But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. – 1 Timothy 4:1
2 Timothy 3:1-4
1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.
3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.
4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.
“‘Life’s a game,’ some people say. Yet if it is, how can it possibly be fair?”
“Some lives end far too soon. Some drag on in wave after wave of pain. Some circumstances are so desperate that it’s difficult to imagine escape. And then there are the bullies, whose abuse seems to go on and on unchecked.”
“If life is a game, where do we find the rules? The Bible is like an Instruction Manual, a place we can find answers to life’s most challenging questions.”
“But many discard the Scriptures for this very reason. How could a just God allow the evil and suffering that is clearly present? How could a loving God hold everyone to the same high standards when the deck seems stacked so heavily against some people’s success?”
“Yet, considering the stakes in this real-life game of life and death, shouldn’t we give the Instruction Manual a chance?” (https://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/christian-living/life-fair/)
In the 21st century, much of the western world has discarded both the Word of God and the God of the Word. Why is this so? The Father has given a terse, blunt answer in the Scriptures through the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 8:47 “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”
Many people on planet Earth have chosen to discard the Father’s instruction manual because they do not belong to Him.
REFLECT & PRAY
I recognize that the game of life is just not fair. The Father never said it would be.
Father encourage me to allow You to be my primary Influencer. Enable me to reject influencers of the enemy. May I complete the tasks you have assigned me with integrity and endurance.
Behind what is seen, heard, or read via the various multiple modalities of modern communication, there are two conflicting invisible forces at work. They are powerful “influencers” who inspire, motivate, and guide the actions of others. Evil influencers generate interest in and the adoption of opinions and viewpoints that lead to destructive actions and violence.
1 John 4:6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
2 Timothy 3:1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
The Greek word translated difficult is chalepos. In the New Testament chalepos is used only twice. In Matthew 8:28 it indicates the vicious ferocity of the two demoniacs from the country of the Gadarenes. In 2 Timothy 3:1 describes the Zeitgeist, the character and essence of the age which marks the last days. The days will be so horrendous, they are difficult to endure, troublesome, dangerous, harsh, fierce, and savage.
2 Timothy 3:1-4 “is one of the most terrible pictures in the New Testament of what a godless world would be like, with the terrible qualities of godlessness set out in a ghastly list” (Barclay).
Are invisible evil spiritual influencers working behind the scenes to lay the groundwork for the rise of the Antichrist?
2 Timothy 3:2 For people will love only themselves
The Greek term translated love only themselves is phílautos from phílos – loving and autos – self. Literally this term could be rendered self-lovers. People will be lovers of themselves, “utterly self-centered” (Phillips). This is far “more than just narcissistic egotism. (Quinn and Wacker).
The children of the King on the other hand, have an entirely different orientation. Their priorities are diametrically opposed. They are lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:4).
Children of the King put the Father first. They choose to be lovers of God. The Greek word translated lovers of God is philotheos. Philotheos from philos – loving and theos– God. Literally this term could be rendered God-lovers.
This Greek term summarizes the first and greatest commandment articulated by the Lord Jesus Christ.
36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
Victory belongs to each of the Father’s children. Regardless of how dreadful things appear, the powers of evil are fighting a losing battle. As the Latin proverb says it well, “Great is the truth, and in the end it will prevail.” All that the Father’s children have to do is remember the truth they already know and cling to it (Barclay).
During these savage times, sadly, although children of the King can follow an entirely different stream of influence, they are not immune to evil influencers.
Who is your primary influencer?