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SIGNS OF THE LAST DAYS

March 3, 2024

Sermon Series: Remain Devoted and Faithful to The End

Book: 2 Timothy

SERMON # 5: SIGNS OF THE LAST DAYS

2 Timothy 3:1-5


What does it take to shock you these days?  Throughout society, we have witnessed a sinister numbing of our consciences.  Why?  Because the most godless actions are called “being open-minded.”  The secular media offers every evil imaginable, ranging from the height of profanity to the depths of perversion.  On the other hand, any attempt to genuinely follow Christ is ridiculed as being outdated and narrow-minded.  Wild, perverse behavior and rejection of God and His righteousness will be a characteristic of the end time, the last days of human society.

This lesson is a picture of future society—a terrible picture of what the last days of human history will be like.  But note a shocking fact: it sounds very much like the society of today.  We just don’t think of our day as being so terrible; we seldom sit down and study godless signs of the last days, signs that come close to painting a picture of our day and time.  This fact points to our day as being part of the last days.  It is very possible that the Lord’s return is at hand.  One thing is sure, we must do just what Christ said: be prepared for His return, for He can return at any moment, Matthew 24:36-44.

Perilous times means difficult, troublesome, trying, uneasy, hard, violent, threatening, and dangerous days.  The picture is that of people turning to and from, here and there, not knowing which way to turn.  “The last days” is a Biblical term that points to the end of the present age, the days right before the return of Christ and the end of the world.

ILLUSTRATION:

Scripture leaves no doubt about what is to come---perilous times.  The wise person will heed the warning and make the necessary correction in the course of his or her life.

For years, the opening of ‘The Wide World of Sports’ television program illustrated ‘the agony of defeat’ with a painful ending to an attempted ski jump.  The skier appeared in good form as he headed down the jump, but then, for no apparent reason, he tumbled head over heels off the side of the jump, bouncing off the supporting structure.

“What viewers didn’t know was that he chose to fall rather than finish the jump.  Why?  As he explained later, the jump surface had become too fast, and midway down the ramp, he realized if he completed the jump, he would land on the level ground, beyond the safe sloping landing area, which could have been fatal.

“As it was, the skier suffered no more than a headache from the tumble. 

“To change one’s course in life can be a dramatic and sometimes painful undertaking, but change is better than a fatal landing at the end.”

The last days began with Christ’s earthly ministry and will continue until His second coming.

We are now living in the last of the last days.  Therefore, the moral degeneration of society should not surprise us because the Bible says perilous times shall come.  The last days will be difficult because of at least three changes.

 

I.              A CHANGE IN Affection v. 1-2b


A.   People will be lovers of their own selves:  this does not mean the normal and natural love of life and of self that we should all have.  It means selfishness and self-centeredness.

·      To focus upon yourself and your own pleasure and flesh instead of upon God, and other people.

·      To put yourself before others: wife, husband, parent, child, friend, neighbor, God.

·      To put your own will before God’s will.

·      To seek your own desires without considering others.

·      To go after what you want even if it is unwise and hurts others.

·      To feel that everyone and everything should revolve around you.

·      To focus upon your own pleasure and flesh and ignore the crying needs of the desperate and dying.

 

Self-love sets you up as a god, stressing that nothing matters as much as the pleasure of yourself.

 

B.   People will be covetous: the word means lovers of money and possessions.  People will want more and more and bigger and bigger and better and better; they will seldom be satisfied with what they have.

 

When people become selfish and direct their affection to money and material pleasures, there is no affection left for others or God.  1 Timothy 6:10 says that the love of money is the root of all evil.  When people become lovers of themselves and covetous, there will be a change in affection.

The last days will be difficult because there will be at least three changes.

1.    A Change In Affection v. 1-2b

 

II.             A CHANGE IN ATTITUDE v. 2c-e


A.   People in the last days will also be boasters, which means “seeing oneself above others”.  It is having an inflated view of oneself.

B.   People will be proud.  This is a manifestation of selfishness.  It is bragging about one’s accomplishments, acquaintances, or assets.  Boastful people love to be in the center of attention.  Prosperity causes us to brag because we become boasters and proud.

C.    Being boasters and proud always leads to being blasphemers.  Blasphemy is slandering people or God.  People with an over-inflated view of themselves are always verbally abusive and irreverent.

In the last days, there will be at least three changes.

1.    A Change in Affection v. 1-2b

2.    A Change in Attitude v. 2c-e

 

III.           A CHANGE IN ACTIONS v. 2f-5


A.   People will be disobedient to parents: refusing to do what their parents say.  Rebelling against parents.

B.   People will be unthankful:  Showing no sense of gratitude or appreciation.

C.    People will be unholy:  Profane, indecent, shameless, etc.

D.   People will be without natural affection:  They don’t care who they hurt or destroy.

E.    People will be truce-breakers:  Breakers of promises and agreements.

F.    People will be false accusers:  Slanderers

G.   People will be incontinent:  undisciplined and uncontrolled.

H.   People will be fierce: Savage and untamed.

I.     People will be despisers of those who are good: this refers to people despising both good people and good things.

J.    People will be traitors: This refers to people who will betray the trust of family and friends to make a dollar.

K. People will be heady: This refers to people who act foolishly without concern for the consequences of their actions.

L.    People will be high-minded: Puffed up and conceited; having feelings of self-importance.

M.  People will be lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.

Paul concludes this list by writing: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof (v. 5a-b).

The phrase form of godliness means people will act real religious: churches, temples, and worship centers will be everywhere.  People will claim and profess godliness, but their worship will be only a form, only an outward profession, only an appearance of godliness.   They will not possess God; they will not have God in their hearts.


In the last days there will be at least three changes.

1.    A Change in Affection v. 1-2b

2.    A Change in Attitude v. 2c-e

3.    A Change in Actions v. 2f-5

 

Responsive Reading: 2 Timothy 3:1-5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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