Summary: The Bible unmasks evil so we can see it as it is and avoid it at all costs.
Purpose: To show what evil really looks like.
Aim: I want the listener to know what evil really is and turn away from every form of it.
INTRODUCTION: Paul is warning Timothy that there are difficult times ahead. This means that life was going to get troublesome, trying, uneasy, hard, violent, threatening, and dangerous. In fact, the only other time that the Bible uses this same word is in the book of Matthew when two demon possessed men who, “were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way” (Matthew 8:28 NAU).
Paul, the most visible leader of the Christian church, was just about to be executed for preaching Christ and he knew that things would not be easy for Timothy.
What kind of outlook should we have on the future? We can either be pessimistic and expect everything to fall apart, or we can be blindly cheerful and ignore what is happening all around the world. Paul, on the other hand, gives us a realistic view of the world and then he tells us in verses 10-17 what we should do about it.
1:1-2:13 I. How Should a Christian React to Stress?
2:14-26 II. How Should a Christian Relate to Fellow Believers?
3:1-17 III. How Can a Christian Reside in a Hostile Culture?
Do you realize that the average person in the world hates the Gospel? Why? The Gospel insists that we are rotten sinners who have NO ability to make ourselves good enough to satisfy God and that Jesus is the ONLY solution to our sin problem.
Jesus warned us that we would be hated just because we follow Him: ☛ John 15:18-21 18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. (NAU)
The world also hates us because we believe Jesus when He said, John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. (NAU) John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (NAU)
In order to keep from losing our minds we must,
Vs.1 A. See the big picture
It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine of life and never really see life in its proper context. Paul begins by giving us two important truths.
1. Jesus may come at any time “in the last days”
Daniel chapter nine gives us the big picture of human history.
☛ Daniel 9:24-27 24 “Seventy weeks [490 years] have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. 25 “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. [this is 482 years] 26 “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, [this happened when Jesus entered Jerusalem and presented Himself as King of the Jews] and the people of the prince who is to come [the anti-Christ] will destroy the city and the sanctuary. [this happened in 70AD when the Roman general Titus tore down the Temple] And its end will come with a flood; even to the end [or the last days] there will be war; desolations are determined. 27 “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.” (NAU)
Ever since the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD we have been in the last days. Paul said that the “last days” were coming when he wrote these words.