As Paul wrote to Timothy and was inspired by the Spirit to state “that in later times some will depart from the faith” we can see from history that this has occurred in every age – and – just as bad, if not worse, there have been (and continue) distortions of the original faith which the Scriptures alone reveal – to those genuinely seeking what is true.
Paul writes that this will occur ” through the insincerity of liars” [v.2] and how much insincerity permeates our nation – and the whole world today!
Because there is no belief in and fear of God today – there is no sincerity. Timothy is told to “put these things before the brothers” and for him to “be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. ” [v.6]
It is vital that we follow this advice of Paul to Timothy – but how rarely has it been followed down through the Centuries – but now we have come to the climax of the “later times.” Now, more than ever, believers need “godliness” which ” is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. “[v.8] ” because we have our hope set on the living God” [v.10] – and a focus of thought so that our minds are “set.”
In our “later times” how tragic – in the end – to be without this hope. Thankfully Jesus said “those days” would be “cut short” or ‘no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” [Matt. 24 v.22]
Paul in his 2nd letter to Timothy enlarges on this point, he tells him to “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, …” [3 v.1,2] There is no doubt we are living “in later times” , so it is vital that, as we read in today’s chapter [4 v.10], that we recognise it is vital, – as Paul told Timothy, (and us) at the end of ch. 4 to “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
By Bro D.Caudery
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