2 Timothy 3:1
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
1. The notification of an event as future — "Perilous times shall come."(1) Times wherein it will be hard for people to keep their feet, to know how to carry themselves, to keep out of danger, and keep a good conscience.
(2) "Shall come." They will be on men, in the course of providence, to try what metal they are of; as darkness comes on after light, and adversity after prosperity; in their turn.
2. The time of that event — "In the last days." The days of the gospel are the concluding period of time. In these last days are several particular periods; the first of which was the last time of the Jewish state, beginning from the time of our Saviour, to the destruction of Jerusalem; and more periods followed, and some are yet to come; but from the time of our Saviour to the end of the world, is "the last days."
3. The notice to be taken of that event — "This know also"; rather, "Now know this"; consider it duly, and lay it to heart, that being fore warned, ye may be armed against the "perilous times."
I. WE SHALL CONSIDER "THE DAYS OF THE GOSPEL AS THE LAST DAYS." And so we may take them up in a threefold view.
1. As the last days of the world, the latter end of time. With rela tion to them that oath is made (Revelation 10:6). The morning and forenoon of the world are over; it is afternoon with it now, and drawing toward the evening.
2. As the days of the last dispensation of grace towards the world, with which God's dealing with sinners for reconciliation shall be closed (Revelation 10:7). There have been three dispensations of grace in the world: the Patriarchal dispensation in the first days; the Mosaical dispensation in the middle days; and now the Christian dispensation in the last days. The first two are now off the stage, and shall never come on again; the third now is; and after it there shall never be another.
3. As the best days of the world in respect of the greatest advantages attending them. The last works of God are always the greatest, as ye may see in the account of the Creation (Genesis 1.); so the circumstances of the world to come are greater than those of this. The gospel-dispensation far excels the other two, in clearness, extensiveness, and efficacy, through a larger measure of the Spirit.
II. THE DIFFICULT AND PERILOUS TIMES THAT COME ON IN GOSPEL DAYS. We must inquire what makes these perilous times.
1. An old controversy lying over untaken up. They that are in debt are always in danger. The Jews were from generation to generation murderers of their prophets; there was an old debt on the head of the generation in our Saviour's time (Matthew 23:31); and made their time perilous, for it was like a train lying, which at last came to blow them up (ver. 35). So good Josiah's days were perilous times, by reason of an old controversy laid in the days of Manasseh his grandfather (2 Kings 23:26). Our times are so, by reason of the iniquity of the late times, which is like that of Baal-peer, that brought "a plague on the congregation of the Lord" (Joshua 22:17).
1. Error or corruption of principles spreading. This was foretold to happen in the latter days (1 Timothy 4:1).
2. Immoralities abounding.
(T. Boston, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.