Summary: This sermon says that Christians should be well-founded on the Word of God.

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2 Timothy 3 (NIV)

Read 2 Timothy 3:1-17.

This passage says that Paul encouraged Timothy to continue in the truth that he learned from God’s Word through his parents. Our message today says that every follower of Christ should be well-founded on the Word of God. We need to give importance to biblical instruction.

Let us find out why based on the experience of Paul and Timothy.

A. Deterioration of Moral Values (vv. 1-9)

1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

Paul described in this passage the deterioration of moral values in the end times. He started by saying “Mark this,” to emphasize that opposition to the truth of God’s Word is not a passing situation but a permanent characteristic of the age. The phrase “last days” refers not to the immediate days preceding the end when Christ returns. Rather it refers to the period that commences when the Lord Jesus Christ first arrived until His second coming. (See Acts 2:14-17)

Therefore the description given by Paul in verses 1-4 is not something future but present during the time of Paul. And it is intensifying (“terrible”) that the level of stress is at its peak in our present situation. Who is responsible? People whose behavior is self-centered, godless, and who spread evil and dead religion in the church.

What is fundamentally wrong with these people is that love is misdirected. Instead of being “lovers of God,” they are “lovers of self, lovers of money, and lovers of pleasure.” Some of these negative values refer to the family life and especially to the attitude which some young people adopt towards their parents – “disobedient to their parents and ungrateful.”

Only the gospel offers a radical solution to this problem. For only the gospel promises a new birth or new creation, which involves “being turned inside out, from self to unself, a real reorientation of mind and conduct, and which makes us fundamentally God-centered instead of self-centered.”

The sad part is the people described by Paul can also be religious. Paul said that they preserved the outward “form of religion” but were “denying the power of it.” They evidently attended the worship services of the church. They sang the hymns, said the “amen” to the prayers and put their money in the offering plate.

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