“Turn Away From These” (apotrepou) means AVOID; (toutos) means THESE KINDS OF PEOPLE.
In review, to keep the powerful spiritual and miraculous work of God in your life that advances the Gospel person to person, heart to heart, WE MUST HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE:
- In love with themselves.
- In love with money.
- Disobedient to parents.
- Without Self Control.
- No love for good.
- Lovers of Pleasure rather than Lovers of God.
“Lovers of Pleasure RATHER THAN Lovers of God” (philedonoi verses philotheoi).
This description is the bottom line attitude of the End of Time and the reason for spiritual degeneration. When a person seeks happiness over holiness–or pleasure over honoring God, spiritual degeneration is happening personally in one’s life and generally in the culture.
It is imperative for Christ Followers to take this warning seriously–“KNOW THIS” as is stated in the text.
“BE SURE OF THIS”
“ABOVE ALL THINGS KNOW THIS”
When you choose your own pleasure you ARE NOT OR WILL BE EVER CHOOSING TO LOVE GOD.
Some people exclaim “I have a right to be happy.” Whatever we think or exclaim is “our right” it is all counter to loving God. Loving God is an all encompassing life choice.
Further–when you are a lover of pleasure rather than lover of God, the Advancement of the Gospel is put on the shelf. When Ministers and Ministries choose to please people rather than obey God they are choosing to be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
The whole essence of lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God can and should be the template in all things Christ Followers do and say!
“Conceited” (tetyphomenoi) means to inflate with self-conceit.
Self-Love is a real teaching in the world today, but, bear in mind, it is the pattern of the world, NOT the friend of God. Scripture says to love the neighbor as yourself. Scripture does NOT say to “love yourself.” As a matter of fact, it says the opposite–Humble yourself. Die to yourself. Deny yourself.
Self exaltation as a means to help self-esteem is a trick of the enemy. It reduces spiritual power. The more self-love/self-exaltation is taught from the pulpits the less the Power of God is present.
Another example of inflated self-conceit is found in those who are addicted to always being right. People who go to about any means intellectually and verbally to concede they were wrong. Very few people really apologize. Most people are so desperate to hold on to being right, they can’t (or refuse to see) when they are wrong. When you always have to be right, you lack the supernatural, miraculous power of God in your life!
“Reckless” (propeteis) means impulsive, rash, and reckless.
Impulsiveness is spiritually harmful because it doesn’t wait upon God, it goes ahead and does what it wants to do. There is a great difference between the “Nudge of the Holy Spirit” in the heart of the Believer and the impulsiveness of the flesh. Those two things can’t/don’t co-exist.
Rashness or “knee jerk” reactions need to be controlled because they burn bridges in relationships and in situations that are salvageable.
There is a balance between being a “PLEASER” and caring about the true feelings of others. It probably is all about intent. We live in a sensitive, easily offendable culture. People are “touchy.” We need to try to balance with the help of God the line between caring about others and pleasing others.
“Traitorous” (prodotai) means a BETRAYER.
Betrayal appears in the form of the pleaser personality. The “pleaser” is a fixer, controlling situations by making others happy or pleased with themselves and others. Because the pleaser personality is not honest, it is a form of betrayal.
Passive/Aggressive behavior is best illustrated by being nice to your face but being ugly behind your back. Passive/Aggressive behavior is also a form of betrayal because you are not being honest with others.
The only way for people to break these patterns of betrayal is to determine that you won’t say anything behind a person’s back that you haven’t first said to a person’s face. This new pattern keeps one’s behavior in check.
The Pleasing & Passive/Aggressive Behavior are the most common spiritual power reducers in Christian Believers. They are undeniably tolerated, and at great expense to the Advancement of the Gospel by exchanging the miraculous power of God for simple carnal behavior.
“Without Any Love of Good” means to be HOSTILE TOWARD ANY VIRTUE.
“No one is the boss of me!” “You can’t tell me what to do!” “Who do they think they are putting that on me?” All are just a few of the hundreds and hundreds of remarks people make who are hostile toward any direction in their life.
When you are not open to the idea of moral principles to guide your life, you are not the type of person who even cares about God’s miraculous power that can be manifested into your life every day.
“Brutal” (anemero) means to be fierce or savage.
Actually, “brutal” has many different manifestations, each one has its own way of diminishing God’s spiritual power in your life. Always remember that when spiritual power is diminished it is NOT God who has changed or moved, it is you who has created obstacles in the way. Things like:
Being mean becomes an obstacle in relationships because it makes others fearful and closes out God being able to speak because your own temper keeps you from listening to God’s “still, small voice” into your life.
Blurting is an obstacle because you are not keeping a tight rein on your tongue. The Book of James in the New Testament is a great study on this subject. James is strong and powerful. If you have issues with blurting, study and apply James to your life.
Opinion is an obstacle because as long as you are talking you are not listening. You can’t really be talking and listening at the same time.
“Without Self-Control” (akrateis) means inclined to excessiveness.
Excessiveness is a distraction in one’s spiritual life. If you allow excessiveness room to grow in your life, there will be all kinds of manifestations of this behavior that will truly reduce your spiritual life.
ENOUGH IS NEVER “ENOUGH.”
The only remedy to gaining “control” is to turn over the “control” to God. Let God have your life: Completely and Totally.
“Slanderous” (diaboloi) means to manipulate, trick, or try to trip up.
All forms of slander are carnal and not of God. Speaking against someone and hurting their reputation and name is harmful. There are other forms of slander that meet the Biblical definition:
PUTTING A “SPIN” ON YOUR BEHAVIOR TO MAKE IT MORE PLEASING TO OTHERS.
TRICKING PEOPLE INTO DOING WHAT YOU WANT.
RE-WRITING A NARRATIVE OR RE-DIRECTING A HISTORY TO MAKE YOURSELF THE VICTOR OR THE MORE SUPERIOR CHARACTER IN THE STORY.
“Unforgiving” (asondoi) means “no desire to make a truce.”
Forgiving and being forgiven is a MAJOR issue for any Christ Follower. Forgiving is essential in Jesus’ Teaching. The issue in this context (of 2 Timothy 3 where we are shown at the End of Time there will be a reduction in spiritual power because we no longer except the supernatural power of God) is FORGIVENESS is not essential if you have a good excuse for not forgiving others.
Instead of forgiving quickly and easily, many today “share” their offenses with others and expect others to take a side in the offense. This “circle of offense” gets extended because people have become addicted to drama and get caught in a downward vortex of excusing unforgiveness because of the affirmation received.
Further, we allow ourselves to get worked up and work other people up as well. Rather than let it go, we hold on to it.
Eventually, we become highly sensitive and easily offendable. Then we create a “circle of support” to cry on the shoulders of others who get pulled into and caught up in the drama. All of this reduces spiritual power because anything less than total forgiveness and moving on completely misses God’s will and God’s direction for your life!