Summary: We live in a rotting world, and yet our response should not be to run and hide. We have the gospel cure that the world needs.
Passage: 2 Timothy 3:1-9
Intro: tracking dogs
(article in www.advancek9sar.com)
Il) humans have 5 million sensory cells in our nose. Dogs have between 125-220 million
1. dogs smell this, faintly at first, and then zero in on location as scent intensifies!
2. because the closer we get to something that smells, the stronger the smell.
4. a sinful world will always have the smell of sin and death, but intensification marks the last days.
5. believers should always be alert to the stench of death, in our lives as well as in the world.
6. saw last week, cutting ourselves off from God’s truth will bring on a gangrenous situation; creeping death.
7. here is what it will smell like, but don’t forget the cure!
8. while the disease is fatal, the cure is found in the life-giving death and resurrection of the perfect Lamb of God, 9. let’s sniff around not only our culture, but our own self, to discover signs of death in time to do something about it.
10. we will know society is gangrenous…
I. When The Horrifying Exception Becomes the Accepted Rule.
1. Paul says the end times will be “terrible”=”difficult, dangerous”
2. we might think this is like our present day, but it is not.
3. look around, and see we are still under “common grace.”
PP “Common grace is the grace of God by which he gives people innumerable blessings that are not part of salvation” Dr. Wayne Grudem, “Systematic Theology”, p 657
4. we saw this is our study of Revelation.
5. the “seals of Revelation 6 are the withdrawing of common grace from the world.
6. essentially, this removes the restraining hand of God from man, and man manifests his true nature.
7. that unrestrained nature is described in vv2-4 here in 2 Timothy
8. two basic groupings of these 18 characteristics of the intensifying sin of the last days.
9. many with the letter Greek “a” in front, which means something that has been removed or rejected.
Il) we use the words “amoral”, “Acapella
10. this is a group of words which describes the loss of something that was good. (common grace)
11. end of v2, “without obedience to their parents”, without thankfulness, without holiness”
Il) by the way, every writer thinks disobedience to parents is at an all time high and cannot get worse. Personal exp.?
12. v3 continues, with 5 out of 6 words starting with “a”
13. without normal family affection of parent for child, without the ability to make peace with others, without power over ones self, and without love for good.
14. in other words, the things that still in our day cause people to shake their heads and sigh will no longer cause that reaction
Il) we have been treated over and over to the video of the school bus fight in Gilbert. Someday, my friends, that will be normal behavior, and there will be no apology
15. we can see the slide toward this, and it is the increasing stench of death.
16. the church tries to stop this steady march downward, but we have to do more than making sinners behave better.
Il) lady who has two cadaver dogs named Grace and Mercy. They follow the scent of death to bring life!
17. we need to bring the gospel cure!
II. When Evil is Embraced as Good
1. there is another large group of words in this infamous 18.
2. most start with the letters “pro”, some with “lover of..”
3. pro means “for”, like “Pro-life”
4. so this is not just “without” normal, good things, but the active pursuit of things that God has called evil.
-v3, “not lovers of the good, but”
5. God has told us that to love self is to die
6. and yet this culture will be consumed with self-love, self-centeredness
PP no more “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” because no one will give, only take
7. “lovers of money”-because of what it can accumulate for self
8. boastful and proud=bragging that goes beyond the truth in an attempt to magnify oneself to impress others. The truth is immaterial.
9. along with this, “trash talking”-abusive speech
10. this last days culture will be all about me.
Il) article about teen moms getting pregnant on purpose because “I want a baby.” “Juno”, a movie about young teen who wants nothing to do with baby after it is born.
11. and so with this cult of self-love comes a terrifying list in v4
12. “treacherous”=”one who abandons another in danger” Traitor, betrayer
Il) Army has a saying “No one will be left behind” But in this culture that worships self, I will step on anyone who gets in my way
13. rash=”hasty, reckless.” This person does not consider the impact on others.