This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 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. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,( 2 Timothy 3:1-6)
Paul warned us, and has been warning us for centuries through the Epistles of the perils of the last days.
What makes the last days so dangerous?
According to Paul, the peril comes about, because of what happens in the souls of people. “Men shall be Lovers of Self…”, and all that flows out of that position.
I believe that all of scripture has a universal application, unless otherwise noted, these particular warnings are descriptive of all men from all walks of life.
However I also believe that scriptures such as these are uniquely applicable to a specific group of people, ones who had formerly known a better way, (otherwise it would be unremarkable to say that they “Loved Self…” and all of the rest of this description.)
The people he is describing here are people who would have at one time known that excessive love of Self is a vice, not a virtue. The description seems to presuppose that at one time this people knew better, but turned away from their former knowledge.
Another clue is that in spite of this list of reprehensible vices and ominous characteristics, the people He is talking about still hold to a “form of godliness” though they deny it’s power. This people he warns of, come from people who once knew something of piety and devotion to God. They may still go to church, but they do not believe in the power of God to change a life as their forefathers once did.
To me this is an apt prophetic warning which is a description of much of the characteristics of people of the West. (I am sure this passage is broader in scope, but that is partly because the West has been so influential in the modern world, the rest of the World imitates our fads, modes of entertainment , love of Sports, and even our coarsened, “in your face” kind of culture.
It was only within the last 100 plus years or so, that the pseudo science of Psychology began to develop in Europe and then eventually to spread over to America. Psychology claims to be the study of the soul, which traditionally in the west, was considered the province of religion.
Psychology’s earliest proponents were atheists and in some cases were avidly antiChristian. However their claims to “scientific insight” into the soul were widely accepted by millions, who submitted to psychological counseling, or who enrolled in the new courses on Psychology and Psychiatry which were springing up at every college and University in the Western world.
The Psychological teaching on the Self, was in direct conflict with Christian teaching.
Christ taught that inordinate self love stood in the way of Loving God, and love of neighbor.Self, as an independent entity before God, was to be denied, chastened, not trusted, sought or exalted.
Psychology teaches the opposite; the great goal of life is to “discover ourselves”, “find ourselves”, develop “Self Esteem” , Put others ahead of self, and love others as much as you already love yourself. We are to seek God, and the will of God, not self.
But various schools of Psychology teach that all men have deep issues, maladies, even psychosis’ because of early trauma, and a subsequent lack of self Love and esteem.
Man has always been selfish, but western man and any others with any exposure to the gospels, have known that it is utterly wrong to put Self first or to seek “Self Esteem”. Self pampering or self preference was something discouraged and even seen as shameful, something to hide, downplay or even to eschew.
It has only been recently, in our lifetimes, due to the overwhelming acceptance of the heresy of Psychology, that open Self Love has been celebrated and encouraged. Humility was seen as a virtue, something to be cultivated. It is hard to calculate how toxic this has been to the West and even to the church in the West.
What happens when men are encouraged constantly, to indulge in Self Love,to openly pursue selfish aspirations and told to always remain true to self at any cost? Something like Paul’s description in 2 Timothy 3.
Even the church collapsed against the onslaught and so called “respectability” of Psychology, referring counselees to certified Psychological professionals, and opening Psych departments in Church Universities.
Apostate ministers acted as though godless humanists such as Freud, Maslow, Adler, and Erickson, were going to be able to give us insights into human personality that even Jesus and the Apostles didn’t know. This is how the Western church seriously denied Christ, in the face of “academic” respectability, just as they denied Him earlier in the days of Charles Darwin’s evolutionary heresy.
We see this in the “Church Growth Movement”, which on its own terms has been a wildly successful endeavor, building “Mega Churches” by virtually creating a “the customer is always right” mentality in Church, deliberately catering to the Self Love of Modern (carnal) churchgoers. Everything about this movement is calculated to appeal to the constituency, the churchgoer, who is treated as a religious consumer.
But what is a church? Isn’t the primal directive of the LORD of the church, to “Take up your cross and deny Yourself”?
We have seen Western entrepreneurial and advertising genius (mis)applied to Christian worship, and though on worldly terms it is a smashing success, in terms of the Kingdom of God, it is a disaster!
We in the west have undergone a real revolution, something as radically antiChristian as any we have ever seen, it is the “Self Revolution”, men now Love self, they “seek themselves” , take “Selfies” and broadcast all of their thoughts no matter how trivial, on Social Media.
This “love of Self” has caused some men to become feminine, in their inordinate concern for their looks and clothing. It has emboldened the perverse and resentful as they throw off the shame which once inhibited them, and flaunt their shame in public.
Columbus Ohio hosted a “Gay Pride” event today. More than a hundred thousand people came to watch the “Parade”, a good many of them, Parents with children. What Perversions those children were exposed to, would have been unthinkable for anyone to have to see, a few short decades ago. Several area (apostate) churches participated to show their “unconditional Love”(another Psychologucal heresy which has ruined the Western moral status) for the degenerates.
This is what happens when men are encouraged to Love themselves, without any reference to God, self denial or neighbor.
The AntiChrist, in the final expression of man’s rebellion against God, is described in these terms,
“He will exalt Self above all that is called God or that is worshipped, showing himself that he is God…”( 2 Thess 2)
Please come quickly LORD Jesus!