Characteristics of the Last Days
1But you need to be aware that in the final days the culture of society will become extremely fierce. 2People will be self-centered lovers of themselves # 3:2 The Aramaic can be translated “men will look out only for themselves.” and obsessed with money. They will boast of great things as they strut around in their arrogant pride and mock all that is right. They will ignore their own families. # 3:2 Or “disloyal to their people.” The Greek is “disobedient to parents.” They will be ungrateful # 3:2 The Aramaic can be translated “rejecters of grace.” and ungodly.
3They will become addicted to hateful and malicious slander. # 3:3 Because this phrase is also the description of the devil (the accuser or slanderer), it could be translated “they will be devils.” Slaves to their desires, they will be ferocious, belligerent haters of what is good and right. 4With brutal treachery, they will act without restraint, bigoted and wrapped in clouds of their conceit. They will find their delight in the pleasures of this world more than the pleasures of the loving God.
5They may pretend to have a respect for God, but in reality they want nothing to do with God’s power. Stay away from people like these! 6For they are the ones who worm their way into the hearts of vulnerable women, # 3:6 An alternate Greek translation could read “they intrude into households and by their heresies, take prisoners of those who are led astray by desires and sins.” The Aramaic, however, is clearly speaking of the gross immorality of the last days. spending the night with those who are captured by their lusts and steeped in sin. 7They are always learning but never discover the revelation-knowledge of truth.
8History has given us an example of this with the Egyptian sorcerers Jannes and Jambres, # 3:8 This is a fascinating verse, for Jannes and Jambres are never mentioned by name in Exodus. It simply mentions the sorcerers who wanted to compete with Moses and his authority. These two names are, however, mentioned by Origen, one of the church fathers, who makes reference to the Book of Jannes and Jambres, but no complete copies of these books have ever been found. who stood against Moses in their arrogance. So it will be in the last days with those who reject the faith with their corrupt minds and arrogant hearts, standing against the truth of God.
9But they will not advance, for everyone will see their madness, just as they did with Jannes and Jambres! # 3:9 Implied in the conclusion of Paul’s argument.
10But you, Timothy, have closely followed my example and the truth that I’ve imparted to you. You have modeled your life after the love and endurance I’ve demonstrated in my ministry by not giving up. The faith I have, you now have. What I have hungered for in life has now become your longing as well. The patience I have with others, you now demonstrate. 11And the same persecutions and difficulties I have endured, you have also endured. Yes, you know all about what I had to suffer while in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. You’re aware of all the persecution I endured there; yet the Lord delivered me from every single one of them! 12For all who choose to live godly as worshipers of Jesus, the Anointed One, will also experience persecution.
13But the evil men and sorcerers # 3:13 Or “deceivers.” The Greek word is “sorcerers.” will progress from bad to worse, deceived and deceiving, as they lead people further from the truth. 14Yet you must continue to advance in strength with the truth wrapped around your heart, being assured by God that he’s the One # 3:14 By implication “God.” However, some interpret this as his teachers. who has truly taught you all these things.
15Remember what you were taught from your childhood from the Holy Scrolls # 3:15 Or “sacred Scriptures.” which can impart to you wisdom to experience everlasting life through the faith of Jesus, the Anointed One! 16God has transmitted his very substance into every Scripture, # 3:16 Keep in mind that when Paul wrote this he was referring to the Torah and all the Old Testament writings. Today, “every Scripture” would include the New Testament as well. for it is God-breathed. # 3:16 The Word of God is inspired. Scripture is not simply a book that tells about God, it actually contains God. His breath is embedded in his Word. It will empower you by its instruction and correction, giving you the strength to take the right direction and lead you deeper into the path of godliness. 17Then you will be God’s servant, fully mature and perfectly prepared to fulfill any assignment God gives you.