Some passages of Scripture make me chuckle. Then there are others that start off making me chuckle until I realize just how serious they are. Take these verses from 2 Timothy, for example.
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 2 Timothy 3:1-5
This passage combines such a wide range of behaviors and attitudes to describe the wickedness we must avoid. And, right in the middle of the list, we find the phrase “disobedient to parents.” Out of everything that could be said about such evil men, this one seems almost ludicrous. Until…
Until you stop to contemplate what disobedient children grow up to become. As children, they disobey and disrespect their parents and other adults. As adults, they refuse to submit to authority. How many ramifications exist in such defiance?
But, disobedience to parents isn’t the only thing we might be inclined to chuckle at. We have become so lax, even as Christians, that it doesn’t bother us if some of our brothers and sisters tend to be ungrateful about everything. We are only slightly concerned if any of them hold a grudge and refuse to be reconciled to someone. And, we all need to look out for our own well-being and make sure we have the things we need, but that doesn’t make up lovers of self or money. Does it? We all need a break now and then, but surely that isn’t replacing our love for God with a love for pleasure. I could go on…
The problem with going on is that I have already seen myself in this list, and I don’t like the picture. These are the people we should avoid in these “last days” and “difficult times,” yet I fall into many of these traps. Why? Because as much as I hate to admit it, I don’t always take the Bible seriously. Instead I chuckle when “disobedient to parents” is compared to people who are “brutal.”
When God calls us to holiness, the expectation is high. It is so high, in fact, that we cannot attain to it. We cannot avoid fitting into this list…unless we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, filling us with the power of God.
Oh, may we begin to truly take God’s Word seriously! Oh, may we no longer be lax and laid back in our obedience to His Word! And oh, may we stand out and not be counted among those who should be avoided in these last days and difficult times.