11/1 2 Timothy 3:1

1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.

The verses that follow explain why the last days will be so difficult. Paul describes the character of the people of that time as "lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power." He adds that they will be ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:2-7). What a description of the general character of people today!

Education in America was once the responsibility of the church. Atheist progressives, like John Dewey, saw public education as a means to remove godly instruction from the educational system. By influencing the training of teachers, the minds of future generations could be turned away from biblical principles. The result is the educational system we have today that denies there is truth. Man took the place of God in education, and the natural results are the characteristics that Paul described.

The Christian character should be the opposite of what Paul described and will therefore shine by way of contrast in these last days. Instead of pride, we should demonstrate humility. Instead of lovers of money, we should be generous. Christians should stand out as grateful, holy, approachable, gracious, self-controlled, and kind. The godliness we proclaim should be obvious in our speech and deeds. Our love for God should be seen in all that we do.

Consider: Take a moment to consider if in any way your character is like these whom Paul described. What area of your life needs the transformative touch of the Holy Spirit?