Sunday School Lesson 48
PERILOUS TIMES ARE HERE NOW!
MEMORY VERSE: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” – 2 Timothy 3:1
BIBLE PASSAGE: 2 Timothy 3:1-5
INTRODUCTION: The translated word for “perilous” in 2 Timothy 3:1 is ‘chalepos’, which means troublesome, dangerous, harsh, fierce, full of risk, hazardous, harmful, dreadful, threatening. The term, “last days, refers to the period between second coming. “Perilous times” constitute part of the last days. “The last days is not just a prophecy, it started from the days of the Bible (Hebrews 1:2; 1 John 2:18-19).
The importance of the prophecy and warning against the perilous times cannot be over emphasised because we are living in the fulfilment of the perilous times. The purpose of this study is to carefully consider the writing of Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 on the things that characterise the ‘Perilous Times’ and the position every believer in Christ should take.
- The Characteristics Of Perilous Times
- Caution For Believers
1. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF PERILOUS TIMES
According to Paul, the conduct of the people will create the perilous times. Some people will be ‘lovers of their own selves’ (2 Timothy 3:2) i.e. They will be self-centred (Phillippians 2:21); ‘covetous’- having just of the eyes, craziness for wealth and materialism (Luke 12:15; 2 Peter 2:3); ‘boasters’- expressing vain glory (Psalm 10:3); ‘proud’- valuing themselves above all others (Proverbs 21:4); ‘blasphemers’- those who speak immorally of God and sacred things (Mark 3:29); ‘disobedient to parents’ – disrespect and dishonoring parents both physically and spiritually (Ephesians 6:1-2); ‘unthankful’ – not appreciating God and others for good deeds (Romans 1:21); ‘unholy’ – not pleasing God (Jude 18).
Furthermore, 2 Timothy 3:3 says some people will be ‘without natural affection’- no family affection and lack of tender love (Romans 1:31); ‘trucebreakers’- treacherous and betraying true friendship (Romans 1:31); ‘False accusers’ – character assassination (Proverbs 10:18); ‘incontinent’- without self control or unrestrained (2Peter 2:14); ‘fierce’-wild or violent, having or displaying an intense, ferocious aggressiveness (Psalm11:5); ‘despisers of those that are good’- All forms of lies, evil speaking against true believers and godliness (Romans 1:30; Nehemiah 2:19). 2 Timothy 3:4 also make mention of the ‘traitors’- a betrayer of trust (Acts 7:52); ‘heady’- to be rash, reckless or head strong (Proverbs 21:29a); ‘highminded’- those who are full of themselves, puffed-up (1Timothy 3:6); ‘lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God’- All forms of immorality and ungodliness that satisfy the flesh (Phillipians 3:19).
In addition, 2 Timothy 3:5 speaks of them as ‘Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof’- Being religious but not victorious above sin, outwardly looking good but inwardly rotten in unrighteousness (Matthew 23:27)
2. CAUTION FOR BELIEVERS
Scriptures admonish all believers living in this ‘last days’ to turn away from all ungodly practices in order not to be caught in the web of the perilous times (2 Timothy 3:5). As true believers, we must therefore receive the prophecies/warning and be conscious of it at all times. We must separate from the company and fellowship of people with the characters above (2 Corinthians 6:14-17). We must avoid all forms of carnality and false doctrines (Romans 8:6-7; Ephesians 4:14). We must be watchful and be prayerful to guide against deception and temptation to sin (Matthew 26:41; 2 Corinthians 2:11). We must release ourselves to the Holy Spirit and be sensitive to his leading (James 4:7; Romans 8:14).
This is a perilous time; every believer that wants to get to Heaven must heed the warning, careful to live a separate life from the world and false brethren in order to please God.
- What events will characterize the perilous times?
- What scripture cautious are believers to adhere during perilous times?