Paul characterizes the last days as difficult because of the nature of some people within the church, and his advice to Timothy is to avoid the people that fit his description. As you read the description, you get a picture of someone who has progressed down the path of his own false teaching. These men “oppose the truth” and are “corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith.” That’s a pretty harsh description. The reason for Paul’s harshness seems to me to be their hindering of the gospel and thus Christ. These are the “antichrists” of John’s description in 1 John. The counter to this teaching, Paul explains is a commitment to the Scriptures.
1But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Tim 3:1-5)
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: Lev 24, Ps 31, Ecc 7, 2 Tim 3