Today’s readings.. (Esther 1), (Amos 6), (2 Timothy 3,4)
“But understand this,” that is how today’s reading of 2 Timothy Chapter 3 starts.  It is familiar as a chapter often used with talks about “last days” events.  The chapter brings out two particular points.  First, the first verse says that there will be times of special stress, when life is perilous and this happens “in the last days”.
The second significant point it makes is that “all scripture is “breathed out (inspired) by God” and is therefore “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” [v.17] making us “wise for salvation” and that Timothy has had the benefit of being acquainted with them from childhood.[v.15]  This spells out the primary reason why we should read the Bible every day.  The Bible reading system is invaluable for it is not wise to only read the parts we find attractive and interesting to us.  We need a balanced meal and the commitment of regular spiritual meal times.
Looking back again at the first verse, we see it is a flow on of thought from Chapter 2 (men have put the chapter breaks into unfortunate places at times).  In Chapter 2 Paul is writing about bad influences on the attitude among believers – and chapter 3 says they will get worse in the last days!  Attitudes in the world at large, will affect believers who will be “lovers of self … lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power” [v.2,5] While we can point to evidence of this among the main churches and the bad press they receive all too often, such as the R.C. Priests. It is vital we realize Paul is primarily addressing those who are trying to serve Christ!
The warning “the time is coming” is again put very frankly in the 4th chapter, a time when “people will not endure sound teaching … and turn away from listening to the truth …” [v.3-4] How clear it is that that happened – as an unbiased study of the history of Christianity reveals.   Finally, Paul is aware he is about to die, but how wonderfully he spells out his conviction of his future life in verses 7 and 8, a reward he will be given “on that day” [v.8].  Can we have the same hope “laid up” for us as for Paul?  We must not let these perilous times destroy us.



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