.  Timothy was blessed to know the holy scriptures from a child.

2 Tim 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2 Tim 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

The scriptures are profitable for four things mentioned here:

1.  For Doctrine – The only authoritative book on divine teaching is the Bible.

2.  For Reproof --  It is profitable to show where we are wrong in our lives and in our thoughts.

3.  For Correction – It shows how to get our lives lined out with God.

4.  For Instruction in righteousness – After I have taken the right path, it shows me what God’s will is for me.

We need to gain this knowledge that we might be perfect.  We should seek to understand the word of God as the Spirit leads us and opens the Scriptures to us that we may walk in obedience to it.


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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