Summary: This message is about our relationship with Jesus and others.
RELIGION OR RELATIONSHIP
2 Timothy 4: 3-5
Our text paints for us what I believe is a very accurate picture of the times that we live in. It gives us an example of what we are seeing everyday around us. Even though Paul here is speaking to Timothy, a preacher, I believe this passage is also a relevant word for the body of Christ as a whole.
And as I looked at this text, the Lord began to show me a picture of the church today. As I looked at this, I began to realize that many people don’t want to hear the Word. They just want to be entertained, amused and pacified. They want to shout and cut a step, just for the sake of doing it and they say, ‘WE HAD CHURCH…” They want to shout and holler for the preacher, and they can’t tell you what he was talking about at the end of the service.
Most church people are just church people, they are faithful to what they were raised in and most are not able to quote John three sixteen. They are involved in the activity of the church, with its social and do good things, yet never manifest any fruits of the Spirit; they never talk about the love of God.
I’ve discovered that these people have religion, but no relationship. They have gravy, but no meat. So the question that I want to ask is. HAVE YOU GOT RELIGION OR RELATIONSHIP. There is a difference you know. Religion is what you do over and over again; it’s what you do that’s filled with customs, your habitual activities. Even the devil is Religious, He walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. He’s constantly going around looking for you and for me so that he can take us out. Religion is that which you do habitually, but relationship is something altogether different.
Relationship is a connection, an association between you and something else. It’s kinship that exists between you and someone else. Relationship is the camaraderie/ companionship that exist between you and those that you are close to.
To have relationship, there must first be a commitment. What I’m trying to say is that you need more than just religion; you need more that just a habit…you need relationship with God.
When you are involved in a relationship you want to be near that one, you to want spent time with them, you want to know them better.
When you only have religion and not a relationship, you can’t handle the storms that will come. You will not be able to persevere in the midst of adversity. You will fine it hard when the attacks of the enemy come. Your faith will become faulty, your praise will become passive and your witness will become week, your testimony will become tired.
Paul says THEY REFUSE THE WORD “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine….” They only want what makes them feel, look, and sound good. And instead of learning the WORD, they get caught up in meaningless discussions and disputes.
THEY RELISH WHAT IS WRONG they enjoy, delight, a savor, and take pleasure in that which is wrong. The pleasures of this world are like cotton candy: It looks good, tasty and inviting; but when you bite into it, you discover it’s nothing but air. The world pleases us to easily, that why we spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t even like. “THEY WILL HAVE ITCHING EARS AND HEAP FOR THEMSELVES TEACHERS……….”
God said that He would give us pastors/teachers after his own heart. For the perfecting of the saints, so, make sure that you’re in a place where you can receive correction, instruction and sound doctrine from the man/woman of God. This is healthy in your relationship with the Father.
If you only have religion the devil will keep you busy with all the programs of the church and you will be so involved that you have no time for the reading of God word, prayer and meditation. And when instructions or corrections are given, you run.
THEY RUN FROM WISE COUNSEL “They will turn away from the truth and turn aside of fables.” They will turn to that which looks and sounds good, they will cling to that which is false. Sometime truth will hurt, crush ego and make us reevaluate our lives. Folks who are caught up in religion will refuse the Word; they will relish what is wrong and run from wise counsel.
But God is looking for a people who are willing to develop and maintain a meaningful, productive, and fruitful relationship with Him. Paul says that there are a few things you need to do.