The Coming Apostasy (3:1-13)
3:1 The apostle now gives Timothy a description of the conditions that will exist in the world prior to the Lord’s coming. The list of sins that follows is very similar to the description of the ungodly heathen in Romans 1. The last days referred to here are the days between the apostolic period and the appearing of Christ to set up His kingdom.
3:2 We cannot study these verses without being struck by the repetition of the word lovers. In verse 2, for instance, we find lovers of self and lovers of money. In verse 3, without love, not lovers of good. In verse 4, we read of lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
In verses 2-5 nineteen characteristics of mankind during the last days are given. We will simply list them and give synonyms that explain their meaning:
Lovers of themselves – self-centered , conceited, egotistical.
Lovers of money – greedy for money and wealth. Boastful – full of great swelling words, braggarts. Proud – arrogant, naughty, overbearing.
Abusive – blasphemers, evil speakers, profane, insulting, contemptuous.
Disobedient to their parents – rebellious, uncontrolled.
Ungrateful – unthankful, lacking in appreciation.
Unholy – profane irreverent, impious, holding nothing sacred.
Without love – unloving, hard-hearted, unfeeling, callous.
Unforgiving – implacable , refusing to make peace, refusing reconciliation.
Slanderers – spreading false and malicious rumors.
Without self-control – men of uncontrolled passions, dissolute.
Brutal – savage, unprincipled.
Not lovers of the good – haters of whatever or whoever is good.
Treacherous – traitors, betrayers.
Rash – reckless, headstrong, self-willed.
Conceited – haughty.
Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – Those who love sensual pleasure but not God.
3:5 Outwardly these people seem religious. They make a profession of Christianity, but their actions speak louder than their words. By their ungodly behaviour, they show that they are living a lie. They want to be religious and to have their sins at the same time.
Have nothing to do with them. Timothy is exhorted to turn away from all such people.