Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:12-17 ESV)
Paul is telling us that things will get worse before they get better. We are nearing the last days because we are truly seeing a rapid moral decline in our society. The number of persecutions will also increase because there are many in this world that hate Jesus.
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
It sounds awful, but I am certainly glad our Lord is giving us an honest forecast. None of this should surprise us, and in my opinion, there is no benefit in getting frustrated and angry about it. I feel that it is a waste of time and energy to complain about the direction things are going. Yes we need to expose and combat evil, but we must do it by sharing message of the gospel and performing good deeds.
The spiritual training and lessons that we have received are going to be the tools by which we endure all the turmoil and madness of this world. The daily strengthening of our faith is meant to prepare us for future hardship. For Jesus said: “You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22 ESV).
We are to keep our eyes on Jesus no matter how difficult and painful our lives may get. We must resolve to “not grow weary in doing good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13). If we get depressed, we need to cling more strongly to the hope we have in Christ. Our afflictions are temporary, but the Kingdom of God lasts forever (2 Corinthians 4:17). And our Lord will show us that our faith is not in vain; he will reward us for our perseverance.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12 ESV).