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3. Godlessness in the Last Days

1But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, 4traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; 5holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power therefore. From these also turn away. 6For of these are they that creep into houses, and take captive silly women laden with sins, led away by divers lusts, 7ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8And even as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also withstand the truth. Men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith. 9But they shall proceed no further. For their folly shall be evident unto all men, as theirs also came to be. 10But thou didst follow my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, patience, 11persecutions, sufferings. What things befell me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12Yea, and all that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13But evil men and impostors shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14But abide thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them. 15And that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. 17That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.

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13 But wicked men and impostors This is the most bitter of all persecutions, when we see wicked men, with their sacrilegious hardihood, with their blasphemies and errors, gathering strength. Thus Paul says elsewhere, that Ishmael persecuted Isaac, not by the sword, but by mockery (Galatians 4:29.) Hence also we may conclude, that in the preceding verse, it was not merely one kind of persecution that was described, but that the Apostle spoke, in general terms, of those distresses which the children of God are compelled to endure, when they contend for the glory of their Father.

I stated, a little before, in what respect they shall grow worse and worse; for he foretells not only that they will make obstinate resistance, but that they will succeed in injuring and corrupting others. One worthless person will always be more effectual in destroying, than ten faithful teachers in building, though they labor with all their might. Nor are there ever wanting the tares which Satan sows for injuring the pure corn; and even when we think that false prophets are driven away, others continually spring up in other directions.

Again, as to the power of doing injury, 188188     “Si on demande d’ou vient ceste puissance et facilite de nuire?” — “If it be asked, Whence comes this power and facility of doing injury?” it is not because falsehood, in its own nature, is stronger than truth, or that the tricks of Satan exceed the energy of the Spirit of God; but because men, being naturally inclined to vanity and errors, embrace far more readily what agrees with their natural disposition, and also because, being blinded by a righteous vengeance of God, they are led, as captive slaves, at the will of Satan. 189189     “Satan les tire, d’un coste et d’autre, a son plaisir.” — “Satan leads them, on one side or another, at his pleasure.” And the chief reason, why the plague of wicked doctrines is so efficacious, is, that the ingratitude of men deserves that it should be so. It is highly necessary for godly teachers to be reminded of this, that they may be prepared for uninterrupted warfare, and may not be discouraged by delay, or yield to the haughtiness and insolence of adversaries.




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