1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:1–5, NKJV)
“The last days,” as Lenski correctly observes, “refer to the whole time from the completion of Christ’s redemptive work until his Parousia” (Commentary on Timothy, 820). During this final age (in which Paul, Timothy and we live) before Christ’s appearing there would (and will) be occasions of particular stress upon the righteous (v. 1). Spiritual dangers and threats arise from people who disrespect God and their fellow human beings. Their conduct is unrestrained by godly fear, which is abandoned for self-indulgent, wasteful and hurtful living. Loving self, material increase and sensual indulgences, there is no formation of godliness within them. Any claim to godliness is empty, powerless and unworthy of our attention. With Timothy, we are warned to “turn away” from such people. The harmful influences of their sins endanger us, urging us to compromise, approve and participate with them in their sins. Refuse, resist, and turn away!