by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
In September we read Paul's letter to Titus and his very last letter, called 2 Timothy. Paul's concern is that the true gospel be preserved and proclaimed by a faithful church.
2 Timothy 3:1–5
There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money (2 Tim. 3:1–2).
"The last days" represents the period of time between Christ's ascension and his return. In the last days Christ pours out the Holy Spirit, in accordance with the ancient prophecy and his own promise (Acts 2:17–18). However, while this part of salvation history brings us the riches of life in the Spirit, it also brings furious attacks from those who oppose the Lord.
The church of the end time, says Paul, will face reckless people who are "lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive," and so on. These people are on the scene already, but they "will go from bad to worse" (v. 13).
Notice that the sins mentioned here add up to a sort of elementary ungodliness. The difficult times of the last days are caused by people who are basically like all sinners, perhaps just more blatantly so. Loving self and money are the most natural of human sins.
Christians oppose the sin of the last days with equally basic Christian behavior: Love God above all, love your neighbor as much as you care for yourself, and use money without loving it.
The basic godliness that comes with the gospel has not changed in the last days. Neither has the basic ungodliness that comes in opposition to the gospel. But the temperature of both has gone up. The hotter it gets and the more difficult the times, the more certain we are that the end is in sight.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version