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This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
(2 Tim. 3:1)
In this passage in Second Timothy chapter 3, the Holy Spirit pointed toward the future and prophesied that in the very last of the last days, certain characteristics would become globally more prominent and commonplace than ever before. But I want to assure you that the Holy Spirit didn’t give us all these prophetic insights to scare us, but rather to prepare us to live victoriously in these last days. He forewarned us so we could reinforce ourselves and make sure we’re living right for Christ until the glorious moment when He returns for His Church.

What the Future Holds Beyond All Shadow of Doubt
The apostle Paul wrote these words in Second Timothy 3:1 under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and it was, of course, no mistake that he used the words, “This know….” This word “know” is from the Greek word ginosko, and this is very important because in this particular case, it describes something that is emphatic or absolutely certain.

By employing this word at the beginning of this verse, the Holy Spirit is speaking in the clearest of terms. He’s saying, “This know beyond a shadow of a doubt — what I’m about to tell you is an absolute certainty.”

It’s as though the Holy Spirit through Paul was pointing His finger 2,000 years into the future as He began to describe what would happen in the Church and in the world in the last days. And the intention of the Scripture was not just to speak to Timothy, but to also inform us — those who would be living in the last generation.

So the Holy Spirit says, “Know this emphatically, of a certainty, and without a doubt that this will absolutely happen in the last days.”

The word “last” in this verse is translated from the Greek word eschatos, and it’s where we get our word eschatology.  Eschatology describes the study of last things, but when you see this word eschatos in the Greek, it doesn’t just describe the last days — it describes the very ultimate end of something.

For example, eschatos wouldn’t just describe the last half of a year; rather, it would describe the very last month of the year — or the very last week in a month or the very last day in a week. In other words, eschatos portrays the very ultimate end of a thing.

Well, what emphatically, of a certainty, and without a doubt is going to happen in the very ultimate end of things — in the last of the last days?

The Holy Spirit says it very clearly: “Perilous times shall come.”

That word “perilous” is an interesting word. It’s translated from the Greek word kalepos, and it is used in only one other place in the entire New Testament. When you see where else in Scripture this word kalepos is used, you’ll begin to have some insight into why the Holy Spirit used this interesting word to describe the last of the last days.
And when he [Jesus] was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce….
(Matt. 8:28)
Let’s look at the word “fierce” in this verse because this is the word that’s translated from the same Greek word kalepos that’s used in Second Timothy 3:1. So just by reading Matthew 8:28, we know that when the Holy Spirit says, “In the last days, perilous times will come,” He is describing exceedingly fierce times.

From the word kalepos, we can gather that the last days will be characterized by danger and difficulty so fierce and so furious that it will serve to reduce men’s strength. But we’d have to look at the specific characteristics associated with these two demon-possessed men to fully appreciate what Paul intended to convey as he wrote Second Timothy 3:1.

First, Matthew 8:28 tells us that there were two demon-possessed men. When you study Mark and Luke, those authors say there was one demon-possessed man. This is not a conflict of Scripture. Matthew gives the more general, broader picture while Mark and Luke simply deal with the one man who was the worst-possessed of the two.

The first thing we find is that these men were so exceedingly fierce “…that no man might pass by that way” (Matthew 8:28). The word “fierce” can also be translated from the Greek as high risk, treacherous, destructive, and in danger of causing damage. The idea the Holy Spirit is conveying here is that if you were traveling in the vicinity of these two demon-possessed men, it was very likely that you would be hurt in some way. The area where these two men roamed was a very dangerous, treacherous place to be — so much so that people avoided the area entirely in order to avert any encounters with these “exceedingly fierce” men.

Copyright © Renner Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Rick Renner
Web site: Rick Renner Ministries
Rick and Denise met while they were each on an individual quest to wholeheartedly follow God’s plan for their lives. Rick was a college student, growing in his teaching ministry. Denise was a talented vocalist. She chose not to pursue a course that held the prospect of performing with the Metropolitan Opera so that she could instead pursue a relationship with Rick and fulfill her heart’s desire to enter full-time ministry.

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