Bible Reading Blog
“Difficult Days Will Come”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
BIBLE READING: 2 Timothy 3
2 Timothy 3.1 “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.”
As Paul instructs the young Timothy, he doesn’t paint a make-believe, everyone lives happily ever after picture. That wouldn’t be helpful for Timothy. Had Paul said that Timothy might become frustrated wondering when the “happily ever after” part starts. Instead, Paul tells Timothy the truth. It won’t be easy.
What follows is a careful, descriptive image of what makes those final days troublesome. It’s not aliens invading the planet. It’s not a pandemic wiping out the population. It’s people. It’s godlessness that becomes widespread. Paul goes on to list a series of sinful attitudes and behaviors to expect from people: Ungrateful, unholy and unloving. lovers of self, lovers of money and lovers of pleasure. People will be arrogant and abusive; heartless, reckless, and swollen with conceit. Even people who claim to be godly will be wicked.
The picture isn’t pretty. And what’s scary is these are the times we live in. It’s the cycle of humanity that always comes around. Empty lives trying to find happiness in fad after fad. The selfishness of our times even creeps into our fellowship and our worship. If I can’t have it my way, then I’m out of here.
However, in these verses we find a way to address this problem. Timothy was different. He was not consumed by this selfish spirit. Paul says, “But you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions and sufferings.” (2 Timothy 3.10)
Timothy was not caught up in the godless, selfish moment. The “but you,” shows that Timothy had a heart that remained true to the Lord. For us, that’s encouragement and hope. Not everyone is going down the drain. Not everyone has lost their senses. There are righteous people in Sodom. There are righteous people in the final days. There are righteous people who are making godly choices and are leaving footprints of compassion, fairness, and hope for others to see. That’s where you and I come in. We are lights of the world. We illustrate Jesus for others to see. We show others that there is a better way. Loving God is a great choice. It is the best choice.
It will be challenging to connect with selfish hearts, but that’s the task before us today. Selfish people want a church that serves them and makes them feel happy. Starting conversations will be hard. Getting people to the Bible will be hard. But an empty and vain world offers nothing to fill the hole that is in the hearts of every person. The crashing reality of death is one area that a selfish society cannot deal with. They need to know there are better things than this world. They need to know the power of Jesus to offer life and hope. They need to know God loves them.
Difficult times will require great faith and patience. But you and I can do this because we have the Lord to help us.
“…I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me…” (2 Timothy 1.12)
Note: These thoughts were adapted from a blog written in “Jump Starts” by Roger Shouse.