Paul in his swansong letter of II Timothy writes to his son in the faith, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come” ( 2 Tim. 3:1). The aged Apostle warns that perilous times will mark the last days. The Greek word translated “perilous” refers to times that will be fierce, violent, hostile, savage, and dangerous. It was a word that was used in connection with an animal savagely or violently attacking its prey. The word was used by Greek secular writers to speak of destructive results that were brought about by severe winds, hardships or sufferings. The word was used to speak of someone who was violently hostile and aggressive in their actions. It was a word associated with a nature or disposition determined to fight or kill (like a solider) and leave in their wake terror and chaos. The term “perilous times” doesn’t paint a pretty picture of the last days.
Some of the attitudes and behavioral characteristic of “perilous times” are “men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent (living without moral restraint), fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded (conceited), lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (2 Tim 3:2-5). Paul is vivid in his description of the negative characteristics that will be prevalent and rampant in the last days.
Another characteristic that Paul says will define the last days is that those who seek to live for Jesus will suffer persecution (3:12) and that evil men will grow worse and worse (3:13). It is important Christians understand the agenda of evil in the last days. Let’s examine what is meant by the agenda of evil. There are two kinds of evil mentioned in the NT. It would do us well to know the difference between the two.
In the New Testament there are two words translated “evil.” The Greek word kakos, which is used over 50 times in the New Testament, refers to one who does evil, bad or wrong and is content to perish in their own sinfulness without dragging anyone else into their evil behavior or actions. In other words, you do your thing I will do mine, but I will not drag you into my corruptive behavior or lifestyle.
However, there is another word translated evil which Paul uses in 2 Timothy 3:13 when he says in the last day “evil men” will grow worse and worse. Paul uses the Greek word poneros, which is used over 70 times in the NT. Poneros which refers to one who is not content or satisfied unless they are corrupting others along with themselves and seducing others into the same destructive behavior, actions or lifestyle. In other words, the poneros person is not interested or content in practicing or living out their sinful actions alone, their vicious and aggressive nature seeks to actively ensnare others in the same corruption they are involved in. When Jesus calls Satan the Evil One, He uses the word poneros because Satan wants to seduce us into his web of corruption and destruction. Paul in I Timothy 4:1 informs us that such evil (poneros) that will be witnessed in the last days will be energized by demonic forces. So, in the last days there will be those under demonic influence, who are not content to perish in their own corruption, but seek to seduce all men down into their cesspool of death and destruction.
When Paul states in the last days “evil men” will grow worse and worse (2 Tim 3:13), a characteristic of their actions is that they will aggressively seek to seduce and involve everyone else in their own corrupt, abnormal, perverted and destructive behavior and actions. Paul warns that Christians who seek to live opposite of evil men and agendas and oppose them are persecuted and defamed (2 Tim. 3:12). He also informs that in the last days such evil (poneros) men and agendas will increase.
Now honestly, is that not where we are in our culture today? Evil men and agendas are being pushed in society today that seeks to ensnare everyone in their web of destruction and if you dare challenge or speak against their diabolical agendas you are slandered and demeaned unmercifully. Christians are persecuted for being unyielding if they don’t get on the poneros train that is heading for derailment.
The examples are endless of poneros agendas and subsequent efforts to silence opposition. The goal of a poneros agenda is to silence the Christian voice. The abortion agenda has brought us to the place where advocates gleefully applaud legislation that allows the taking of a life up until the moment of birth. If one speaks out against the atrocity of abortion and stands up for life in the womb, one is seen as old fashion, castigated for their stance and are said to hate women. Those who endorse the agenda for the abolishment of traditional marriage between a man and a woman and embrace same sex unions, brand those who oppose their agenda as bigoted, unloving and not in touch with reality. Those who embrace the agenda seeking to force the acceptance of gender fluidity and one can be whatever gender they desire to be regardless of their gender identity at birth, belittle those who oppose their agenda as being mean-spirited and lacking sympathy. Those who support the agenda to legalize marijuana in every state and put everyone’s brain in a fog, regard those who oppose them as conservative fanatics who are against freedom of expression. Those whose agenda is to infiltrate America with radical and extremist religions and groups that want to destroy this nation, categorize those who warn of the danger of such infiltration as intolerant, prejudicial and are shamed into silence. Those who have an agenda to establish a secular, godless and socialistic society, are vicious in their attacks upon those they label as right wing rabble-rousers who are the real enemies of America. Again, the goal is to silence the Christian and all objecting voices and force and seduce everyone into accepting their poneros agenda.
Those who support agendas of death and push agendas to make acceptable abnormal morality as normal, are not content to engage in destructive life choices alone. Their goal is to aggressively push their destructive agendas on everyone and seduce all into their destructive ideology. They want all to join their ranks…and if one dares speak out against or is not accommodating to their agendas one is persecuted and labeled as a deplorable. May I say as clearly as I know how, publicly accepting and seeking to normalize that which is sinful in the sight of a holy God will NEVER make it right.
My dear Christian, we need to understand the nature and agenda of evil we see sweeping our land today. And it is growing faster than a speeding locomotive out of control. It is poneros evil which we are witnessing being unleashed, evil that characterizes the last days. If we believe the words of Paul (which I do), it is only going to get worse. And if you seek to live for Christ without compromise you might as well accept the fact you are soon going to be in the minority and you can expect the persecution to silence the voice of Christians to only grow worse and worse. In days not too far away, I predict that it will be against the law to speak on moral issues from a Christian perspective without being fined or put in jail.
As the last days unfold, Christians are needed who will stand true, pray, seek the Lord’s face and continue to lovingly shine the Light of Christ uncompromisingly. No matter how much poneros evil seeks to enlist us among its destructive ranks, we must echo the words of the Reformer Martin Luther, “My soul is captive to the Word of God. Here I stand I can do no other.”