But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. -- 2 Timothy 3:1
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
This is a verse often quoted by Christians. It seems to indicate that human history and time in general is degenerative. A little further on in this same chapter Paul says, “…while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (v.13). Thus many conclude that everything is running downhill.
I think we have talked before about the Day of the Lord and it not being the end of time or the end of the world, but a time in which God intervenes, sometimes in a very direct way, in the affairs of this world. The Day of the Lord is a day when things get reset. It is a course correction for history. In the time prior to a Day of the Lord, we might expect, then, that things would be off course and getting worse.
I usually see a date of about 67 AD for the writing of the Second Epistle to Timothy. The rebellion by the Jews that led to the siege and destruction of Jerusalem had already begun. God’s wrath was about to be executed by the hand of Titus. Paul and Timothy were living in the “last days”.
We, too, may be living in the last days. Truth is an increasingly rare and precious commodity – so it seems sometimes. If it is the case that we live in a time of deception, we can take some consolation in knowing that we are that much closer to a day when the lies will be stripped away.
The Day of Lord must begin as a kind of winter. The deceivers are rather like autumn leaves ablaze in their momentary glory. The wind of the Spirit is about to blow. Winter has its harsh beauties, but its mercies are cold. Not everything makes it through the winter. The faithful may be delivered by loss as much as through it.