The Church in Ruins (Brief Thoughts on II Timothy), Part 50

Suffering in the Last Days

We will conclude these brief comments on II Timothy with these words from A.E. Knoch, from his outstanding work The Purpose of Evil:

Paul’s second epistle to Timothy is concerned with the last days, so it applies to us in a very special way, for it is adapted to the conditions under which we live. It is the most perilous period in this administration. The truth is being withstood as never before. Sound teaching is not tolerated and many are turned aside to myths. Disorder is everywhere. Insubjection is rampant and even disguises itself as submission to the Lord. Yet the trials of the time give us an opportunity to endure suffering and shame, which will win a rich reward at the dais.

In some respects it is more difficult to avoid suffering in these last days than in Timothy’s time. The Scriptures declare that, in these days, men will be selfish, fond of money, ostentatious, proud, calumniators, stubborn to parents, ungrateful, malign, without natural affection, implacable, adversaries, uncontrollable, fierce, averse to the good, traitors, rash, conceited, fond of their own gratification rather than fond of God, having a form of devoutness, yet denying its power – such we are bidden to shun (II Timothy 3:1-5). Is it possible to live amongst such “saints” and not suffer? Thank God, the Scriptures do not say that all are to be like this, nor does each one have all of these traits, but we cannot help suffering from their very presence. Until we become acquainted with them we may not even know that they are included in this list. Some sins, such as selfishness, are so prevalent, that they do not impress us at first. Yet it behooves each one of us to be aware of this word, and to watch that we are not even tinged with such sins.

Few of the saints seem to be aware of the stratagems of the Adversary and the pain inflicted by his fiery arrows in case we are not shielded by faith. If they were more alive to the opposition of the world-mights of this darkness (Ephesians 6:11-17), they would not so readily yield themselves to their designs and become his tools in opposing those who are standing in the breach for the celestial truths against which the enemy is arrayed.

Whatever our lot, we can be assured with Paul of our Lord’s rescue in that day “from every wicked work.” He will indeed save His Own for His celestial kingdom, “to Whom be glory for the eons of the eons. Amen!” (II Timothy 4:18).

May we have grace to take advantage of our special privileges, and use them to glorify His Name![1]

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2001, 2009 Bible Student’s Press

[1] A.E. Knoch, The Problem of Evil, pp 276, 277ff, Concordant Publishing Concern, 2008.

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