Summary: Exposition of 2 Timothy 2:4 about the Christian Worldview attitude of believers related to the vision of our church
Text: 2 Timothy 2:4, Title: Cross-dressing Soldiers, Date/Place: NRBC, 7/6/08, AM
A. Opening illustration: story about Rene Descartes’ from Think Biblically, p. 45
B. Background to passage: As we continue to think about the vision and future of our church, today we will look at the next phrase in the vision statement that’s on your bulletin. Worldview is a complex term that is used regularly to mean a lot of different things. But the basic definition is just how it sounds—the way that one views the world. It is made up of five components—Metaphysics (reality), epistemology, anthropology, theology, and ethics. Your worldview colors everything you think or do; from politics, to music, to marriage, to church. According to Barna only 8 % of Americans even get close to a biblical worldview, although 69% claim to be Christian. And Barna only has five characteristics. According to Paul’s writing there should be a pretty significant difference in the worldview of a believer and others in the world. Paul likens it to the difference that is seen felt between the civilian and military world. The Queen Mary story, DWYL.
C. Main thought: In the text we will see the main points of a Christian worldview, and try to related it to what we are doing at New River and what is going on in your own lives. For our duty is to produce disciples that think, evaluate, and live like radically, sold-out, duty-bound, Christ-exalting, God-adoring people.
A. One Engaged in Warfare
1. The old KJV translates this “one that warreth,” others say, “one serving as a soldier,” or it could be translated “one that engages in military activity.” Paul assumes that we all know that we are in a battle. And he also assumes that everyone in uniform is engaged in the battle. It is a Christian truth that will affect every decision that you make: Life is War! The forces of darkness are not out there playing tittly winks or having a business meeting about nothing. They are fighting tooth and nail for your destruction. And they don’t do it democratically; they take orders and follow them. The life of a civilian is very much different than that of a soldier. No weekend warriors back then. Military men looked, acted, prioritized, and thought different than those not engaged in a war.
2. Eph 6:11-13, 5:14, 1 Thess 5:6, Rom 13:11-14, 1 Pet 5:8,
3. Illustration: “Christianity is not a settle-in-and-live-at-peace-with-this-world-the-way-it-is kind of religion” "I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain." –C. S. Lewis, “Until you believe that life is war – that the stakes are your soul – you will probably just play at Christianity with no blood-earnestness and no vigilance and no passion and no wartime mindset. If that is where you are this morning, your position is very precarious. The enemy has lulled you into sleep or into a peacetime mentality, as if nothing serious is at stake.” -Piper
4. But maybe this is not a good assumption. Many of us are spiritually asleep at the wheel. We don’t get alarmed at the plataeuing of the church, at the approximately 250K people that die every day (85% of which are not Christians), at the thousands of unreached people groups, or the thousands of lost people here in Tifton, or the 20-30 lost people within sight of your front porch, or the 20 lost people in your family that show no evidence of saving faith, or the defection rate of our young people, or the lack of passion for Christ within our churches! If we were bothered by it, we would be doing something about it. We are not taking steps to fight lostness in our own families, let alone the nations of the earth. We do not have wartime mentality. Reaching about the sacrifices America made during the depression era for the war effort this week. We value comfort and abundance and safety far too much. And when we are asleep on duty, radical assaults by the enemy can ravage the landscape of faith, education, family, culture, or politics. Do you look like a soldier? Do most things in your life clash with culture? Does most of your existence go against the grain of life?
B. Refuses Entanglement
1. Another thing a soldier does is to refuse to become entwined with the civilian world. That is what this word Paul uses means. That means that a good soldier of Christ will refuse to be involved in even “good” things that might hinder or restrain or restrict him from fully serving Christ. One paraphrase rendered it “a good soldier doesn’t hold a civilian job.” The idea is that we have job, and we should be about it.