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Perilous Times: 9 Characteristics of People in the Last Days

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Perilous Times: 9 Characteristics of People in the Last Days

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If you’ve been in or around church you’ve likely heard of the last days, end times, and rapture but for many people these references are mysterious, scary, and complex. Thankfully in the rightly divided Word, there is clarity so we don’t have to live fearful, confused, or overwhelmed during this time.

In 2 Timothy 3:1 Paul wrote to Timothy and said,

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 Timothy 3:1

This is not a mystery, a rumor, or an exaggeration; it is a fact and Paul let him know you have to KNOW this. In the last days perilous times — wicked, difficult, hard, troublesome, furious, fierce times — shall come and it’s important to understand what the Bible teaches us concerning them.

Paul not only wrote that these times would come, but Paul wrote in the very next verse exactly HOW we’d know if we’re in those times:

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…

2 Timothy 3:2-5

For men shall be… FOR (gar in Greek – S:1063) assigns a reason, and in scripture often introduces an explanation. The reason we know, in the last days, that perilous times have come is what we can plainly see men being. Paul proceeded to list in this chapter what we can expect to see from people around us. Today let’s explore 9 types of people prevalent in the last days so we can know the times and make sure we are not conforming to them.

1. Lovers Of Their Own Selves 

Men shall be lovers of their own selves. This is the start of a downward progression because in the last days you find people getting more caught up in SELF and moving God out of the picture. God is not the focus or priority; SELF has taken His place as what is worthy of love and who is most important.

This phrase is from a Greek word, philautos (S:5367), which is defined as fond of self, i.e. selfish. Lovers of their own selves make life less about God, and more about me, and thus they become more ungodly.

2. Covetous

Covetous is from a Greek word philargyros (S:5366), which means fond (phil-) of silver (argyros). This is a synonymous term to “the love of money” in 1 Timothy 6:10 where the Bible plainly teaches “the love of money is the root of all evil.” Both speak of the love of silver, which was the monetary means of trade in that time.

Being covetous is all about money, riches, wealth, and things and that is what covetous people work for and prioritize, even above God’s Word and will. Covetousness is something Jesus said to BEWARE, but in the last days being covetous is normalized and celebrated by many.

3. Boasters

Continuing in our progression, during perilous times men shall be boasters. Since people focus on self and money, that also is what they glorify. Boasters brag about self and stuff, lifting up themselves and natural things rather than God because that is what they love and prioritize.

Have you seen this? We usually don’t have to look further than social media and cable TV to see pride is popular and humility is rare.

4. Proud

Speaking of pride, the Bible says men also shall be proud. It’s tight that the Bible mentions boasters and proud and makes sense that they are together because whether we externalize or internalize pride, it is a major problem. To be proud is to think of one’s self or appear haughty and higher than others.

The proud become blown up in themselves and lifted up in themselves. This is evident in the world but even believers have to get rid of pride and humble themselves. Can you see how the downward progression starts at #1 and just continues, building on the last thing?

5. Blasphemers

During perilous times, people shall also be blasphemers. Instead of blessing God, their words turn against Him, becoming blasphemous against the Creator. To be blasphemous is to be impious, to be against God. 

Blasphemers speak evil of God and the things of God. They are reckless with their words and try to use them to justify disobedience to the Word of God. Blasphemers are disrespectful and irreverent.

6. Disobedient to Parents

God is so intentional in the order He’s listing these. If people focus on self and things, they’ll be proud and lifted up in self. If they are lifted up, they’ll be blasphemers, comfortable speaking against God. If people don’t respect God, they certainly won’t respect their parents, or other people in authority.

That word disobedient speaks of someone who is unpersuadable, who’s not convinced that they should be obedient. They are NOT at all compliant. In perilous times we see children disobedient to parents and disrespectful to authority. When a society is all about self and people try to eliminate God from the equation, this can almost be expected.

7. Unthankful

When people think they are all that and don’t respect God or man, we can see how being unthankful fits right in the picture. Unthankful means thankless or ungrateful. Unthankful people are entitled and don’t appreciate what God or others do for them. What they have is never enough. Complaints are far more common than gratitude.

Despite the fact that God said, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:18), during perilous times people refuse to acknowledge God’s blessings and tell Him thank you.

8. Unholy

To be unholy in this passage means to be wicked. To be holy is to set apart, sacred, for God’s use and purpose. During perilous times people, focused on self, are not be willing to comply with God’s instruction to “be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy (1 Pet. 1:15-16). In every area of life or behavior, we must be holy.

People instead choose to live however they want and do whatever they want, despite God’s written word and requirement that our lives be separate and devoted for Him. When men are unholy you see a mixing with the world as they conform to it rather than presenting their bodies to God and being transformed (Rom. 12:1-2).

9. Without Natural Affection

After all of that (#1-8 were all in verse 2!), we find verse 3 mentioning people who are without natural affection. This is from the Greek word astorgos (S:794), which means hardhearted to your kindred. During perilous times people don’t have the love you’d expect between family members. Specifically, there are parents who don’t show their children love and have the affection and care that is natural for parents to have.

The last days are real and perilous times are here, but when we see people trending in this direction, we can take hope in the fact that (1) God warned us in His Word and (2) when we are saved, we don’t have to live like or be like the world in this hour. Let’s learn, love, and LIVE His Word (2 Tim. 3:14-17) in the last days just like Jesus wants us to.


Which characteristic of people in the last days most stands out to you? Which one do you see the most? Comment below and let us know, then continue studying in Just Word Academy today!

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  1. I see examples of all of them around me daily, but the one that stood out, was “Disobedient to Parents.” I’ve never seen a time where people disregarded authority like today. Kids are killing their own parents! Kids don’t have respect for teachers, policemen, or even pastors these days. My heart bleeds for them for their days will be short if they continue along this path. We’ve seen so many young people die, and I believe this is the reason. We have much to pray for, but we have cause to look up, for our redemption draweth nigh!!