This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come (II Timothy 3:1).
The Bible speaks of benefits that will accrue to a people even in this world when Christian principles are embraced by society and by government. It also warns of the societal ruin that will follow as nations turn from the righteous ways of God. The context of II Timothy is the great departure from the truths of the Word of God that is foretold to take place in the professing Christian world.
This means that the “last days” spoken of in this passage are the declining days of the present Church Age. It is a prophecy being fulfilled in the present time. Now is the day of perilous times. The apostle said the times shall come; we can say they have come.
The passage goes on to declare the spiritual, moral, and societal conditions that underlie the peril and that give it its character. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away (II Timothy 3:2-5).
This is a list of departures from Bible values and commands. This is what has got our country to the place it is today. There is an inherent hedge of protection in obeying God’s laws and there is the preserving hand of God where He is honoured. No amount of human ingenuity can overturn this essential law of blessing. Sin is the root of peril.
The first evil of last days society is self-love. The two tables of the Law command us to love God supremely and to love others as ourselves. The entrance of sin in the Garden of Eden corrupted the natural heart of man to a takeover by the self-life and self-love. We all know intuitively that living for self and being in love with self is ugly and reprehensible. Attach the “self-prefix” to almost any word and it becomes a slur. Yet in these last days, the message of our world is to live a life devoted to self with a promise of fulfillment and happiness – that never comes.
This emerging societal norm parallels the rejection of the Bible and has left us with the perils of our times. Every strata of human behaviour has forgotten that being in love with self is depravity and we have been exposed to dangers from the very institutions and people we once could trust to do us good.
The second heart-failure of our times is covetousness, or the love of money. Once there were patriots, family members, community leaders, and church leaders we could turn to for help with a confidence that they would act for our best interests. Now money rules. The average person goes through life making every decision according to what seems to offer the best bottom line. This goes far beyond just good business sense in its place to a craven lust and enslavement to the dollar bill.
The answer to these heart problems is a re-creation work by God, the new birth. This is offered through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is still willing to forgive sins and make you God’s child if you are willing to face up to these problems at the personal level and accept Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross as payment for your sins. He is risen from the dead and gives eternal life to those who believe in Him as a free gift, without any contribution of works or merit on your part. The problems of the world today can only be solved one person at a time.
By Ian Kurylyk