For men shall be…boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents….
— 2 Timothy 3:2
Today let’s continue looking at the signposts the apostle Paul wrote about to let us know when we have entered the very last of the last days. If we see all of these signs simultaneously occurring in society on a widespread basis, the Holy Spirit wants us to know that we have crossed an invisible prophetic line and have now entered into the very last of the last days.
Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Paul next wrote that society at the end of the age will be filled with people who are “…boasters, proud, disobedient to parents…” (2 Timothy 3:2).
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Let’s begin today with the word “boasters.” The Greek word used here is the alazon — a word that is only used in the New Testament twice: in this verse and in Romans 1:30. It expresses the idea of someone who is a braggart or boaster. However, this person is not just a braggart — he is a liar, for the Greek word alazon actually represents a person so committed to his own self-promotion and agenda that he is willing to exaggerate, overstate the facts, stretch the truth, embellish a story, and even lie if it will get him a new position or goal that he desires. Today we call this situational ethics: adjusting your morals, beliefs, and convictions to fit any situation. In essence, it is doing and saying whatever you must in order to further your agenda, even if it clashes with your conscience or convictions.
Unfortunately, this philosophy is precisely what is being taught in public schools across the world today. Moral absolutes have been replaced by floating ethics, and the rights and wrongs concretely stated by the Bible are now deemed obsolete. The truth of the Gospel is actively supplanted by the immoral minority, who want to remove the Bible from every courthouse and every place of government and to turn each nation into a secular society free from the rule of Scripture and the mention of God. Ask your own children or grandchildren about the situational ethics being promoted in school.
The only other place this word alazon is used in the New Testament is Romans 1:30, where Paul described a world that lives apart from God. According to Romans 1:29-31, a godless society is “filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful….” Notice the italicized word “boasters” in the middle of this text. It is exactly the same word as in Second Timothy 3:2. But here we see this word “boasters” — the Greek word alazon — positioned in the middle of the godless deeds of a world that has thrown moral absolutes to the wind.
It is truly amazing that this anti-God culture will carry out all of these unrighteous deeds with a haughty, bold, proud, “we-know-better-than-you” attitude. That’s why Paul next mentioned the word “proud.” The word “proud” is the Greek word huperephanos, which is a compound of the words huper and phanos. The word huper means above or depicts something that is superior. The word phanos means to be manifested.
When the two words are compounded, the new word depicts a person who sees himself as above the rest of the crowd. This represents an arrogant, haughty, impudent, snooty, high-and- mighty, insolent attitude that thinks it is intellectually advantaged and therefore has the right to set the agenda for everyone else. What an accurate description of those who would like to remove God from our lives and force their liberal agenda on the rest of us. According to Paul’s prophetic words in Second Timothy 3:2, this will be a mark of society at the end of the Church Age.
Paul elaborated by telling us that these high-minded, immoral agenda-setters will also be “blasphemers.” The word “blasphemers” in Greek is the word blasphemeo, which can refer to blaspheming God, but most often means to speak discourteously, slanderously, and reproachfully or to rail against by bringing abusive, debasing, degrading accusations against those with whom one does not agree.
Peter used blasphemeo in Second Peter 2:11 to describe people who are disrespectful of the things of God. People in this category see themselves as superior to those whom they deem to be resistant to change and stuck in a primitive mode of thinking — that is, moral absolutes that uphold righteous conduct. They disdain, mock, slander, and speak ill of them. That is precisely what the Spirit is forecasting about the end of the age as Paul laid out the telltale signposts that declare the last of the last days is upon us.
But wait — there’s more! In the midst of this last-days society where situational ethics reign and Bible absolutes are thrown to the wind, Paul prophesied it would produce an epidemic emergence of “disobedience to parents.” The word “disobedient” in Greek is the word apeithes. The root of this word is peitho, which means to persuade. However, with the Greek prefix a attached to the front, this word apeithes takes on the opposite meaning. It carries the idea of being unpersuadable or uncontrollable and thereby unleadable. Thus, the phrase “disobedient to parents” in Second Timothy 3:2 actually carries the idea of children that parents can no longer persuade, control, lead, or exercise authority over. In other words, a day is coming when children will no longer be required to submit to or follow the orders and leadership of their dad and mom.
This problem is already widespread in the world today. Children speak disrespectfully to their parents; they don’t want their rights violated by parents telling them what to do; and the court system has stood by the right of a child to sue his or her parents. Parents are so bound by the laws of the new moral agenda that they are fearful to discipline their own children, lest they be arrested for child abuse. Although some children have certainly been protected by such laws, the fact is that these laws have put the child in a superior position in the eyes of the legal system and weakened the leadership of the parents to teach, discipline, and lead their own kids. Just as Paul prophesied, the day has come when parents are under pressure to surrender their parental authority to rule their own children.
If you put all these words and phrases together, an interpretive translation of this verse could read:
“…These boasters are so committed to their own self-promotion and agenda that they are willing to exaggerate, overstate the facts, stretch the truth, embellish a story, and even lie if it will get them the position, advantage, or goal they desire. They are arrogant, haughty, impudent, snooty, and insolent. They disdain, mock, slander, and speak ill of anyone that stands in the way of their plans. And in this environment, parents will no longer be able to persuade, control, lead, or exercise authority over their children….”
All of these are signposts that the last of the last days is upon us. Based on these scriptures and Greek word meanings, can you see the marks of the last days in the world today? Does any of this sound familiar to you?
Just because this is what will happen in the world in the last days doesn’t mean it must happen to you. These are events that will occur in the lost world — not in the Church of the living God! We are in the world, but we are not of this lost world’s system (see John 17:14-16). And since the Holy Spirit warned us of these things in advance, we must take heed to His prophetic word and take action to protect families and homes while we march forward with speed to preach the Gospel to people who are lost and without Christ.
This can be our greatest hour if we will keep ourselves pure in the love of God, live separate from the lost standards of the world, maintain the moral code of God in our hearts and homes, and shine the light of Jesus Christ into the darkness that has flooded into nearly every corner of society. People are looking for solutions to their deeply embedded moral dilemmas, and we have the answers they need — so let’s let our light shine brightly!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, I am deeply moved by the accuracy of Your Word and Your long-planned desire to prepare us in advance for the developments that are happening in the world around us today. Thank You for loving us so much that You desired to tell us in advance what would happen in the last days. Because Your Word is so clear, I know exactly what I need to do to protect my heart, safeguard my home, and keep Your law alive and fresh in my mind. Holy Spirit, I ask You to help me stay free from the distorted reasoning of the world and to stay on fire with the love of God. And I sincerely ask You to help me reach out to others who have been affected by the lost and deceived thinking of the world and whose lives have been made shambles as a result of no moral law. They need Your Word and help — and I know that You are asking Me to be Your hand extended to them. So today I surrender my life to be Your helping hand to this hurting world around me.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I boldly declare that regardless of what the world or society says, I will live my life according to the law of God. The world does not dictate my moral code or standard because I am a child of God. When the world around me mocks, laughs, or ridicules me for taking a stand that is contrary to theirs, I am empowered by the Spirit of God to stand strong and to remain true to my convictions. God’s Word is unchanging — and just as the truth of His Word never changes, I will not change my behavior or my convictions to be like the world. Rather, I will live in a righteous manner to please God, and by so doing, my life will shine a great light to people who sit in darkness. Due to my conviction and godly life, I will be a beacon of hope and help to others who have been devastated by the lost immoral standards of the world.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- As you read today’s Sparkling Gem, did any of it sound like the society in which you live today? What part especially hit you as being relevant and pertinent to our modern-day world?
- Can you think of any areas in your life or thinking where you have allowed the world to affect your view? Maybe you once held tightly to a strict moral code, but in recent years you have let some of your convictions slip to accommodate people who are different from you or people you like but who are living outside of God’s will and His ways? What are those areas where you have compromised your convictions and beliefs?
- In what way should you respond to what you have read today? Is the Holy Spirit tugging at your heart? If so, what is the Spirit of God asking you to do to get back in line with His Word and His unchanging truth?