There have been wicked people on the earth for many, many years. Men were wicked before the flood. Genesis 6:5 “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Throughout history, men have been wicked. Does it seem like there is increased wickedness today? The apostle Paul wrote Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” Let us look at the nature of these men that Paul described for the purpose of contrasting their nature with the nature of a true Christian.
“Lovers of themselves.” While it is natural to take care of yourself and not hate your own flesh (Ephesians 5:29), “lovers of themselves” implies a selfish, me-only attitude. In contrast, a Christian, loves his neighbor as himself (Matthew 22:39).
“Lovers of money” or covetous. For many, money seems to be all important. They will do anything for money and anything to get rich and to have material possessions. They covet what others have. In contrast, a Christian has godliness with contentment (1 Timothy 6:6) and he does not store up for himself treasures on earth (Matthew 6:19-20).
“Boasters and proud.” A boastful person wants everyone to know how great he is and how great are his accomplishments and possessions. He is proud. In contrast, a Christian is humble and gives glory to God, realizing all blessings come from God (1 Corinthians 4:7).
“Blasphemers.” A blasphemer is one who speaks ill of God, the Holy Spirit or Jesus. In contrast, a Christian glorifies God with his body and spirit (1 Corinthians 6:20).
“Disobedient to parents.” Many children today are not disciplined and are rebellious to their parents. In contrast, Christian children obey and honor their parents (Ephesians 6:1-2).
“Unthankful” or ungrateful. The attitude is that the world owes them. They believe that they deserve to have good things and for others to serve them. In contrast, a Christian knows that all good gifts come from God and gives thanks to Him for all blessings (Ephesians 5:20).
“Unholy.” These are wicked individuals – those filled with evil deeds. In contrast, a Christian is holy and set apart for God’s service (2 Peter 3:11).
“Unloving” or without natural affection. This implies that they don’t even love those close to them that an individual would normally love, such as their wives, children or friends. In contrast, a Christian is filled with love and is even willing to give himself up for his wife (Ephesians 5:25).
“Unforgiving” or trucebreaker. They are against all others but they themselves cannot be trusted. In contrast, a Christian forgives others their trespasses (Matthew 6:14).
“Slanderers”. They falsely accuse others and try to ruin their reputation. In contrast, a Christian is truthful, kind and gracious in speech (Colossians 4:6).
“Without self-control.” They give in to their appetite for sinful pleasures. In contrast, a Christian does not yield to temptation but resists the devil (1 Peter 5:9).
“Brutal” or fierce. These are wild, impetuous, and violent. In contrast, a Christian is kind and gentle (Philippians 4:5).
“Despisers of good.” These are hostile to virtue. They value being bad and wicked and are opposed to things that are good and righteous. In contrast, a Christian is dead to sin and is a servant of righteousness (Romans 6:18-19).
“Traitors.” These are individuals who cannot be trusted but will betray you. In contrast, a Christian is a true friend, dependable and trustworthy (Matthew 5:37).
“Headstrong” or heady. These are individuals who are rash in what they say and what they do. They don’t use wisdom or listen to advice. In contrast, a Christian uses Godly wisdom and seeks the leading of the Holy Spirit for his actions and direction in life (Romans 8:14).
“Haughty” or high minded. A haughty person has a very high opinion of himself and looks down on all others as being inferior. In contrast, a Christian sees others as more important than himself (Philippians 2:3-4).
“Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” Many people today spend much time and money on sports, games, and other recreation. In contrast, a Christian puts Jesus first. He spends time praying, reading and studying the Bible, and serving God and his fellow man (2 Timothy 2:15).
“Having a form of godliness but denying its power.” Many say that they believe in God and claim to be a Christian. But their lives do not show a true faith or God’s righteousness. They only have a form of godliness. In contrast, a Christian serves God from a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22).
Do you see the great contrast? Do not be like the world in any of these ways. Instead, I encourage you to be a light to the world as you live a genuine Christian life.