But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:13)
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)
There is no doubt we are living in perilous, dangerous times. Mass murders, shameless displays of decadence, hatred of all that is good and right; they are all too common today. It would be easy to question God in these awful times, to wonder why God allows such atrocities to occur. But God is not at fault. God did not cause men to rebel and choose evil over good.
For Men Shall Be…
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:2-5)
The cause of all of the evils in this world is summed up in this passage. Men are the cause, and they are the ones responsible for the evil things that are happening all around us. God made a way of escape from evil, but men choose to rather embrace evil than to flee from it. There are consequences to every action, and we are seeing the results of years of erosion of the standard of what is right and good.
Paul prophesied that men would be lovers of their own selves. Have you ever seen, or even heard of, a time in history when people were more selfish, self-centered? People are covetous, boasters, proud; does this not describe our society? Blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy; have we ever seen a time when God was mocked any more than now? When children were more rebellious? More ungrateful for what they have? The holy things of God are defiled and mocked, even blatantly disregarded daily, even by those claiming to be Christians.
The point is, looking at this entire passage, we see that it is MAN, not God, who has caused this world to become overrun with evil. Men have gotten worse and worse, following their own desires and lusts, refusing to accept God’s grace, even challenging His existence, let alone His authority.
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (James 1:13-15)
Of course, Satan plays a part in the erosion of righteousness in our world, too. He is the original tempter (Genesis 3:1-7). He committed the original sin of pride, and was cast from Heaven as a result of his disobedience (Isaiah 14:12-15). His sin? He wanted to be like God; make his own rules, have no accountability. Sound familiar?
The Bible teaches us that we are fighting against spiritual wickedness (Ephesians 6:12) and Satan is described at a great dragon, and he who deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9-12) He is behind the deception that is causing men to call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20). He is the roaring lion, our adversary, seeking to devour men (1 Peter 5:8).
There Is Hope
We know that we are in the last days. As it was in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37), it is now. There is no doubt that time is running out for this world. God’s judgment is not a popular subject, but that does not make it any less real. God will judge the world for sin, and only those redeemed by the blood of Christ will escape.
Men have tried to negotiate with God, to lower His standard of righteousness, to pretend that God’s love will not allow Him to judge men’s sin. God’s love caused Jesus to suffer a gruesome death and to pay the debt owed for sin for any who would trust Him. Christ then conquered death and arose in victory and thereby purchased our freedom from death and condemnation. He satisfied God’s justice by sacrificing himself for our sins.
If we will just take God at His word, realize that He sets the standard for right and wrong, and that we are not capable of saving ourselves because we have absolutely nothing in ourselves that can satisfy the judgment of God for sin; then we would realize just how much we need Christ.
Our only hope is in Christ. He alone saves us, keeps us, provides for our needs. He alone satisfied the judgment of God for sin. He alone conquered death and hell for us. He alone can present us holy before God, without sin. (1 Corinthians 1:8 Romans 8:31-39)
As you can see, God warned us through His word that these things would happen. Men would choose evil over good, and that things will get worse before they get better. God also tells us that we can be free from the power of sin and death through His son, Jesus Christ. By trusting Jesus to save us from our sins, we can be re-born into God’s own family, and have eternal life with Christ.
Evil men will still do evil things, and we may still face many trials and persecutions, but our hope is not in this evil world, but in the world to come. We do not blame God for the wickedness of man. Man chose evil over good in the beginning, and because of this, sin and evil entered the world. God freely gave us his Son, and made the only way of escape from wickedness available to all who would receive it.