Summary: This is a charge to young people. Any young person who fails to heed this charge is doomed to a barren and empty life and to a lost eternity.
SWORD N SPIRIT
FLEE THE LUST & FOLLOW THE LORD
STATING THE SCRIPTURES (II Timothy 2:22-26)
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
SETTING THE STAGE
Let me tell you the true story of a duke who lived during the fourteenth century named Raynald III. Raynald III lived a life of indulgence and was obese. His Latin nickname was Crassus, which means, “fat.”
One day Raynald and his younger brother, Edward, got into a vicious fight and Edward planned and executed a triumphant revolt against Raynald. Edward took his older brother into custody but did not take his life. Edward decided to construct a room around Raynald in the Nieuwkerk Castle and promised his brother that he would enjoy freedom once again when he was able to leave the room.
Now for the average Joe this wouldn’t have been much of a challenge, because the room Edward built had a number of windows and a door of near-normal size. Neither the door nor the windows were locked - - they weren’t barricaded. So you’re getting the picture by now: In order to experience his freedom again Raynald needed to loose weight. But his brother Edward was no dummy, because he knew just how to keep Raynald imprisoned. Every day he would send Raynald an assortment of tasty foods. And what took place is just sad: Instead of dieting his way to freedom, Raynald grew more overweight and he stayed in that room for ten years until his brother died. But by that time his health was so awful that he kicked the bucket within a year. We can say that Raynald III was a prisoner of his own appetite for food.
So many people today are prisoners to their appetite for lust. Like good ole’ Raynald they may appear to be free, maybe even on cloud nine. They know what they like and they know how to get it. They are doing what feels good to them. But the fact is that every bite they take into the tastiness of lust only makes them more of a prisoner. When you and I indulge in a life of sin and do whatever feels good, we are anything but free. We are, according to God’s Word, slaves to sin.
This is a charge to young people. Any young person who fails to heed this charge is doomed to a barren and empty life and to a lost eternity.
OPENING THE TEXT
The first charge is to flee youthful lusts. The Greek word "lusts" (in the Greek) means passionate desires and cravings. It can mean either good or bad desires, and its meaning is always to be determined by the context (Wuest). The point is this: passionate desire and craving is normal and natural. God made us to desire and crave. It is when we use our passions to hurt and damage that they become evil.