Perilous Times Pt 1

Perilous Times Pt 1

 Perilous Times Shall Come. 

(2 Tim 3:1-9)

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, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times“, is the opening line to the famous Charles Dickens book, “A Tale of Two Cities“, and it is curious how well the line fits respecting the biblical history of the world and the description of the last days.

For on the one had we all rejoice as we see the world developing in a manner that so perfectly identifies the nearness of the return of Christ for his Church.

The Word of God is confirmed as TRUE each and every day and our joy in the knowledge that we will not be ashamed of our faith grows each and every day.

We look for that “blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (Tit 2:13) and know that all our sorrow and trials is coming to a close with noting but the absolute fulness of joy on our very doorstep. 

I have said it before and know it to be true, ‘there is no problem I have today that the Rapture will not fix’. That someday soon, and IMINENTLY SOON, we who have believed the Gospel to the saving of our souls, shall be “caught up…to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess 4:7)

All that we see occurring in the world, and as we shall see through this 2024 MAYDAY Series, In the CHURCH, proves to us that the time is very near!

And yet we also despair as we see the suffering and trials of what can only be described as indicators toward “Perilous times“.

But it is when we consider further the lines that come after the first line of Dickens most famous novel that we ought to ponder its message as it seems to align with that “time yet future” the Bible tells us of;

  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

The contrasting worlds written of by Dickens was that of London and Paris before and then during the French revolution, where great love together with innocent sacrifice for that Love was demonstrated, and all in the midst of the greatest societal transformation in the history of one city being undertaken.

The world is undergoing just such a societal transformation, not suddenly, but gradually yet with an almost routine suddenness jolts of change.

After the event we call “Covid”, People had begun to question the dramatic changes they were seeing around them, but could not believe.

The “Incredulity” that Dickens identified in his opening paragraph was reflected in this early 21st Century, just as it was in the late 19th Century of the time he wrote. 

Many stood puzzled wondering what on earth is going on, and while many searched diligently for answers, and therein grew in wisdom, it also demonstrated yet another contrast but parallel to his opening chapter, the world also entering into “the age of foolishness“.

Deception, as Jesus warned of, will be the single greatest “sign of the times

The MAYDAY Series is a prophecy series I preach on every year in the month of May, and we have looked at, and can indeed continue to look at, the growing development of prophetic confirmation of revelation in so many areas as we have done. 

Whether that be the coming Global Government that Christians have long been warning or, 

or the coming Global Digital Currency system that we are even now seeing being developed around the world together with our own unique global digital identification. 

Or the coming Global religious system, which is not as evident to the world, but evident to conservative, biblical Christians being put together before our eyes, and will come to the fore when Antichrist sits in the restored temple in Jerusalem.

We could speak of the rising antisemitism and how the entire world will come to hate Israel, just as the Bible teaches.

How the United States of America will play NO ROLE WHATSOEVER, in the last days events and why that may be.

We may address the political atmosphere, 

the societal temperature 

and the ever growing level of both immorality and violence, all of which testify to the truth of Biblical prophecy in the last days.

We could spend weeks talking of all the signs of the times that show with certainty the soon coming of Jesus Christ for his Church, and warn the LOST of the wrath of God soon to be poured out upon a godless world, and they also being the object of his Wrath if they will not believe Jesus died to save them from the consequence of their sins.

But there is one area of prophecy I have not perfectly addressed, and that is what the Church will largely look like in those days.

With that, I ask two questions;

  1. How close are we to the Perilous times written of by Paul to Timothy?
  2. What is YOUR Role respecting those times?  

We are going to look first at the many warnings given us in the New Testament of those who would work with Satan to destroy the Church and not spare the flock, including false teachers/preachers, wolves in sheep’s clothing rising up among the brethren, tares sown among the wheat in todays message.

But we also will look at the Seven Churches of Revelation to see the journey.

Finally we will give consideration and HOPE with knowing which TWO Church types will remain UNTIL that very day Jesus returns for his flock.

From the very beginning of this passage we see a pronouncement of a time yet future to Paul and to Timothy, the recipient of the letter written some 2,000 years ago.

Several things stand to reason even in the first line;

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

  1. That it is a warning to Timothy for that which he does not yet know, in the first three words. “This know also…
  2. That it speaks of a time yet further to its writing, stated in the last two words “shall come”
  3. That it is to occur in a definitive and identifiable timeframe, “in the last days”.
  4. And that the nature of the times to come have a descriptive characteristic, “perilous”.

…”this know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come…“.

Lets pray.


This Know Also

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 Tim 3:1

There is that which the apostle desires to reveal to Timothy in this second letter, it is something that is otherwise UNKNOWN…“this KNOW also”… it is something yet to be revealed to him, it is not a reminder, but something that Paul desires to share with Timothy that he is not expected to KNOW.

       This is one of the reasons we are sure that Paul is not speaking of the ‘world out there‘, for Timothy could simply look around him and see in his day multitudes of people in the pagan or secular world that are well described by this passage.

No, Paul writes his “Pastoral Epistle” to Pastor Timothy, who is historically the first pastor of the church at Ephesus, to reveal to him of the state of the CHURCH in the last days.

Turn to Romans 1 is Paul’s identifier for a world that has rejected the knowledge of God, and, but for a handful of items, it is not too dissimilar to the description given to Timothy; 

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despitefulproud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:” (Rom 1:28-32)

In Galatians 5, Paul gives an identifier of the nature of the flesh;

Galatians 5:19–20

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, etc

The similarities where Paul writes;

2 Timothy 3:2–4

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetousboasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers,false accusers, incontinent, fiercedespisers of those that are goodTraitors, heady, highmindedlovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

Now, how can Paul be writing to warn Timothy and all furture Pastors of a time yet coming, if this was already the state of matters in the world in his own day?

Unless he was NOT WRITING of the state of the world in the last days, but the state of the CHURCH!!!

Beloved, the description given to Timothy is to describe the Church at a time yet future, and he desires that Timothy would KNOW it, and it is certain that it would come.

If this is ONE of the signs of the last days, and we are seeing all these other signs demonstrating that we are even now in the last days, we should also see this characteristic of the nature of those who call themselves “Christian” evident in the Church.

“This KNOW also…”

How can you KNOW if you are described in this passage?

It is certain that this describes the last days Church, and I would fail you miserably if all I did was to point at it as ‘somewhere out there’, rather than in this very church.

Every single book of the New Testament (except Philemon) warns us of the danger of corrupt men and women in the Church, we know Jesus spoke often of false teachers in each of the Gospel accounts, especially of the “scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites“, can we justify the notion that we have NOT be warned?

Acts 20:28–31

28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Why such need of warning beloved if it were not true? They wont “spare the flock of God”, they care little for the sheep, but serve ONLY themselves.

Romans 16:17–18

17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

Beloved, the first Sunday of every month we read the same passage in the next book after Romans, 1 Corinthians, warning us in chapter 11 of his recognition of divisions and heresy in the Church, and saying;

1 Corinthians 11:19

19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

Paul writes that we are to properly “Judge” such things as this in Chapter 14:29, and concludes the letter warning;

1 Corinthians 16:22

22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha

In his second letter Paul is jealous for the Church he has ministered and endured in work with for years, and fears for them saying;

2 Cor 11:3-4

3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Dear Church, the aim of Satan is to DESTROY THE CHURCH as he also tries to destroy the family, why? Because biblical Churches and Biblical Families are the greatest single evidence to the world of the nature and character of God. 

Tragically, Satan uses people, and even genuine Christians, to do his bidding. He has them disguised as “angels of light”. 

2 Corinthians 11:12–15

12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

In the letter to the Galatians Paul marvels that they have turned themselves to another Gospel in Chapter 1, testifying they are “perverting the gospel of Christ” (v7). He goes on to wonders who has bewitched them in chapter three, even calling them “Fools” for accepting it in Gal 3:1.

Are we truly to think of ourselves as unlikely to be deceived when even the Churches planted by the apostle Paul were so easily bewitched? 

Have you been bewitched beloved? Have subtle men, disguised as ministers of light, led you astray by believing their words and NEVER CHECKING the TRUTH OF THEM?

Acts 17:11

11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Noble are the ones who CHECK THE INFORMATION GIVEN THEM, Fools are they which receive information WITHOUT QUESTION. 

BUT SADLY, We are living in a time when people want to believe WHAT THEY WANT TO BELIEVE because it SUITS their purpose and desires.

It is a time when the TRUTH is often INCONVENIENT, and dam those who you are willing to hurt along the way.

Not sparing the flock of God

To the Ephesians is warned to not be “partakers” with “the children of disobedience” (Eph 5:6-7), to “have NO FELLOWSHIP WITH THE UNFRUITFUL WORKS OF DARKNESS, but rather reprove them” (Eph 5:11)

But instead of having “no fellowship with the …works of darkness” we suffer them to join us and so DIM OUR OWN LIGHT.

INSTEAD OF “reproving them” we entertain them. 

We reject the simplicity of the word of God, we wont trust the Lord at his word, because it is NOT CONVENIENT. And so we allow the “perilous times” to gallop into our churches.

Again beloved, what is YOUR ROLE in facilitating the last days Church???

The very same chapter of Ephesians, please tune there as it matters much.

The very same chapter, God desires we would awaken to the truth of this and realise the days we live in;

Ephesians 5:14–16

14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

While King David “hates every false way“, congregations of todays Churches who don’t spend any time learning the “true way”, desires we tolerate such evil workers of iniquity in our Churches, yet Paul calls them “dogs” in the next book of Philippians;

Philippians 3:1–2

1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

False teachers had come in to take away the truth of Christ and the joy of salvation from the Philippians, but Paul warns to safeguard them. 

And so he testifies to them in verse 18;

Philippians 3:18–19

18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

If this was true then, how much more today? If the first century Church, so near to Christ and who gave even their lives for the sake of the truth, suffered such sinners, how much more in a day when we will not endure sound doctrine at all?

How much are you facilitating such days?

If you are not reading your Bible every day, you are helping these days develop.

If you are not regular in prayer, you are precipitating such perilous times.

If you get offended that I call you out in this way rather than feel convicted in sorrow, you will be one perfectly described by the adjectives of 2 Timothy 3 eventually if not already.

In Colossians Paul warns of “lest any man should beguile you with enticing words” (Col 2:4), he continues more specifically in verse 8 saying;

Colossians 2:8

8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

In 1 Thessalonians we are charged to “prove all things” and to “abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thess 5:21-22)

In 2 Thessalonians Paul is even more worried for the Churches, stating that God is righteous to “recompense tribulation to them that trouble you” (2 Thess:1:6), stating to punish those with everlasting destruction, “who obey not the gospel” (v8-9).

All of this leading men as the “mystery of iniquity doth already work” and “then shall that wicked be revealed“..”…whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders


…because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved” (2 Thess 2:7-10)

We sit here thinking to ourselves that this has no affect on us. That excusing our reading of the word of God and excusing spending any time in prayer, and devices this world employs to conform us to the world have no effect, yet the bible tells us that it will ALL HAVE ITS AFFECT in us, and as a result “perilous times shall come“.

“This KNOW also” begins Paul to Timothy, warning after warning is given us showing that Satan desires to destroy the work of the Lord, and he uses CHRISTIANS to do it best.

In 1st Timothy is a classic text that warns of placing young men into positions of authority and how the devil can use them at his own will.

It is in the passage that speaks of those desiring the office of a Pastor, and gives a description of their character for the work. But there is a warning not to place a “novice” in such a position of authority,

1 Timothy 3:6–7

6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Christians can and are used by the Devil, it happened in Pauls day, it happens today and the lack of humility in such people precipitate the “Perilous times” warned of in Scripture.

But then Paul goes on to warn in greater clarity of such days;

1 Timothy 4:1–2

1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

2nd Timothy has our text in chapter 3, and seeing we shall expound it further in another sermon, I will not continue that hear, save the passage in the next chapter, 2 Tim 4

It is both the charge and the warning to EVERY PASTOR before God. It is the Charge given us in every Bible College, and it is the charge we have as Pastors by all Godly men who ordain us for the ministry, and it testifies to the Perilous Times written in the previous chapter, and six verses after telling us of the worsening condition expected to be seen in the Churches;

Look at 2 Tim 3:9

Quote “but evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Tim 3:9)

Now see;

2 Timothy 4:2–4

2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

My job as the Pastor of Hope Baptist Church is to safeguard this church from such seducing men and people. My charge before God is to honour HIM first. 

In just under thirty years I have seen much evil in Churches, I have seen seducing spirits and seducing people that have led many away, and, I HAVE SEEN THE faith of many shipwrecked by the behaviour of other Christians.

I am to call evil, “EVIL”, and not excuse it. I am commanded in scripture to “reprove, rebuke and Exhort with all long suffering and doctrine”. I am not to do everything I can to safeguard my pay packet!!!! I am called to safeguard the CHURCH and to preach “in season and out of season”.

I am fully aware that the time HAS COME when they will not endure sound doctrine, we are LIVING IN THE LAST DAYS, and I am more aware of that today than I have ever been in my life before.

But there may come a time that you will choose to have a man that will simply scratch you where you are itching, you may be the one written of here who “will not endure sound doctrine; but after your own hearts lusts heap to yourself teachers, having itching ears“.

If so, you will join the long, long list of churches around the world that have done just that. 

I will never be a partaker of fluffing the pillows of Christians who desire to remain asleep to their sin and idolatry, no matter the cost.

I signed up to feed the sheep, not to entertain the goats.

One last passage and we shall leave it there. 

In a sister passage to 1 Timothy respecting the identification of the man suited to Pastor;

Titus 1:9–16

9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. 12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. 13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. 15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

As my desire was to demonstrate that EVERY new Testament book warns of the danger in the churches, from wolves in sheeps clothing, false teachers, false brethren, Christians used by Satan, to prove the truth of the doctrine and to OPEN our eyes to the church of the last days. 

We already know the warnings in the gospels by Jesus, you have now examples in each book from Acts through to Titus of the warnings in the New Testament alone, you can dig out the rest for yourself.

Philemon is the only book of the New testament that does not have any such warning. 

In closing;

You have a choice beloved, either repent and turn back to the Lord and remove yourselves from those who work in the darkness that you may lead a fruitful and blessed life, or stay continue to excuse yourself and add to the darkness to come.

As for me, as your pastor, I cant help you any more than this. I have warned time and again that you will fall into sin and Satan will use you to facilitate his work, but I am powerless to do any more, the choice is yours.

I am not going to go through all twenty six books to prove how much God wants to warn you of sin rising in the Church, but one last passage that I cannot overlook. It is the chapter AFTER our primary Chapter, 2 Timothy 4Where do you fit in the description of 2 Timothy 3?

Your family needs you to be reading your Bible every day.

Your family and friends need you to be praying to the Lord Jesus Christ each and every single day.

The WORLD needs you now, more than ever.

There is no time!

1 Corinthians 7:29–31

29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; 30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; 31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.


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