2 Timothy 3-4: Apostasy

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 145–146


You live in the “last days.” What are the blessings or advantages of being a member of the Church in these times? Paul described the wickedness and apostasy that would exist in our day. Read 2 Timothy 3–4 and see if you think his description is accurate. What will guide us through these difficult times?

Understanding the Scriptures

2 Timothy 3

Perilous (v. 1)Grievous, challenging, hard to bear 
Divers (v. 6)Many different 
Reprobate (v. 8)Unfit 

2 Timothy 3:8—Who Were Jannes and Jambres?

Jannes and Jambres were the Egyptian magicians who challenged Moses’ miracles (see Bible Dictionary, “Jannes and Jambres,” p. 710).

2 Timothy 4

Quick (v. 1)Living 
Heap (v. 3)Gather 
Having itching ears (v. 3)Wanting to hear doctrine that pleases, instead of hearing the truth 

2 Timothy 4:2—“Be Instant in Season, out of Season”

The Joseph Smith Translation changes the phrase “be instant in season, out of season; reprove” to “be instant in season; those who are out of season reprove” (JST,  2 Timothy 4:2; italics added). Paul was counseling Timothy to be earnest in correcting and teaching those who were struggling with or falling away from their faith.

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study 2 Timothy 3–4.

Activity A Scripture Mastery iconScripture Mastery—2 Timothy 3:1–5

In 2 Timothy 3:1–7 are listed twenty-one sins and weaknesses that Paul wrote would be common in the last days. Choose five or more of them and find newspaper, magazine, or other articles that show that those problems exist in your community or nation.

Activity B Scripture Mastery iconScripture Mastery—2 Timothy 3:16–17

By now you have spent several months studying the scriptures in seminary.

  1. 1.

    Read 2 Timothy 3:16–17 and list the seven ways Paul said we can profit from inspired scripture.

  2. 2.

    Write your testimony and include how you have been blessed by the scriptures.

Activity C iconAre You Fighting a Good Fight?

Think about what you have learned about Paul over the last several weeks of study. After reading 2 Timothy 4:7–8, answer the following questions:

  1. 1.

    Why is this declaration of Paul impressive to you?

  2. 2.

    What three things did he do in his life that tell you he meant what he said?

  3. 3.

    What five things could you do in the coming year to show that you are fighting a good fight?