Journal 2 Tim 3 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “But understand this that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
For people will be: Lovers of self; Lovers of money; Proud; Arrogant; Abusive; Disobedient to their parents; Ungrateful; Unholy; Heartless; Unappeasable; Slanderous; Without Self Control; Brutal; Not loving good; Treacherous; Reckless; Swollen with conceit; Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having the appearance of godliness but denying its power.
But as for you: Continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed—knowing from whom you have learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
(Remember:) All Scripture is breathed out by God and (is) profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” 2 Tim 3:1-5, vs. 14-16
Observation: Even Timothy needed to be reminded of what happens in our day. Everybody struggles or is succumbed by the List above. Should Timmy be surprised? Paul says: “Don’t be surprised, Timmy my boy. For this condition is why Jesus is Savior…”
Application: I admit that it is hard to be slapped in the chops by the things of the world when I begin to think there is some progress in my sight. Unfortunately the most common chops slap happens to the man in the mirror.
I can easily project the Fault List given by Paul to Timothy to folks around me, people I either see every day or in the grocery store, at the pharmacy, on the road, etc. It is a more difficult evaluation (and revelation) to pick these “things” up in my own life. I hate it when that happens; and I appreciate it as well when I get off my high horse and see it for what it is.
This is the part of the Gospel where I get to understand how prevalent the Sin of Adam is in all the Seed of Adam. These descriptions are what started blooming in Adam’s heart and was replicated and cultivated throughout the generations.
As Paul suggests: “Understand, Timothy–don’t be surprised when you see these things. And don’t be discouraged—for this is why the Son became the Atonement.”
But what should Timothy do? “Continue in what you have learned so that you will be wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” And Paul caps that by reminding Timothy: “All Scripture is breathed out by God…” and it is profitable, has value, is appropriate for all forms of communication, thinking, wisdom, and so much more.
When the question comes (and it will) “Why are people like that?” we have the answer in 2 Tim 3. It may not be a welcome or satisfying answer, but it is the Truth.
This is a facet of the Jewel that is the Gospel. This is why I proclaim Him. This is why I bow daily that I may increase in godliness and (forbid it Lord) not just look good while I pray or sing or in doing anything churchy.
Prayer: Father, Having the appearance of Godliness is like that guy Simon the magician in Acts. I don’t know how many people there are in this world today that are just like Simon (or any of the people described in Matt 7:20ish). I am thinking of Isaiah in 6 where he fell on his face moaning and groaning about his unclean lips. I think about that for myself at times. Keep my eye singly on You, O my God and Savior. AMEN.