Summary: Sermon based on 2 Timothy 3 to help the hearers understand the times in which we are living & how we are to live as Christians.
“UNDERSTAND THIS” 2 Timothy 3
FBCF – 9/30/20 Refresh
INTRO – After what the entire world saw last night in the Presidential debate (& I hesitate to use the word “presidential”), it just continues to become more & more obvious that we are in uncharted, turbulent, troubled, dangerous waters.
- The level of immaturity shown on that stage by men who are nearly the age of my father when he died was unbelievable.
- The acceptable language of our nation now is degrading, coarse, obscene, vile, & rude. That’s just the way you talk nowadays.
- Civility is dead.
- Respect is dead.
- Agreeing to disagree is dead.
- Courtesy is dead.
- Listening is dead.
Why? B/c the number of people in our nation who are spiritually dead is growing all the time. What we are seeing, hearing, & experiencing now is the norm for a nation that has turned its back on God.
- We’ve flipped Him off
- We’ve ignored Him
- We’ve compromised His Word
- We’ve degraded His name
- We’ve damaged His reputation
- We’ve diminished His commands
- We’ve chosen our way instead of His way, & according to Scripture, when we choose our way that seems right to us, the end will be death
o Proverbs 14:12 – “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
o “There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough; look again—it leads straight to hell. Sure, those people appear to be having a good time, but all that laughter will end in heartbreak.” (MSG)
We seem to think that we can just keep on going down this road & everything will turn out OK. But that’s not what the Bible teaches us.
- Proverbs 14:14 – “The backslider in heart will be filled w/ the fruit of his ways…”
- Galatians 6:7-8 – “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
- Charles Stanley – “You reap what you sow, more than you sow, & later than you sow.”
In 2 Timothy 3, Paul spoke to Timothy about these godless days.
- Urgency in his message – His time was running out
- Intimacy in his message – Deep love for Timothy & the Church
- Consistency in his message – JESUS! THE GOSPEL!
Just as he exhorted Timothy to “understand this,” we need to “understand this.”
- “understand” – ginosko – learn this; be familiar w/ this; recognize & perceive this
- Don’t stick you heads in the sand.
- Don’t try to shirk your responsibility as a child of God in these difficult days
- Don’t live in a fairy-tale world
- Wish we could, but Mayberry is long gone.
What do we need to understand?
THE DIFFICULT DAYS WE ARE LIVING IN – v. 1
“In the last days” – The last days began w/ the ministry of Jesus & will continue until He returns. They’re called the last days b/c in them God is completing His purposes for His people. He’s delaying His return to give us time to do the work that He has called us to do.
- “Every day that Jesus tarries gives us another day to prepare our report card.” (Chuck Missler)
“times of difficulty” – chalepos – violent, dangerous, hard, fierce, injurious, harsh, grievous, cruel, painful, savage
- Same word Matthew used in Matthew 8:28 to describe the demon-possessed men in the Gadarenes – “And when [Jesus] came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, 2 demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way.”
- Demons were controlling those men in those tombs. And demons are controlling men & women everywhere in our nation today.
- The difficulty we are experiencing is demonically influenced.
THE PEOPLE WE ARE LIVING WITH – v. 2-5
Paul gives us at least 18 different characteristics of the people we are living with in our world today, & could probably have listed a lot more.
- Talks about “love” – “Lovers of self…money…pleasure rather than God” – We give ourselves to whatever we love.
- “proud” – one who is an arrogant boaster & braggart
- “arrogant” – haughty, self-exalting
- “abusive” – slanderous, blaspheming, evil-speaking
- “disobedient to their parents” – the sin-sickness of our world has reached into the family. Satan doesn’t care about your kids. Wants to hurt & destroy them & inflict as much pain as possible on them & you