This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
— 2 Timothy 3:1
It is simply a fact that we are living in the last days. All around us, the world is changing at a staggeringly rapid pace, and events long ago foretold in Scripture are unfolding before our very eyes. In light of the increasing turmoil in the world, it can be tempting for us to succumb to feelings of uncertainty or anxiety regarding the future.
But as we talked about in yesterday’s Sparkling Gem, we as believers are to hold fast to God’s higher perspective and take our place as victors in this hour — no matter what is going on around us! We don’t have to wonder about what the future has in store. God’s Word provides us with a clear picture of what we can expect in the coming years and gives us the spiritual tools we need to face these turbulent times and remain victorious. His Word also lays out our role in the midst of this gathering darkness: to live as children of light, reaching a lost generation with His love and His message of hope in Jesus Christ!
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In Second Timothy 3:1, Paul wrote, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” Notice he said these events will occur in the “last days.” The word “last” is from the Greek word eschatos. This word always points to the ultimate end of a thing — such as the last month of the year; the last week of the month; the last day of a week; or the very extreme end of an age. In other words, eschatos doesn’t merely describe the last days in general; it depicts the very last of the last days. It was used in Classical Greek literature to depict a place furthest away, such as the very ends of the earth. It also signified something that is final. It is from this Greek word eschatos that we get the term eschatology — which is a theological term for the study of last times.
By using this word eschatos in this verse, the Holy Spirit is vividly declaring what characteristics will be indicative of society at the very last of the last days. Therefore, the depictions in the following verses of Second Timothy 3 are intended to be signposts that you have entered into the final stage of the last days. If you see these things occurring commonly or on a widespread basis, you are to take it as a signal that we have passed across the line and have entered into the final chapter of history as we have known it.
Thank God that by studying the Scriptures, we can identify where we are on God’s timeline. Because God loves us, He spoke through the apostle Paul to enlighten our eyes and help us see what the world environment would be like in the concluding moments of the Church Age. Having this knowledge before us helps us live soberly with eternity in our view. Time is short, so we must use the time that remains wisely and shine the light of the Gospel into the lives of those whom Satan has blinded.
Because of the word eschatos in Second Timothy 3:1, an interpretive translation of this verse could read:
“You emphatically must know what I am about to tell you. In the very last part of the last times — at the very end of the age and at the very last of the last days — hurtful, harmful, dangerous, unpredictable, uncontrollable, high-risk periods of time will come.…”
As a committed Christian, you have a responsibility to live with your eyes wide open to the events that are occurring around you. And if you have friends or family who are unsaved and blind to the truth, it is time for you to fervently pray for God to open their eyes so they can see and know the truth! Because of the events described in Second Timothy 3, we know that we have already entered into the very last of the last days.
Soon Jesus will come, and everything will change forever. Until then, we have time to pray for those whom Satan has blinded. It’s not that they are naïve — they are blind. Satan has blocked their view and affected their minds. They have no eyes to see. Eyes are created for them when the light of the Gospel, through the work of the Holy Spirit, touches their hearts and minds.
Are you the one God wants to use to share the Good News of Jesus with the people you encounter today so their eyes can be opened to the truth and find true hope in the midst of this turbulent time we live in? Maybe you should quit praying for someone else to do the job and accept the fact that God is asking you to share the Gospel with those who come across your path and need the saving power of Jesus Christ. And you don’t have to do it on your own! He has thoroughly equipped and empowered you to be His witness to a lost world in these very last of the last days!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I recognize that I am living in the last of the last days. Your Word gives me a clear description of the end times and the characteristics that will be evident. Help me live more soberly than ever before with a constant awareness of eternity. Show me day by day how to fulfill my responsibility not only to pray for people to awaken to righteousness, but also to spread the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth, starting with those nearest to me now. I ask You, Father, to give me a spirit of boldness to speak and live without compromise. Jesus is coming, and soon everything will change forever. Help me to be prepared and to prepare others also.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I live soberly in this hour. I set my affections on things that are eternal as I seek first the Kingdom of God and pursue His ways. I do not allow myself to become entangled in low-level living or distracted by the cares of this life. I give myself to prayer, to the study of God’s Word, and to a lifestyle that honors God and blesses people. I keep myself in the love of God so that I remain strong in faith to please God in all things.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Do you know a person or a group of individuals who seem blinded to the fact that we are living in the last days? How does this spiritual blindness affect the way they are living their lives?
- Do you pray for these people on a regular basis? If not, why don’t you make a list of people you know who are lost and begin to pray for their salvation every day. Ask God to send someone to reach their hearts so they can know Jesus Christ as you know Him. Aren’t you glad someone prayed for you?
- Is it possible that you are the person God wants to send to them? Why wouldn’t you want to tell them this good news so they can escape an eternity separated from God? What is holding you back from telling them the most important news they could ever hear?