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Summary: Why should I be concerned with the future of America when it’s future seems pretty bleak at best” rather than saying, “IT’S NOT OVER TIL IT’S OVER!”

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IT’S NOT OVER TIL IT’S OVER!

2 Timothy 3:10-4:8

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come (2 Tim. 3:1)

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been extremely burdened about the condition of our country and the direction that we’re headed in. This has been made evident in some of my talks, and even in some of my posts on FB. But in an effort to not sound repetitive, there’s not much I can really tell you that you don’t already know. The frustrating part however is that even as believers, we sometimes have the tendency to let the culture around us dictate our trust in God’s Word and our responsibility to share our faith. And it’s times like these when it becomes easy for some to just sit back and say, “Well what’s the point. Why should I be concerned with the future of America when it’s future seems pretty bleak at best” rather than saying, “IT’S NOT OVER TIL IT’S OVER!”

Well let me tell you something church, now is not the time to give up! Because that’s exactly what Satan wants us to do. No, now is the time to pray for revival in America and take a stand for biblical values! Now is the time to live today in light of tomorrow and so this morning I want to go over four instructions that will help us do just that:

1. FOLLOW THE FAITHFUL (2 Tim. 3:10-12).

After writing about the signs of the "last days" and the evil that would come, Paul commends Timothy for following his example. This contrast is made clear as Paul begins verse 10 with the word “But”. He’s basically saying, “False teachers live and teach this way, but you have followed the examples that I have set for you.”

Who are you following? As Christians, we should be following the example of Christ first and foremost. But there are other faithful examples found in Scripture for us to follow as well, such as Paul. Following Paul means following his lifestyle, pursuing the same goal, holding the same faith, being patient and loving.

Another question, and perhaps a better question, is who’s following you? Whether you realize it or not, someone is. Others are looking at us to set examples for them to follow, or in some cases, examples to be avoided. I was licensed to the ministry this month 5 years ago. That’s not a very long time, I admit. But God has been with me every step of the way and He is the reason that I’ve progressed so quickly. A lot of the things I’ve learned have resulted from 11 years of experience in business operations. Other lessons I’ve learned have been from other pastors. And in the majority of those situations, it saddens me to say that I’ve learn more about what not to do from them than I have learned what to do.

Notice in verse 12: Paul is saying that persecution is not the exception, it’s the rule. At the time Paul wrote this letter he was imprisoned because of his faith and he was nearing his own execution and so he encourages young Timothy to remain faithful because Paul knew that he would soon have to stand on his own two feet. As we approach the "last days," the times foretold in prophecy, those of us who are faithful to God will stand out in the crowd.

Contrary to popular belief, God’s not concerned with how many FB friends you have or how many people follow you on Instagram. The purpose of the Gospel is not to fit in with the lost world, it’s to stand out…

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom. 12:2).

So, if you’re faith makes you unpopular at school or at work…GOOD FOR YOU! God has called us to be different and He’s even given us fair warning through His Word that we would be persecuted because of who we are. The problem is, most “so called” Christians didn’t count the cost of what it meant to follow Christ before they signed up.

2. TRUST THE TRUTH (2 Tim. 3:13-17).

We don't have to look around long to agree with Paul on this one. Just turn on the radio or tv; heck, you can even check out some of the books at the local Christian bookstore…there are plenty of deceivers present in our world today.

But amongst all this deception, we still have the Bible as our guide. And it will lead us day by day, all the way to the finish line.

The Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable.

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