“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come” (2 Timothy 3:1).
“For men shall be… Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4).
This series is a study examining the societal characteristics of the last days that Paul wrote about in 2 Timothy 3.
Admittedly, and not surprisingly, this series might very well be considered offensive to the world. This study is viewed through the lens of the Creator’s revealed character and expectations of His creatures found in the Word of God.
The Savior has commanded His children to love all people, including our enemies. Jesus Christ proved His love to all of humanity as He prayed for His executioners while being crucified and, ultimately, paying the penalty of every human being’s sins on the cross, satisfying the Father’s wrath against us.
The truth is, we all were an abomination in the eyes of a Holy and Just God before realizing our desperate need for a Savior and giving our lives to Him. May our love of God and mankind always be our guide as we witness to a lost and dying world, directing them to the one true God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
For Men Shall Be… Traitors
The Greek word for “traitors” is 4273 prodotés Betrayer, traitor. From prodidomi (in the sense of giving forward into another’s (the enemy’s) hands); a surrender — betrayer, traitor. see GREEK prodidomi. [All definitions from Biblehub.com]
“Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor” (Luke 6:16b).
The Lord Jesus Christ knew what a traitor was firsthand.
Loyalty is a rare commodity these days. In the United States, traditional conservatives see what is happening to this once great nation as nothing short of betrayal and treasonous.
Our “higher learning” institutions teach our children that our beloved nation is a ruthless and evil empire and deserves to be destroyed. While no nation is perfect, the US has done more good for the world than any other nation, with the obvious exception of Israel as she was the instrument of which God’s Word and the Messiah would come through.
These same children who had been taught these untruths in our universities have grown up and are currently running our country in the hallowed halls of academia, government, media, entertainment, and business. Now, they are pushing for a Marxist/Socialist utopia that has never been achieved anywhere on the planet, even though this system has been tried and failed many times before. The definition of insanity? I think so.
Tech and Social Media, News Media, Entertainment, and Corporations in league with politicians are major participants in this dark endeavor. They are actively destroying this country, its foundations, and its leading position on the world stage from within. Who needs enemies when the enemy resides in your own borders?
“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matthew 12:25).
Then there are traitors in our own circles of influence. The backstabber at work. The gossip who one once thought of as a confidant and trustworthy. The family member who shortchanged an inheritance due to greed or stabbed them in the back for whatever reason. The list goes on and on.
Most concerning for the true Christian is the traitor within the church, causing division for any number of nefarious reasons.
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:17-18).
Worse yet, is the church itself becoming a traitor to the Lord that bought them with His precious blood.
“If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:17).
Countless churches today have betrayed their “first love” and His commandments. Jesus said:
“If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
One of the most discouraging aspects of being a true believer in Christ is attempting to find a sound Biblical church. False teaching prevails in most denominations, and the word “evangelical” has become a derogatory byword, well worth the disrepute it has garnered. They have capitulated to the world’s thinking and standards.
Gone is sound doctrine, holding fast to the truth and standing strong upon God’s commandments. “In” is loving people into hell, looking like the world, and succumbing to greed, the flesh, and appeasing sin.
When loyalty to the Creator and Redeemer of mankind turns treasonous, we can be sure we are living in the last days.
Like I said, “Loyalty is a rare commodity these days.”
But when one does find that true friend and loved one who loves us unconditionally, they find a gem so valuable that they hide it in their heart.
“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
Of course, man’s True Friend and the One Who loves us with all His Being is none other than our Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ, and we can always trust Him for everything!
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:9-13).
For Men Shall Be… Heady
The Greek word for “heady” is 4312 propetḗss (an adjective derived from 4253/pró, “before” and 4098/píptō, “to fall”) – properly, “fall forwards,” i.e., headstrong; rash (“heady”), brought on by unbridled passion, etc. Reckless, thoughtless.
“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate” (Proverbs 8:13).
This characteristic reminds me of what is known today as “Cancel Culture.” In essence, Cancel Culture is removing, dismissing, and/or destroying anyone or anything that doesn’t resonate with the mob’s mentality. There are no discussions, and free speech is a relic of the ancient past, allowed only to those who agree with said mob.
The tearing down of statues and monuments by the Cancel Culture mob has, among other things, produced an opportunity to change established history. I’m no fan of statues and monuments, but they do remind a nation of its past. With those symbols of the past torn down, the powers that be – those that desire to destroy a nation – have the inside track to revamp the past in what is known as “revisionist history.”
When a people are ignorant of their past, the future is easily molded for those who have desired to remake a nation into their own image. One can almost see the Phoenix rising from the ashes of a lost history.
To ruin anyone, in any and every way possible, who may have a different opinion and/or view from the “conventional wisdom” demanded by those who have a self-perceived superior mindset, is another goal of the Cancel Culture movement.
What we are witnessing today is what has been coined “Mob Rules.” The masses dictate what is and is not acceptable behavior and thought. Those who object will be persecuted, blackballed, and ostracized from society at any cost.
“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls” (Proverbs 25:28).
When one disagrees with another of a different ethnicity (for whatever reason), it isn’t because of the view; it’s because they’re a “racist.” If one doesn’t approve of “same sex marriage” due to religious conviction, it isn’t because of one’s faith and commitment to morals; it’s because they’re “homophobic.” A person who doesn’t prescribe to unabated border crossings from undocumented aliens into their nation isn’t because they are concerned with law and security; it’s because he or she is a “xenophobe.” The examples are endless.
Those who are heady and superior in their own eyes are considered “enlightened” and must exert their influence over those of us who disagree with their pronouncements. We, who are caught up in our own “antiquated and outdated convictions,” according to them, must be reeducated or eliminated.
Those who preach tolerance are, with very few exceptions, the most intolerant among us.
To combat these characteristics, we, the children of God, always do well to consider the fruits of the Spirit once again:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
For Men Shall Be… Highminded
The Greek word for “highminded” is 187 typhóō (from typhos, “smoke”) – properly, to blow smoke, cloud up the air; (figuratively) having a cloudy (muddled) mindset, i.e., moral blindness resulting from poor judgment which brings further loss of spiritual perception. To inflate with self-conceit — highminded, be lifted up with pride, be proud.
“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think” (Romans 12:3a).
The sister characteristic of “heady” is “highminded.”
The highminded proponents of Critical Race Theory (CRT) state that whites are born “racist” and are ignorant of their “white privilege.” While racists do indeed exist in every culture and every ethnicity, to accuse an entire ethnicity with this sensational accusation is quite outrageous at best and nefarious at worse.
I’ve had meaningful and loving relationships with blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics, Polynesians, Native Americans, Jews, and others. And to think that for all of these years, I’ve actually been a racist, but I just didn’t know it!
The idea of “race” is a construct of Darwinian evolution and is unknown in the Word of God. Scripture only speaks of the human race:
“And [God] hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” (Acts 17:26).
Those who insist that America’s institutions in general, and white people in particular, are systemically “racist” are showing themselves to be systemically ignorant, delusional, and insane. They are the racists for seeing everything through the lens of race.
They should be ashamed of themselves, but they have no shame. What they do have is an agenda, and that agenda is diabolically evil.
Not surprisingly, Critical Race Theory (CRT) has infiltrated the progressive “church” and fits very nicely with their unbiblical Marxist “social gospel”:
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9).
Highminded sports stars, comedians, music stars, and actors and actresses think we should care what they think and say because of their “high status” and overall brilliance – after all, they know better than us average folk.
Highminded political elites espousing their superiority cry, “Wear your masks!” “Social distance!” “Do not congregate!” “Stay locked down!” Yet they never follow any of their own laws, political orders, and mandates they insist the average citizen obey. After all, we just aren’t smart enough to know what’s best for us, and we need their protection from ourselves and our ignorance. But they, as keepers of the divine institutions, have the market cornered on intelligence, so we must obey. “Do as I say, and not as I do!” Their hypocrisy eludes them.
These people consider themselves to be “enlightened.” The current word being introduced to our modern lexicon for “enlightened” is “woke.” What’s interesting, but not surprising, about this word is that it seems to have been taken from Scripture – not unlike the co-opting of the rainbow for the homosexual lobby.
“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest” (Ephesians 5:14a).
If this is true, we should note to those that use this term that they have intentionally left out the rest of the verse, which reads:
“… and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Ephesians 5:14b).
When one is put upon a pedestal, that person tends to think of themselves “more highly than they ought.” It’s human nature. We all think we are more important than we really are. We need to be heard because we have so much to offer, and society would be much better off if they knew how special we really are.
Consider the teenager. They never contemplate their parents’ experiences and the life lessons they have learned. They, like the rest of us who did the exact same things, must learn the lessons for themselves, usually with much needless pain that could have been avoided had we all heeded our parent’s advice.
The problem comes when we refuse to learn those lessons for ourselves and look back on our lives and diligently forget the mistakes we made. This mindset results in elevating ourselves to the position of God – with pride as our guide – as we see ourselves as mistake and sin-free.
This characteristic has even reared its head in the professing church. Church leaders are put on a pedestal due to their charismatic bluster that entices those who hear them, and they begin to see themselves as highly as their deceived congregation does.
“For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:16).
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
When this happens, one can be assured that, what was once a sound teacher of the Word, will begin his inevitable slide into false teaching by mixing truth with error until, eventually, truth is nowhere to be found, and the church dies.
This is always the end-result of highminded, arrogant pride. And the church is never exempt from this potential downward spiral.
The Word of God warns us:
“Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him” (Proverbs 26:12).
And the remedy for the believer?
“By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life” (Proverbs 22:4).
“… Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:5-7).
For Men Shall Be… Lovers of Pleasures
“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh” (Ephesians 5:29a).
Isn’t that the truth! Man sure does love himself and will do anything to stay in a state of fleshly pleasure and satisfaction. If one didn’t know better, this would seem to be the only goal of man for his brief time on this earth.
“He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich” (Proverbs 21:17).
Pleasure is fleeting and…
“… what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).
Sports, movies, television, pornography, music, theater, parties, celebrations, “love,” lust, drugs, alcohol, et cetera. Feeling empty yet?
King Solomon sought pleasure:
“I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?” (Ecclesiastes 2:1-2).
Solomon found the pursuit of pleasure more than lacking. Earthly pleasures without God never satisfies.
But God’s promise of pleasure to His children is found in Himself:
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore“ (Psalm 16:11).
… More Than Lovers of God
Humankind has pursued pleasure from this fallen world and rejected the power and love of God and His Christ. This is the empty exchange unregenerate man has made, one that is temporal and leads to absolute destruction.
Even the believer, when he or she puts anything before their professed love of God, will never find true fulfillment in their lives. “God made us,” it was once said, “with a hole in our hearts that only Christ can fill.”
Whether ourselves, others, or things take precedence in our hearts, minds, and lives and pulls us away from our created purposes – to love and honor God – then we ultimately shortchange ourselves and those around us.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
When we give our lives fully to Christ and make Him our priority, we can rest assured in this promise:
“… [W]e know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Paul seems to continue on and complete his sociopolitical theme in verse 4. Let’s review these characteristics of the last days with a brief synopsis of each:
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.
Traitors: National, familial, individual, and collective betrayers permeate all societies and cultures in these last days, and, unfortunately, the church is not immune.
Heady: Rash, unscrupulous, and impetuous behavior of people of all stripes are stampeding for their grievances to be heard, destroying the relics of the past, and demanding that others who don’t hold to their views be ostracized from society.
Highminded: Arrogant, self-serving, egotists demanding allegiance to their demands and views – while most often not based on logical and rational thought – fill our city streets, halls of government, and every other institution. Again, the church is not exempt.
Lovers of Pleasure: The masses, whether individuals or as a collective whole, have a strong and unhealthy desire for all things pleasant, most of which are usually destructive to the soul.
More Than Lovers of God: Who can love God when one is on a direct collision course in seeking self-gratification, power, and control at all expense? Very few people today desire to know God, let alone to love Him.
Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!
[Note: I realize that this study on Societal Characteristics of the Last Days is United States-centric, as this is where I live. My guess is that this series will also ring true in the rest of the Western world. But what I’m really interested in is: Do these characteristics describe the current conditions in the nation of Israel as well? After all, the Bible is Israel-centric. If any of our dear friends in Israel would like to reach out with their take on this study and its relationship to Israel, I’d really love to hear from you!]