People will turn away from God in the last days
1Let me tell you this. During the last days of this world, there will be times of great trouble. 2People will love only themselves, and they will want lots of money for themselves. They will be proud and they will say how great they are. They will insult other people. They will not obey their parents. They will not thank anyone that helps them. They will not respect anything that is good. 3They will not be kind to other people, but they will like to quarrel. They will tell lies to hurt other people. They will be unable to rule themselves properly. They will be cruel, like wild animals. They will hate anything that is good. 4People will turn against their friends. They will do silly things and not think carefully about it. They will be sure that they are very important. They will not love God, but instead they will only want to enjoy themselves. 5Those people will seem to be serving God. But really they refuse to accept God's power to help them. You must stay away from people like that.
6Among those people, there are some men who get into people's homes. They get power over silly women who feel very guilty about their sins. Those women want to do wrong things and they cannot stop themselves. 7These women are always trying to learn new things. But they can never really understand God's true message. 8These false teachers speak against God's true message, in the same way that Jannes and Jambres spoke against Moses. Their minds have become confused. The way that they serve God is false. 9But they will not continue to do many more bad things. Everyone will see clearly that they are fools. That is just what happened to Jannes and Jambres. #3:9 The Bible does not tell us about Jannes and Jambres. But they may have been men from Egypt, many years ago. They did magic for the king of Egypt. See Exodus 7:11-12,22; 8:7,18-19; 9:11.
Timothy must copy Paul's example
10But you, Timothy, have heard my message and you know it well. You also know the way in which I have lived. You know my purpose in life. You know how I trust God. You know how patient I have been. You know my love for God and for other people. You know that I have been strong during troubles. 11You also know what happened to me in the cities called Antioch, Iconium and Lystra. People caused me to have a lot of trouble and pain in those places. But I was patient and brave in those bad troubles! And the Lord kept me safe in all those dangerous times. #3:11 See Acts 13:50; 14:1-6,19-20. Timothy's home was in Lystra. See Acts 16:1-5.
12It is not only me. Every Christian who wants to serve God well in their lives will receive trouble from other people. 13Bad people like that will become even worse. Some of them will teach a false message, and people will believe their lies. Those false teachers even believe their own lies!
It is important for us to know the Bible
14But you must continue to believe the things that you have learned. You know that those things are true. You know the teachers who taught you those things. 15Even when you were a child, you already knew the message of the Bible. The Bible has taught you how you can be really wise. You understand that God saves you because you believe in Christ Jesus. 16Everything that is written in the Bible comes from God's Spirit. It helps us in many ways. The Bible teaches us what is true. It warns us when we are doing wrong things. It shows us what is right. It teaches us how to live good lives. #3:16 When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, people had only the first part of the Bible, that we call the Old Testament. That part describes what happened before Jesus came to the earth. 17As a result, people who want to serve God can know how to live properly. They will be people who can do all kinds of good things.