2 Timothy 3:1–17 (NKJV)
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.2 Timothy 3:1-9
In this passage, Paul warns Timothy of the perilous that are to come. In the last days, all sorts of selfishness and disregard for the needs of others will be common. People will love themselves more than anyone else. They will love money, operate in pride and self-promotion, disobey authorities and not show appreciation. The list goes on and on of the unholy behaviors and lifestyle of people in the last days. Good will be called evil and evil good. Individuality will overwhelm loyalty. People will not truly love, but will slander each other, not forgiving wrongs committed against them. Personal opinions and creeds will be vaunted above true godliness. Pleasure will serve as currency and colorful peacock personalities will be in the spotlight. Paul warns Timothy to turn away from this type of individual as they exhibit these types of behaviors. He describes them as being manipulators, wooing women away from their homes, taking them captive with false doctrines and lustful actions. This crowd learns much but never truly grasps the truth. Just like the rebels who opposed Moses, these will oppose the truth and never progress to true salvation. Eventually, their foolish thoughts and lives will be revealed to all.
10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.2 Timothy 3:10-17
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Paul then turns to the lifestyle which the followers of Christ, led by Timothy, should live. Timothy has appropriated the teachings of Paul well. He operates with purpose, believes, suffers long, loves the brethren, perseveres through trials. Timothy has endured persecutions and afflictions, just as his mentor Paul has. The Lord delivered Paul, and he has delivered Timothy as well. Paul makes a blanket statement, stating that anyone who desires to live godly will suffer persecution. As evil people grow worse and worse, falling further into deception, debauchery, and hedonism, Timothy must continue in the things he has heard and seen from Paul, leaning on the teaching of Paul and his own knowledge of Scripture, continuing in what he knows to be true and salvific.
Paul then touts the value and validity of Scripture, telling Timothy, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” God spoke through holy writers (scribes of divinity) to deliver doctrine, correction, and instruction to all who would believe. He gave us the Scriptures so that we can be complete, mature in our faith, equipped to answer the call of God to perform good works in His name. Paul has given Timothy a serious warning about the times to come, and some serious teaching about the life he must live in order to glorify God. Timothy is a leader and–as such–must lead by example and by teaching. Paul’s instruction of his disciple and beloved son is the type of teaching that is even more vital today. The very attitudes and actions Paul described to Timothy as being part of the last days mentality are in full bloom, right before our eyes. Pride, self-absorption, and defiant individuality are all evident around us today. Some of these sinful things even creep into our churches and demand to be normalized. We must follow the word of God and live the life of Christ before this heathen society in order to show the lost the way to salvation. This is our goal; this is our calling.
Artwork from https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/w/dv_700/dailyverse-images/13/2%20Timothy%203-1%20Perilous%20Time%20Shall%20Come%20black.jpg and https://d347bo4ltvvnaz.cloudfront.net/images/ScriptureArt_0616_-_2Timothy3_16_157x157.jpg