WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 16, 2022
TOPIC: PERILOUS TIMES ARE HERE
BY T. O. BANSO
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come” (2 Timothy 3:1 New King James Version).
The phrase “perilous times” means terrible times, difficult times, grievous times, or times of many troubles. I don’t think anyone would doubt that the times we are in now are difficult for people. Nations are facing many challenging troubles. One does not need any political or economic analyst to understand that. And there are indications that things could get worse.
The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, his son in the ministry, and indeed all Christians, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come” (2 Timothy 3:1 New King James Version). The Living Bible renders the verse thus: “You may as well know this too, Timothy, that in the last days it is going to be very difficult to be a Christian.” This message is for you, too. Paul said there would be perilous times in the last days – times when it will be difficult to be a Christian. These are the last days. Perilous times are already here.
The Greek word translated as perilous is chalepos. It means (1) hard to do, to take, to approach (2) hard to bear, troublesome, dangerous (2a) harsh, fierce, savage (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). All this shows us what “perilous times” means. The word chalepos is used two times in the Bible: Matthew 8:28 and 2 Timothy 3:1. However, in Matthew 8:28, it is translated as “exceedingly fierce” (New King James Version) to describe the two demon-possessed men who came out of the tombs when Jesus arrived in the country of the Gergesenes.
In the New Testament, the phrase, the last days is used five times in the New King James Version of the Bible (Acts 2:17; 2 Timothy 3:1; Hebrews 1:2; James 5:3; 2 Peter 3:3).
The last days began on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the believers. This will continue until the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Many events will take place in-between. As said by Paul, perilous times shall come; and, indeed they’ve come.
What are the features of the last days that Paul spoke about? Why will there be perilous times? “For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:2-5 New King James Version).
We are in the last days and evil is getting worse and people are exhibiting some weird behaviours, even among those who claim to be Christians. Do you manifest any of the features of the last days?
The first thing Paul said is that men will be lovers of themselves. This refers to selfish love. In other words, they’ll love only themselves and not bother about any other person. Lack of love for others is responsible for many of the ills in society and even in the church today. Are you guilty of this?
Next, the scripture says people will be lovers of money. New Living Translation puts together the first and second things this way: For people will love only themselves and their money. Do you love only yourself and your money? The Twentieth Century New Testament says men will be mercenary. In other words, they’ll be motivated only by the desire for money. Money is the only thing that matters to many people today. They can do anything for money, even if it is sinful or illegal. Does that describe you?
Many people do terrible things because of the love of money, including murder, kidnapping, stealing, and armed robbery, making life difficult for others. 1 Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (New King James Version).
You may not be guilty of the love of money, but what about other things that Paul talked about? Are you boastful, proud, blasphemous, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, and slanderous? Are you without self-control, brutal, a despiser of good, a traitor, headstrong, haughty, and a lover of pleasure rather than a lover of God? Do you have a form of godliness but deny its power? In other words, do you act religious but reject the power that could make you godly?
Paul warned Timothy to turn away from people behaving in the ways he listed. Don’t have anything to do with them also. But be sure you’re not such a person, and if you are, repent today.
Earlier, Paul, using a similar phrase, latter times, in 1 Timothy 4:1-3, dealt with another set of behaviour that will be prevalent in the latter times. He said, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” (New King James Version). Beware of false teachers! Don’t patronize or support them and don’t be a false teacher.
We are already in the latter times spoken of, and all the things mentioned, which are contrary to the Scripture, are happening already. A true Christian must avoid them. Similarly, Jude 18 recalled the words of the apostles of Jesus Christ that there would be mockers or scoffers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. The Greek word translated as mocker is empaiktai, which means a false teacher. Mockers are “deceivers” (Smith’s Literal Translation). They are “people who ridicule [God]” (God’s Word Translation) or “laugh about God” (New Century Version). There are many of them around. Don’t be a mocker and don’t let mockers discourage you.
Perilous times are here. Romans 1:28 says even as sinful people did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting. Verses 29-32 give a long list of their evil behaviours, which, unfortunately, are a common sight today.
Perilous times are here – indeed difficult times to be a Christian. Things could get worse, but be faithful to the end.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me in these perilous times to lead a life worthy of my calling as a child of God. I shall not be corrupted by the spirit that is not of God that will work in men these last days. Holy Spirit, help the children of God to build ourselves up on our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. Also help us to keep ourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Help us to endure to the end and be saved.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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