We are living in the last age before Christ returns.
LIVING IN DANGEROUS TIMES
A. Time of Extreme Sinfulness
2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
…….In the last days, in which most believe we are living now, Paul said would be dangerously difficult. Sins that are not so obvious are the traps the enemy used to suck in the Saint. These signs are as follows:
2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
…….”For men shall be lovers of their own selves”. This is the sure sign of selfishness. Those who are only worried about their personal well being eventually become covetous, bragging about worldly gain, proud and ungrateful people. People who are ever striving and never satisfied will continue to be this way. It is the cares of this life which rob the focus of the once dedicated soul.
2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent (without self control), fierce (savage), despisers of those that are good,
…….For those who lose natural affection, the the natural ability to know and do what is right, the other sins will always accompany. This is the same result that Paul mentioned was tied to having a reprobate mind in Romans 1:31. The sin becomes so deeply rooted in the souls that it seems the person has lost complete control. Everything that once seemed good has now become despised!
2Ti 3:4 Traitors (betrayer), heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
…….Not only does the once saved individual lose self control, they take pride in the loss, walking around puffed up as if it was planned from the very beginning.
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
…….These people even go to the extent of playing the part outwardly, but still have no power to resist temptation and sin.
2Ti 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
…….Not only will these people go to the death of sin and indulge, but also prey on the weak to fulfill their pleasures!
2Ti 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
…….When people are outwardly religious, but reject the life-transforming power of God, they will inevitably become corrupt. Paul commanded Timothy to have nothing to do with outwardly religious people who reject God’s power.
2Ti 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
2Ti 3:9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
…….Just as the example given in the Old Testament, there will be a time where these type of people will be exposed. Being fooled by the individual that only wants to self destruct and ruin the church, is no different than being that very one. The end results are the same!
2Ti 3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
2Ti 3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
…….Paul brings the readers attention back around to what it means to be a follower of Christ. Just a Jesus carried His cross, we all have a cross to bare. I’ve said it time and time again, our salvation is characterized by how we react to situations! When the attack comes, we must endure! When the temptation comes at our weakest time, we must hold on to deliverance! When persecution seems to prevail, let the fruit of the Spirit; longsuffering and patience spring up that Joy of everlasting life! The end of this scripture says “but out of all them the Lord delivered me.” Why? Because he held on to the purpose! He praised in the middle of the storm! He worshipped in the bottom of a jail dungeon!
2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
…….No matter what comes our way, and he assures is that persecution will come, but we still belong to Christ!
2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
…….That is the difference, true Christians will become stronger in the faith, bearing more fruit, while the evil man will only become worse! It may not be our duty to call out the ones who are affected by the perilous times, but it is our duty to grow stronger in the Lord! You are the difference, so continue through it all to be the difference!!!
CONTINUE IN GODS WORD
A. Be Equipped With the Word
2Ti 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
…….Don’t ever forget what you have learned! Every testimony that been given, let it burn in your memory! Every message that’s been preached that impacted your life, let it ring in your ears forever! Every message that God personally gave you through reading His word, keep it buried in your heart! Every breakthrough you received in times of worship, cherish it and continually return to it! Every altar service that you felt was designed just for you remember it, because there will be another time that you’ll need it!
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
…….One of my favorite scriptures right here! All scripture has been provided for every single question we have and for every single obstacle or turn in the path. He said it’s profitable, or would provide something to gain! Just like an investment, while some may be life changing now, others might not mean much at this very moment but one day it may rescue you in a hard time! “For reproof and correction”. Whether we like it or not, when a child of God is wondering in Spirit and drifting loosely, the Word is provided to convict and correct! A warning here from personal experience, if a brother or sister in Christ comes to sharpen some iron, or to humbly correct your fault, take it and learn from it. When you take it in appreciation you avoid having to apologize for being wrong later. All those who long to stay close to Christ will only be able to find peace in keeping peace with those who are in the body!
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect (complete), throughly furnished unto all good works.
…….God desires us to be completely equipped for every time and season of life! His Word provides the means to eliminate all excuses! When you draw close to His word, you have no other choice than to draw close to Him!
B. Hold on to Right Doctrine
2Ti 4:1 I charge (command) thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
…….I love this verse here; be instant, literally meaning to be present with the same consistency at any given moment! When the outsider needs a witness, be the same every day because you are being watched! What was given with power will be expected of with power! Don’t bottle up what God has made to overflow!
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
…….Because there will be a time that people don’t cleave to the truth, preach it and use it every time it is available! With every question that’s asked, don’t refrain from truth! Never water down a scripture that seems too hard to endure, that may be its very purpose!
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (fiction, novelties).
…….Look and identify all the churches today that are using everything but sound doctrine to soothe the flesh and cater to sin! This is the very time we are living in today. Churches who are focused on making the life of the sinner better without an internal change are producing destruction! This reminds me of an article I read in a newspaper about a local church a few years ago that encouraged people to gather with social drinking while studying the Word. What a shame to what Jesus endured for the sake of truth!!!
2Ti 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
…….Again, no matter who changes, make full proof that you are who you are through Christ without wavering.
BE FAITHFUL UNTIL DEATH
Keep Your Trust in Christ
2Ti 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
…….What a thought that Paul was so settled and satisfied of how he performed the ministry set before him, he could come to terms with sacrificing his own life for Christ! History tells us that he literally ran to the chopping block with the anticipation of seeing his savior!
2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
…….Look at these three facts Paul testified about himself. He had successfully, though at times tirelessly, fought a good fight against the forces of evil. Second, he had completed his course! He never once gave up! Third, he kept the faith. He had not veered from preaching and teaching the truth of the gospel! What a testimony!
2Ti 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
…….Because his focus for so many years was settled on the purpose, he could now settle his focus on the reward! While the majority of people fear death, the Christian can look forward to it knowing that eternity awaits! He said not only me, but the reward is waiting for all those who love his appearing!