2 Timothy 3:1-5 "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them."
2 Timothy 4:1-5 "In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry."
Do you sometimes read scripture and think it could have been written today? These passages from Second Timothy always hit me that way.
We have people who only care for themselves and prove it by stomping on everyone that gets in their way. Abuse of every form is rampant. The news is full of brutal crimes committed against others by those who are totally out of control through use of drugs and alcohol. No one is encouraged to forgive but to get even or even better, to make the other person look worse than they made us look. We see people only concerned about pleasing themselves with no regard for God. Some even claim to know God but don't behave like they do.
What is the advice from Paul? "Have nothing to do with them."
The second passage is a charge from Paul that we as Christians should heed along with Timothy. We are to be prepared at any time to tell about Christ. Though we see "preachers" and "teachers" who say what people want to hear not what they need to hear, we must keep to the business of the kingdom. Even though we may suffer ridicule or be ostracized, we continue to spread the gospel in the way God has called for us to do.
Stay strong and keep the faith my brothers and sisters in Christ, especially in these "last days" we live in.