The Apostle Paul warned us that there would be a substantial downhill slide in human behavior in the last days. he said the days would become perilous because men and women would love themselves above others.
In 3 Timothy 3:1-5, we get a clear description of the end times, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affections, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” The Taylor’s Translation (verse one) declares, “Know this that in the last days it is going to be very difficult to be a Christian.” Our lives and behavior are to be in stark contrast to the world by the grace of God. With God’s help, with His Word motivating and controlling our lives, we can stand complete, full of the goodness of God, in the mist of tremendous spiritual darkness.
Spiritual or Carnal?
We have to remember we have been given a love nature. 1 Corinthians 13:4 declares, “Charity (love) envieth not.” The Williams’ Translation declares, “Love never boils with jealousy.” The Twentieth Century Translation says, “Love is never envious.” Webster’s defines strife as: “exertion or contention; altercation; conflict; to fight, or struggle or quarrel.”Proverbs 20:3 tells us, “it is an honor for a man to cease from strife; but every fool will be meddling.” Proverbs 17:14 says, “The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water; therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.” Proverbs 18:6 declares, “A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.” Webster’s defines division as: “the act or process of dividing; separating; that which divides or pulls apart; disunion; dissension; discord; separation of the members of a deliberative body.” 1 Corinthians 1:10 declares, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same things, and there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
What are we to be unified around? The name of the Lord, the words of the Lord and the mind of the Lord. Do you envy when someone gets blessed by God and covet after their success? Are you quick to enter into conflict, fits and quarrels? Do you meddle in affairs not your own? Does your presence bring people into discord or unity with God’s will? Do you promote love in all your relationships? An honest answer to these questions will help us make proper adjustments as we mature in Christ.
Lovers of Their Own Selves
2 Timothy 3:1-5 says in the last days “…Men shall be lovers of their own selves.” This verse is not talking about a healthy love for on self, but a warped motivation that puts oneself above God and others. In other words: SELFISHNESS. The J.B. Rothman’s Translation declares, “For men will be fond of themselves.” Berkley’s says, “For people will be self-lovers.” Conyebere says, “For men shall be selfish.” The Phillip’s says, “Men shall be utterly self-centered.” Webster’s defines selfishness as: “caring unduly or supremely for oneself; regards one’s own advantage or comfort at the expense of others.”
Did you catch the word supreme? There is only one Supreme and His name is Jesus! Are we thinking about only ourselves? Do we seek our own interests and needs at the expense of those around us? Signs of maturity can be found when we are others-centered not self-centered. Do the conversations always focus around us and all we have done? Or are we sincerely interested in what other people are dealing with in life? Living a life outside of our own “little world” is far more fulfilling than always focusing on getting our own needs met. Do we get up in the morning thinking about, “me, myself and I?”
Christ wants to deliver us from having to be the center of attention. He knows it is our downfall. He is the only One worthy of the center! He will deliver us from always having to have the last word. Only His words count for anything anyway! This is the journey to maturity, as we let go of self and embrace Him and His interests, and His passions become our own. Jesus knows that our selfishness is nothing but a destruction wrapped up in a pretty package. True happiness is found in dying to our self desires and living unto God’s. Our lives should be centered around the plan of God and making every effort to fulfill His will. Albert Einstein once said, “The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from self.” Peter C. Moore said, “There is no smaller package than a person all wrapped up in himself.” (To be continued)
We love and appreciated you greatly. Thank you for your love and support of our lives and ministry. The best is yet to come for those who live Christ-centered and serving others.