2 Timothy 3:1-9 … Character traits predominate in the opening verses of 2 Timothy 3 and they’re not at all complimentary. These traits describe attitudes in “the last days” which is commonly recognized to be the time between the First Advent of Christ and the Second Coming. That’s what we call the Christian era; it’s during our own time, as well as during the Apostles’ lifetimes. We’d have to acknowledge that these traits, while unpleasant, are fairly descriptive of much of society, self-infatuated and self-serving; it’s not a pretty picture. Today, we even describe our society as the “me” generation or the “now” generation, but it has been that way throughout the centuries. It’s the kind of society that Jesus described when He comes again in judgment of a corrupt world (Luke 17:26-37). The instruction that follows (v.5) is this: “Have nothing to do with them.” In the case of Timothy, who Paul appointed to pastor the Ephesian church, this can’t mean to avoid the entire population toward whom Timothy has a ministry of outreach. Rather, it more likely is cautioning about embracing such individuals as partners in ministry. And what about you and me? Do we avoid society or embrace them? I’d suggest the guidance is the same … we have a ministry of outreach, love and concern for others (2 Timothy 2:24-26) but are cautioned against partnering with individuals with these unattractive attributes. We should maintain our balance, our faith, and our godly perspective in all things.
The list of worldly characteristics is most helpful in applying them to ourselves and asking: Am I boastful? Proud? Abusive? … Do I have a form of godliness without much substance? That would be a pretty penetrating self-examination
One final question to answer: Who are Jannes and Jambres? They’re only named here in all of Scripture, but in ancient Jewish tradition they’re held to be names of Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses before Pharaoh.
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