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Useful to the Master - Part 3

WIDESPREAD CHALLENGES           Page 2

Widespread Challenges

INVESTIGATE

V. 1 ** To begin with, as we try to correct the error of false teachers, when can we expect difficult times?

"...in the last days..." This phrase is a broad term in Scripture, but never-the-less it can be used to describe a specific period of time.

Daniel 2:28 & 44 - "...what will take place in the latter days.." Sweeping history from King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to the time when God will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed.

Isaiah 2:2 - "...in the last days, the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established..." This describes the time just prior to and including Christ's second coming. (cf. Micah 4:1)

Hebrews 1:1-2 - "...in these last days has spoken to us in His Son..." A period of time beginning with the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ and ending with His second coming.

1John 2:18 - "Children, it is the last hour..." For the children of God, this is it! From now until He comes for us, the days are getting shorter in number.

** Alright then, what will be the main characteristic of these last days in which we live?

They are going to be marked by "difficult times".

The word for "times" is not "chronos" which would indicate chronological time, but rather "kairos" which refers to periods of time, to seasons, epochs or eras. So Paul is saying that as we confront error with the truth, we are going to experience "seasons" of widespread challenges or difficulties.

V. 2 - 4

** As you look over the next three verses you will see a deplorable list of sinful traits. Where does it all begin and what is the number one motive for a false teacher?

"For men will be lovers of self..." This was already happening in Paul's time. Look with me at what he wrote to the Philippians (Philippians 2:19-21).

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