Summary: Paul tells Timothy that at the end of the age men will be "without natural affection."
THE PROPHECY OF PAUL
2ND TIMOTHY 3:3
Intro: Much of the focus in church today is on prophecy, in particular, where we are in the prophetic timetable. Much of the attention is centered on the events and trouble in the Middle East. People today are very interested in what the Old Testament prophets like Daniel, Jeremiah, Joel, Isaiah, and others have to say on the subjects such as the Great Tribulation, the rapture, and the millennial reign. Entire Old Testament books are being scrutinized for information regarding the prophetic timetable. Many look at Jesus’ words in His Mt. Olivet discourse regarding wars and rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes. Certainly this is a passage that is very important to studying prophecy. Obviously the wars and rumors of wars is a very important statement in our study of prophecy. Everywhere we look we see nation rising against nation ands kingdom against kingdom. Worldwide in 1990 there were 16,612 earthquakes recorded, last year there were 25,404. The most well known section of Biblical prophecy is the book of Revelation and its visions, seals, bowls, vials, and beasts. Had I surveyed the audience this morning for your opinion of prophecy, I am sure that many of these prophets and their writing would have been listed as familiar sources of prophecy. I am also pretty sure that one name that would have been left off of the list would have been that of Paul. Paul actually spoke often about the return of Christ in most of his letters. In this letter to Timothy he offers a list of things that will be prevalent before Christ returns, including such things as men being lovers of their selves, coveting, pride, blasphemy, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, traitors, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, and men that have a form of godliness, and denying the power. However, the one that I believe that God would have us focus on is found at the opening of verse three, “without natural affection.” What does this statement mean? It is often defined as homosexuality, but to fully understand being “without natural affection” one must turn to other passages that describe “natural affection.” The Bible tells of many things that are to be the “natural” love of man. Let’s look at a few examples of why I feel that this one statement gives us a good indication of where we are on the prophetic clock.
The most common application of this statement is homosexuality, which is an abomination before God. I know that in our society it is becoming more acceptable by the moment, and Paul warned us that it would in this very passage. Even though it is more acceptable to the world, it is fashionable to come out of the closet, to be open-minded and accepting, while those who oppose this lifestyle are criticized as narrow-minded, old-fashioned, homo-phobic, and so on, God still says it is wrong. Television is filled with homosexual couples portrayed as normal, while anyone who speaks out against it is a bigot. Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Lev 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. Rom 1:26-27 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
Another form of unnatural affection that is prevalent in our day is abuse. Children abusing their elderly parents, when the Bible clearly teaches children to honor their parents. A 1991 government study suggested that 1 to 2 million adults over 60 are abused each year, this includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse. Then there is child abuse. In 1996, 935 children dies as a result of abuse, by 2000 the number climber to 1,201. Approximately 1 million children are abused each year, but the Bible says in Ps 127:3, “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Another form of child abuse is the absent parent. Over 1/3 of America’s children, 24 million, are growing up without their father. 20 million in a single parent home. 1/3 of the births in 2000, 1.35 million, occurred out of wedlock. Children who live absent their biological fathers are at least two to three times more likely to use drugs, to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse, and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents. Absence is also a form of spouse abuse. Men the natural place is in the home with your wife, not the beer joint or ball field with your buddies. Do your buddies wash your dirty clothes? Care for you when you’re sick? Women the same thing is true for you. The old saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder should be that absence makes the heart wander. Then there is spouse abuse. A woman is beaten every 15 seconds. Half of all women will be battered or physically abused in their life. Every six hours a woman is beaten to death. Violence against women in the home causes more injuries to women than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. Surprisingly, some studies have indicated that women were more likely than men to abuse their partner. All of this contradicts what God said in Eph 5:22-28, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” Drug & alcohol abuse. Killing yourself with a bottle or a pill, when the Bible says, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Cor 6:19-20). While there is more that could be mentioned, one final example of abuse is disobedient children. Young people, listen very carefully, when you are disrespectful and disobedient to your parents it is the same as taking a ball bat and hitting them in the mouth. Eph 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”