2 Tim 3:10-4:8
Keeping the faith

Good evening/morning to all. This weekend is Youth Weekend, if youíve noticed by now, we have young people leading us in worship, thereís also flyers in your bulletin and booths downstairs that will tell you more about what our youth ministry is all about.

You know, as I was preparing for todayís message, I was asking God, Lord, what is Your message to our young people today, as well as to our church regarding raising the next generation? What is the most important lesson that we should be passing on to our youths? If I had one opportunity to share Godís word, what should I preach about? After much thought and prayer, God led me to this age-old passage in 2 Timothy, on keeping our Christian faith in this world and age that we live in, which I believe is the message for our youths today, as well as for the church as parents, teachers, leaders and disciplers of future generations. Allow me to commit this time to the Lord in prayer before we look into His word.

Dear Lord Jesus, we commit this time into Your hands, open our ears and our hearts to Your holy word, speak into our lives through Your Holy Spirit, and empower us to be faithful to obey all that You teach us. In Jesusí name, we pray, Amen.

ILL: In an interview with Newsweek on 14 Aug 2006, Billy Graham, then aged 88, was asked what would he do if he could live his life over again. The article writes: If he had his life to live over again, Graham says he would spend more time immersed in Scripture and theology. He never went to seminary, and his lack of a graduate education is something that still gives him a twinge. "The greatest regret that I have is that I didnít study more and read more," he says. "I regret it, because now I feel at times I am empty of what I would like to have been. I have friends that have memorized great portions of the Bible. They can quote (so much), and that would mean a lot to me now." Now here was a man, a faithful servant of the Lord that has committed over 50 years to reaching the lost for Christ, over 50 years of Christian ministry and preaching Godís word, yet still wishing that he could have studied and read the Bible even more.

Today we will be looking at what it means to keep the faith, through the last words of another faithful Christian, the apostle Paul, from a passage in 2 Timothy, often believed to be Paulís final letter before his death. What insights can we glean from the Scriptures, through the words of a faithful servant of God at the end of his life?

1. (3:10-13) Pursue a godly life; expect persecution (way of life)

- Prior to this passage, Paul had just finished describing the godlessness and false teachers in the last days, summed up in verse 5, "having a form of godliness but denying its power"
- v. 10 he starts off this section with "you, however" (but), showing the contrast between them and young Timothy, reminding him of his own life example
- "know all" = closely followed: