2 Timothy 3:1
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
Note 1 at 2Ti 3:1: The phrase "last days" is used twice in the Old Testament (Isa 2:2 and Mic 4:1) and four times in the New Testament (Ac 2:17, this verse, Heb 1:2, and 2Pe 3:3). It is also used in Jas 5:3, but it is not speaking prophetically. The phrase "latter days" is used prophetically eight times in the O.T. (Jer 23:20, 30:24, 48:47, 49:39; Eze 38:16; Da 2:28, 10:14; and Ho 3:5).
The Scriptures teach that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit happened in the last days (see note 3 at Ac 2:17). Therefore, if the last days began nearly 2,000 years ago, then we are certainly in the last of the last days. The characteristics of the last days that Paul listed in the next few verses are certainly symptomatic of our society today.
Note 2 at 2Ti 3:1: The Greek word that was translated "perilous" here is "CHALEPOS," and it means "difficult, i.e. dangerous, or (by implication) furious" (Strong's Concordance).
The New International Version says, "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days." The Amplified Bible says, "But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]." The Living Bible says, "You may as well know this too, Timothy, that in the last days it is going to be very difficult to be a Christian."
This is a prophecy that the last days, which are surely upon us, will be very difficult, full of great stress and trouble. Life on this earth has never been easy with our adversary, the devil, seeking to destroy everyone he can (1Pe 5:8), but this verse makes it clear that the last days (see note 1 at this verse) will become even worse. The need for all of us believers to be strong in the Lord has never been greater.
In the following verses, Paul listed several characteristics that are common to mankind in the last part of this age.