"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come" (II Timothy 3:1).
These sobering words introduce the last message of the apostle Paul just before his martyrdom. Instead of the world being converted to Christ and getting better and better as the gospel goes out around the world, "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (II Timothy 3:13).
The twenty characteristics of people in the last days listed in the verses following our text constitute almost a definition of humanism--self-love, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, etc. The humanistic basis of all these peril-producing attributes of the last days is most evident in the last two: "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof;" and "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (II Timothy 3:5, 7).
The most disturbing aspect of this situation is that these are given as characteristics of people in a professedly Christian society, having a form of piety but rejecting creation and the miraculous aspects of true Biblical Christianity. Furthermore, those in such a pseudo-Christian society who determine to "live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (II Timothy 3:12).
The answer to such an environment, however, is neither conformity nor compromise. Paul's counsel is simply to "continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, . . . from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (II Timothy 3:14-15).
Thus, the basic answer to every problem, even in the perilous times of the last days, is simply to continue believing and obeying the inspired, profitable, perfecting Word of God (II Timothy 3:16-17). HMM