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Summary: (How to deal with the reality of unredeemed behavior in the church)

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2Timothy 3 – “Mean Christians”

(How to deal with the reality of unredeemed behavior in the church)

Opening

Here’s how things are going to be in the “last days” i.e. NOW.

FACE IT

I want to introduce you to some people, here…

Notice first the misdirected love:

(1) lovers of themselves (“self-centered, narcissistic”)

(2) lovers of money (cf. 1 Tim. 6:9-10 on the love of money)

Being self-centered they are:

(3) boastful—the outward manifestation of the fact that inwardly they are..

(4) proud (“arrogant,” not just a healthy sense of pride)

(5) abusive toward others, which translates blaspheµmoi (“blasphemers”).

Several of the words which follow begin in the Greek with the prefix a=, meaning “without” (as in moral-amoral, theist-atheist), meaning you haven’t got it…

The next five speak of the degeneration of family attitudes and relationships with words that depict the absence of what one would expect..

(6) disobedient (apeitheis) to their parents

(7) ungrateful (acharistoi – charis being our “grace” word!)

(8) unholy (a-righteous)

(9) without love (a-storgoi, trans. “heartless” in Rom. 1:31, only other place used in the NT)

(10) unforgiving (interesting link to Diaboloi, usually translated “devil” with root meaning)

The list widens with the next seven words indicating the terrible antisocial behavior of those who are…

(11) slanderous (needs no explanation – do character assassinations)

(12) without self-control

(13) brutal (lit., “untamed,” the opposite of civilized)

(14) not lovers of the good (a-phil-agathoi; cf. Titus 1:8; Pss. 15:4; 19:8).

The next two characteristics begin in the Greek with the prefix pro-, indicating an aggressive inclination toward vice:

(15) treacherous (pro-dotai, “disposed toward betrayal”)

(16) rash (pro-peteis, “disposed toward recklessness”). The final three characteristics are..

(17) conceited (lit., “puffed up”; cf. 1 Tim. 3:6; 6:4)

(18) lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God

(19) having a form (morphoµsin, “outward shape,” used only here and in Rom. 2:20) of godliness but denying its power (cf. Titus 1:16).

Paul is talking about people in Ephesus, in church.

Ever find yourself saying of another, “How can that person be a Christian?”

· Can that abusive father be a Christian

· Can anyone that proud be a follower of Jesus?

· What about a spirit of unforgiveness; can one be forgiven & not get it?

· How about the ultimate self-seeker, with no visible hunger for God?

· Loveless, and Christian?

This ISN’T about petty views of godliness; these are big problems! They are character issues! This is faith-shaking unredeemed behavior. It’s the stuff that causes others to wonder, is it isolated phoniness, or is the whole church filled with pretenders? Ever been shaken?

· Guy who suggested why I rolled my car en-route to another church (wrong!)

· Girl with the fake leg story who ripped off others and lied constantly..

· Liberal minister on Campus Ministry board.. “just Paul’s opinion.”

The piety was on the outside. They "morphed" into nice little Christians for that purpose, when they gathered, or whatever, but its like the space alien on StarTrek that projects this nice exterior, then gets zapped with a phaser and is shown to be this monster underneath!


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