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2 Timothy 3:1-5

2 Timothy 3:1-5

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!In this passage, the Apostle Paul gives a list of characteristics that describe people living in the last days before the Lord returns. If we look at that list, and we're honest, we wil admit that this accurately describes the society that we live in today. The very first characteristic is the dominating characteristic from which the others originate, "Men will be lovers of themselves." All of the other characteristics exist because of self-love, self absorption, and self-centerdness. Our society has rejected the true knowledge and authority of God, and we're now experiencing the consequences.We are seeing a whole generation of people that have grown up being taught that there is no God, and that they are only the result of evolution. The result is increasing lawlessness and hopelessness, which are the natural outcome of life without God. Because, if there is no God, there is no ultimate standard of right and wrong, and each individual gets to determine for himself or herself what is right or wrong, like it says in Judges 21:25, "...Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." If you have been brought up being taught that there is no God, and therefore no ultimate standard of right and wrong, then you are ultimately your own moral authority, and you get to decide what is right or wrong. And if you get to decide, not God, then there is nothing wrong with going into a school and shooting everyone, or in raping, or robbing, or doing drugs, or killing policemen. And this is exactly what we are seeing, mass lawlessness, which, as Jesus said, is also accompanied by "Love grown cold." (Matthew 24:12).Another prevelant characteristic of society today is nihilism, which is the belief that life is ultimately meaningless, because there is no God, and therefore no purpose to life. This results in a mindless pursuit of pleasure and self fulfilment which in the end turns to despair and finally self destruction. This is where society is at. This is why we have school shootings, why we have a war on police, why we have rampant drug use and rampant immorality, and why everything is falling apart.As hopeless as it seems, God is still in control, and God has a plan for dealing with the evil. That plan involves the administering of the only thing that can change the human heart, because ultimately, the wicked human heart is the root of the problem. In Romans 1:16, Paul says, " For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." and in II Corinthians 5:17, he says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." People can not change themselves, only God, through the power of the gospel can change people. And God leaves the church (The body of all true believers), in the world for the express purpose of the proclamation of the gospel.Although the church can not altogether stop the disintegration and rotting of society, the church can slow the progress of it. In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus refers to believers as both salt, and light. Salt because salt retards the rotting process. The church is supposed to slow down the disintegration of society, not only through what we proclaim, but how we live. And the church is also supposed to be the light by proclaiming the only hope or light for mankind, the gospel of Jesus Christ!" . Unfortunately, the church today in most cases is not that distinguishable from the rest of the world. In verse 5 of II Timothy 3, it says, " having a form of godliness but denying its power..." Many people today, including in the church, claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. They profess that they believe in Him and His death on the cross for their sins, but in reality, they do not live for Him! Our salvation is not defined by what we profess to be believe, but by what we actually believe! And what we actually believe will be shown by how we live. In Matthew 7, Jesus describes two gates, two roads, and two types of believers. Only one gate, and one road actually lead to heaven, and only one of the believers is actually saved. Both believers call Him Lord, but He only knows one of them. In verse 20 of Matthew 7, He tells us that you will know false followers by their fruit, and in verse 23, He tells us that He never knew them because they "Practice lawlessness."The church today (Christianity) has lost it's effectiveness because we have become verse 5 of II Timothy 3, we have a "Form of godliness, but have denied it's power!" Instead of focusing on Studying the Word of God, and then OBEYING it, we have turned christianity into "Fire insurance against hell", and a way to have God be at our beck and call to make us healthy, wealthy, and prosperous. The result is that the world sees that we are not any different from them, and as a result, they reject the message that we proclaim.Now more then ever is the time that the world could be receptive to the gospel, if, they could see the changed lives that result from salvation. In order for that to happen, we as christians must live out the Word of God for the world to see. It's time to stop living like the rest of the world for self, and in mindless pursuit of pleasure, and start living for the Lord in obedience to Him!In John 14:15, Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." Here are a few of His commandments:Matthew 22:37-40 37 Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."John 13:34-35 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."2 Timothy 2:19 19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity."1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;Matthew 28:18-20 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.Colossians 3:1-5 1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.Colossians 3:8-10 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,Romans 6:1-2 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?It's not too late for Christians to make a difference for the Kingdom, but it depends on each of us living out a life that's centered on the Word of God, and a life that's been transformed by the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel! When people see that it's real they will listen to the message! 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!

In this passage, the Apostle Paul gives a list of characteristics that describe people living in the last days before the Lord returns. If we look at that list, and we're honest, we wil admit that this accurately describes the society that we live in today. The very first characteristic is the dominating characteristic from which the others originate, "Men will be lovers of themselves." All of the other characteristics exist because of self-love, self absorption, and self-centerdness. Our society has rejected the true knowledge and authority of God, and we're now experiencing the consequences.

We are seeing a whole generation of people that have grown up being taught that there is no God, and that they are only the result of evolution. The result is increasing lawlessness and hopelessness, which are the natural outcome of life without God. Because, if there is no God, there is no ultimate standard of right and wrong, and each individual gets to determine for himself or herself what is right or wrong, like it says in Judges 21:25, "...Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." If you have been brought up being taught that there is no God, and therefore no ultimate standard of right and wrong, then you are ultimately your own moral authority, and you get to decide what is right or wrong. And if you get to decide, not God, then there is nothing wrong with going into a school and shooting everyone, or in raping, or robbing, or doing drugs, or killing policemen. And this is exactly what we are seeing, mass lawlessness, which, as Jesus said, is also accompanied by "Love grown cold." (Matthew 24:12).

Another prevelant characteristic of society today is nihilism, which is the belief that life is ultimately meaningless, because there is no God, and therefore no purpose to life. This results in a mindless pursuit of pleasure and self fulfilment which in the end turns to despair and finally self destruction. This is where society is at. This is why we have school shootings, why we have a war on police, why we have rampant drug use and rampant immorality, and why everything is falling apart.

As hopeless as it seems, God is still in control, and God has a plan for dealing with the evil. That plan involves the administering of the only thing that can change the human heart, because ultimately, the wicked human heart is the root of the problem. In Romans 1:16, Paul says, " For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." and in II Corinthians 5:17, he says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." People can not change themselves, only God, through the power of the gospel can change people. And God leaves the church (The body of all true believers), in the world for the express purpose of the proclamation of the gospel.

Although the church can not altogether stop the disintegration and rotting of society, the church can slow the progress of it. In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus refers to believers as both salt, and light. Salt because salt retards the rotting process. The church is supposed to slow down the disintegration of society, not only through what we proclaim, but how we live. And the church is also supposed to be the light by proclaiming the only hope or light for mankind, the gospel of Jesus Christ!" . Unfortunately, the church today in most cases is not that distinguishable from the rest of the world. In verse 5 of II Timothy 3, it says, " having a form of godliness but denying its power..." Many people today, including in the church, claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. They profess that they believe in Him and His death on the cross for their sins, but in reality, they do not live for Him! Our salvation is not defined by what we profess to be believe, but by what we actually believe! And what we actually believe will be shown by how we live. In Matthew 7, Jesus describes two gates, two roads, and two types of believers. Only one gate, and one road actually lead to heaven, and only one of the believers is actually saved. Both believers call Him Lord, but He only knows one of them. In verse 20 of Matthew 7, He tells us that you will know false followers by their fruit, and in verse 23, He tells us that He never knew them because they "Practice lawlessness."

The church today (Christianity) has lost it's effectiveness because we have become verse 5 of II Timothy 3, we have a "Form of godliness, but have denied it's power!" Instead of focusing on Studying the Word of God, and then OBEYING it, we have turned christianity into "Fire insurance against hell", and a way to have God be at our beck and call to make us healthy, wealthy, and prosperous. The result is that the world sees that we are not any different from them, and as a result, they reject the message that we proclaim.

Now more then ever is the time that the world could be receptive to the gospel, if, they could see the changed lives that result from salvation. In order for that to happen, we as christians must live out the Word of God for the world to see. It's time to stop living like the rest of the world for self, and in mindless pursuit of pleasure, and start living for the Lord in obedience to Him!

In John 14:15, Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." Here are a few of His commandments:

Matthew 22:37-40 37 Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."

John 13:34-35 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

2 Timothy 2:19 19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity."

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;

Matthew 28:18-20 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

Colossians 3:1-5 1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Colossians 3:8-10 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

Romans 6:1-2 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

It's not too late for Christians to make a difference for the Kingdom, but it depends on each of us living out a life that's centered on the Word of God, and a life that's been transformed by the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel! When people see that it's real they will listen to the message!

info@mttaborbyers.org

P.O. Box 748

278 S. Sherman Street, Byers, Colorado 80103

(303) 822-9366