Sunday, February 11, 2018

Paul's Epistles – II Timothy – Part 5: Terrible Times in the Last Days

Paul's Epistles – II Timothy – Part 5:
Terrible Times in the Last Days
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
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This second letter from Paul to Timothy will be the next “epistle” we examine.

After writing his first Epistle to Timothy, Paul left Corinth, and set sail with Titus for Crete, where he left him to set the Church in order (Titus 1:5).

The key-word in II Timothy is “Ashamed.”

“I must not be ashamed of my Lord, His Gospel, or His suffering saints (II Timothy 1); How can I become a workman that “needs not be ashamed” (II Timothy 2 & 3.), and then the Lord will not be ashamed to own and stand by me (II Timothy 4).

Introduction to II Timothy
Appeal for Loyalty
Remaining Loyal to Christ and Paul’s Teaching
Warning Against Quarreling About Words

Terrible Times in the Last Days

II Timothy 3:1-9 (66 AD, approximately one year after the first Epistle to Timothy)
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

The overall message of this epistle to the church is;

Loyalty to the Lord and Truth in the view of persecution and apostasy

a. Paul appeals to Timothy for his loyalty to Christ Jesus, and Paul’s teachings
                                                                 i. This is, the “true” foundation of Christianity

b. Paul re-explains the basics of his teachings for Jews and Gentiles
                                                                 i. As well as explained about how to deal with false teachers

c. Paul then teaches about the proper behavior for Followers of Christ
                                                                 i. Not to get caught up in arguing over mere words

                                                              ii. Paul states in II Timothy 2:22 this is foolish and stupid, and only hurts the faith of those who hear

                                                           iii. Paul continues saying, “instead”, flee evil desires of youth
1. Young argue over pointless things
2. Whether chronologically or spiritually speaking

                                                            iv. Paul says, pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace

                                                               v. Along with others who call on the Lord out of a pure heart

a. There WILL be terrible times in the Last Days
                                                                 i. People will be lovers of themselves
1. selfish
2. self-centered
3. #1 - It’s all about “me”
4. This is in opposition to what Christ commanded us, to love God with all our heart, mind, body and soul, and love our neighbor as ourselves.

                                                              ii. Lovers of money

                                                           iii. Boastful - prideful braggers who believe for one reason or another, they are a “cut above you”, better than you, from a higher class, greater tax-bracket, better educated, etc...

                                                            iv. Proud

                                                               v. Abusive - because others are beneath them and do not matter.  They are the magnifying glass, and you are the ant

                                                            vi. Disobedient to their parents - a sign that when the child grows, they will also be disobedient to God the Father

                                                         vii. Ungrateful - because they think everything is “owed” to them - entitled

                                                      viii. Unholy

                                                            ix. Without Love

b. I Corinthians 13
                                                                 i.  If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongsLove does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truthIt always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.

 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

c. But wait...there’s more about False Converts!
                                                                 i. They are unforgiving (how dare you do something wrong to ME!)
                                                              ii. Slanderers
                                                           iii. Without self-control
                                                            iv. Brutal
                                                               v. Do not love good
                                                            vi. Treacherous
                                                         vii. Rash
                                                      viii. Conceited
ix. Lovers of pleasure (Acts of the flesh)
1. Galatians 5:16-26  So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

                                                               x. Rather than lovers of God (Walking in the Spirit)

d. They (False Converts) have a form of “godliness” but deny the power of God
                                                                 i. We all know people like this

                                                              ii. We sometimes call them fake-Christians

                                                           iii. They say the words, do the “things”, behave the way they are supposed to, all for show.
1. These people crack under real pressure

2. Their house is built upon sand, rather than rock

3. They are as Christ described, “White washed tombs, beautiful on the outside, but full of dead man’s bones”

                                                            iv. Paul is clear with Timothy about these types of people, VS. 5 “Have nothing to do with such people.”

a. They are the kind who worm their way into homes
                                                                 i. and gain control over gullible women

                                                              ii. These false converts are loaded down with sins (un-repented, on-going, living in a state of continuous sinning)
1. Since they do not repent (turn away from sin), they cannot be forgiven of that sin, if they even ask

2. Therefore, they are “loaded down” with sins

                                                           iii. They are swayed (persuaded, influenced, won over, led by) all kinds of evil desires

                                                            iv. Always “learning” but never able to come to a knowledge of the Truth

b. Just as Jannes and Jamres opposed Moses
                                                                 i. So also, these false converts (teachers) oppose the Truth!

c. They are of depraved (immoral, corrupt, evil, wicked) minds
                                                                 i. As far as faith is concerned, they are rejected

1. Matthew 7:21-23 (Jesus) “ “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

2. Jesus then continues to explain “why” He did not know them... Matthew 7:24-2724 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

3. They never put their faith in Christ.

CONCLUSION – but they (false converts/teachers) will not get very far

Because their folly (foolishness) will be clear to everyone.
You may fool some, but you do not fool most.
You never fool God.
You may only be fooling yourself!

The only hope for false converts is;
1)     Acknowledge Christ Jesus is Lord and Savor and put your trust in Him!
2)     Confess your sins and repent! THEN you will be forgiven

What then?
Philippians 1:5-6
because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

 Next week Paul gives Timothy his final charge

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