“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves...”
II Timothy 3:1-3 NKJV
The list of characteristics of people in the “perilous times” in the last days before Jesus returns goes on for about five verses, but it starts with this one: men will be lovers of themselves.
Not that it’s wrong to love ourselves. God assumes that we will love ourselves. He commands us to “love our neighbor as ourselves,” and tells us “no one ever hated his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it,” as He explains to husbands how they are to love their wives.
But the kind of self-love that characterizes the dangerous final days is the self-centered mentality that allows us to live for our own satisfaction, self-promotion and comfort no matter who else is destroyed.
It’s the kind of self-centeredness that allows me to ignore a voluntary quarantine that could save thousands of lives, because it would be inconvenient for me, or to scream curses at other people if I don’t think they’re doing enough to keep me safe.
It’s the kind of self-love that justifies an abortion because ”a baby right now would not be good for my career.”
It’s the kind of selfishness that demands that all of society recognize my sinful, perverted behavior as acceptable and normal, lest I be made to feel awkward.
Perilous, dangerous times, indeed. We’re living in them, certainly. How should we respond In such perilous times?
The same chapter continues:
“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
II Timothy 3:14-15
Lord, I am assailed every day by the self-worship if the World, of my own sinful flesh, and the devil. Forgive my tendency to self-centeredness and pride. Fill the thoughts of my heart with the truth of your Word and keep me in it, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles