by Alan Yusko

In this tract we will be looking at what the Bible says the conditions of peoples hearts will be like in the last days before the return of the Lord Jesus. The Bible states that the last days will not be days of blessing and peace. Evil men and their deeds will prosper. Men in general will be cold, harsh, and grow more evil as we get closer to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth. The key verse we will use is the following:

2 Timothy 3
1. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

In this tract we will look at the Greek meaning and give a brief explanation for the above characteristics of men's hearts. We are living in evil days and the Bible indicates that conditions will grow worse until the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 3
1. This know also , that in the last days perilous <5467> times shall come.

We have been in the last days for almost 2000 years. However we are nearing the end of the age when the Lord Jesus will return and setup His Kingdom on earth. Near the end the days will grow very dangerous as evil will reach its climax.

These last days are called 'perilous' days. Below is an explanation of what the word 'perilous' means from the Strongs Greek:

5467 chalepos {khal-ep-os'}
perhaps from 5465 through the idea of reducing the strength;; adj AV - fierce 1, perilous 1; 2
1) hard to do, to take, to approach
2) hard to bear, troublesome, dangerous
2a) harsh, fierce, savage

We are living in very harsh, fierce, hard to bear, hard to take days. Evil will be all world-wide and will actually prosper in these last days.

2 For men shall be lovers <5367> of their own selves<5367>,

We start with a description of the characteristics of these harsh and fierce last days. The first one is that men will be lovers of their own selves. Here is the Greek meaning of a self lover:

5367 philautos {fil'-ow-tos}
from 5384 and 846;; adj
AV - lover of (one's) own self 1; 1
1) loving one's self
2) too intent on one's interest, selfish

Notice that one who loves himself also carries the idea of selfishness. The center of the world is 'I, ME' living in the NOW. There is little thought about God or eternal life or the needs of others.

covetous <5366>,
5366 philarguros {fil-ar'-goo-ros}
from 5384 and 696;; adj
AV - covetous 2; 2
1) loving money, avarice

Covetous people desire things. They love and crave things without any concern for God. In these last days there is a great love of money. Some people will lie, cheat, or kill for money. They covet money which can then be spent on their self loving interests. Money in itself is not evil. It is just a tool to be used and properly managed. However coveting money and things is totally different and keeps a person focused on temporal, earthly things as opposed to the Godly and eternal.

boasters <213>,
213 alazon {al-ad-zone'}
from ale (vagrancy); TDNT - 1:226,36; n m
AV - boaster 2; 2
1) an empty pretender, a boaster

Boasters are another form of a self interested person. They consider themselves to be really great people and feel everyone should be informed of that fact. They also have big mouths that speak often of their own greatness.

proud <5244>,
5244 huperephanos {hoop-er-ay'-fan-os}
from 5228 and 5316; TDNT - 8:525,1231; adj
AV - proud 5; 5
1) showing one's self above others, overtopping, conspicuous above others, pre-eminent
2) with an overweening estimate of one's means or merits, despising others or even treating them with contempt, haughty

Pride is a very interesting characteristic. It keeps many from salvation. A proud person can never admit he is a helpless sinner in need of a Saviour. Pride keeps one out of heaven and sends a person to hell after this life is finished. Pride makes one feel better than others. I have seen this in the business world quite often. Many in power in the business world become proud and haughty not caring about anyone but themselves. They are certainly not a pleasant type of person to be near in the working environment. The proud person likes to feel he is in control of his life. The theme song of the proud is Frank Sinatra's song: I did it My Way! There is no need for God as that is a useless crutch to the proud. Hence the proud person will reject the Lord Jesus and the salvation He freely offers.

blasphemers <989>,
989 blasphemos {blas'-fay-mos}
from a derivative of 984 and 5345; TDNT - 1:621,107; adj
AV - blasphemous 2, blasphemer 2, railing 1; 5
1) speaking evil, slanderous, reproachful, railing, abusive

Blasphemers abound in these evil last days. Rock and roll groups dress up like sodomites and give altar calls to the devil. Movies and TV shows mock and profane topics once considered sacred. Good is evil and evil is good with no regard for God and His Word. One of the characteristics of the coming reign of the Antichrist will be blasphemy against God and His Word and His people. Today the world is preparing for the day when the devil will have free reign on earth before the return of the Lord Jesus.

disobedient <545> to parents <1118>,
545 apeithes {ap-i-thace'}
from 1 (as a negative particle) and 3982; TDNT - 6:10,818; adj
AV - disobedient 6; 6
1) impersuasible, not compliant, disobedient, contumacious

Families are breaking up. Children are being raised by single parents as the idea of marriage commitment is rejected. Babies are murdered in the wombs and the Bible is banned from most schools. Evolution is taught as fact while Biblical creation is mocked by the blasphemers. As a result children grow up rebellious, disobedient with little concern for God, their fellow man, or their parents.

unthankful <884>,
884 acharistos {ach-ar'-is-tos}
from 1 (as a negative particle) and a presumed derivative of 5483; TDNT - 9:372,1298; adj
AV - unthankful 2; 2
1) ungracious
1a) unpleasing
1b) unthankful

Unthankfulness will reach its climax in the closing days of this age. Even in the days of the Lord Jesus ten lepers were healed with only one returning to give thanks. The other nine just went happily on their way without thanking the One who did such a great thing for them. This is true today where someone can be helped and the help is received and then quickly forgotten. I even saw a situation where someone was helped through school because he had no money. Thanks was never given to that assistance and years later that person viciously attacked the person that helped put him through school.

unholy <462>,
462 anosios {an-os'-ee-os}
from 1 (as a negative particle) and 3741; TDNT - 5:492,734; adj
AV - unholy 2; 2
1) unholy, impious, wicked

The concept of unholy and blasphemy really go together. A wicked person can do and say great evil against God and their fellow man with no regret.

3 Without <794> natural affection <794>,

794 astorgos {as'-tor-gos}
from 1 (as a negative particle) and a presumed derivative of stergo (to cherish affectionately);; adj
AV - without natural affection 2; 2
1) without natural affection, unsociable (Rom 1:31 marg.), inhuman (2Ti. 3:3 RSV), unloving (2Ti. 3:3 NKJV)

It is natural for a human to have a conscience and feelings for others. However when a person gets really depraved they lose those natural affections and become inhuman and unloving. When a person gives themselves over to evil, they become a wicked person.

trucebreakers <786>,
786 aspondos {as'-pon-dos}
from 1 (as a negative particle) and a derivative of 4689;; adj
AV - implacable 1, trucebreakers 1; 2
1) without a treaty or covenant
1a) of things not mutually agreed upon e.g. abstinences from hostilities
2) that cannot be persuaded to enter into a covenant, implacable

We see this characteristic in the world today. Just look at Israel trying to obtain peace with those committed to their destruction. The trucebreaking Palestinians enter into an agreement as long as they can obtain major concessions from Israel. As soon as it is no longer a profitable agreement they break it immediately. Another example would be in the business world. In days past a man's word meant quite a bit and deals could be made with a handshake. This is not so today. Contracts read and checked by lawyers must be signed in triplicate. Even then if a party finds a legal loophole they exploit it to their full advantage. Men who are dishonest, selfish, and covetous will use any means to further their personal goals and benefits.

false <1228> accusers <1228>,
1228 diabolos {dee-ab'-ol-os}
from 1225; TDNT - 2:72,150; adj
AV - devil 35, false accuser 2, slanderer 1; 38
1) prone to slander, slanderous, accusing falsely
1a) a calumniator, false accuser, slanderer,
2) metaph. applied to a man who, by opposing the cause of God, may be said to act the part of the devil or to side with him

The term false accuser and liar goes together. Telling deliberate untruths about someone in order to hurt them in some way makes a person a false accuser. People who do that are copying their father the devil. Satan is called the accuser of the brethren who appears before God constantly bring charges against God's people. A false accuser can also use slander or gossip to spread his lies about his target victim. There are even magazines that can be purchased in supermarkets full of slander and gossip for those who which to have their ears tickeled by that type of trash.

incontinent <193>,
193 akrates {ak-rat'-ace}
from 1 (as a negative particle) and 2904; TDNT - 2:339,196; adj
AV - incontinent 1; 1
1) without self-control, intemperate

We live in a incontinent society. Rather than obeying God's Word men find it more pleasurable to do as they please. Sexual immorality is considered normal for both the married and single. Self control is a foreign concept for those who seek a life of constant pleasures. Many people with AIDS and other terrible disease will knowingly engage in immorality and infect other people. There is no concern or conscience. The person has no self control and just wants pleasure for himself.

fierce <434>,
434 anemeros {an-ay'-mer-os}
from 1 (as a negative particle) and hemeros (lame);; adj
AV - fierce 1; 1
1) not tame, savage, fierce

Fierce like a wild animal. A fierce person will stop at nothing in order to accomplish their goals. Many people today protest the killing of sea lions as cruel and inhuman behavior. However while that is going on babies are being murdered in cold blood in the womb. What's more important? A sea lion or a baby? Now with partial birth abortions the poor baby's head is cracked open and the brains are sucked out during birth. We live in a fierce society where the innocent are slaughtered without mercy by cold blooded killers.

despisers <865> of those that are good <865>,
865 aphilagathos {af-il-ag'-ath-os}
from 1 (as a negative particle) and 5358; TDNT - 1:18,3; adj
AV - despiser of those that are good 1; 1
1) opposed to goodness and good men

As men reject God they accept all kinds of evil. As men reject God they also reject His people. The Lord Jesus suffered such treatment by those who rejected God. Today His followers experience the same. Christians have been persecuted and murdered for almost 2000 years now. In North America we still have freedom but who knows what evil days lay ahead.

4 Traitors <4273>,
4273 prodotes {prod-ot'-ace}
from 4272 (in the sense of giving forward into another's [the enemy's] hands);; n m
AV - traitor 2, betrayer 1; 3
1) a betrayer, traitor

A traitor is someone who is on your side then turns against you for some reason. A person can be a traitor to many things such as: their country, their family, or their friends. Traitorous behavior will increase in the last days.

heady <4312>,
4312 propetes (prop-et-ace');
from a compound of 4253 and 4098; falling forward, i.e. headlong (figuratively, precipitate):
KJV-- heady, rash [-ly].

A heady person rushes into things. When they desire something it is time to fall headlong into it. Most times without thinking. With evil it is very bad to be 'heady' and rush into it. This happens quite frequently with the sexually immoral.

highminded <5187>,
5187 tuphoo {toof-o'-o}
from a derivative of 5188;; v
AV - be proud 1, be lifted up with pride 1, highminded 1; 3
1) to raise a smoke, to wrap in a mist
1a) metaph.
1a1) to make proud, puff up with pride, render insolent
1a2) to be puffed up with haughtiness or pride
2) to blind with pride or conceit, to render foolish or stupid
2a) beclouded, besotted

Again another illusion to pride. This characteristic indicates that the person is so filled up with pride that he is actually blinded by it. Pride surrounds that person like a huge coat. He is completely wrapped up in pride and arrogance. He doesn't realize it but pride is really a form of spiritual bad breath. It is irritating to be around a proud person.

lovers<5369> of pleasures <5369> more than lovers <5377> of God;

5369 philedonos {fil-ay'-don-os}
from 5384 and 2237; TDNT - 2:909,303; adj
AV - lover of pleasure 1; 1
1) loving pleasure

There are two Greek words to illustrate love in this verse. The first one refers to one who is a lover of pleasure. A pleasure loving person is selfish and self centered. He is not concerned with God or morals. This person lives to seek out pleasure to satisfy his own cravings. We see this type of person in child molesters, rapists, sodomites and others who live to satisfy the desires of the flesh. This type of person is contrasted with another type of lover found below:

5377 philotheos {fil-oth'-eh-os}
from 5384 and 2316;; adj
AV - lover of God 1; 1
1) loving God

A lover of God instead of a lover of pleasure. This type of person is very rare in these evil days. Most reject God and live for temporal pleasure and things they can enjoy NOW. However they are blinded to the true joy of one who loves God. It is not a hard thing to walk with God and love Him. In His presence there is great joy and great peace. There is hope and comfort in all the hard times everyone must endure in this wicked world. There is also great promises of blessings and His presence in this life as well as in the life to come. A lover of God is one who has found a secret fountain of great joy. He wants to tell others but many will not listen as they are preoccupied in satisfying there personal lusts.

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:

Despite all the wickedness in these evil and perilous days men still wish to be religious. They are religious without God. They put on fancy costumes and robes, they eat fancy bread wafers, they burn incense and candles, they worship in big shrines or in little temples with all kinds of statues and icons. Yet they are rejectors of God and the only Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. But to look at them they appear to be very religious men. But actually they are only whitewashed tombs. They look good on the outside but inside are filled will all kinds of death and destruction.

from such turn <665>away <665>.

665 apotrepo {ap-ot-rep'-o}
from 575 and the base of 5157;; v
AV - turn away 1; 1
1) to turn one's self away from
2) to shun, avoid

What should we do with these people. Well first give them the Gospel and pray for their salvation. But there comes a time when one must turn away from them and avoid them. They are hard hearted, wicked, Christ rejecting people.


In this tract we have seen some of the characteristics in the last days. These days are dangerous and perilous times. However the Christian still has hope. As we see the days get darker and men grow more evil, we can rejoice that the Lord Jesus is coming back soon. It will not be long before we will stand before God and see Him face to face. Evil and wicked men who have hardened their hearts to God have nothing to look forward to but death and destruction in the days ahead. After death they have an eternity in the lake of fire. It really is not worth living a few years here on earth rejecting God and living for wickedness to end up spend all eternity burning in the lake of fire.

As we get closer to the return of the Lord Jesus evil will increase in the world. The wicked will grow more evil and wicked. The rejectors of God will harden their hearts and become more fierce and evil. However they are on a slippery slope as they are only one heartbeat from an eternity in hell. Yet being blinded by evil they will readily accept the Antichrist as he comes on the world scene just after the rapture of the Church to heaven.

As this world gets more evil the love of many will wax cold. People will become more cold and hard hearted.

Matt 24:9-12
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the LOVE OF MANY SHALL WAX COLD.

People will be more cold and harsh to others in these last days. I believe this coldness of heart will also be seen in Christian churches. If you attend a church and are offended and hurt by other Christians then remember that your faith is not based on people. The foundation of faith is on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Don't get discouraged with any troubles or trials as soon the Lord Jesus will return to rapture His Church home to heaven.

Until that time just keep pressing on and serving God. Keep getting out the Gospel and praying for the lost that they may be saved. Trusting God is the key to peace and joy in these evil days.

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