Avoid These People
II Timothy 3:1-5 – Avoid These People
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be:
Their unloving characteristics
1. Lovers of their own selves – a word that means self-love
2. Lovers of money – the word means the love of money
3. Boasters – clever deceivers who lift up self as wise
4. Arrogant – to show that you are above, more important than others
5. Abusive – those who love to insult man and/or God
6. Disobedient to parents – violation of one of the ten commandments
7. Ungrateful – not realizing the debt owed to God and others, taking credit
8. Unholy – to violate obvious decorum, controlled by lower passions
9. Without love/heartless – lack of genuine, sacrificial human love
10. Unappeasable/unforgiving – implacable hatred that disregards friendships
11. Slanderous/false accusers – deceptive, diabolical, destroying reputations
12. Without self-control – unable to control habits, slaves to drives and desires
13. Brutal/fierce – without feeling, empathy or sympathy when hurting others
14. Not loving those who are good – despising, disparaging what is good
15. Treacherous – not trustworthy, traitorous, lack of integrity
16. Headstrong/rash – swept by passion and impulse, lack of discipline
17. Haughty/conceited – highminded, inflated sense of self-importance
18. Lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God – essentially self-worship
The key concept
Love is the key word in this study. This list begins and ends with love of self. Each characteristic on the list is a corruption of genuine love. The list describes what today may be called narcissism – extreme self-love.
Sadly, it is not even genuine love of self. It is actually the despising of the self that God give to each of us. A healthy love of self is God given. An unhealthy inflated sense of self-importance is demonic and destructive to the self and others.
The essential message
Having a form of godliness,
But denying the power thereof
These people look good and have an outward form of religion. The Holy Spirit, however, is not in them. They deny the power of God to live holy lives in spite of their outward display and powerful personalities.
The powerful warning
From such turn away. We must turn away from persons who persist in these types of behaviors. Sadly they are part of the Church community. They must be prevented from leadership or they will cause many to go astray. These are apparently people who are part of the church community. They appear Godly. The Bible is clear that we should not follow such people.
Here are some renderings of the end of verse 5 in different versions of the Scripture:
From such turn away
Have nothing to do with such people
Avoid such people
Avoid such men as these
Stay away from such people
Remove from you those who are such
Turn away from people of this sort
From these be turning away
Only by the Holy Spirit living the power of the Word of God in our hearts and lives can we live above the descriptions in this passage. Will we take the Scripture for the truth it teaches and explains or will we allow the evil of self-love to control us? That is the question. That is the question for you. That is the question for you today.
God bless you as you chose truth and God’s pure love that will keep your heart and life in His care. His care will give you power to live a life of Godliness in this present evil generation among whom you shine as lights in the world.
The Prayer for Power
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,
that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height– to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.