The opening of 2 Timothy 3: "But you must realize that in the last days the times will be full of danger. Men will become utterly self-centered, greedy for money, full of big words. They will be proud and contemptuous, without any regard for what their parents taught them. They will be utterly lacking in gratitude, purity and normal human affections. They will be men of unscrupulous speech and have no control of themselves. They will be passionate and unprincipled, treacherous, self-willed and conceited, loving all the time what gives them pleasure instead of loving God. They will maintain a facade of 'religion,' but their conduct will deny its validity. You must keep clear of people like this."
No matter where you land on "last days" thinking - whatever eschatology you think is "right" - I'd love to make three simple and essentially incontrovertible statements:
1. We won't fully know about all that until we really and actually know. (After all, the skies "being rolled back as a scroll" etc, should be fairly easy to notice!)
2. Until the exact moment of the End, we are only meant to be about the work of Jesus.
3. In the midst of darkness, Christ-in-you, the "Light of the world," cannot fail to be noticed.
In light of these thoughts, consider 2 Timothy 3:1-5 in the exact inverse, once Jesus has taken over the living of our lives:
"But you must realize that in the last days the times will be full of wonder. His people will become utterly Christ-centered, generous with money, full of kind words. They will be humble and loving, living their lives with great regard for what their parents taught them. They will overflow with gratitude, with holiness, with great affection for others. They will be people of careful speech and have total control of themselves. They will be gentle and highly principled, thoughtful, living Jesus' selfless will, loving all the time what gives God pleasure instead of loving themselves. They will live in the fullness of godliness, and their conduct will prove His validity. You must grab hold of people like this."
Brothers and sisters, because He is ALIVE and because He LIVES IN US, we have nothing at all to fear today or, later, in the End. In fact, any sensation of it being the "last days" should cause us to redouble our passion, both for Union-with-Him and with His care for the lost world.
May our day say "Amen" to that!