"1You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God."
Paul gives Timothy a glimpse of what the last days will look like. Doesn't this sound a lot like people today? We should make sure we are prepared to stand before our Lord and be judged according to our lives lived here on earth. The end could come at any time, and I need to stay on my toes and make sure I am ready for it.
I also want to try my best to avoid becoming like the people Paul speaks of. He says that they will love only themselves and their money; I need to be caring and giving and not put too much weight in money. Paul says that these people will be boastful and proud and scoff at God; this means that I need to be humble and give all glory to God, not myself. Paul says that they will be disobedient to their parents and be ungrateful; I need to obey my mom (and all authority figures, as long as they don't conflict with what God commands me to do) and I need to be grateful for all that I have, whether little or much. They will consider nothing sacred; I need to remember that God is holy and that everything on this earth belongs to Him. They will be unloving and unforgiving; I need to love (not the feeling of love, but the action... putting others ahead of myself and doing what I can to help them) and I need to be forgiving (no grudges, bitterness, or resentment!). These people will slander others and have no self-control; I need to be careful not to partake in gossip and I need to continually practice self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good; I need to be compassionate, sympathetic and merciful, and I need to always try to do what is good in the Lord's eyes. They will betray their friends; I need to be faithful and loyal to my friends. They will be reckless; I need to be careful, cautious, and responsible. They will be puffed up with pride; I need to be humble (notice that Paul mentions twice that these people will be proud...). They will love pleasure rather than God; I need to remember that life with God is eternal and the pleasures of the world are temporary.
"2Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. 3For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4They will reject the truth and chase after myths. 5But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don't be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you."
God tells me that I should spread His word. Until Christ comes again, my work for Him is not done! I need to be ready to serve him at any time, even if it's not convenient for me. Also, rather than turn a blind eye to people who are sinning, I should patiently and gently help them to turn away from their sins. This is not something that is easy, and I personally need God to give me the courage to do this. I know that He will provide, I just need to make sure I'm willing to go there.
Paul warns Timothy that there will come a time when people are not willing to listen to what God has to say, and they will seek out leaders who will only tell them what they want to hear. This sounds very much like America today. It saddens me that this is what it has come down to. I feel like I easily know more people who reject God's truth than people who accept it. This can be very discouraging, and it's really easy to lose hope for all those who reject Christ. I just need to have faith and keep trying to reach those who are lost.