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Did the Bible Predict the Way People Think and Act Today?

The Bible’s Answer

Yes, the Bible foretold that people in general would change for the worse during our time. It indicated that this change would lead to a large-scale moral decay and collapse of social values. * (2 Timothy 3:1-5) But the Bible also foretold that some people would not succumb to this breakdown. Rather, with God’s help, they would work to overcome negative influences and to bring their thinking and actions in line with his will.—Isaiah 2:2, 3.

In this article

 What did the Bible foretell about people’s thinking and actions in our day?

The Bible describes a variety of negative traits and actions that would become commonplace, all rooted in selfishness. People would be “without self-control,” “lovers of themselves,” and “lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God.”—2 Timothy 3:2-4.

True to that prophecy, people in our day are often self-absorbed, focused on self-interest, self-gratification, self-fulfillment, and so forth. These traits are so common that some groups have been called the Me Generation and even the Me Me Me Generation. Many people are so interested in themselves that they are “without love of goodness,” lacking the capacity to love good qualities. Being “unthankful,” they feel no need to show gratitude for what they have or for what others do for them.—2 Timothy 3:2, 3.

Selfishness is at the root of other attitudes that serve as a sign of our time:

  • Greedy. “Lovers of money” are not uncommon—often measuring their success in life by their income or possessions.—2 Timothy 3:2.

  • Proud. Many are “boastful, haughty,” and “puffed up with pride.” (2 Timothy 3:2, 4) Such ones brag and exaggerate their abilities, qualities, or wealth.

  • Slanderous. “Blasphemers” and “slanderers” are widespread. (2 Timothy 3:2, 3) These expressions can refer to those who insult other people or God or who lie about them.

  • Obstinate. Many people are “disloyal,” “not open to any agreement,” “betrayers,” and “headstrong.” (2 Timothy 3:2-4) They show these qualities by refusing to negotiate, to work out solutions, or to honor agreements they have previously made.

  • Violent. Many today are “fierce,” readily giving in to anger, which often leads to brutal or savage actions.—2 Timothy 3:3.

  • Lawless. Jesus foretold an “increasing of lawlessness” during our time. (Matthew 24:12) He also predicted widespread “disturbances,” or “uprisings.”—Luke 21:9, footnote.

  • Lacking family love. Those who are “disobedient to parents” and have “no natural [family] affection” have produced a surge in domestic neglect, abuse, and violence.—2 Timothy 3:2, 3.

  • Religiously hypocritical. An increasing number of people have a mere “appearance of godliness.” (2 Timothy 3:5) Rather than submit to God’s will, they follow religious leaders who tell them what they want to hear.—2 Timothy 4:3, 4.

 What effect would selfish people have on others?

Rampant selfishness has produced an epidemic of mental and emotional distress. (Ecclesiastes 7:7) For instance, some who are lovers of money exploit others. People having no natural affection may abuse family members, which can make those family members depressed or suicidal. And every betrayer or disloyal person leaves emotional scars on the victims of their betrayal or disloyalty.

 Why would people in general change for the worse?

The Bible explains the underlying reasons for the change in people:

  • Genuine love of God and neighbor is decreasing. (Matthew 24:12) As it does, selfishness increases.

  • Satan the Devil has been cast out of heaven and confined to the vicinity of the earth. (Revelation 12:9, 12) Since then, his wicked, selfish influence over the world of mankind has grown.—1 John 5:19.

 How should we react to the negative changes in people?

God’s Word states: “Stay away from those people.” (2 Timothy 3:5, Easy-to-Read Version) This does not mean that we should isolate ourselves from society. Instead, we should avoid making close friends with those who live selfish, godless lives.—James 4:4.

 Would everyone become worse?

No. The Bible foretold that some would be “sighing and groaning over all the detestable things that are being done.” (Ezekiel 9:4) They would reject selfishness and guide their lives by God’s standards. Their speech and actions would be notably different from those of people in general. (Malachi 3:16, 18) For example, they would try to maintain peace with all people and would reject wars and violence.—Micah 4:3.

 Will all human society ultimately descend into complete chaos?

No. Human society will not break down completely. Instead, God will soon remove the people who are determined to violate his standards. (Psalm 37:38) He will establish “a new earth”—a new human society here on our earth—where meek people will live in peace forever. (2 Peter 3:13; Psalm 37:11, 29) This hope is not a fantasy. Even now, the Bible is helping people to change their lives in harmony with God’s righteous ways.—Ephesians 4:23, 24.

^ par. 1 Bible prophecy and world conditions identify our time as “the last days,” which would be marked by “critical” or “perilous” times. (2 Timothy 3:1; King James Version) For more information, see “What Is the Sign of ‘the Last Days,’ or ‘End Times’?