OF THIS SORT
2 Timothy 3:1 ¶ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
What is the purpose of men “of this sort” being allowed within true Christendom? The answer is found in another of the Apostle Paul’s letters. Consider his inspired instructions. For first of all it is for the true believers to have it manifest to them who their true shepherds really are. For a stranger will they not follow! 1 Corinthians 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
Then it is for the purging and cleansing of the true vine. John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Therefore we read in Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
But let us take careful notice of the very first two words of verse two of our text, immediately showing why these last days shall be “perilous,” or dangerous times. You may be surprised to find that they shall not be dangerous because North Korea, or Iran has obtained nuclear weapons. Nor that the world is encased with a universal pandemic! Neither is it a dangerous time due to the failure of the monetary system; or that the world’s food or water supply has been either polluted or exhausted! But let us not keep dwelling on what it is not. Let us read those two words and see wherein the danger truly lies!
Those two words are, “For men.” The times are most dangerous due to the condition of the human character! It is that which is all around you every day. That in which you surround yourself with which we just call “society.” And we are not just speaking of males when we read those two words. It is referring to all human beings. For “women” are specifically mentioned in verse six. Therefore we understand that the end time shall be fraught with the terrible deterioration of the human character.
Of course that is truly bad, but why is that so dangerous? First it is because of its evil influence in infecting the whole the human race. Matthew 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. 1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. And this condition cannot be stopped by wearing masks. And we cannot separate ourselves from the entire human population. 1 Corinthians 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
And secondly, it is because such conditions bring swift and sudden destruction from God upon the human race. We have already had an example of this. For we know of a day when the deterioration of the moral character of humans brought upon the entire earth the most dangerous of times! Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 8 ¶ But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
And if anyone thinks that this was just one, never-to-be-repeated historical event, (most in our day believe it to be but a religious fable), let us consider not only the very words of the Eternal Son of God as he preached concerning these very days, but also the express revelation of the Holy Spirit about the same matter.
Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
You will notice that in Noah’s day they were very much into marriage. However in the latter times there was a forbidding to marry. So in Noah’s day there was a continuous hunger for self satisfaction. While in the last day among the hypocritical structure of religion, there is the religious hypocrisy of it being ‘more spiritual’ not to marry. The entirety of the Catholic priesthood are forbidden to do so! The Apostle Paul already had to deal with this in his ministry. 1 Corinthians 7:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
And as far as them commanding to abstain from meats, again the apostle has the Spirit’s instruction for us. 1 Timothy 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. Romans 14:3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
One of the dangers concerning men “of this sort,” is that they are antichrists. An antichrist is rightly said to be “one who opposes Christ while in the guise of Christ.” Our Lord warned us of this. Matthew 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
And we know where they are formed. For they, like the tares, grow up among the wheat. Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest:.. 1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
They are very dangerous in that they have been schooled in the things of religion, but have not its effectual application to their own souls by the Holy Spirit. They are called “that man of sin.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; This is not referring to the person of Judas! But they are like Judas, having been involved with Christ, but only receiving the form of godliness. They are not THE Antichrist. But they, most assuredly are true antichrists.
For that phrase, “that man of sin,” clearly relates to one raised up in a gospel day, with its influence more broadly reaching “every creature,” thus bringing in a creature more susceptible to the much more severe judgment of God! For the greater the light refused, the greater the punishment. Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
For the realm of the spiritual has been greatly raised up by the increase of the revelation of the Spirit at Pentecost. And along with the promoting of greater spiritual purity comes the heightening of the spirit of hypocrisy. The Lord said that John the Baptist was, in the old economy, the greatest man born of woman. He was greater than Abraham, than Elijah, than Solomon. But then our Lord said the least soul born of the Spirit in the kingdom of Christ was greater than John. Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Therefore we understand that there was a heightening of the spiritual realm among human kind.
But those “of this sort,” having experienced the workings of the spiritual, without the experience of the new birth, are changed into antichrists who cannot ever be recovered. Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
For it is possible to have gifts without receiving saving grace! For receiving grace for the salvation of the soul is the “more excellent way.” 1 Corinthians 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
This is why the Apostle John warned the true flock of God to “try the spirits.” Of course he was not referring to the realm of supernatural beings. He was referring to those professing they were endowed with spiritual gifts! He tells us those of whom he is speaking in that very verse. He is referring to that realm wherein lies the “false prophets.” 1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. The 1599 Geneva Bible states, “Believe not everyone that sayeth that he hath a gift of the Holy Ghost to do the office of a Prophet.”
Then he instructs us as to how we are to detect them. 1 John 4:5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
The same sun and rain which nourishes the wheat, grows up the tares also. And the same gospel preaching which draws in the net of fishes, includes the bad fish along with the good. But the difference is seen between the tares and wheat in the fruit thy bear. Matthew 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. Hebrews 6:7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: 8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
For you see that the good works which the wheat-believers bring forth are as much ordained of God as their own personal sovereign election. Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Just because God has “longsuffering” towards “men of this sort” does not mean that he shall not deal with them in a most severe way. Psalm 50:21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. 22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.
Pastor Gene Breed