People will turn away from God in the last days
1Understand this! During the last days before Christ returns to earth, there will be times of great trouble. 2People will love only themselves. They will want lots of money. They will think that they are much more important than other people. And they will talk about how great they are. They will say bad things about other people. They will not obey their parents. They will not thank anyone. They will not think that other people, or God, are important. They will not do what is proper to other people. 3People will not even love their own families. They will refuse to agree with other people. They will say wrong things about other people, things that are not true. They will be unable to rule themselves properly. They will be cruel like wild animals. They will be enemies of everything that is good. 4People will turn against their friends. They will not think carefully before they do things. They will be completely sure that they are very, very important. They will not love God, but instead they will want very much to enjoy themselves. 5Those people will seem to worship God. But really, they will refuse to let God work in 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. These women have done many wrong things. They cannot stop themselves. They let themselves do wrong things because they want all kinds of things so much. 7These women are always trying to learn new things. But they can never really understand God's true message. 8Jannes and Jambres tried to stop Moses because they were his enemies. In the same way, these men are enemies of God's true message. Their minds have become confused and bad. They have failed to believe what is true. 9But they will not continue to do many more bad things. Because everyone will see clearly that they are fools. That is just what happened to Jannes and Jambres. #3:9 The Bible does not include the names Jannes and Jambres. But Israel's people believed that they were 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 follow Paul's example
10But you know everything about what I have taught. You know how I have lived. You know my purpose. You know how I believe God. You know how patient I have been. You know that I love God and other people. I have continued to work for God, even during troubles. You know that. 11You know how people caused all kinds of trouble for me in the cities called Antioch, Iconium and Lystra. They hurt me very much. I was brave when I had such bad troubles! But the Lord saved me from all these dangers. #3:11 See Acts 13:50; 14:1-6,19-20. Timothy's home was in Lystra. See Acts 16:1-5.
12People who are united to Christ Jesus want to live for God. But certainly, other people will cause trouble for them. 13Some bad people will cause other people to believe things that are not true. These bad people, and all other bad people, will become worse and worse. And they themselves will also believe things that are not true.
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. Remember who taught you those things. 15You have known the Bible from when you were a child. The Bible can cause you to understand how God can save us. He can save us when we really believe Christ Jesus. 16Everything that the Bible says comes from God's Spirit. And we can use the Bible to teach what is true. We can use it to tell people when they are doing wrong things. It shows them what is right. Also, with the Bible, we can teach people how to live good lives. #3:16 At that time, people would have 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, a person who lives for God can know how to live properly. He will have everything that he needs to do every kind of good work.