2 Timothy 3
Difficult Times for Christian Service. Looking at our world, these are indeed ‘terrible times’ (verse 1); selfish ambition, arrogance, immorality and godlessness are the order of the day. Paul’s describes our society as generally very ungodly, and unfortunately, at times, Christians do not behave very differently.
We are living in these last days (between Jesus’ first and Second Coming), which are described in verses 2-8, and will lead to much stress and spiritual danger for believers.
The warning is to us, to not succumb to society’s pressure, but to stand against evil and live as God would have his people live. Opposition to truth is not a temporary situation, but a constant characteristic of this age.
We, however, must stand firm in the faith. Every Christian is called to be different from the world (Romans 12:2). We need to examine our hearts to make sure that we not only have an appearance of godliness (verse 5), but to have a transformed heart and mind. Some of the ways our inner godliness will be reflected in our day to day living is by patience, love, faithfulness and perseverance (verse 10). We must pray for endurance in suffering for the gospel, and the inevitable persecution that comes if we aim to live a God-centred life. Calvin wrote, ‘It is in vain to try to detach Christ from his cross, and it is only natural that the world should hate Christ even in his members’.
O Lord, ‘turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant’ (Psalm 86:16). Amen