Difficult Times

Harvey Hoekstra

READ : 2 Timothy 3:1–9

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. (v. 1)

We live in a world that stands opposed to God. Listen again to Paul as he warns Timothy what to expect: “People will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding the form of religion but denying the power of it” (vv. 2–5).

The tragedy of this upsurge of evil is intensified by apostasy in the church. Within the church itself are found those who have religion but who preach a gospel of their own making. Timothy is urged to teach sound doctrine. He is urged to make sure that the true faith is committed to faithful Christians who will continue preaching the one true gospel. The unspeakable tragedy of our time is that in large sections of Christ’s church the authority of God’s Word is being undermined or denied, and the true gospel is no longer being proclaimed. Ambitious people are using the church to promote their own programs to “bring about the kingdom.” In the name of scholarship, people too frequently reject what they find unacceptable to their intellectual pride, and they preach a religion of their own devising. Avoid such people, says the Bible. (originally published November 11, 1964)


Lord, please send a revival among your church. Thank you for all teachers and pastors who are faithful to your Word. Amen.