| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 11 - Page 99 of 161 Index | Zoom | |
The Arena (II Tim. 3: 1-13).
pp. 123 - 125
The Philippians contested for the Prize in the midst of "a crooked and perverse
generation" (2: 15), and had adversaries who would seek to terrify them, who would
judge their very evidence of salvation as so many "tokens of perdition" (1: 28). The
Hebrews, as they ran the race set before them, "endured a great fight of afflictions", and
"took joyfully the spoiling of their goods" (Heb. 10: 32-35).
Those whose conditions and circumstances fit the times for which II Timothy has been
written have their unpeculiar trials which are given as special chapter to their unfolding
(II Tim. 3:). The first item that contributes to the afflictions and hardness which must be
endured arises out of the state of the "seasons" of these last days. The word translated
"perilous" occurs in but one other place, viz., Matt. 8: 28, where it is rendered
"fierce", and describes the state of men "possessed of DEMONS". The apostle, in
I Tim. 4: 1, had already written:--
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in latter seasons, some will apostatize from
the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and DOCTRINES OF DEMONS."
Demon possession having come, its character begins to shew itself, "Fierce seasons
will have set in". The remarkable growth of spiritism and the many doctrines preached
and believed in the churches for which no basis exists in the Word of God indicate that
these "fierce" times are upon us. The moral state produced by these doctrines is given,
and for all who would seek to live godly in such a time nothing but persecution can be
"For men shall be philautoi (self lovers), philarguroi (money lovers).......
aphilagathoi (without love for good).......philēdonoi (pleasure lovers) more than
philotheoi (lovers of God)" (II Tim. 3: 2-4).
The list of characteristics begins and ends with a reference to love. It is punctuated by
love of money, no love of good, and love of pleasures. If love be the fulfilling of the law
(Rom. 13: 8-10), yea, the first and great commandment of the law (Matt. 22: 34, 40),
then these words characterize lawless times. If in the blessed three, faith, hope, and love,
love is the greatest, if love never faileth, then these loveless times have lost their very salt
and are fit for nothing but trampling under feet.
Love is the supreme test. Instead of God comes self; instead of His glory comes
money; instead of His service comes pleasure. All the other awful things mentioned,
such as "boasters, proud, blasphemers", can all be resolved unto a lack of or misdirection
of love. The whole position is summed up in verse 5:--
"Having a FORM of godliness, but denying the power thereof."
If those who hold the mystery of the faith could do so with a compromising
conscience, no doubt their path would be fairly easy; but obedience to the injunction