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Summary: THE FAITHFUL MINISTER MUST BE PREPARED TO STAND AGAINST THE INCREASINGLY BLATANT DISPLAY OF DEPRAVITY UNLEASHED BY APOSTATE HYPOCRITES

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BIG IDEA:

THE FAITHFUL MINISTER MUST BE PREPARED TO STAND AGAINST

THE INCREASINGLY BLATANT DISPLAY OF DEPRAVITY UNLEASHED

BY APOSTATE HYPOCRITES

(3:1) INTRODUCTION: WAKEUP CALL = STATEMENT OF THE DANGER LURKING AROUND THE CORNER

“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.”

cf. 1 Tim. 4:1-3

A. Forewarned is Forearmed – “But realize this”

B. The Future is Now and it is Almost Gone – “in the last days”

C. Ministry is Guaranteed to be a Tough Business – “difficult times will come”

Future tense seems to indicate that although we are already in these last days, times will get especially bad right before the return of Christ.

I. (:2-5A) CATALOG OF CORRUPTION / DESCRIPTION OF DEPRAVITY

A. Their Primary Interests / Motivation / Heart

1. “lovers of self’ = this is fundamental

place themselves first in all things

Example of Christ = did not please Himself – Rom. 15:3

2. “lovers of money” = this follows closely after

Luke 16:14; 1 Tim. 6:10

money and materialism being the means people pursue for self-gratification

3. “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God”

Church needs to be careful that it does not buy into this “entertainment” orientation

Towner: “the loving of pleasure is not something that is isolated, it is not an extracurricular activity that can be added to our schedule, apart from taking a

heavy toll in another area.”

B. Their Pride

1. “boastful” – Rom. 1:30 – bragging about themselves

Kent: “Boasters are those swaggering, bragging persons who glory in making a.big display of themselves, whether the realm be in riches (1 Jn 2:16) or in

knowledge (Rev. 3:17).”

2. “arrogant”

James 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5 – God is opposed to the haughty

C. Their Rebellion – in Attitudes and Actions and Relationships

1. “revilers” – destructive speech; against both men and especially God

2. “disobedient to parents” – rebellious towards authority figures

Towner – one of the best indicators of rebellion – “for the attitude toward parents was understood as a reflection of a deeper attitude toward God (see Ex

20:12; Deut 21:18-21; 1 Tim 1:9).”

3. “ungrateful” – Luke 6:35; Rom. 1:21

Kent: “no feeling of dependence on the assistance of others”

4. “unholy”

5. “unloving” – without natural affection; cf. growing divorce rate (Kent)

Rom. 1:31

6. “irreconcilable”

not interested in pursuing peace

7. “malicious gossips”

8. “without self-control”

will not have the will power and strength necessary for a life of self-control;

no restraint of their sinful lusts

9. “brutal”

opposite of mild or gentle; untamed and ferocious

10. “haters of good”

11. “treacherous” – betraying confidences

12. “reckless”

13. “conceited” – blinded by pride and conceit

Towner: “… the vice catalog (1 Tim 1:9-10; 6:3-5), functions lke a ‘wanted’ poster, though its intention includes both identification and denunciation. While the caricature may be excessive, it makes absolutely clear the wickedness of the false teachers.”

D. Their Hypocrisy = Powerless Apostates

“holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power”

II. (:5B) CALL TO MARK AND AVOID

“avoid such men as these”

The only response to Apostasy is Separation

III. (:6-9) CONDEMNATION OF APOSTATE LEADERS

A. (:6-7) Their Methodology = Targeting Weak Women

“For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women”

“Weak Women” because they are:

1. “weighed down with sins” – Perfect tense

2. “led on by various impulses”

3 “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”

B. (:8) Their Model = Jannes and Jambres in the OT – Characterized as:

(probably Egyptian magicians – Ex. 7:11-12)

Boldness of Paul in using this analogy to put himself on the same plane of Moses – deserving of respect and submission to his teaching as the truth from God

1. “Opposing the Truth”

by means of counterfeit miracles

2. “Men of depraved mind”

Hendriksen: “The very organ that was given to men in order that they might be able to receive and reflect on spiritual realities has been defiled.”

3. “Rejected as regards the truth”

Hiebert: “’Reprobate’ means that they have been tested in regard to ‘the faith,’ the Christian teaching, and like counterfeit coin have been found wanting, hence

must be discarded as worthless. The truth which they claim to bring in their teaching, upon examinaion, is found to be counterfeit gold.”

C. (:9) Their Final Grade:

1. Failure -- “But they will not make further progress”

2. Exposure

“for their folly will be obvious to all”.“as also that of those two came to be”

Campbell: “The lack of sense and stupidity of these men will be so obvious to all those living in the last days, that their advancement beyond a certain point will be stymied (cf. Luke 6:11).”

Stott: “We sometimes get distressed in our day—rightly and understandably—by the false teachers who oppose the truth and trouble the church, especially by the sly and slippery methods of backdoor religious traders. But we need have no fear, even if a few

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