This week, Franklin Graham quoted this Bible passage:
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power…” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
2 Timothy 3:1-5 from the Berean Literal Bible
Evil in the Last Days
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will be present. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boasters, proud, verbally abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, savage, haters of good, betrayers, reckless, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And turn away from these.
That passage describes the people of this age. They take classes on loving themselves. They take classes and tutorials on loving money, and they look for ways to get it without working. They’re proud and arrogant, judging those who struggle to follow God and even judging God.
They’re abusive, using coarse language and thinking that cutting down other people makes them look intelligent. They’re disobedient to parents and any other authority. Submission is a word that they hate to hear. They don’t live in thankfulness toward God, but they live in anger and bitterness.
They aren’t holy, and they don’t want to be holy. They love sin. They don’t want to live in Christ’s presence and allow God’s love to flow through them. They don’t want to submit themselves to God’s will and allow Him to flow out through them in works of love. They don’t care about the suffering of others as long as they can get what they want without working for it. They want to satisfy their own passions and goals more than they want to serve others.
They can’t be persuaded to make peace but continually and repeatedly attack those who follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. They attack anyone who crosses their paths, especially if they disagree with those people. They slander to win. They bring false accusations repeatedly. When God exposes one of their accusations as false, they dream up another accusation. They even accuse the righteous of making false accusations when the righteous speak God’s words.
They can’t control themselves because they put themselves in control rather than yielding to God’s Spirit. They use fierceness to get their way and to “win.”
They naturally oppose those who stand in Christ’s presence and listen to His voice. They especially hate those who listen to the Holy Spirit and who obey Him. They desire that everyone would follow the enemy of our souls and enter into all sorts of sin.
They’re reckless with their spirits, minds, and bodies, jumping down into sins that will end in their destruction. They’re proud and arrogant, thinking themselves to be wise when they have no basis for thought. They have no basis for thought because they’ve rejected God, the only Source of knowledge, wisdom, understanding, or righteousness.
They love pleasure more than they love God. If it comes down to a choice between what pleases God says or doing what pleases themselves, they choose what pleases themselves. They have a form of spirituality, respect, godliness, or political correctness but deny the power of God to reveal His will, perform miracles, and deliver His people from sin and the influence of the devil. They distort the word “love” to mean sensual desires that amount to using other people to fulfill their own self-gratification. They distort the words “mercy” and “justice” to using the government to satisfy their drive toward jealousy, envy, and covetousness. They don’t expect the Holy Spirit to lead them out of sin and into His righteousness and holiness. They don’t expect Him to deliver them from sin and sickness.
God simply instructs us to turn away from them. Why would those who claim to follow Christ ever listen to those who promote godlessness and sin? We’re in the world, but we don’t have to seek out and listen to those who refuse to sincerely follow Christ with their entire spirits, minds, and bodies. These people, as this passage shows, create a form or illusion of goodness even if they have to declare that evil is goodness and goodness is evil. From such, turn away. From such, turn away.