2 Timothy 3:1
The early Church lived in an age when the time was waxing late; they expected the Second Coming at any moment. Christianity was cradled in Judaism and very naturally thought largely in Jewish terms and pictures. Jewish thought had one basic conception. The Jews divided all time into this present age and the age to come. This present age was altogether evil; the age to come would be the golden age of God. In between, there was the Day of the Lord, a day when God would personally intervene and shatter the world in order to remake it. That Day of the Lord was to be preceded by a time of terror when evil would gather itself for its final assault and the world would be shaken to its moral and physical foundations. It is in terms of these last days that Paul is thinking in the passage.
He says that in them, difficult times would set in. Difficult is the Greek word chalepos. It is the normal Greek word for difficult, but it has certain usages that explain its meaning here. It is used in Matthew 8:28 to describe the two Gadarenes demoniacs who met Jesus among the tombs. They were violent and dangerous. It is used by ancient writers on astrology to describe what we would call threatening conjunction of the heavenly bodies. In the last days, there would come times that would menace the very existence of the Christian Church and of goodness itself, a kind of last tremendous assault of evil before its final defeat.
Nowadays, we have to restate these old pictures in modern terms. They were never meant to be anything but visions. We do violence to Jewish and early Christian thought if we take them with a crude literalness. But they do enshrine the permanent truth that some time must come to the consummation when evil meets God in a head-on collision and there comes the final triumph of God.
Hallelujah! Great is our God and greatly to be PRAISED! Our God is victorious and always will be. Because He is, we too shall be. Jesus has always been victorious. I love reading the Bible because it tells me that God the Father and Jesus the Son have created everything we see and use. Praise God Almighty, Amen!