2 Timothy 3
2 Timothy 3
2 Timothy 3
Good morning church. We are beginning our service today with a little bit of awesomeness! This morning we get to do, not one, not two, not three, but 4 child dedications to the Lord! The good news is they are all from the same family, so it won’t take all morning. We did one of these recently, and when we did, I took some time to explain what this is and what it is not. I’m not going to go into the same detail this morning. If you missed that, and you’re curious about why we do this, rather than infant baptisms, you can go either to our Facebook page and review the live stream from May 21st of this year, or go to our website oldtowncf.com, look in the archives for the teaching on the 2023 teaching on 1 Timothy 5 and you can watch it.
Mabel Marie Bailey, Annabelle Ruth Bailey, Emmeline Florence Bailey, and Thomas Lawrence Edward Bailey come up here on the stage, you can bring your Mom and Dad up as well. Pastors, Elders and your wives if you are available, please join us as well for the Bailey Brood Mass Dedication.
Kids, to you the Word of the Lord says to you Eph 6:1-3
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
And to Mom and Dad…we are instructed in the book of Deuteronomy 6:5-7
5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
I know this to be true in the Bailey home. Joe and Kate have been a tremendous blessing to our church family since joining us here, and are the reason that some of you have become part of our family as well, as they are good inviters. (yes that is a word)
As they come up before you church, they are making a promise, or a covenant with God, we are here both as witnesses, and as support staff for this family. They are committing to loving their children, and raising them up to know and love the Lord, they are committing to not misrepresent the Lord, and to teach their children the Truth of His Word which we are going to talk about this morning.
We as a church body are taking the time to do this during a church service, so we can say, we are in this with you... and are commited to loving this family and supporting them as they train up these kids in Jesus. Let’s pray.
2 Timothy chapter 3 this morning. As you are turning your Bibles with me or clicking your screens, I want to say Happy Father’s Day to my fellow Dad’s with us this morning. May the Lord richly bless you today. Thank You for leading your family by being in Christian Fellowship this morning and worshiping The Lord with us.
The first five verses of our chapter this morning…beginning in 2 Timothy 3 vs. 1
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
Does this sound like familiar ground? I don’t mean something that we have covered in the past, but rather familiar in that it closely describes the day and age in which we live? Lets go through it again, vs 1 2 Tim 3:1
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
Some translations show the Greek word for perilous here as meaning stressful times, troublesome times, dangerous times. You guys know I believe the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible itself, there is one other place we see this same word in the New Testament and I want to look at that for a moment. It is found in Matt 8:28
28 When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way.
The word that is translated as perilous in 2 Timothy chapter 3, is translated here as exceedingly fierce…so one of the ways that we will know that we are in the last days…2 Tim 3:1
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
Is that perilous times, or exceedingly fierce times will come…now, honestly, as we look at the rest of this description I could go into a bunch of detail on each one, or make each one into almost it’s own sermon, and I probably have as I’ve taught through this portion in the past…verse two. 2 Tim 3:2
2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
We no longer live in a world of tolerance, or to each his or her own, in our present age, our world despises good, so much so that it is willing to do what doesn’t make any sense to anyone, just to oppose good out of principle. 2 Tim 3:4
4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
Haughty (puffed up), remember the story of the rich young ruler friends. One day as Jesus was teaching, he was approached by a young man, the Bible tells us he was a ruler of some sort and he asked Jesus what he must do that he may inherit eternal life.
Jesus began to recite to him the 10 commandments, and the man said Teacher, I’ve kept all of these things since my youth, and then we read…Mark 10:21-22
21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” 22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
He loved pleasure more than he loved God and sadly, traded away eternal treasure for life’s momentary pleasure. Verse 5 says, 2 Tim 3:5
5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
What is interesting to me as a Bible teacher is that when we look at all of these things on this list and conclude that Paul is sitting in his jail cell writing this letter, and whether it be a prophetic gift or some other manifestation of the Spirit like a word of knowledge, it is as though he is looking down a timeline and describing America in 2023. If I am going to have integrity as a Bible teacher, I think Timothy felt the same way that we feel when reading this letter.
Not, oh, Paul must be talking about Father’s Day 2023, but rather, wow, this is today, we must be in the last days, because these are perilous times. I truly believe had Paul been looking down some kind of a cosmic timeline, that every civilization correlating to every notch in time, believed very much the same.
Why is that so? As each generation advances in technology, space exploration, cell phone cameras, clean energy, as we “progress” do we improve as a people? Is our nation united, or have we become the Divided States of America? God has not reveal His Word to us in such a way that anyone reading it would conclude, well we’re safe for a long, long time. God’s not going to return for thousands of years.
So do I believe we are in the last days? I do, not just because I’m supposed to, but God will not be mocked gang, and this verse here, verse 5 are the days that we are living in. Mankind seems to be getting worse and worse, but it is not without spirituality, it is not without religion, scroll through your social media fed today and somewhere, you’ll see thoughts and prayers.
If our country gets attacked tomorrow, churches will be full again, for a couple of weeks. Why only a couple of weeks, because we are living in a culture that wants a form of godliness, we want our best life now. The American mega churches still teach the Bible, here a verse, there a verse…but deny its power. Deny that it is truth.
If you go on an awards show today in America and win a piece of metal of glass that says you’re better than everybody else and go up to that podium and say, I want to thank my Momma and Grandma who loved me, encouraged me, and took me to church, where I found God, who gifted me and made me so awesome, so I want to thank Him. Or I started singing in Sunday School, praising God, and I want to thank Him for that beginning. You will still get applause in America.
But, if you go on to say anything about sin, or call sin sin, rather than what the world calls it, or you say, what Jesus said, that He, and He alone is the only way to Heaven you will be booed off the stage. We are in the days that there is a form of religion, and form of spirituality, a form of godliness, but they deny the power of God to define truth. They deny the Word of God as having the authority to tell us what is right and wrong and how to live.
Nicole and I just took my Mom and Step-father down to the Sight and Sound Theater, in Lancaster, PA to see their production of Moses. Afterward there is a restaurant down the road Millers Smorgasbord that advertises as being PA original buffet and there was an unreal number of choices of things to eat. But that is how people treat the Bible today. I like this, that can go on my plate, not a fan of that, I won’t take that. I won’t consume that. I won’t let that fill me. Chose this, discard that, that is how people, and sadly churches treat the Bible today and that is denying the power and authority of both God and his Word. From such people turn away!
What is scary to me is that when we read this description we just assume Paul is talking about the World not the church. And I think he is, I’m not trying to may the Word say something that it’s not, but we should be all the more concerned when this description that was given with intention of describing the world, becomes more and more like a description of the modern church.
When I read the gospels and Jesus calls someone to follow Him, talk about flee and pursue, over and over again, it is follow ME, and so he arose and followed Him, they immediately left their nets and followed Him, to Levi the tax collector…follow Me, so he left all, arose up and followed Him. When Jesus calls us it is to be all in, not to pick and chose, when and how, His command is like this…Mark 8:34
34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Paul knew this was not isolated to the world, but that it would infiltrate into homes and into the church as well. Verse 6 says. 2 Tim 3:6
6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,
People would be deceived and be led by all kinds of lusts…2 Tim 3:7
7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
This so describes our world. Back when we were in 1st Timothy, I shared with you something Pastor Jim have talked about in the past, something called the Dunning-Kruger Effect. It’s more than just a funny slide, if you study this, it examines self assessment against objective performance. One example is American students self assessment of math skills vs. actual performance on assessment exams. We we learn, we should be in pursuit of truth. Secular scholars may self assess as brilliant or enlightened, yet they are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Corinthians 2 tells us that somethings are spiritually discerned, meaning revealed only by God, to those who know God.
There are all kinds of different paths that people take but the truth is found only in one place, God’s Word. That statement is offense today, but it does not make it any less true. Verse 8
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.
This is a cool bit of information from Paul, because you can search the entire Old Testament looking for these names and their not there, but since I just saw the Moses production at the Sight and Sound theater, I can tell you. No, actually Paul tell us the names here of who the Bible just describes as Egyptian magicians in Exodus 7-8 you can add those chapters to your reading list and check it out.
When Moses is about to talk to Pharaoh about letting God’s people free he asks Moses to perform a miracle for him and Moses tells his brother to throw down his staff and that stick then becomes a serpent to a snake. We are told then that the magicians of Egypt then did the same thing, only Moses serpent eat all of theirs. Moses turned the fresh waters in Egypt into blood, and these magicians turned some of the little water that remained into blood, and then there was the plague of frogs, they called forth frogs, resisting Moses, but if you read through that, they couldn’t hang with him all the way, because Moses was representing the one and only True and Living God. And progressed no further and their folly was manifest to all, and those that live as described by Paul in these first nine verses will have the same fortune.
But not Timothy, Timothy was called to follow Jesus, and He was all in…Paul says in verse 10
10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
Persecuted Antioch Acts 13:50 “50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.”
Iconium Acts 14:5 “5 And when a violent attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to abuse and stone them,”
Lystra Acts 14:19 “19 Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.”
Timothy probably remembered Lystra and the courage of Paul. That is probably what made him want to follow Paul, to be like Paul as Paul followed Jesus.
And then the verse to close the deal if you were on the fence about being a Christian…you will suffer persecution, it’s promised in the Bible!
13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Christian did you know that the Scriptures will make you wise, help you to know things others can’t know, to understand things others can’t understand? One of those primary things is that salvation is through faith which is in Christ Jesus alone.
Why do we study the whole Bible and not just the New Testament or the parts we like? Men of God, women of God, the Word of God, Scripture… 2 Tim 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Application points for us. This does describe our day, so we should be ready as followers of Jesus, to fully follow Him. To forsake all others, to be all in. To not pick and chose what we will do and what we wont. Jesus said, “If you love ME, keep my commandments.
The second point is we don’t want to be a part of this world whether it be inside or outside of the church, that has a form of godliness and denying its power and authority in our lives. And we are to separate ourselves from those kinds of churches and people.
When we are studying, and learning that should always lead to something. We should be pursuing truth, not new things and new experiences that never bring us to a knowledge of the truth.
And finally, the verses in this chapter describe the days we are living in, so the harvest it ripe. The world needs what you have. They need the truth, and they need Jesus! It is the Scripture, God’s Word that will fully prepare us and complete us for this work.
Grace and Peace!