Ezek. 33:11 π Mt. 7:22-23 π Mt. 8:28 π Mt. 15:14 π Mt. 24:10 π Lk. 8:14 π Lk. 16:13 π Jn. 8:33 π Jn. 8:41 π Jn. 8:48 π Jn. 14:21 π Jn. 15:5 π Rom. 12:2 π 1 Cor. 5:11 π 1 Cor. 15:33 π 2 Cor. 6:16-17 π Eph. 2:10 π Eph. 4:31 π 2 Ths. 2:3 π 2 Ths. 2:11-12 π 1 Tim. 6:9-10 π 2 Tim. 3:1; 2nd π 2 Tim. 3:2-9 π Tit. 2:1-15 π Heb. 12:2 π Jas. 1:17 π 1 Pet. 5:8-9 π 1 Jn. 2:9 π 1 Jn. 2:11 π 1 Jn. 3:15 π 1 Jn. 4:20Greek Words Mentioned in This Article
Turn Away – apotrepo –  π Dangerous, Perilous – chalepos – 
Paul wrote, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come…” ( 2 Tim. 3:1; top ) The word “perilous” in the Greek is “chalepos” [ 5467 ] and is rendered as “fierce or perilous” and carries the idea of “something hard to do, to take or approach, something hard to bear, troublesome or dangerous; something harsh, fierce, savage.” This is Paul’s prophetic warning for the last days.
It is interesting to note also that this word appears only one other place – in Matthew’s description of the two “exceedingly fierce” men who were so controlled by demons that they lived in the tombs and would not allow others to pass by. ( Mt. 8:28; top ) One picture that can be derived from this is that the demonic sits in the place of the dead and exerts its dangerous influence to prevent pilgrims from passing by them to the city of eternal life – the danger is that serious.
Paul goes on to list almost two dozen characteristics that will enable us to identify the last days:
“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 the power thereof: from such turn away.
For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.” ( 2 Tim. 3:2-9; top )
While we could spend a great deal of time in tracking down each aspect – and there is value in doing that – let us simply list some of the more prominent features:
- Lovers of themselves. These will look for any way to exalt themselves. They will devise “theology” that exalts themselves as “God’s kids” or God’s “prince” or “princess” and will exclude others whose life infringes on their own agendas and desires for themselves. Those who love themselves more than they love God – a love for God which would be evidenced by their careful obedience to God ( Jn. 14:21 ) – are simply practicing another form of idolatry, something which Paul clearly commanded us to have nothing to do with those who claim to belong to Christ and yet practice such things. ( 2 Cor. 6:16-17 ) These will love themselves so much that they will hate others who interfere with their own agendas and self-perceptions. John warned us clearly that anyone who hates his brother is still in darkness ( 1 Jn. 2:9 ), is lost and blind ( 1 Jn. 2:11 ), is the same as a murderer and is not a recipient of eternal life ( 1 Jn. 3:15 ) and is a liar who cannot possibly love God. ( 1 Jn. 4:20; top )
- Lovers of money. Covetousness – the desire for money and its attendant comforts and perceived (but false) securities – is another characteristic of a “Christian” person with whom Paul said we should not even eat. ( 1 Cor. 5:11 ) The love of money is the root of many evils that ensnares many into destruction. ( 1 Tim. 6:9-10 ) There is no place for the love of money in one who professes to belong to Christ. ( Lk. 16:13; top )
- Without self-control. Angry outbursts, violence and hurtful, abusive words will characterize this person. We who truly belong to Christ are clearly commanded to remove all this from our lives. ( Eph. 4:31; top )
- Despisers of good. Good is redefined so that “good” is whatever the individual desires at the time. What is truly good – the will of God ( Rom. 12:2 , Jas. 1:17 ), the good works which God has foreordained for that person to do ( Eph. 2:10 ) and the sound doctrine by which we are all to love, honor, respect and serve one another ( Tit. 2:1-15; top ) - is rejected as despicable.
- Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Jesus spoke of these in the parable of the sower. “The seed sown among the thorns represents the people who hear the message of the kingdom of God and go on their way, and with the worries and riches and pleasures of living, the life is choked out of them, and in the end they produce nothing.” ( Lk. 8:14; top )
- Having a form of godliness but denying the power of God. These know all the major doctrines of the Bible but have no power to turn away from sin and selfishness. Press them and all manner of hate and bitterness will flow out of their lives even as they proclaim to follow Christ.
- Capturing gullible women. This characteristic is primarily applied to women (meaning they will be those who fulfill this prophecy most) but men are by no means completely exempt from the description. Gullible women who want to feel good about themselves will settle for the easier “gospel” which enables them to continue their self-centered, pleasure-loving sins of manipulation and unsubmissiveness and keep their deceptive self-image as a “good Christian lady” of class and character. But the truth is these women are merely childish in every aspect of their life and interactions with others and the woman who hates men or her husband (for whatever reason) is captivated by many forms of darkness and the love of God is not in her. ( 1 Jn. 4:20; top )
- Always learning but unable to attain to the truth. Again, these will know the Bible but they will use it to manipulate and control others. They will not attain to the truth that sets them free from the demonic deceptions by which the demons secretly rule the actions, attitudes and beliefs of the individual.
- Resisting the truth. These will not only reject truthful descriptions of their lives and actions, they will accuse others of everything they themselves do and are. This is because the demonic within and upon them will do anything to keep its dupes from coming to repentance. ( Jn. 8:33 , 41 , 48; top ) This is an old trick of the demonic but few who claim to follow Christ recognize its power and danger.
- Disapproved concerning the faith. These are fallen from the faith and are in the process of fulfilling Jesus’ predictions about the end times. ( Mt. 24:10 , 2 Ths. 2:3; top ) Though many have concocted a “theology” that enables their followers to practice sin and lawlessness (whatever is right in one’s own eyes) in the name of Christ, the end result is that they are disqualified from eternal life.
- Folly apparent to all. Everyone can see what these people are about – except themselves and those who refuse to see. These are blind followers of blind leaders and they should all be left alone because they are persistently and insistently pushing themselves into an eternal ditch. ( Mt. 15:14; top ) Any who have attached themselves to the willfully blind stand in dire peril of perishing with them.
From those who bear strong resemblance to these characteristics, Paul commands us to “turn away.” The Greek word is “apotrepo” [ 665 ] and means “to turn one’s self away from, to shun, avoid.” There are some good reasons for this. Paul also wrote, “Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” ( 1 Cor. 15:33; top ) When we are around someone who, even though they claim to belong to Christ, are in truth like Paul’s descriptions of the end time apostates, we will become like them and we will come to share in their condemnation.
Paul, again speaking in the context of the end-time’s apostasy, warned us clearly that God would send strong delusion upon those who took pleasure in unrighteousness (anything not right in God’s eyes – 2 Ths. 2:11-12 ). Perhaps the most effective lie in operation today is that we can serve God apart from a life lived in union with Him. We concoct “good deeds” and “acts of kindness” which serve only our own self-image and not the kingdom of God. We can even forfeit our own eternal destinies by practicing any manner of religious deeds and works that are right only in our own eyes and not in the eyes of God. ( Mt. 7:22-23 ) Any work done apart from Christ – who alone is the Author and Finisher of everyone’s faith ( Heb. 12:2 ) – will amount to nothing. ( Jn. 15:5 ) God takes no pleasure in the life or death of the wicked ( Ezek. 33:11; top ) – our struggles and strivings to “fix” someone who refuses to come under God’s order and commands will, in the end, prove disastrous for ourselves and them. We will only enable the other to practice, without present consequence, their apostasy in the name of Christ and also assist them into the eternal consequence that follows disobeying Christ and God. Such actions add to one’s own eternal consequences as well.
Peter wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” ( 1 Pet. 5:8-9; top ) If the devil were completely harmless and incompetent, Peter, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, would never have written such a warning. If there were absolutely no danger to the true pilgrim from the devil and the demonic, this statement simply would not appear in the Scriptures.
“In the last days perilous times will come.” ( 2 Tim. 3:1; top )
Let he who has ears hear.
I’d love to hear comments and/or questions from you! Email me!