How Insurance Works

Paul’s Warnings and Assurance for the Future

– 2 Timothy for beginners,
lesson number five, Warnings and Assurances for the Future. And we are in Chapter three. And we’re going to try to cover
verses one to 17 this morning as we get to the end of this epistle. Little review for us. So, the Apostle Paul has spent the first half of his letter to Timothy, both encouraging and instructing his spiritual son in the Lord, and his disciple in ministry. So he’s done several things. First he’s tried to encourage
him to be faithful in the Lord to seek after a righteous life and conduct, not to be
discouraged in his work. And to of course follow Paul’s example of a courageous hopeful
attitude when facing hardship, because of his faith in ministry. Also as far as instruction is concerned, his instructions to Timothy mainly deal with Timothy’s response to those in the church
who were causing confusion and loss of faith
because of their teaching about the resurrection. These teachers were promoting the idea that there was no bodily resurrection only a kind of a spiritual
or symbolic renewal when a person became a
Christian at baptism. Their point was well, sure, sure there’s a resurrection
but it’s that resurrection you come out of the water
you’re a new person, that’s the only resurrection you have, there is no bodily resurrection, they were promoting that idea. This caused obviously discouragement and a loss of faith
for many in the church. Because if that was true, while it was the same as
any other religion then. How was Christianity any
better than any other religion? You adhere to the rules and you go through the ceremonies and then you die and that’s it. What’s the point? The whole point of Christianity is, resurrection from the dead. We have a risen Savior. I mean if you take that out
of the Christian religion, it’s not worth it. So Paul’s instructions therefore are focused on how Timothy is to respond to this teaching,
and those who are teaching as well as those
negatively affected by it. How does he deal with the guys
who are teaching this stuff? And how does he deal with the people who are kind of becoming
discouraged because of it? To this end Paul instructs
this young preacher to hold fast to what he has been taught, don’t you be swayed. Also to avoid useless debates and simply preach the Word of God. He tells them to take care, to accurately preach and teach
only what he has received in order to establish and
maintain his own credibility. Don’t be teaching stuff, don’t go beyond what you have been taught, stick to what you have been taught. And preach and teach those
caught up in this heresy with an attitude of kindness
and gentleness and patience so that the truth of the
word will not be undermined by an unchristian character and attitude. Sometimes we we have the right doctrine and the right argument,
but the wrong attitude. So sometimes, we can
discourage a sincere seeker who just doesn’t understand,
we tell them the correct things but sometimes our attitude is such that it’s not loving, is not kind. And that’s nothing new I know people have knocked us, in the Church of Christ have
kind of criticized the church for having that attitude at times. But it’s nothing ne, it’s
not like we invented that. This is the problem back
in the first century. So Paul follows this teaching and encouragement part
of letter with a warning. The thrust of Paul’s
letter has been limited to Timothy’s personal attitude and what has been going
on at the congregation where he serves. Paul will now provide a
warning concerning society and the church in general and
the times that they live in. And what is to come in the future. So we go to chapter three, verse one. He says, “But realize this, “that in the last days
difficult times will come.” So we need to clarify what time period Paul is talking about when
he uses the term last days, because we hear so many teachings where the principle idea
is the last days, okay. The Bible in the Old Testament tells us that the Messiah was coming in the future, but no one knew exactly
when that would take place. Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6, Micah 5:7, The prophets were telling of the Messiah to come in the future, they spoke of Jesus or the
Messiah’s first coming. And while here Jesus
taught that after his death and resurrection and ascension, he would return a second time, okay. Let’s read one passage to get out of 2 Timothy, go to John 14, Jesus says, “Do not let
your heart be troubled “believe in God, believe also in me. “In my father’s house
are many dwelling places “if it were not so I would have told you, “for I go to prepare a place for you. “if I go and prepare a place for you.” And here’s the point right here, “I will come again and
receive you to myself “that where I am there you may be also.” And so Jesus here talks about a return, a second time that he would come. Jesus also emphasized the fact
that the time of his return his second appearance,
was not revealed to man. So we go to Mark 13, he says, “But of that day or hour.” Speaking of his return. “No one knows, not even
the angels in heaven, “nor the Son, but the Father alone.” And so the Holy Spirit
through the Apostles provided more detail about
what would take place when Jesus returned,
but not the exact time. Now we go to 1 Thessalonians 4. Paul writes, “But we do not want you
to be uninformed brethren “about those who are asleep “so that you will not grieve “as do the rest who have no hope.” The ones who have no hope, they have no hope of resurrection, is what they’re talking about here. “For if we believe that
Jesus died and rose again “even so God will bring with him “those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. “For this we say to you
by the word of the Lord “that we who are alive and remain “until the coming of the Lord.” That’s his second coming. “Will not precede those
who have fallen asleep.” The problem in Thessalonica
was that, some were teaching that oh, the resurrection
has already happened you missed it. [laughing] You missed the boat. And so Paul is reassuring them, “Don’t worry, when Jesus comes “those who are dead are not going “to kind of miss the resurrection “like only the living
ones are going to go, “everybody’s going to go with Jesus.” And he breaks it down he says, “For the Lord Himself
will descend from heaven “with a shout with the
voice of the Archangel “and with the trumpet of God “and the dead in Christ will rise first.” Oh okay, there’s the order. All those who died in
Christ, all the faithful ones who died in Christ, and that includes all the way back to Abraham, Moses all of those who died,
believing in the promise, believing in Christ when he came. All of those people they’re going to rise from the dead first, he says. “Then we who are alive.” Meaning there will be people on earth living when Jesus returns. And so the believers who are alive when Jesus returns the
second time, and he says, “Those who are alive and remain “will be caught up together with them.” In other words, the dead in Christ the faithful throughout the
centuries, they rise first. And the ones who are alive when he comes they join them, and
where do they join them? In the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always
be with the Lord forever. Notice, there’s no while we
do a thousand years here first and then there’s, there’s none of that. I’ve told you before it all happens the twinkling of an eye. The return, the destruction of the earth, the resurrection, the coming together the being in the air,
the judgment of Satan. The judgment of the evil
and the disbelievers. Bing-bang-boom it’s all done
in the twinkling of an eye. And so, Paul is giving the kind of the short form here of that, in 1st Thessalonians. So Paul, or the other writers
mention the last days. So Paul here, he’s talking about the
last days over here right? They’re talking about a period of time that stretched between Jesus’s cross. His death, his burial, his
resurrection, his ascension. And Jesus’s return at the
end of the world to judge. Those are the last days. Therefore, in the first verse when Paul mentions the last days, he’s not referring to that period of time that shortly precedes Jesus’s return. A time that modern-day prophets spend a whole lot of energy
trying to predict every season, they throw up information board and their lines and arrows and there’s like this is
happening and that is happening and they’re trying to
explain the last days, the last little time before Jesus returns and how you’re going to be able to know because of the north is
going to be against the south and there’ll be a war. They write entire books about, he’s not talking about
the last couple of days years or century, before Jesus returns, when he says the last days. When Paul talks about the last days he’s talking about the time
that he himself was living in, as well as the times that
we’re living in today and all the time that passes until Jesus suddenly
appears a second time. A time that nobody knows, it’s
so interesting how many times in the Bible, it says nobody knows. And how many times people today pretend that they know. [laughing] The Lord Himself is saying nobody knows. Even the Son doesn’t know, meaning Jesus, the human side of Jesus,
not the divine side, the human side he didn’t. The Father is going to
determine that he says. Okay, so all the time between the cross and Jesus’s return
those are the last days. This is what the writers of
the New Testament understood, a couple of examples. In Acts 2:17, “And it says and it shall be “in the last days God says, “that I will pour forth
my spirit on all mankind “and your sons and your
daughters shall prophesy “and your young men shall see visions “and your old men shall dream dreams.” Well when did that happen? Well it happened in Pentecost. The Spirit was given to the Apostles, and they began to speak in tongues, and miracles took place and
that was 2,000 years ago. And yet the Prophet
says, in the last days. Well yeah, that was the
beginning of the last days. In Hebrews 1:2, he says, “In these last days.” Meaning the son he says, has spoken to us. Excuse me God rather. “In these last days, has
spoken to us in his Son “whom he appointed heir of all things “through whom also he made the world.” Well, when did the Hebrew
writer write Hebrews? Well, he wrote it back
in the first century. And what is he saying? In these last days. So he the writer, understood
that he, through inspiration, he was living in the last days. And his argument wasn’t so
much these are the last days, his argument was that God has spoken to us now through Jesus. No more through the prophets,
no more through the rabbis, no more through the high priest. In these last days, since Jesus has come in all these last days, God now speaks to us only
through Jesus his son. 2 Peter 3:3, “Know this first of all
that in the last days “mockers will come with their mocking “following after their own lusts.” Again, he understood they
were living in the last days. So you can’t project ahead and say, Oh, no, no. In the year of the Apostles,
in the first century they were referring to some future time where the return of Jesus was imminent. And my thing, my point is what brings you to assume that? Certainly not these passages, because these writers were assuming they were living in the last days. So in the passage that we’re looking at, Paul is trying to help Timothy
see beyond his own situation and get a kind of a big picture view of the world and the church
and what the future held. Because of sin and many false notions and ideas in the world, things were not going to get
better, they would deteriorate. Timothy may have thought,
wow Jesus has come. Atonement for sin has been accomplished. Miracles have been performed. The Apostles are planting churches, and now there’s a second generation happening himself, second generation, young preachers him, Titus, these guys. He’s thinking, all right there’s no way to go but, but up. And Paul is trying to bring
him into reality here. Yeah, it’s good, and yes
we’ve accomplished a lot but you need to understand
something about the world. The coming of Jesus and his sacrifice, the preaching of the gospel and the establishment of the church along with the promise of Jesus’s return was God’s response to a fallen world. Not a spiritually viable world. The point he’s going to
be making to Timothy is you still live in a fallen world. And I would repeat we still live, 2,000 years later of Christianity we still live in a fallen world. I know, sometimes we look at the politics I don’t even want to get into that. But we look at the politics and we read about what’s
going on, it’s discouraging. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, it’s just
discouraging what’s going on. Of all the fighting and this and that. And we’re thinking, oh wow, could times be worse? We live in a fallen world, what should we expect? So this passage may have been Paul’s way of providing a quote, reality check, to a young preacher’s inward focus because of the difficulty. He thinks that the trouble
he’s having in Ephesus, is like the whole world. And Paul is saying what
you’re going through is just like a microcosm
of the bigger picture. Paul has coached to Timothy in how to preserve his own faith and how to successfully
carry out his ministry of preaching and teaching God’s Word even in the face of opposition. Even in the face of
opposition within the church that’s the hardest way to preach. But in verses one to
nine of chapter three, he opens Timothy’s eyes to the true gravity of the
situation, that all Christians as well as ministers face
in this lost and dark world. In this time period, the last days right. From Jesus’s cross til
Jesus’s return, the last days. Paul is saying there
will be difficult seasons or periods when wickedness will flourish. That’s the main message
here of what he’s saying, and isn’t that the truth? Isn’t that what history is like? Continual war broken
up by periods of peace. Continual war broken
up by periods of peace. There are times when it
seems we’re at peace, things are going well, there’s prosperity even in our own nation. And then it goes south, all of a sudden there’s a war that breaks out, there’s a misunderstanding
there’s a leader that arises that’s dynamic but evil. If you think things are going bad today I don’t know if any of us
in this room were alive during World War II, alive as adults let’s put it this way. But you talk to those 90 year olds who may have been very young
people during World War II, that’s pretty scary stuff. When the entire, it seemed
the entire world, was at war. And they were playing for keeps. If you lost you were subjugated it wasn’t your country anymore. Now think about the people who lived in France and
Holland and your Poland. Like that country, man. Their country wasn’t theirs anymore. The Nazis came and then they split up their country with the Russians, that’s terrible. So Paul is trying to open Timothy’s eyes to the idea that the world is a bad
place, is a dangerous place. And so in this time period,
the last days he says, they’re going to be difficult seasons when wickedness will flourish. So I’m telling you this to
put into context the verses that we’re going to read. Now, in verses two to five, he says, “For men will be lovers of self, “lovers of money, boastful,
arrogant, revilers, “disobedient to parents,
ungrateful, unholy, “unloving, irreconcilable,
malicious gossips, “without self-control, brutal. “Haters of good, treacherous, reckless, “conceited lovers of pleasure,
rather than lovers of God. “Holding to a form of godliness “although they have denied its power, “avoid such men as these.” Not just people in the church, here he’s talking about people. So there’s a certain order to the evil and sin listed here by Paul. Lovers of self, in other words they love self rather
than God, they’re selfish. Lovers of money, greedy, worldly, the gratification of self is a priority. Boastful, bragging about self. Arrogant, overbearing towards others. Revilers, meaning angrily
criticizing both God and man. So these first five are
the general characteristics of wickedness seen in evil people. He names more specific sins that underline these general attitudes, so these are kind of general attitudes. And so can you imagine if you
have leaders in your nation that this is what drives them, this is part of their character. So now he gets more
specific in the next list. Disobedient to parents,
meaning early rebellion, their rebellious nature was seen early on. Ungrateful, a companion sin to rebellion, it is the first sin that
leads to complete wickedness. Romans 1:21, “And they
refused to give thanks.” And when he says and they
refused to give thanks, in Romans, he then describes
the downward spiral, but it begins there he says. Unholy, no respect for what is sacred. Unloving, without natural affection. Irreconcilable, in the Greek meaning one who will not declare a
truce in order to end a war. In other words, a person
where you cannot appeal to this person’s better nature because he doesn’t have one,
or she doesn’t have one. Malicious gossips, spread or intentional evil
facts or stories about others. Politically we call it propaganda. Uncontrolled, untamed,
unrestrained by conscious or love, by conscience or love. Haters of good, without
love for what is good in itself or good for another. Treacherous, traitorous a person who has no loyalty whatsoever. Reckless, headstrong,
imprudent, rash, foolish. Conceited, puffed up, a know-it-all. Yeah, I don’t know about you but I’ve read some histories
and some biographies about world leaders some who are good, and others who are evil. And I remember Hitler for example and then what I’ve read about him. These last couple of ones described this guy to a tee, to a tee. Reckless, he was reckless
and foolish and egotistical, decided he was going to wipe out Russia, those who study military history know his big mistake was he was
winning, and then he decided you know what, Russia our ancient enemy he decided to turn his
attention to Russia. And when he did that boy, that’s it. His troops got caught
up there in the winter and it was a long story but
that was the fatal mistake. And his fatal mistake, caused by what? His ego, his treacherousness, because he had an
agreement with the Russians while plotting to attack them. No loyalty, the guy reckless, conceited, wouldn’t listen to his generals. His generals, the
military guys were saying, they just counted soldiers, tanks, time. Not a good idea, let’s
win, where we’re winning. Let’s not divert, let’s stay the course. He knew better. This guy who never rose above
being a corporal, I believe, he knew better than his
lifetime military men who were military men. Lovers of pleasure, the
love that should go to God is lavished on self. So in verse five, Paul
notes that many people who practice these things and
have these sinful attitudes cover these with the
veneer of religiosity. That’s his point there. They deny its power, meaning oh yes they give lip service to religion. Oh yes, it’s an important
thing, but they deny its power. They talk the talk and they
may even attend church, but aside from their show of religion they do not demonstrate the power and the results of true
spirituality in their lives. Things like good works and
a Christ-like character and a pure life, and influence
for Christ in others. I’m not pointing out anybody in particular but one president in our nation, one president after another
has been photographed coming out of one of the churches in Washington on the Lord’s Day. With their Bible in their hand
and their wife by their side every president has got a picture of that because many people in the United States are believers and churchgoers. But if you study the lives of these men you might not see, really? This guy was a churchgoer? So this attitude is nothing new. Verse six and seven we keep going. He says, “For among them are
those who enter into households “and captivate weak women
weighed down with sins, “led on by various impulses. “Always learning and never able to come “to the knowledge of the truth.” So here Paul gives an example of how some of these religious imposters, prey on women, this is
the example he gives. Women with sensitive consciences who are too weak willed to
abandon their various lusts and embrace the gospel
that would free them. They instead latch on to
these religious manipulators who calm their consciences for a time with false religious or
psychological comfort food, in exchange for loyalty,
money or sexual favors. Yes, even that was going on. Again, we think that’s a new phenomenon. You see these preachers, the well-known ones on TV whatever. And then you hear about what’s happened, they’ve run off with someone
else’s wife or whatever. “Wow! “I didn’t think that was possible.” Well of course it’s possible, and it’s been going on
since the first century because Paul is talking
about that very thing here. Verse eight and nine. He says, “Just as Jannes
and Jambres opposed Moses “so these men also oppose the truth. “Men of depraved mind, rejected
in regard to the faith. “But they will not make further progress “for their folly will be obvious to all “just as Jannes’s and
Jambres’s folly, was also.” So Paul compares the actions
of the religious imposters that he’s just described
to the two magicians in Pharaoh’s court, who
opposed Moses’s effort to appeal for the release
of the Jewish people held in slavery there. If you remember the story when Moses goes before the Pharaohs, these guys here reproduced some of the miraculous signs, actually the first three
that Moses performed. But then they were unable
to duplicate the rest. Well, in the same way
that these two magicians. And by the way it’s the
only place in the Bible where they are named, they’re not named in the Old Testament but they’re named here for some reason. These two magicians did
not prevail against Moses. The religious imposters therefore and the general wickedness in society Paul is saying, will not prevail against the gospel and its
ministers and the church. So he’s saying these
magicians back in Moses, like I’m saying to you
some of these things we think are just a phenomenon that takes place in our generation, and I’m saying to you look it
was happening 2,000 years ago well Paul is saying exactly the same thing to Timothy 2,000 years ago. He’s saying, you think powerful evil men are obstructing the work of
the gospel and the church? So he points him back to Moses and he said this was going on thousands of years ago, well for them maybe 1,500 or so years ago in the court of the Pharaoh, where powerful wicked men performed quote false miracles in opposition to Moses. And so wickedness and
evil and powerful evil, he’s saying is nothing new. It was their way back
fighting against the truth when Moses was alive it’s
happening with you now, and it will continue to
happen into the future throughout the last days
until Jesus returns. But eventually this truth, the gospel, will become as obvious to all just as the failure of the
Egyptian magicians opposition eventually became obvious. Eventually Moses did enough miracles that they could not
reproduce, that demonstrated, if they had power it’s no power compared to the power that Moses has. And by implication he’s saying to Timothy, people are fighting against you and people are opposing
you but you stick at it you keep going and you’ll see that the power of the gospel
will outlast and overcome the power of evil that is opposing it. In the church, he says,
as well as in the world. So with this general comparison
Paul ends the section the warning section in his letter. In chapter three verse 10
he moves on to another phase of his encouragement, he says, “Now you followed my teaching,
conduct, purpose, faith “patience, love,
perseverance, persecutions “and sufferings such as happened to me “at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra. “What persecutions I
endured and out of them, “out of them all the Lord rescued me. “Indeed all who desire to
live godly in Christ Jesus “will be persecuted, but
evil men and imposters “will proceed from bad to worse, “deceiving and being deceived. “You however, continuing
the things you have learned “and become convinced of knowing “from whom you have learned them. “and that from childhood you
have known the sacred writings “which are able to give you the wisdom “that leads to salvation through faith “which is in Christ Jesus.” So in these verses Paul summarizes not only his life in ministry
but his ministry with Timothy. The takeaways for Timothy
reading this passage are, first of all you’ve had
a good example in me, keep following it. Don’t let the opposition that
you are suffering now stop you it didn’t stop me, I’m
still at it, he says. Even though I’m in jail, I’m
still at it, you do the same. Secondly, a reminder
that ministry is hard. Ministry is hard and sometimes dangerous, don’t be surprised, don’t be discouraged. You can be hurt, and
you can be disappointed or you could be insulted or
you can be a lot of things but don’t be surprised,
don’t ever be surprised. Ministry is hard work,
it goes well for a time and then it gets hard, it gets difficult. Rely on the Lord he says, rely
on the Lord in all things, and he will both provide and rescue you. One of the problems with
preachers that get into trouble is that they’ve encouraged
the congregation to rely on the Lord, but then when it comes for them to do it, they don’t do what they
have told others to do. Don’t be discouraged
when you see evil upon evil in the world, and it only seems to be getting worse this is how the world operates. Don’t be surprised, this
is how the world operates. What will we do if evil takes over? Well we, you and I, we know what we’ll do, we’ll continue doing
what we have always done. Worship the Lord, share our faith, maintain our faithfulness. Sometimes it’s easy to do that, sometimes it’s difficult to do that but we always know what
it is that we are about. We always know what our role is, there’s no confusion in our minds. And stay focused, stay focused, to Timothy he says stay
focused on God’s Word and remember those who taught you and ultimately brought you to salvation. Despite the evil in the world
and the challenge of ministry Paul encourages Timothy to find hope and direction in God’s Word. Which has led Timothy to salvation, which has led Timothy into ministry. And now Paul says which also will provide what he will need in the future, it always comes back
to God’s Word, always. Chapter three, he says, “All Scripture is inspired by God “and profitable for teaching for reproof “for correction for
training in righteousness; “So that the man of God may be adequate, “equipped for every good work.” So Paul is always calling
Timothy back to the scriptures to provide faith, hope, courage
and perseverance in trial. With these verses he reminds Timothy why he needs to rely
exclusively on scripture to safely navigate the world, and effectively lead and teach the church. There’s a reason why he needs
to always depend on the word. Number one, the word,
the Bible, the scriptures they’re inspired. The information and
direction comes from God so Timothy can use them with confidence. Where does my confidence come to speak? Well it comes from here. What is my prayer? My own personal, his prayer, but my own personal prayer is always Lord please help me be accurate. Help me accurately teach
the spirit and the letter of what you have written, period. Another reason to rely on Scripture. They were given for a purpose, they’re not just some random books that some guy slapped together, there’s a reason that God gave us this. And Paul names some of them. They’re adequate, they’re
given for a purpose, they’re given for teaching, teaching what? Teaching God’s will, God’s
will is revealed here, what does he want? They’re good for reproof, meaning used to verify
the truth or the value of an idea or an action. How valuable is this idea
that someone comes up with? Well, compare it to the scripture. You’ll find how accurate that idea is by comparing it to the scripture. Does it reflect what
the Scripture teaches? Then it’s valuable indeed. It’s good for correction he says to maintain the proper course, a course correction on
our spiritual journey. It’s like a sailing ship,
it’s like the rudder, this is the rudder that makes sure the wind blows us to the right or to the left. The scripture always helps us
to come back to true north. And of course good for
training in righteousness. To train and teach how
to think and how to act in a righteous or an acceptable manner. To help the believer
mature in godly character and godly service. What do we use? We use this. Why do we have Bible study? There are a lot of
churches all they have is, they have a worship, they have communion, they have worship, they have 10:15 what they call a homily. A little what we call
a Devo, and that’s it they’re good to go for
the rest of the week. Why is it that we have a Bible class, where we actually study
the scripture itself and then a good 30 to 40 minute, less secondary less, and then we have more
teaching Sunday night then more teaching on Wednesday
and other opportunity, why? Why do we do that? Well, we do that for this here. We want to grow as Christians. So, despite the sorry state of the world and the challenges of
ministry in the church, Paul is confident that
if Timothy stays faithful to God’s Word in both his
conduct and his teaching he will succeed in
maintaining his own salvation, and he will bring others
to salvation as well. The bottom line and the
final result is always, will the minister himself remain faithful and will he help the church
to remain faithful as well? I’ve said it a thousand
times I’ll say it again. When the Lord comes, his second return, he’s not looking for a big church, he’s looking for a faithful church. If you’re five people
meeting in your living room and you’re faithful,
he’ll take you with him. If you’re 5,000 people meeting
in a $50 million building, but you’re not faithful to
his word, yeah that won’t do. Faithfulness is the key. All right. All right that’s it. One more class and
we’re finished 2 Timothy and then we’ll move on to Titus and that’ll be end of this series, all right, thank you very much.

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