Turn Away from the False – Their Characteristics

Turn Away from the False – Their Characteristics

By T. S. Candee on January 18, 2021 in Excerpts of Warren Wiersbe

The following is an excerpt of Warren Wiersbe’s commentary of 2 Timothy, Be Faithful. You can read more by purchasing the book here: Be Faithful on Amazon

At least eighteen different characteristics are listed here, and Paul probably could have listed more. There is an emphasis on love: “lovers of their own selves,” lovers of money (“covetous”), “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” The heart of every problem is a problem in the heart. God commands us to love Him supremely, and our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:34-40); but if we love ourselves supremely, we will not love God or our neighbors.

In this universe there is God, and there are people and things. We should worship God, love people, and use things. But if we start worshiping ourselves, we will ignore God and start loving things and using people. This is the formula for a miserable life; yet it characterizes many people today. The worldwide craving for things is just one evidence that people’s hearts have turned away from God.

Of course, if someone loves and worships himself, the result will be pride. “Ye shall be as gods” was Satan’s offer to Eve (Genesis 3:5), and the result was that people “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than [rather than] the Creator” (Romans 1:25). Man became his own god! The creature is now the creator! “Boasters, proud [arrogant], blasphemers [given to contemptuous and bitter words]” (2 Timothy 3:2).

“Disobedient to parents” suggests that this apostasy reaches into the family. Children are “unthankful” and do not appreciate what their parents have done for them. They are “unholy” in their attitude toward their parents. “Honor thy father and thy mother” is not widely taught or respected.

The phrase “without natural affection” is the translation of one word that describes “family love.” The family is under attack these days, and, as go its families, so goes the nation.

In place of the natural love that God has put into men and women and families, today we have a good deal of unnatural love which God has condemned (see Romans 1:18-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). It is confusion, and God will judge it (Romans 1:28-32).

Not only in homes, but out in society and the business world, the characteristics of these perilous times may be seen. “Trucebreakers” (2 Timothy 3:3) describes people who will not try to agree. They are unyielding and irreconcilable and must have their own way.

In order to defend their position, they become “slanderers” [“false accusers”] and try to tear down the reputations of others. Unfortunately, some of this activity goes on even among professed Christians. “Christian leaders” accuse one another in the pages of their publications.

“Incontinent” means “without self-control.” The motto of our society today is “Do your own thing and enjoy it!” Sad to say, some of the children born to these people do not always enjoy it because they are deformed or handicapped as the result of drugs, alcohol, or venereal diseases.

This lack of self-control reveals itself in a number of ways. “Fierce” means “untamed, brutal.” When these people cannot have their way, they become much like savage beasts. Instead of honoring what is good, they despise what is good and honor what is evil. In society today the standards of right and wrong have been twisted, if not destroyed. “Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil,” cried Isaiah the prophet (Isaiah 5:20).

“Traitors” (2 Timothy 3:4) describes people who betray others and cannot be trusted. Neither friendship nor partnership makes any difference to them; they lie and break their promises whenever doing so helps them get their own way.

“Heady” means “reckless, rash, acting without careful thought.” Paul did not condemn honest adventure, but foolish endeavor.

“High-minded” does not describe a person with lofty thoughts. Rather, it means a person who is “puffed up” with his importance. “Conceited” is a good synonym.

“Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” does not suggest that we must choose between pleasure and God; for when we live for God, we enjoy the greatest pleasures (Psalm 16:11). The choice is between loving pleasure or loving God. If we love God, we will also enjoy fullness of life here and forever; but the pleasures of sin can only last for a brief time (Hebrews 11:25). No one can deny that we live in a pleasure-mad world; but these pleasures too often are just shallow entertainment and escape; they are not enrichment and true enjoyment.

Paul stated that these people he has just described would consider themselves religious! “Having a form of godliness” (2 Timothy 3:5) suggests an outward appearance of religion, not true Christian faith; for they have never experienced the power of God in their lives. Form without force. Religion without reality.

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T. S. Candee

T. S. Candee works at Central Baptist Church as the Media Director. He is also being mentored for full-time Christian service

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