Summary: We are called to be a holy people and we are called to act that way also
READ 2 TIMOTHY 2:20-22
Notice that there are honorable and dishonorable vessels in the same house!
The way a vessel becomes honorable or dishonorable is by the way that it is used. (EXAMPLE) WRENCH. (ROMANS 9:21)
Sometimes we can do the work of God, or so we think, and not get anything done for God. We like to blame it on the heathens in the church, the church is dead.
Maybe it is not the church that is dead, maybe it is the vessel?
The way that we interact with people that is our attitude toward people and the way that we conduct ourselves can have an adverse affect on that work, or it can be a pathway of opportunity.
Today you have a choice to make, you have to decide whether you are going to be vessel of honor or a vessel of dishonor. I say that the choice is ours because verse 21 says that if anyone cleanses HIMSELF from these things (false teachings).
TRANSITIONAL SENTENCE: Today let us examine the actions and attitudes it takes to remain a vessel of honor for God.
READ 2 TIMOTHY 2:22-26
ACTIONS OF A VESSEL OF HONOR. 22-23
A. Flee. V. 22. 1 Timothy 6:11 says the same thing in regards to riches
1. A continuous action which indicates a habit of life.
2. Flee the youthful lusts.
3. You can get a large audience together for a strip-tease act-that is, to watch a girl undress on the stage. Now suppose you came to a country where you could fill a theater by simply bringing a covered plate on to the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let everyone see, just before the lights went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food? And would not anyone who had grown up in a different world think there was something equally queer about the state of the sex instinct among us? C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)
4. It is easier to abstain than to restrain. A French Proverb
5. In the movie Lifeboat some shipwrecked people are left drifting aimlessly on the ocean in a lifeboat during WW2.. As the days pass under the scorching sun, their rations of food and fresh water give out. The men grow deliriously thirsty. One night, while the others are asleep, one man ignores all previous warnings and gulps down some salt water for a few days. He quickly dies. Ocean water contains seven times more salt than the human body can safely ingest. Drinking it, a person dehydrates because the kidneys demand extra water to flush the overload of salt. The more salt water someone drinks, the thirstier he gets. He actually dies of thirst. When we lust, we become like this man. We thirst desperately for something that looks like what we want. We don’t realize, however, that it is precisely the opposite of what we really need. In fact, it can kill us.
B. Pursue. V 22
1. We are not only to flee youthful lusts, but we are to pursue some things.
a. You flee to something, you don’t just flee aimlessly!
a. Pursuing what is right
b. Chasing after with great effort.
c. "In quality control, we are not concerned about the product." "We are concerned about the process. If the process is right, the product is guaranteed." How relevant to our Christianity. We tend to be more oriented to the "product" of our faith than the process. As American Christians, we tend to desire and demand products of righteousness, but give little attention to the process.