Enduring

                                                II Timothy 3:12-17; 4:1-8

                                                        August 4, 2019

 

 

 

Upon the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus our salvation hinges. He

who believes these truths aright hath believed the gospel, and believing the gospel he

shall without doubt find eternal salvation therein. But men want novelties

they cannot endure that the trumpet should give forth the same certain

sound, they crave some fresh fantasia every day. “The gospel with

variations” is the music for them. Intellect is progressive, they say; they

must, therefore, march ahead of their forefathers. Incarnate Deity, a holy

life, an atoning death, and a literal resurrection,-having heard these things

now for nearly nineteen (now twenty) centuries they are just a little stale, and the

cultivated mind hungers for a change from the old-fashioned manna. Even

in Paul’s day this tendency was manifest, and so they sought to seeking a

recondite (deep) meaning, they overlooked the fact itself, losing the substance in a

foolish preference for the shadow. While God set before them glorious

events which fill heaven with amazement they showed their foolish wisdom

by accepting the plain historical facts as myths to be interpreted or riddles

to be solved. He who believed as a little child was pushed aside as a fool

that the disputer and the scribe might come in to mystify simplicity, and

hide the light of truth. Hence there had arisen a certain Hymenaeus’ and

Philetus,” Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the

resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” regard facts

as mysteries or parables, and they labored to find a spiritual meaning in

them till they went so far as to deny them as actual facts.  They tear out the bowels

of the truth, and give us the carcass stuffed with hypotheses, speculations,

and larger hopes. The golden shields of Solomon are taken away, and

shields of brass are hung up in their stead: will they not answer every

purpose, and is not the metal more in favor with the age? It may be so, but

we never admired Rehoboam, and we are old-fashioned enough to prefer

the original shields of gold. The Apostle Paul was very anxious that

Timothy at least should stand firm to the old witness, and should

understand in their plain meaning his testimonies to the fact that Jesus

Christ of the seed of David ROSE AGAIN FROM THE DEAD!    CH Spurgeon

 

 

1 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”

 (καιροὶ χαλεποί - kairoi chalepoi – perilous times; grievous times).

 Grievous is not a very good rendering. “Perilous,” though in some contexts

it is a right rendering, is a little too  restricted here. “Difficult,” “trying,”

“uneasy,” “hard to deal with”, “hard to bear” or the like, is nearer the  sense.

Fierce, Grievous, Perilous - They are times when a Christian

hardly knows which way to turn or what to do. He has to live under a

 constant sense of hindrance and difficulty of one sort or another.

Whether perilous or grievous, the times that follow are a strange prevalence

of moral evil and its coexistence with Christian forms.

 

2 “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters,

proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,”

 

Men (οἱἄνθρωποι - hoi anthropoi – men; humans ); men in general,

the bulk of men in the Church; for he is speaking, not of the world at large, but of

professing Christians.  Lovers of their own selves.  (φίλαυτοι – philautoi –

 lovers of self); only here in the New Testament, and not found in the Septuagint;

but used by Aristotle in a striking passage, where he distinguishes those who are

φίλαυτοι in a good sense, and those who are justly blamed for being

φίλαυτοι, i.e. selfish and greedy. The Christian character is exactly the

opposite (see I Corinthians 10:24; 13:5).  Covetous.  (φιλάργυροι -  philarguroi –

 lovers of money); elsewhere in the New Testament only in Luke 16:14, though

not uncommon in classical Greek; φιλαργυρία – philarguria – coveted; fondness

for money - is found in I Timothy 6:10. Boasters. (ἀλάζονες – alazones – boastful;

ostentatious; showy ); as Romans 1:30, and in classical Greek. It the derivation of

the word is ἄλη – alae -  wandering, we may compare the περιερχόμενοι

perierchomenoi  - wandering - of Acts 19:13, “vagabond Jews.” Such vagabonds

were usually boasters. Hence ἀλαζών – alazon - came to mean “a boaster.”

Proud, blasphemers.. Υπερηφανία – huperaephania – proud; haughty and

βλασφημία  blasphaemia -–blasphermers; railers; calumniators are coupled

together in Mark 7:22; and ὑπερηφάνους – huperaephanous – proud and

ἀλάζονας - alazonas - boasters in Romans 1:30. In the New Testament

βλάσφημος – blasphaemos – blasphemer and βλασφημία –blasphaemia

 blasphemy are most commonly used of evil speaking against God and holy things;

but not always (see Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:8; I Timothy 6:4). Here

apparently it means generally “evil speakers.”  Disobedient to parents.

(γονεῦσιν ἀπειθεῖς – goneusin apeitheis – to parents stubborn; unpersuadeable) 

Selfishness is early to show itself in the form of self-will. The young generation are to

show impatience of being ruled by their parents, which is sure to grow into

impatience in respect of all rightful rule. In the grievous times there is to be

a large development of lawlessness, BEGINNING IN THE FAMILY

CIRCLE.  Unthankful. (ἀχάριστοι acharistoi - ungrateful); as Luke 6:35.

Found occasionally in the Septuagint, and common in classical Greek. Those who

are allowed to have their own way in early life are not likely to grow up to

show gratitude to parents for what they have sacrificed for them, nor are

 they likely to show gratitude in the ordinary course of life, nor can we think

of them SHOWING GRATITUDE TO GOD FOR HIS MERCIES!   Ingratitude

 is to be a striking feature of the grievous times.  The ingratitude which they showed to

their parents was a part of their general character. We ought to take special note

of this passive sin — the not being thankful for good received from God

and man. Unholy (ἀνόσιοι – anosioi); as I Timothy 1:9 (where see note).

There are certain sanctities which are everlasting, which are anterior to

all law and custom, which belong to THE DIVINE CONSTITUTION

OF THINGS  e.g. the sanctities of the marriage bond. The unholy are

those who have no reverence or love in their hearts for THESE

EVERLASTING SANCTITIES.  In the grievous times the most sacred

bonds are to be disregarded..

 

 

3 “Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent,

fierce, despisers of those that are good,” - Without natural affection

(ἄστοργοι – astorgoi); as in Romans 1:31, where in the Textus Receptus it is

coupled with ἄσπονδοι – aspondoi - implacable, as here. The verb στέργω

 stergo is “to love,” used primarily of the natural affection of parents to their

children and children to their parents. And στοργή – storgae is that natural love.

These persons were without this στοργή, of which Plato says, “A child loves his

parents, and is loved by them;” and so, according to Paul’s judgment in I Timothy 5:8,

were “worse than infidels.” Affection is that which sweetens life. In the grievous

times affection is to die out, even for those for whom nature specially claims affection.

Parents will act unnaturally toward their children Trucebreakers.  (ἄσπονδοι

aspondoi –  implacable denotes “without a libation” (, negative, , “a libation”), i.e.,

“without a truce,” as a libation accompanied the making of treaties and compacts;

then, “one who cannot be persuaded to enter into a covenant,” – from Vine’s

Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words);  only here according to the

Received Text, not at all in the Septuagint, but  frequent in classical Greek.

Σπονδή – spondae was a solemn truce made over a libation which accompanied

the making of treaties and compacts.  'Ασπονδος – aspondos - at first merely

expresses that anything was done, or any person was left, without such a truce. 

But, in a secondary sense, applied to a war, it meant an internecine war (destructive

to both sides in a conflict) admitting of no truce; and thence, as here, applied

to a person, it means “implacable,”  one who will make no truce or treaty with his

enemy. The sense “truce breakers”  is not justified  by any example.  The word

implacable supposes a state of variance. In the grievous times men are not to

come to terms with those who have given them offence, but are to pursue

them with all the might of their vengeance.  False accusers.  (διάβολοι – false

 accusers; slanderers; adversaries); as I Timothy 3:11 and Titus 2:3. They are not to

be content with pouring contempt and bitterness on one another in ordinary evil

speaking, but they are to attack one another with falsehoods. (Think of the

change in the media’s way of handling things today – CY -2013)  Thus the

diabolic character is to be developed in the grievous times. “ The arch-slanderer is

ὁ διάβολος - ho diabolos  - the devil,  (ὁ κατήγορυς τῶν ἀδελφῶν – ho

 kataegorus ton adelphon -  the accuser of the brethren - Revelation 12:10; see

John 6:70).   Incontinent.  (ἀκρατεῖς – akrateis - without self-control;

[sexually]); here only in the New Testament, not in the Septuagint but frequent in

classical Greek, in the sense of intemperate in the pursuit or use of anything, e.g.

money, the tongue, pleasure, the appetite, etc., which are put in the genitive case.

Used absolutely it means generally “without self-control” as here rendered in

the Revised Version.  The Authorized Version “incontinent” (compare I Corinthians

7:5) expresses only one part of the meaning (see ἀκρασία – akrasia – excess;

Incontinence - Matthew 23:25)  With self-will uncurbed in early life, it is not

to be wondered at that the men of the grievous times are to be men who

have LOST SELF-CONTROL.  Fierce (from ferns, wild, savage);

ἀνήμεροι – anaemeroi – fierce - only here in the New Testament, and not found

in the Septuagint, but frequent in the Greek tragedians and others, of persons,

countries, plants, etc.; e.g. “Beware of the Chalubes, for they are savage (),

and cannot be approached by strangers” (AEschylus, ‘Prom. Vinct.,’ 734,

edit. Scholef.). It corresponds with ἀνελεήμονες – aneleaemones - unmerciful

(Romans 1:31).  In the grievous times there will be loss of self-control, PROCEEDING

TO ACTS OF VIOLENCE.   Despisers of those that are good.  (ἀφιλάγαθοι

 aphilagathoi averse to good;  no lovers of good); only here in the New Testament,

and not at all  in the Septuagint or in classical Greek. But φιλάγαθος – philagathos

lovers of that which is good; is found in Titus 1:8. The Revised Version seems therefore

to be right in rendering here “no lovers of good,” rather than as the Authorized

Version “despisers of those which are good,” after the Vulgate and the new version

of Sanctes Pagninus.   In keeping with the personal reference before and after, we prefer

to translate, “no lovers of good men.” With evil so active in them, like Cain (I John

3:12) the presence of good men will be burdensome to them. They are therefore

likely to make the times grievous to the good, by unjustly treating them.

 

 

                                    The Perilous Times of the Apostasy (v. 1)

 

The apostle next proceeds to predict a further progress in error, with the

view of putting Timothy on his guard and sharpening his diligence.

 

·        THE PERIOD OF THIS APOSTASY. “This know also, that in the last

days perilous times shall come.”

 

Ø      The contextual injunction, from such turn away,” applies to the

present rather that, to a far distant future. The Christian Church has in all

ages shown a condition of things only too closely represented by the moral

picture in the context. The apostle implies that there were “vessels of

dishonour” in the “large house” in his own day, such as Hymenaeus and

Philetus, as well as “vessels unto honor.”

 

Ø      The language has a wide latitude, covering the whole space of the

Christian dispensation. The evil had begun to work in the age of Timothy,

but the worst development of anti-Christian apostasy will be in the closing

days of the dispensation. The “days of the Messiah” are often alluded to in

the Hebrew prophets as “in the last days;” literally, “the end of days”

(Isaiah 2:2; Hosea 3:5; Micah 4:1).

 

·        THE DANGEROUS CHARACTER OF THIS APOSTASY. “Perilous

times shall come.”

 

Ø      It will be a time of danger to the faith of God’s people.

Ø      It will be a time of peril to their lives.

Ø      It will be a time of abounding wickedness as well as error.

 

 

                                    Corruption Within (v. 8)

 

“Men of corrupt minds.” It is here that evil begins, though it does not end here.

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) but he does not
show in himself the development of evil at once.
The hour of revelation, however,

will surely come; for “they that be otherwise [than good] cannot be hid.”

(I Timothy 5:25)

 

·        THEY RESIST THE TRUTH. For this reason the truth will not let them

alone. It is an active searching power. It is “a discerner of the thoughts and

intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12), and men resent the intrusion of this

all-discovering, all-judging power. Impurity hates purity. Falsehood hates

truth. Worldly minds resist the claim of God’s Word to supremacy over

their hearts and lives. They resist its right to reign, and its claim to dominate

thought and action too.

 

·        THEY BECOME REPROBATE.* Reprobation is no hard decree of

God’s; it is man’s own act and deed, and it is the result of the “corrupt

mind.” This breeding corruption spreads. The seeds of evil are scattered

here and there till the soul is like a wilderness, and the mind which was

made to be a garden of holiness becomes a graveyard of sin. Moral death

ensues, and with death always comes corruption.

 

      *reprobate - ἀδόκιμοςadokimos - signifying “not standing the test,

      rejected” – was primarily applied to metals (compare Isaiah 1:22); it is

      used always in the New Testament in a passive sense,

 

(a)    of things, Hebrews 6:8, “rejected,” of land that bears thorns

and thistles;

(b)   of persons, Romans 1:28, of a “reprobate mind,” a mind of

which God cannot approve, and which must be rejected by

Him, the effect of refusing “to have God in  knowledge”

 

·        THEY BECOME REVEALED. “Their folly shall be made manifest”

(v. 9). The secret sin becomes a public shame. The thought incarnates

itself in deed, and retribution takes the form of disgrace.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                Grievous Times (vs. 1-17)

 

“But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come.” They were

in the first days of the Christian era; the times foretold were to be in the

last days of that era. There is an intended indefiniteness about the days;

nothing is said about their commencement, or about the period over which

they are to extend. They are to embrace distinct times, but all characterized

by grievousness. From what follows we may infer that the grievousness of

the times will consist in the prevalence of moral evil, and in the strange

coexistence of moral evil with Christian forms. There will be difficulty in

knowing how to act, and also in acting according to knowledge in the face

of strong, quasi-Christian solidarities of evil. From a source of revelation

open to him, the apostle was able to write with certainty regarding the

coming of grievous times in the last days. There is not excluded the

ultimate triumph of religion in this world which is taught elsewhere.

 

I shall present this in the manner of which Marion Duncan, Pastor of Second

Baptist church presented it in the late 1960’s, over a half-century ago.

For four months Bro. Duncan preached on the sixteen characteristics of the

people of the world at the end of time (here calleed “last days.”) He also

read from Revelation 20 which tells of the binding and loosing of Satan

over time and at its end!  He ended each message on each trait by asking

the question, “Is he loose?”   At that time it certainly seemed so to be

so, but now after fifty years, 1969-2019, then I had no concept of what the

world would come to, of which, I NOW SEE!  (CY – 2019)

 

 

I will read once Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10, and then read one of the characteristics

of the time and make a few comments.  Then I will also ask you, “IS HE LOOSE?”

 

 

·        CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MEN IN THE GRIEVOUS TIMES.

 

Ø      For men shall be lovers of self.”  Such men as the apostle here describes

there have been at all times, and the apostle does not say that they will be

then such for the first time, nor that all men without exception shall be

such, but he describes the moral spiritual physiognomy (the supposed art

of judging character from facial characteristics) of the times which

he beholds approaching.” We are not to include in this first part of the

description all who are influenced by self-love; for it is only right before

God that we should be influenced by an intelligent regard to our personal

interest.  The persons intended are the selfish — a word which was only

brought in by the Puritan divines toward the middle of the seventeenth century.

They are those who exclude God from the central place to which He is entitled

in their life. They are those who exclude others from the place of interest to

which they are entitled. They thus put self in a false position — make it the

beginning and end of all their thoughts and actions. They properly take the

place of pre-eminence in the apostle’s list; for all classes of sinners are after

the selfish type, i.e. put forward self in some way or other that does not

accord with eternal truth. In the grievous times will be large developments

of selfishness.

 

Ø      “Covetous” - Lovers of money. From similarity of composition in the

Greek words, the apostle passes on from lovers of self to lovers of money.

Under this head are not to be included all seekers of money; for it is right

to seek money for good ends. Neither are there to be included all who seek

money for selfish ends. But we are to think rather of the avaricious, i.e.

those who seek to retain money in a selfish way. They look upon it as that

which will make them self-sufficient in the future; and therefore they

grudge to spend it even on present necessity. The times will be grievous

when the avaricious increase.

 

Ø      “Boastful.”Boasters - Derived from a word signifying

“a wandering about,” this word designated first the:

 

o        vagabond mountebanks -  persons who deceives others, especially

      in order to trick them out of their money; a charlatan.

o        conjuorsmagicians, illusionists.

o        quacksalver - a person who pretends, professionally or publicly,

      to have skill, knowledge, qualification or credentials he or she

      does not possess; a charlatan or snake oil salesman". The term

      quack is a clipped form of the archaic term quacksalver.

o        exorcist - a person who is believed to be able to cast out

      the devil or other demons.

 

These people are full of empty and boastful professions of cures and other

feats which they could accomplish.  Men do not need to go about crying up,

advertising, that which is of great value. What men generally boast of is some

external advantage which is of little consequence in comparison with the

moral worth which should be associated with it. The times will be grievous

when the gift is exalted above the moral use to which it is put.

 

Ø      “Proud.” - Haughty. The haughty are literally, in the Greek ὑπερήφανοι –

      huperaephanoi - , those who show themselves above their fellows. In the

glass of their own minds, they behold themselves standing along with others;

and the comparison they make is in their own favor. Their estimate is false in

respect of the importance attached to that in which they pride themselves,

and in respect of the importance attached to that for which they despise

others. Birth is an advantage, but not the only advantage, nor the greatest

advantage, and must be taken along with service and character. In the

grievous times there will be a great amount of pride.

 

Ø      “Blasphemers.” Railers. The word is “blasphemers” but it would be

inconsistent with holding the form of godliness to think of blasphemers in

the usual sense in English. It is better, therefore, to think of those who use

evil words to each other, i.e. words of contempt, or words of bitterness.

There is to be a large development of evil speaking in the grievous times.

 

Ø      “Disobedient to parents.” Selfishness is early to show itself in the form of

      self-will. The young generation are to show impatience of being ruled by

their parents, which is sure to grow into impatience in respect of all rightful

rule. In the grievous times there is to be a large development of lawlessness,

beginning in the family circle.

 

Ø      “Unthankful.” Those who are allowed to have their own way in early life

are not likely to grow up to show gratitude to parents for what they have

sacrificed for them, nor are they likely to show gratitude in the ordinary

association in life, nor can we think of them showing gratitude to God for

His mercies. INGRATITUDE is to be a striking feature of the grievous

times.

 

Ø      “Unholy.” There are certain sanctities which are EVERLASTING which are

anterior to all law and custom, which belong to the Divine constitution of

things, e.g. the sanctities of the marriage bond. The unholy are those who

have no reverence or love in their hearts for these everlasting sanctities.

In the grievous times the most sacred bonds are to be DISREGARDED!

 

Ø      “Without natural affection.” Affection is that which sweetens life. In the

      grievous times affection is to die out, even for those for whom nature

specially claims affection. Parents will act unnaturally toward their children.

(What could be any more unnatural than to kill (abort) their child,

either prior to birth, or NOW AFTER BIRTH????????? – CY – 2019)

 

Ø      “Implacable.” The word supposes a state of variance. In the grievous times

men are not to come to terms with those who have given them offence, but

are to pursue them with all the might of THEIR VENGEANCE!

(Sounds like the Legislative Branches [the House and the Senate] of the

United States Goverment to me.  CY – 2019)

 

Ø      “Slanderers.”  They are not to be content with pouring contempt and bitterness

      on one another in ordinary evil speaking, but they are to attack one another

      with falsehoods.  (Witness yesterday when four freshmen members of

      the House, now known as The Squad, attacked the President who has been

“Tweeting” his analysis of them – CY – this being July 16, 2019)  Thus the

diabolic character is to be developed in the grievous times.

 

Ø      “Without self-control.” Incontinent.  (ἀκρατεῖς – akrateis - without

      self-control; [sexually]); With self-will uncurbed in early life, it is not

to be wondered at that the men of the grievous times are to be characterized

as men who have no self-control.   (America is attempting to thrive in

this sexual cesspool of misconduct.  CY – 2019)

 

Ø      “Fierce.” In the grievous times there will be loss of self-control, proceeding

      to deeds of violence.  (Rape, child molestation, after-birth abortion,

      ad nauseum.  CY – 2019)

 

Ø      “No lovers of good.” Despisers of those that are good.  In keeping with the

      personal reference before and after, we prefer to translate,“no lovers of good

      men.” With evil so active in them, the presence of good men will be

      burdensome to them.  (And why, “....because his own works were evil

      and his brother’s righteous.”  I John 3:12 – CY – 2019)  They are therefore

      likely to make the times grievous to the good, by unjustly treating them.

 

Ø      “Traitors.” Fidelity is the sacred bond that joins friend to friend. In the

      grievous times friend will be often found betraying friend.   (“And the

      brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child:

      and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them

      to be put to death.”  (Matthew 10:21)

 

Ø      “Heady.” Headstrong. In the grievous times men will go to daring lengths.

 

Ø      “High minded.” Puffed up. The explanation of their daringness is, that they

      have no right sense of their own position before God — their:

 

Ø      insignificance,

Ø      impotence, and

Ø      responsibility.

 

Ø      “Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” Men will be daring especially

      in sensual gratification.  (I saw a documentary on cocaine that was going back

      as far as the 1970’s and 1980’s and the connection to sex.  This means that

      the “drug culture” and “sexual revolution” has been entrenched in this

      country for nearly half a century, just one of the reasons that is bringing,

      not only judgment upon the nation and people, but the Second Coming of

      Jesus Christ!  CY – July 17, 2019)  Pleasure will be preferred TO GOD!

 

Ø      “Holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof.”

      The remarkable thing is that the men who have been described (we do

      not need to think of the characteristics being all combined) should hold

      a form of godliness. The relation of the form of godliness to the men who

      make the grievous times, is that it conceals their true character. It is

      SELF throughout, in a more or less hateful form, and therefore the

      real power of godliness is denied. But it does not appear so

nakedly and hatefully to be self where there is a form of acknowledging

God. The relation of the form of godliness to the grievous times is, that it

allows evil to work more insidiously (in a gradual, subtle way, but with

harmful effects). It is not so difficult to meet pure heathenism as it is to

meet a Christianity that has become heathenish.

 

            Advice. “From these also turn away.” Paul would have things put on a

basis of reality. Between Timothy and such men there could be no

sympathy. Why keep up a semblance of fellowship? Both for them and for

him it was better that the line of demarcation should be drawn, and that all

further relationships should proceed on the footing that they did not belong

to the same Christian society.

 

 

 

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