Posted by: SandreS | October 7, 2009

The Church in Ruins (Brief Thoughts on II Timothy), Part 30

It Will Get Worse

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come (II Timothy 3:1).

Earlier, Paul had reminded Timothy that “all they which are in Asia are turned away from me” (1:15). He did not tell Timothy to be faithful and things would be restored. If you are looking for the restoration of “the early church” you will be continually frustrated and discouraged. All that faith can desire is that a remnant of “faithful men” will continue to come out and stand apart from the world’s religious system, and in completeness and simplicity be who and what they are in Christ.

We know that this is the condition, because Paul goes on to tell us about the future of the Body of Christ. He tells Timothy that the conditions that he sees in Asia will only get worse. Although “church history” gives constant testimony to this fact, we need not consult it to document the spiritual decline and captivity of the Body of Christ. One needs only to read II Timothy.

The character of the last days is strongly marked here, and gives no hope for Christianity as a whole (J.N. Darby).[1]

In II Timothy 3, Paul prophesied that the “last days” of the Body of Christ would be “perilous times” (3:1), and that “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (3:13). As we read :2-4, the correlation between Romans 1 and II Timothy 3 is remarkable. So much so, that one would almost ask Paul, “So, what’s new Paul? There is nothing new here, what kind of prophecy is this?”

The difference is this: Romans 1 is a history of the Nations, while II Timothy 3 is a history of “Christendom.” No wonder these passages match so well, because the members of the Body of Christ have joined the Gentile world-course, and now they have the character of the world and its religions (i.e., “the mystery of iniquity”), instead of having the character of Christ manifested in their lives (i.e., “the mystery of godliness”)!

Paul uses the phrase “perilous times” to describe the condition of “Christendom.” Interestingly, the word translated “perilous” is only used one other time. It is found in Matthew 8:28 where it is translated “fierce,” and is used in connection with two men who were possessed with devils. Christendom is possessed with the “doctrines of devils” just as Paul had warned concerning the “latter times” (I Timothy 4:1).

(to be continued)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2001, 2009 Bible Student’s Press


[1] J.N. Darby, Synopsis of the Books of the Bible.

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