Posted by: SandreS | July 8, 2010

The Days in Which We Live

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

Earlier in Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he told him that “all they who are in Asia are turned away from me” (1:15). Then in chapter 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 3:2-4, the correlation between Romans 1 and II Timothy 3 is extremely remarkable; so much so, that one might 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’ alienation from God, while II Timothy 3 is a history of Christendom’s alienation. No wonder these passages match so well, because Christianity is a part of the Gentile world-course, having 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 Christianity. Interestingly, the Greek word translated “perilous” is chalepos and is used only one other time in Scripture. 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).

Paul 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. This is God’s present-day calling.

In II Timothy 3 Paul tells Timothy about the day in which we live. He tells Timothy that the conditions that he saw 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.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2010

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