Paul’s Warning of the Last Days: A Bible Study

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What are some of the signs leading to Jesus’ return? Much is already happening.

Terrible times are coming

The apostle Paul, writing about the last days to Timothy, wrote “That in the last days will come difficult times” (2nd Tm 3.1). Does anyone doubt that today we are living in difficult times? Violence is escalating, terrorism is increasing and the world economy is on shaky ground. Earlier, Paul had said “The Spirit expressly says that in later times some will deviate from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and to the teachings of demons” (1 Tim 4: 1), and it is clear that this has happened and is happening at an ever increasing rate. To see theology replaced by “me-ology” and become self-centered instead of Christ-centered is heartbreaking, for it is not first and foremost a search for the kingdom (Mt 6:33) , but seek “your best life now” above all things. If this is our best life now, then our destiny is not Heaven because it will be the best in life, so if it is your best life now, then hell has to be the next destination.

What other things do you see that make you think we are living in the last days?

What are the difficulties you are encountering today?

Have you experienced churches, teachers, and pastors who have strayed from the faith?

What does it look like?

It’s all about me

The apostle Paul warned that “people will be in love with themselves, in love with money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, ungodly” (2nd Tim 3: 2), and there is no doubt that people are motivated by money, which is all about self. Companies reduce their products and services, but increase their prices because they get more profit. If people are more “in love with themselves” today, it means that they will be “Money lover” also because money is how they love each other by satisfying the flesh. The more money they can earn, the more love they can show themselves (which is not really love but greed or idolatry). The human heart is too often “proud, arrogant, abusive… ungrateful and ungodly”. Can you see the mainstream media touting more sex today than ever before?

Have you seen churches move from preaching and teaching to “making the most of life?” “

Where has the focus moved?

Is true discipleship taught today or is the teaching more topological?

Why is explanatory or verse-by-verse preaching the most effective?

A change in teaching / preaching

Instead of our teaching being Christocentric, it has become egocentric. Much of our preaching and education went from being centered on the Bible to centered on happiness. Rather than teaching the need to share in the sufferings of Christ, some teach how to avoid suffering and be happy. Their goal is to avoid suffering at all costs, and we hear about God wanting us to be prosperous, happy, and healthy, but I can’t find that in the Bible. This type of teaching might fit into the coming kingdom, but not into our world today.

Why do we focus more on ourselves today than on Christ?

What does it mean to share in the sufferings of Christ (Rom 8:17; 1 Pet 4:13)?

What kind of prosperity does God want for us (3 John 1: 2)?

21st century society

Paul, continuing to write about the last days, said that mankind will be “Heartless, inappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, traitor, reckless, swollen with vanity, lover of pleasure rather than lover of God” (2nd Tim 3: 3-4). If we look at today’s advertising, movies, television and internet, we can see heartless violence, slanderous words, a world with little self-control, enemies of good, even calling out good for evil (Isaiah 5:20), besides being a traitor, full of vanity, and loving their own pleasure rather than loving God. Just look back 40 years ago and you can easily see the big differences between the movies of then and the movies of today, the commercials of then and the commercials of today. Advertisers focus on self-gratification because they know the human heart, at least to some extent.

What are some of the heartless things that you have seen in your life?

Is Self-Control a Problem in Your Own Life? If so, in which areas are you struggling?

Why are commercials and movies becoming more violent and sexually explicit?

Did video games follow a similar pattern?

Does this make you yearn for the return of Jesus?

Angels of Light

Today we have an unlimited number of preachers and teachers who seem about as godly as they can be on the outside, but inside they are ravening wolves. Paul warned that some will have “The appearance of piety, but denying its power”, so paul says, “Avoid this kind of people” (2nd Tm 3, 5). You cannot tell a Bible preacher from a fake by the way he dresses, looks or speech. It’s because “Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2nd Co 11: 4), “So it is not surprising that his servants, too, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will match their actions. (2nd Co 11: 4). The main way to distinguish the false and the true preacher of God is the content in which he preaches. Biblical, explanatory, verse by verse preaching should be the rule rather than focusing on making Christians feel better about themselves and not worry about sin.

What elements are missing from many chairs today?

Why are we so focused on appearance and not content?

Is it difficult to tell the false preacher from the good one?

Get away from faith

Finally, the apostle Paul warned us that “The wicked and the impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2nd Tim 3:13), while the pious are persecuted for trusting in Christ (2nd Tim 3:12). Even worse, “the time is coming when people will not stand his teaching, but having itchy ears, they will accumulate teachers for themselves according to their own passions, and turn away from hearing the truth and stray into the myths. (2nd Tim 4: 3-4). Paul wrote this just before or while waiting for his execution, so apparently the Spirit of God warned him of the perilous times to come, and I believe they have come. Today false teachers are “Devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and to the teachings of demons” (1 Tim 4: 1), and may not even realize it because they too are being deceived.

Why can’t false teachers see their mistake?

What is a “solid teaching? “

Do you know of “impostors” who claim to be ministers of light?

Conclusion

It is easier to discern error from truth, especially Bible truth, if you are in the Word of God every day. Staying out of the Word can lead to doctrinal errors, but doctrinal errors are exposed when you stay in the Word. If we have the benchmark for the truth, and we do it in the Bible, then we’ll have a way to spot the error when we hear or read it. Without a good understanding of the Word of God, the word of man can more easily deceive us. Yes, we are in the last days, but each day is the “last day” for those who reject Christ because they are a heartbeat from eternity and each day we draw closer to Christ’s return every second. who passed. Today would be a good day to believe (2 Cor 6: 2), because tomorrow may never come for some of us.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is the pastor of Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is the host of Spiritual fitness and also the senior editor of What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage and energize Christians and answer questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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