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2 Timothy 3

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Verse 1

Week 8

2 Timothy 3:1-7

A FAITHFUL SERVANT IS SEPARATED

“3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come."

Little did Paul know of the twenty-first century! He was speaking of what he saw on the horizon relating to the Roman Empire and its ways with people. He had his own experiences to relate to the subject as well.

I think we can all look forward and tell our children that we too are in perilous times and that further bad times are on the horizon. This doesn’t take a prophet, only someone with open eyes and half a mind.

Within the church I personally see perilous times. We have some really false teaching in some of the movements. We have major compromise of life in some of our movements. To see trouble for the church is simply looking at the facts.

We all know that the truth that will encourage in all of this is that Christ said there is nothing that will prevail against the church. This was not only a promise from almighty God but it was also a prophecy based on the decrees of God - don’t think we need to worry about the church ultimately - it will survive. It already has had its ups and downs, but it is moving forward as the Lord directs.

Verses 1-7

APPLICATION:

1. So, based on verse one, what perilous times do you see coming for the church? What problems are we going to be facing in the future?

a. Homosexuality and its acceptance within the church. Several denominations already ordain homosexual pastors. The homosexual community would have us believe that the plain statements of the Scripture don’t relate anymore. I would guess that some of the large homosexual churches one day want to be part of denominations, conventions, and fellowships.

b. Music in the church is already out of hand within the evangelical community. Nothing seems to be out of line for the church service. We have Christian “Raves” for all practical purposes – they have mosh pits as well as the hard rock music to go with them.

c. For the more conservative churches we will be looking at the thought of ordaining women to the ministry. There is already a real pressure to do so in the less conservative churches.

Christianity Today’s website carried an article (3-12-03) relating to a problem that has arisen within the missionary arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The group has made a change in their doctrinal statement and has asked all missionaries to sign it. At that particular time ninety-nine percent of the missionaries had ignored the request. I have read that since most have signed but not all.

Some have left the mission due to their refusal to sign. “"I can’t pledge to act in accordance with something where I have differences of opinion and think it goes against Scripture," Rick Dill told Christianity Today. "Over half the Baptist pastors in China are women. Are we willing to say they’re out of God’s will?"” (Christianity Today April 2003 TIME TO DECIDE by Ken Walker)

Relating to the statement of faith: “First adopted in 1925, the faith statement has become more conservative through three revisions since 1963. The BFM of 1998 included a section saying that wives should "graciously submit" to their husbands. In 2000 the statement added the wording that "the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture" and that the statement was an "instrument of doctrinal accountability."” (Christianity Today April 2003 TIME TO DECIDE by Ken Walker)

d. Lack of morality is already a creeping problem in conservative churches. Churches are seeing their young married couples swapping wives, we see adultery almost accepted within the conservative church. This will most likely increase.

2. When we looked at the word blasphemous I mentioned “Any language that takes away from the correct image of God should be called blasphemous.”

Can you think of situations where this might be true even though we might not really think about it being the case?

a. When evolutionists speak of the billions of years and millions of years since different things lived, are they not really speaking against God and all that He is?

b. Giving indication that God is less than He is would fit this consideration. We heard a missionary that was breaking laws in his country justify his actions with the statement that Christ used half truths. This casts great doubt on the righteousness and veracity of God.

3. We mentioned despisers of all that is good. I saw an interview of one of the Muslim leaders from Great Britain that had been influential in the lives of some of the recent terrorists. They asked him what he wanted in the world. He proclaimed that the world was Gods and that God requires that Muslims reclaim it for him. The interviewer asked what if someone did not want to be a part of a totally Muslim world. The answer was simply that they had to leave – they would leave by death.

We might make mention at this point of those within Christianity that are calling for making this into a Christian world. Many teach that we are to set up God’s kingdom here on earth so that He can come to rule. It would not take a lot of false insight to take this teaching one step further and be just like the Muslim radicals.

Indeed, I suspect this was part of the thinking during the Crusades as well as the Muslim blood shed in centuries past.

A little review:

THEY ARE AGAINST

SELF

OTHERS

GOD

RIGHT

GOOD

AGAINST EVERYTHING

AND EVERYONE!

THREE TYPES OF PEOPLE

SELF CENTERED ONES

VS. 1-5

SEPARATED ONES

VS. 5

SILLY ONES

VS. 6-7

YOU MUST DECIDE AND ACT!

LAST DAYS

PERILOUS TIMES

(BIG TROUBLE)

LOVERS OF OWN SELVES

COVETOUS

BOASTERS

PROUD

BLASPHEMERS

DISOBEDIENT TO PARENTS

UNTHANKFUL

UNHOLY

WITHOUT NATURAL AFFECTION

TRUCE BREAKERS

FALSE ACCUSERS

INCONTINENT

FIERCE

DESPISERS OF THOSE THAT ARE GOOD

TRAITORS

HEADY

HIGHMINDED

LOVERS OF PLEASURES MORE THAN LOVERS OF GOD

HAVING A FORM OF GODLINESS BUT DENYING THE POWER

THEREOF

FROM SUCH

TURN AWAY!

Separation is not a four-letter word – it is two four-letter words – turn away. TURNING

REQUIRES A RESULT -

SEPARATION FROM

1. YOU CAN’T RUN WITH THE CROWD AND NOT BE IDENTIFIED WITH THE CROWD.

2. YOU CAN’T RUB ELBOWS WITH THE CROWD AND NOT GET DIRTYELBOWS.

YOU WILL BE AFFECTED A FAITHFUL SERVANT IS SEPARATED! WHY?

1. AVOID IDENTIFICATION WITH WRONG.

2. AVOID EFFECT OF THE WRONG UPON THE SERVANT.

3. AVOID EFFECT OF THE WRONG BEING PASSED ON TO THE DISCIPLES OF THE SERVANT.

4. AVOID BEING NAMED WITH THE WRONG.

5. AVOID CRITICISM AT THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST.

TRUTH

Always out of reach

WOMEN

1. SILLY

2. SINFUL (laden)

3. SEDUCED (led away)

4. SELFISH (lust)

5. SCHOOLED (learning)

EVER LEARNING

Verse 2

"For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 "Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good," 4 "Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;"

SAY WHAT? WOW! Who upset Paul? He was on a roll there. Let’s look at those one at a time - I think these are not so nice people.

“Lovers of their own selves:” I think the world and much of the church is in this category. We in America are so self serving we never see the other person. This is why we have all the rudeness, road rage, and problems between people in this country.

As Dr. Phil once ask a person “Who declared you the center of the universe?”

This is the translation of one Greek word - "philautos" - it is translated "own self" "loving oneself" or "too intent on oneself"

I’m stuck on me would be the modern thought. I am so important and I certainly know it, but I’m not sure you do yet so let me tell you.

The word used here is made up of two words – “philos” which means friend or to be friendly and the word “owtos” which means him or themselves. So we would see it as the thought of a friend of oneself.

We have all seen the character on the road that thinks he owns the entire road and that all must get out of his way. The other day I was biking just east of my home and there were two cars sitting at a stop sign. The second in line tooted his horn slightly to which the other man floored his gas to get across the intersection – slammed on his brakes and piled out of his car hollering at the other driver that was at least half a block up the road by then. I was waiting for traffic to clear so I could go across the street – I crossed as quickly as I could lest he decide I didn’t belong in his space either.

“Covetous:” Loving money or avariciousness. This is the same first word as the previous with a different word following – it relates to being friendly with silver. In our day we can’t say money because there is little coinage that contains any silver, but the thought is of money or of any silver item – material covetousness might be a good way to put it today.

Loving money often leads to many other problems of materialism. If it goes far enough, you can enter into theft and deception to gain that which you love.

It might be noted that this is not a deep love but a friendliness toward money. Some relate love of money only to the super greedy when this seems to just relate to anyone that has a friendship with money.

Might I step on some toes here? I wonder if a church can be a lover of money – wanting to increase itself, its buildings, its library, and its congregation. I think this is distinctly possible.

Years ago I read an article on institutionalism and the principle that an institution that comes to a point where it is doing all it does to perpetuate itself has become institutional. Indeed, I think many churches are in this boat today. They raise funds and build buildings for the betterment of the institution rather than for the purpose of extending the spiritual kingdom of God.

“boasters:” This word comes from a word that means vagrancy and means empty pretender or as it is translated a boaster.

Sadly we have these in our churches today. In the Midwest, and I am sure all over the country people are so stuck on numbers that they often stretch the imagination with how their church is doing.

A friend asked if I knew anything about a church near us. It was the church we had been attending. The average attendance often left more people playing instruments and on the platform than in the congregation.

I told him and he started to laugh. He had been talking to the pastor at a pastor’s get together about his church and the pastor had left the impression that the church was fairly large.

Since it is God that gives the increase, why must man attempt to impress others with their abilities?

Even in the pew, I suspect many tend toward the uplifting of themselves when they have opportunity.

“Proud:” This comes from a word that relates to putting oneself over another. Humm, seems we just saw this in the previous illustration. Bad enough a believer is involved in one sin, but in the process gets a two for one deal.

“Blasphemers:” Railing, reproachful, and slanderous fit the word used here. Usually this is used of the way someone speaks of God. Even the cursing of lost men fall into this category.

Any language that takes away from the correct image of God should be called blasphemous.

In a limited sense wasn’t this what the pastor was doing. Detracting from what God was actually doing in the church? The pastor had no need to inflate the image of his church. God had been the increaser - as long as the pastor was doing the best he could, God is doing the rest. If God isn’t adding numbers then it would seem that He didn’t want to at the time.

The pastor was doing well in his sermons, he was shepherding his flock and he was calling on the lost in his area. The blessing he was missing was in waiting upon the Lord for His increase.

“Disobedient to parents:” This word simply means “not compliant.” The not following of a parent’s instructions.

How sad this is in a believer’s family, but if the parent has done his level best, then the child is making choices for themselves. These choices will be on their head rather than the parent if the parent has done his best before the Lord.

Many are the parent that has been talked down to by people that do not get this point. A person should know the erring child before condemning the parent.

While on deputation I was taken to lunch by an older couple that had lost their son to sin many years before. They were still trying to operate under the guilt a pastor had laid upon them years before. In talking to the folks it was obvious this son had gone his own way knowing he was going against his parent’s wishes as well as God’s wishes.

When I explained this truth to them they were so greatly relieved that they both were crying. How dare a church leave a couple thinking that they were responsible for their child’s wrongs when the man was making adult decisions in disobedience to God.

“Unthankful:”This word relates to being ungracious or unpleasing. It is the opposite of forgiving. Not being thankful for what one has or is given.

The exaggerating pastor fits in this category as well. He is not thankful for God using him as God has chosen to use him. I would clarify that this man, as many, probably didn’t give a second thought to embellishing stories, but the point is that they ought to give a second though to it.

I call these fellows “bean counters in clerical clothing” – always counting noses instead of caring for sheep.

“Unholy:” Wicked is another way this word can be translated. Being the opposite of holy, looking at Christ and then forming an image of His opposite would give you the thought of unholy - not a pleasant thought at all.

As the old rock song mentions "the beat goes on," this list just goes on. What an indictment of these people.

“Without natural affection:” Without natural affection and unsociable are suggested usages. However, the word relates to not having natural affection toward a wife, a child, a parent etc. Clarke mentions of the word “Without that affection which parents bear to their young, and which the young bear to their parents. An affection which is common to every class of animals; consequently, men without it are worse than brutes.”

I’ve been accused of being unsociable - probably the thought that it is not natural to not be sociable since humans are normally sociable. I am not sure this is as true as it used to be in America. Due to many social issues Americans are becoming less sociable all the time.

One of our son’s teachers called when he was in grade school to inform me that she wanted our son to be tested for some possible rehabilitation. I asked what his big problem was and I was informed that he was very shy.

I told the teacher I was very shy and that I didn’t think either of us needed testing or rehabilitation. I told her I was capable of operating in the world and that I was sure my son would be capable of doing the same.

In my own defense and the multitude of other “un-sociables” shyness is not a fault, but a general state of nature – we function differently in the mind according to doctors.

However, these people are not normal in their affections - this could well relate to homosexuality, or it could relate to the thought of not liking to be honest, moral etc. The natural way of socialized man is to be monogamous and we all know how our country stands on that issue today.

Canada now allows same sex marriage and some of the states are considering it. I understand that about one third of homosexual couples are now raising children – tell me the world and our grandchildren do not have terrible times coming!

It was reported this week that researchers were extracting eggs from aborted babies in the hope of fertilizing them for infertile couples.

Can you imagine a child asking her mother where she came from – well dear a doctor dug around in the remains of an aborted baby and found an egg and made you.

Actually this most likely relates to the spouse that decides they don’t love their spouse anymore. This is not a natural state between spouses, so is not right. It would also relate to a child that does not love his folks. It would also relate to the parent that has lost love for their offspring.

“Trucebreakers:” This word relates to not being able to come to agreement or one that won’t come under a covenant rather than the implied breaker of a covenant or agreement. In practical application it most likely relates to not desiring to come under a covenant with God - refusing God’s terms.

In 2003 we know that Saddam is a trucebreaker – he does not want to come under the rule of the United Nations nor the United States. He also fits another shade of meaning to the term which is this – one that promises anything because they plan on doing nothing.

“False accusers:” This is the Greek word "diabolos" or devil - false accuser. One that is the same in action as the devil - relating to his system of thought or action.

The Devil’s action in the fall seems to be the emphasis under which he received this name. He basically proclaimed that God was inferior to himself. He attempts in all that he does to place himself above God.

“Incontinent:” Without self control or intemperate is the meaning of this word. Lacking the desire to or the control of one’s self.

If a person is in this list then there may well be external controls upon them that keep them doing wrong.

Some might suggest that it is their sin nature. True it is the natural man, but probably relates to the bent toward self and serving self. The concept of the sin nature tends to relieve the person of believing in any responsibility for personal sin. Self acting for itself is what is responsible for the sin committed. This seems more in keeping with Scripture – this in my mind is the problem rather than a “sin nature” – that thing that drives us to sin - not that far off thing, deep inside that we can’t do anything about that many teach.

“Fierce:” Not tame or fierce can be the meaning of this word. Imagine the fury of the wild horse that roams the wilderness, or the wild tiger of Africa - these seem to picture this term - a person that has never been under, nor responded to civil training or God’s grace.

Lewis and Clark when they entered the western country ran into Grizzly Bears – bears that were fierce – animals that the Indians warned them about. Lewis and Clark could not imagine an animal to be feared, but when they found out that eight and nine shots would not stop these furry balls, they found that the Indians had a very distinctly true point.

This is someone that you meet on the street that cuts you off, that is totally rude to you, is the one that glares at you for no apparent reason - this is normally called totally depraved - totally without God’s influence in their life. This is one that can do nothing else than what is natural to them.

“Despisers of those that are good:” Another way to translate this is one that opposes good or good men. Another way to describe total depravity - completely geared toward self and self fulfillment.

I can’t picture a better term for those in our government today that oppose all that is good - those that oppose stopping abortion, those that oppose prayer in the schools, those that oppose the ten commandments on the court room wall, those that oppose anything Godly and support all that is un-Godly.

“Traitors:” The sense of giving forward into the enemies hands may picture this term. This is one that turns you over to the enemy.

This again continues the picture of the previous terms, one that opposes anything good and attempts to deliver any that are good into the hand of evil.

“Heady:” This relates to rash or reckless. Not considering the consequences of the actions taken. One that gives no thought to future ramifications. We could probably roll this thought up into one word for our day – “teenager” – a general statement, not that all teens are rash and reckless, but many are.

“Highminded:” This is in the perfect tense which indicates action that is permanent continuing into the future to a sure end. It is also a passive term which indicates there are outside forces acting upon the person to bring this action. It has the thought of proud, or deceiving others into thinking highly of another. It can relate to wrapping in smoke as to disguise the true identity.

The term belongs with the phrase below - some will be lovers of self in verse two - a long list of description and the next phrase that tells us that they are proud, wrapped in false smoke of righteousness but love pleasure more than God. You can’t describe self better than that can you?

The proof of the previous is found in verse five - they have a form of godliness, but have nothing to do with God.

“Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God:” Now, I know that we are speaking of lost unregenerate people but I can’t help but relate this phrase to some believers - we do act like the lost at times - how many love the pleasure of staying in bed or going to some pleasurable exercise rather than going to church and showing their love for God on a Sunday morning? Enough said.

Verse 5

"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

Here we have a clear command to separate from any that profess to believe, yet by their life declare their disbelief.

These look like a believer, may act that way some of the time, but really deny the power of God in their lives and should be avoided.

Further application seems unneeded - but possibly a word as to what does turn away mean. The term can mean shun or avoid thus more than a turn away is needed. It should be a concerted effort to avoid contact with this person.

Some reasons to do so: First you don’t want to be contaminated by their false teaching or false living, nor do you want to be seen as being an associate of someone that is denying the God that you serve.

Is there leeway to talk with them about their condition? I would think this would be right and proper, but only if there is some indication fairly quickly in the conversation that they are listening and actually considering what you say.

Paul taught that the avoidance was to bring about a return to the assembly, thus we should be open to reconciliation with one that is gone astray.

Verse 6

"For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,"

This verse sets a real qualifier on previous comments about talking to these people - they are out to deceive so be careful not to fall into their trap of falsehood.

Creep relates to putting on something, putting on the house as you would a piece of clothing. This is something that is done in the lowest of attention getting. The term for women relates to a “little woman” as one that uses the term with contempt.

The term laden has the thought of heavily laden – overburdened – weighed down with sin would be the thought. These women are led away as an animal is led.

Years ago several times I came home to lunch and found that the Jehovah Witness women of the neighborhood were in my living room. As soon as I opened the door they were on their feet and moving toward the door. They were operating on the truth of this verse – they knew women were the easiest targets for their false doctrine.

It is the church’s responsibility to teach women to defend themselves from such. If the church isn’t training, it is not protecting.

Verse 7

"Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

Ever know a woman like this - always reading, studying, listening and never quite grasping the truth - always following the whims of those she listens to - constantly gaining information, but little true knowledge.

A sad case indeed - one that takes so much time and effort seeking knowledge from the wrong sources when she could go to the Word and immediately gain the truth she desires.

Verse 8

Week 9

2 Timothy 3:8-13

A FAITHFUL SERVANT IS EXAMPLED (Paul was Timothy’s example)

“8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all [men], as theirs also was. 10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 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. 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”

“Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.”

Even clearer - these are those that reject the truth - they are not seeking, nor following God, thus worthy to be avoided.

Reprobate seems to relate to not coming up to the standard - rejected - not standing the test - castaway. Something, when examined, which is found wanting in some manner.

This in effect is saying the person has been found wanting in truth. There seems to be an evaluation on the part of others in the determination of the person’s credibility.

To those that do not want us to judge others - well this seems to be a clear command to “evaluate” the teachings of others and class them according to the truth found within.

Jannes and Jambres were, according to tradition the magicians that withstood Moses before Pharoah and imitated the miracles. (Exodus 7:11-12; Exodus 7:22; Exodus 8:7; Exodus 9:11 speaks to the events, but does not name the men involved.) There is nothing in the Bible dictionaries that I checked that would indicate the truth or falsehood of what is assumed by many. (Jannes means “he vexed” and Jambres means “foamy healer”)

The two are named in some of the older traditional sources including the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible. These names come to us from Tradition, but Paul knowing that tradition of the Jews knew of the men and that the old Jewish teachers had held the two names to be authentic. Since they are in the inspired New Testament, we know the names of the men to be true from God via Paul. Not as if we need tradition to prove it.

A note of further information about these men - the term “corrupt” is a verb and is presented in the perfect tense, thus these are men of corrupt minds - minds that will remain corrupt into the future to a corrupt end - at least this is Paul’s “evaluation” of them.

To seek to reconcile them might be a total waste of time and this should be considered before going to them.

Verses 8-13

APPLICATION:

1. It is of note that Paul laid out such a list of qualifications — qualifications he held which should qualify him as a teacher of truth, yet we have believers today that reject what he taught in the New Testament.

During his campaign for president Jimmy Charter — a Christian and member in good standing of one of the major denominations —was asked what he thought of the apostle Paul’s comments relating to women preaching in the church. He smiled and said, “Well that is one place where I would disagree with the apostle Paul.”

He isn’t the only one; many today relegate items that they don’t want to hold as truth to a disagreement with Paul.

My one little observation — they don’t disagree with Paul, they disagree with God the author of what Paul taught. I for one would be a little uncomfortable with such a position.

2. It was mentioned that Paul used his own character as reason for others to listen to him. A question to make application of this truth might be good.

If, in your life you listen to a teacher/preacher and find that there are discrepancies between what he teaches and what is going on in his life — should you continue to listen to that man?

We had a young preacher in chapel make a big case that small churches in small towns deserved good preachers. He went to great lengths to make his point throughout his message. He mentioned that he had committed himself to the small church in a small town when he was in school. It was quite a surprise when a few months later he accepted the pastorate in a city rather than in a small town in a fairly large church instead of a small church.

He was still a good preacher, but somehow his preaching seemed a little hollow in light of his previous actions/comments.

When we were in the Midwest, I worked for a man that was involved in a divorce. His wife had gone off into the world to find herself and left him with the bills and the divorce papers.

He requested, before the divorce was final, that the church they were members of bring church discipline upon her to see if the wife might wake up to her error. The church board deliberated right along until after the divorce was final. The remedy of the board was to issue a letter stating that divorce happens and that the couple would continue to work with the youth even though they were no longer together.

Does it seem wise to remain in a church that allows such action or inaction in this case?

3. I have observed something that is of interest to me. We mentioned earlier that persecution often comes from the church establishment. There is also the truth that some of the smaller cults are started by men that were shunned by the church establishment.

I have to wonder if there is a correlation between the two items. I have to wonder if the establishment had taken a little further effort to bring that one back into the norm if the cult would have been averted.

I am not saying that the establishment is always right and proper, but it is the norm for the time.

I personally have been evaluated by more than one “religious establishment” as being outside their parameters. I personally take this as badges of accomplishment for the most part, but I realize how easy it would be for me to get off track either spiritually or doctrinally since I often have no spiritual/doctrinal norm to go by.

When I see that I am outside their parameters, I compare myself to Scripture to see if I need to go back or remain where I am.

I am not speaking ill of the Independent Baptist movement, but I wonder if the independence hasn’t been the catalyst for some of those churches going into movements where they don’t belong, buying into systems of belief that they normally would have rejected.

If we find ourselves at variance with the church or movement that we are associated with it is serious business to either remove ourselves from or remain with the group. It should be a serious decision to make, not something we do on the spur of the moment.

Let’s list some quick principles to guide us in such decision making.

A. Is the item of contention one that normally in the Word brings separation? Is it a personality conflict, is it a philosophy of ministry conflict or is it a real Scriptural item of division.

We said in the previous lesson that we are to turn away those that are living like the world – we are to turn away from those that are deceiving others. Paul also mentions the reality of separating from one that causes division. Is there a Scriptural reason to separate?

B. If you remain will you have opportunity to make a positive difference in the church/group? A long-lasting change.

C. If you leave, what are your alternatives? Do you have a group that you feel comfortable with? Are they Scriptural in nature? Can you make it as an independent?

D. Are you leaving because of hurt feelings? This is not a proper basis for leaving.

E. When you are ignored, ostracized or asked to leave – this may be the time to make a move.

F. If you aren’t offered positions when you have made it known to the higher ups that you are looking, it may be time to move on.

4. Separation is not an ugly word, some of our great movements of the past came from separation over doctrinal and practical divisions. It is of interest that now those same movements are the ones condemning people for leaving them J. Separation to them is wrong – now.

Some of the movements were started due to the compromise that they saw in their denominations, but many of them are now in the midst of the same type of compromise and call it progress.

5. Do you know anyone that fits Paul’s comments about the bad guys?

People that resist the truth:

People with corrupt minds: I have worked with many that live here. Their mind is always in the gutter; they have no time for spiritual things and seldom have anything good to say. Their lives are centered in filth and vile thinking and activity.

People reprobate concerning the faith:

Indeed, most lost fit this criterion quite well.

6. Do you know anyone that fits any of the characteristics that Paul set forth as his own?

Solid in Doctrine: Quite a number of men come to mind in this area, men that have taught me over the years and ministered to me as pastor.

Good manner of life: When growing up I knew many in my hometown that were good clean-living people. They would assist when needed, they were there to help and care. One stands out amongst all of them. He was the family dentist, and he and my father belonged to the same service club. They weren’t the best of friends outside the club, but he was there for my father.

My father had to go to Rochester, MN years ago when the dollars were really tight for the folks and just before they left the dentist handed my father a number of checks all made out for one hundred dollars – signed and ready to be cashed. He told my father that they were his to spend as he had need, but if he did not need them all to return them. They were a gift, not a loan.

Purposeful: Many of the early missionaries were great in this area. They had God’s direction toward a path and that was their life’s purpose until they were able to accomplish it for their Lord.

Faithful: Again many of the missionaries of the past fill this ticket. Especially Hudson Taylor. He was supporting several hundred missionaries on faith alone. They did not go on deputation, they just went to the field and the Lord supplied their needs through his speaking and reporting of what God had been doing on the field.

Longsuffering:

Charitable:

Patient:

Persecuted:

7. Now for the hard one, do you know anyone in your past that filled all of these characteristics?

I think one man, well his wife as well, were about the closest I’ve seen to filling this bill. One of the pastors that we knew in our early spiritual walk seems to stand tall in this line of thought.

They were straight on doctrinally, they were quiet in life, they were purposeful in their work for the Lord over the years, they stepped out on faith to begin a new church in a new city, they suffered many things in their work toward a solid church, they showed great love to everyone that they met, they showed great patience in how they dealt with people – even those that opposed them. I don’t know that they suffered great persecution or affliction but it wouldn’t surprise me to find that they did. I am sure that they did face opposition from not only the Devil but from those that did not want to see this church planted.

I know personally he put up with a lot from a new Christian that had no idea which way was up even though I thought I did. He showed me great love and patience while showing me gently toward the Lord and His work.

In my grade school days my folks sent me to the local barber now and then to get a hair cut. I was always fascinated with the mirrors in the shop. The entire wall had a mirror on both sides of the long narrow shop. You could look into that mirror and see an endless series of reflections of yourself and the walls.

I feel that being an example is like these mirrors. We may only be an example to one person, but that person will probably take on some of your characteristics, thus reflecting your example to them, onto those that might take that person as an example and so on down the line.

I trust if you take nothing else away from this section it is the fact that you are an example whether you try to be or not and that the example you set will most likely be passed on to others, giving you a lot of responsibility before the Lord for how you live before man.

Verse 9

“But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all [meni, as theirs also was.”

It seems Paul’s “evaluation” is that these will not go far - they will be shown for what they are — false — fake - worthless.

There have been modem day cultists that seem to grow and prosper, but seldom do they go very far before they are revealed for their falsehood — some by their Messianic bent, others by their suicide and criminal behavior. Some do it themselves, via the outlandish lifestyle, others by their evil treatment of their followers.

We had one such rise up in central Oregon years ago - all eyes were upon him as his following grew and his collection of Rolls Royces grew. He and his cult declined almost as quickly as it had arisen out of the dust of Oregon. He and his followers were shown for the false prophets they were by their actions and their deeds.

The problem with false teachers is that they stir in their falsehood with their Scripture teaching and the general public often is taken in. They see the validity of most of what is said from the Word but they just accept the rest which has no basis in the Word.

Then there are those that think they are preaching truth, think they are following the Lord, yet by their lack of study or lack of thinking blurts out brief comments that have no basis in the Word — result — many will not compare the comment with Scripture and will suck it in as truth.

I think this is most frustrating — to have a good man/woman teaching false items with their offhanded comments that they don’t really think through.

Verse 10

“But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 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 “

We have a series of personal items then two items that were without Paul. Is he giving us to lists of qualities, or just including the persecutions and afflictions as just a part of who he is? The later seems to be quite consistent.

Now a word from our sponsors, so to speak, Paul has laid out the false prophets, now he wants the people to understand where the truth is coming from.

Paul sets about listing his qualifications to be heard as one with authority.

Doctrine: This is the normal term for teaching, doctrine, or that which is taught. Paul reminds the reader of his teaching - teaching that is based on the revelation of God via the Old Testament as well as personal revelation in the wilderness from Christ Himself.

Now, personally that is enough to lead me to want to listen intently to what he has to offer, yet he continues on with other marks of his authority.

Manner of life: One of the clearest of passages to show that our life before the world and before the church is of utmost importance. Paul called upon this as a basis for others to listen to him, how can we think we should be any different?

If you have questions about how to live your life, go to the epistles and see if you can find out how Paul lived his. He mentions we are to use him as an example. We are also to use Christ as our example - what question can remain in our minds as to how to live, if we look at these two as our example for life?

The question might come to mind - if you were trying to gather support for something you were telling someone, could you call upon your life before them as an example? If not, then possibly you need to seek some changes in your life.

In essence, whether you call yourself as an example when teaching or preaching, you are being examined as such. We are automatically using our life as backing for what we say. If people see our life lacking, then they will also see our teaching and preaching as lacking.

Purpose: What was Paul’s purpose? He was always about the preaching of the coming kingdom and bringing people into a proper relationship to Christ. In the final chapter of Acts in the final days of his life, he is still preaching the kingdom (Acts 28:30-31 “30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, 31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.”)

Faith: By faith Paul walked across Asia and Europe, in and out of prison preaching and setting up churches. What a testimony to his faith are the churches he planted.

We may not plant many churches, but we can certainly walk by faith and see what God can do. If we don’t step out in faith to do the small things for Him there is no way that He will do great things with us.

It is our steps of faith that allow God to use us. It is the lack of steps of faith that limit our usefulness to Him.

What is really sad is that as we step out for Him, He provides the way and means for anything He requests - we don’t have to do anything - only take the step in faith and He does the rest — and yet many do not take that first step for Him.

Longsuffering: I assume that he references his suffering physically primarily - the ship wreck, the beatings, the jailings etc. However there is also the longsuffering for the churches/believers mentally. He took all he was involved with seriously and all this was also a burden to be dealt with.

A brief look at the book of Colossians will show that he was burdened for the people and that he was praying for them. If he was concerned for the Colossians, you can be sure the other churches were on his mind as well.

Charity: The love he had for the people and churches are most likely exhibited in the longsuffering mentioned above. It is the Greek word agape or self-sacrificing love. This is clear in his life - he was willing to suffer for those he reached with the Gospel, indeed, he also suffered for those that rejected his message. He suffered so he could spread the Gospel to all that he found.

Another point of application - suffer for all, both lost and saved if you are going to use Paul as your example.

Patience: This term can be translated steadfastness as well as patient. His steadfastness in ministry is quite plain in the New Testament.

His patience with believers is also evident in his writings. He put up with their following of false teaching and patiently reminded them of good doctrine. He sent workers to the churches to help them straighten out problems that they were having. He could have blasted them, but he taught them as he found their problems.

Persecutions: He endured persecutions at the cities listed, we won’t go into that but a quick look at a concordance will give you further information. He suffered all these things and the people knew of what he had been through. His persecution and afflictions are due to his doctrine and his work - part of who he was at that point in his life. This was one of his credentials - he was the real thing - he was withstanding the Devil’s wiles for the Lord’s sake.

Verse eleven ends with the following “I endured: but out of [them] all the Lord delivered me.” He not only endured all that was sent his way, but he realized it was the Lord that delivered him. Thus it must be today when we fall into less than nice times - allow God to deliver you rather than to take things into your own hands.

Verse 12

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Now this is a bold statement of fact - not a hypothesis but his opinion of what is the expected thing. If you live godly - you will suffer persecution.

That word “will” is a present tense verb as is “live.” A continued life for Christ will result in persecution. The persecution is a future tense, so it may not be immediate, but it will come.

It indicates an act of the will to decide to live for God as well as an active lifestyle following that act of the will.

Some might accidentally live for God now and then, but this is a lifestyle - a person committed to living as close to the word as is possible.

It is of note that the source of the persecution is not really specified. It might be of note to go back and see who it was that persecuted Paul - if memory serves me correctly it was the religious establishment. Yes, Acts 14:19 shows it to have been the religious establishment – the Jews. This is not all that untrue today either.

When we were on deputation, I had a short thought in our prayer letter each time relating to things I was seeing in churches that were counter to Scripture. A friend of mine was in a large church in southern California and the pastor asked him about me. They talked and ultimately the pastor said, “You know Derickson is right but he is a missionary and he doesn’t have the right to say that. That is why he will never be in my church.” Hummm, I thought it was Christ’s church.

I suspect many would agree that the worst times come from the religious establishment that doesn’t like the waves you are making. Yes, persecution will come from without, but much will come from within - a sad commentary indeed upon the establishment.

Few there are that really buck the main stream of their day. Those few that do not conform to the mainstream established religious community of the day seldom are heard of outside of their small personal geographical and ministry areas. Those that conform often are known far and wide.

Verse 13

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”

This truth is seen in many of the cults. The leader starts out relatively benign, but as power comes their way and they like it, they usually increase their power and their evil bent leads them even deeper and deeper into evil. Several have gone as far as calling for the death of their followers.

Not only does their evil increase, but their followers become further entrenched in the falsehood and evil.

Just how many can you think of that are in this mode of operation today? People that are waxing worse and deceiving others as they go.

There are those that “minister” to homosexuals — they run their churches in an effort to bring them together and to raise them spiritually. They are continuing to go deeper

Verse 14

Week 10

2 Timothy 3:14-17; 2 Timothy 4:1-2

A FAITHFUL SERVANT IS WORKED

“14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them]; 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. 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 perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 4:1 I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

"But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them]”;

No matter this stuff I’ve been relating to you, YOU continue in what you know to be right and proper.

I suspect Paul may have had a play on words in mind here – in the previous verse he mentions as the evil continue deeper into their evil and deception, so you continue ever deeper into what you know to be right and true.

There are three items on which Paul builds - "what thou has learned", those things "thou hast been assured of", and "whom thou hast learned." You know truth, you have been assured that it is truth, and you learned it from me! Hold fast to that which you know to be truth!

We all know what we know individually, but are we totally convinced that it is all truth? We all know who has been teaching us but are we totally convinced that they are firmly grounded in the Word.

When I am on some of the internet boards I read long diatribes from people that think they know it all, but have obviously taken in “truth” from men they ought not to have been listening to. Often times these people when confronted with the truth of Scripture will melt into the background to be heard from no more – their “truth” has been found lacking – I trust they are considering what they believe and who it was that taught them.

As a practical application of this verse take some time this week and consider those people that you have listened to in your life. Are they really as well grounded in the Word as you thought they were? Are all those “truths” you soaked up really true? Have you been too accepting of the teaching of others?

Just because those messages/lessons sound good, there may be a lot of falsehood lurking within. In my college days we had a great preacher for our president. We really thought he was the cream of the crop. His chapel messages were always tops! However, years later when going over my notes from his messages, I found little that he said was in a particular passage was actually there. I had always been glad that I had such good notes from this man, but as I went through the notes, I found that there was little worth saving for future use. Not that he was all that unbiblical, but he was seldom preaching from the right passage.

No, I don’t think he was teaching falsehood, but he was certainly less than a prepared preacher. For him to dig out the correct passages for his points would have taken longer than it was worth, it would seem.

Verse 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."

That truth is the Scripture - the same Scripture that brought Timothy salvation.

Again, when I was in Bible College I envied those that had grown up in Christian homes. When studying I found that I was on the bottom of the food chain as far as learning went. I had no idea what I was trying to do with assignments. I didn’t know the main men of the Bible, I didn’t know the flow of Scripture, I didn’t know how to live the Christian life – all those things I was lacking many others had in full measure.

I was told by one of the faculty members that I had the lowest Bible knowledge score in the history of the school.

Timothy was raised on the word – a fact I am sure he understood and appreciated.

Verse 16

"All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"

Paul doesn’t leave it there - he further emphasizes the importance of Scripture for the believer - indeed, if we hath not a high regard for Scripture we will be deceived and go into that same evil as the evil men.

All Scripture: We generally apply this phrase to the entirety of the Word as we have it today and rightly so, however Timothy would have understood the phrase differently. He would have thought of the Old Testament specifically and possibly some of the early writings that he had probably seen, however I am not sure he would have recognized Paul’s writings as inspired Scripture. I suspect he would have thought of the Old Testament only as inspired at this point in time.

Can you imagine hearing this truth for the first time as Timothy did? The Jews held to the Bible being Gods word, but the specific thought of inspiration seems to be a new concept introduced by Paul and Peter.

This is of note to me in that Paul had a concept of the inspired Word of God long before the church set forth the Canon. He recognized God’s work in the setting down of the Old Testament for all of mankind to use in their lives if they only would.

Given by inspiration of God is a concept also pictured in 2 Peter 1:21 “For the prophecy came not at any time by the will of man but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” I am told that this term “moved” has the thought of being born along as something or someone in a ship. The word is used in Acts 27:17 of Paul’s ship being driven along by the storm. The thought of one in a boat being born along by the wind is the picture. As the writer wrote, he was born along by God. There are a number of thoughts on just what is meant by this idea of inspiration. I would like to just list some of these thoughts for your general knowledge.

“1. DICTATION THEORY: When I consider this theory, I am reminded of the idea of padlocking someone’s mouth so that they can say nothing.

“In this line of thinking, they tell us that the Holy Spirit took the message from God and imposed it upon the writer, and that the writer just recorded the words, much as a stenographer would record the words of an employer.

“In short, man opened brain, and God poured it in. It then flowed out through the man’s hands. This thought is proven incorrect by the many styles of writing that we have in the Scriptures. The styles fit the life and times of the author. Not only are there different styles but there are different historical backgrounds involved in the scriptures.

“If dictation were the method, then the texts that speak of the author’s great love, or remorse over sin would become phony and empty if the person penning the words weren’t involved (The Psalmist, Daniel in his prayers, etc.).

“Fundamentalists are accused of holding to this mode of inspiration but most do not. Most hold to verbal, plenary inspiration. There may be a few very strong "sovereignty of God" men that hold to the dictation theory.

“2. PARTIAL INSPIRATION THEORY: This theory allows my mind to imagine the Sunday school teacher getting up to teach the class and presenting an overlay of Scripture. He has marked only three verses in red and mentions that these are the only verses that are inspired in that portion of the Bible, and that is what will be studied for the day. A ridiculous thought I trust?

“This theory originated in answer to the problem that many think that the Bible has errors of history and nature in it. They felt that they had to devise a theory that would allow for those errors. (Heaven forbid that they take the Bible by faith and prove the historian and scientist incorrect - which has been done in most if not all of those "error" passages.)

“This position holds to two authors as we believe, however is limited to only the doctrinal parts of scripture, and not the other areas such as history and science.

“If only the doctrinal parts are inspired then why carry all the uninspired around with us? Let’s just rip all that uninspired stuff out and have smaller Bibles.

“The problem arises - which sections are doctrinal and which are not. When Christ turned water into wine - was this section doctrinal or historic? It could be teaching miracles thus doctrinal, or trying to explain science, and not inspired. Who is the judge?

“This view and the concept view are held by New and Young evangelicals. These people are probably Christians, however they are far a field of fundamentalism, and in reading some of their writings they seem more political than spiritual in emphasis.

“3. CONCEPTUAL THEORY: The concept that God wanted to communicate was given to the author and the author was then free to put the concept into his own words and record those words as the Scriptures. This position even allows for the author to make up a story to show the concept. This is the basis for the thought of some that Jonah is "just a story".

“This idea that God gave a concept and the man put it to words, is not a logical theory. How can one being communicate with another being without the words being important? They suggest that Jonah being in a fish, or not being in a fish is not the point. It was a story. It needn’t be true - only that the reader know that he was punished for his wrong doing.

“The Jews killed after David’s sin of numbering the people is only to show the result of sin. It didn’t really happen. No one really died, they suggest.

“Example: I want to communicate something to you. There was a man driving down the road and his car suddenly swerved out of control into a deep lake. The car began to sink. Luckily he was able to climb out of the window. What point was I trying to make? If you guessed that the building is on fire and you should climb out a window, you are right. Wouldn’t the phrase "FIRE" have communicated the facts more readily? This theory can only lead to great confusion.

“4. INTUITION THEORY: The men that authored the scriptures were functioning only on insight which they had, and there is no divine author or interference.

“Now, to put that into perspective, let’s assume that I have great insight into things, and indeed I feel that I do. In fact I think that I should author a book based on my great intellectual insight. Now, how many of you would like to base your eternal destiny on that book when it is written?

“5. ILLUMINATION THEORY: The men were inspired and given much illumination and they recorded their own thoughts and words as they saw fit.

“6. DYNAMIC THEORY: Some list this as the same as mystic, while others as verbal plenary, and some believe that both the men and words were inspired. God supernaturally inspired the man to write the words.

“7. LIMITED INSPIRATION THEORY: This is the theory held by many Young Evangelicals. The Bible is inerrant in the matter of salvation, but it has errors in the historical and scientific areas. The next logical step is to question the Bible in the matters of salvation. If part is false then how can we determine which is true?

“8. NEOORTHODOX THEORY: The Bible gives witness to God, however it has errors due to the infallibility of its writers.

“9. NATURAL INSPIRATION THEORY: This view would have us believe that God sought out gifted men to write His message to man. Some men are great writers of poetry, some are great artists, some are great politicians and some are just great writers of things that inspire people to do things. The writers of scripture were only men gifted in this area.

“If this theory be true then we can look to the great novels of man such as Giant, the Caine Mutiny or Hawaii for general guides for our lives.

“Indeed, if this theory be true then there are no guides for our lives.

“10. MYSTICAL INSPIRATION THEORY: This idea might be called the mystical zap theory as well. God mysteriously zapped the authors of Scripture and they wrote. God empowered the authors to write. This was some mystical empowerment to record God’s Word. I personally don’t feel comfortable using the results of a person’s "mystical high" to guide and pattern my life. Indeed, I do not want to trust my eternal destiny to such theories.

“11. DEGREES OF INSPIRATION THEORY: Some parts are more inspired than others. When God spoke from the burning bush, or wrote the Ten Commandments - that’s really inspired! When Luke records the remembrances of Mary there was much less inspiration involved. If this be true then who is the judge of which is the "really inspired" and which is the "not so inspired?” There would be no basis for truth if this theory were true. Can we sin a little if its not "really inspired" then sin lots when its not so inspired? If this theory was true I’d probably use the not so inspired part of the Scripture for devotions! I wouldn’t get so convicted if using less inspired passages.

“12. VERBAL PLENARY INSPIRATION: God in some manner moved the author along as he wrote. The author used his own style of writing, yet the Holy Spirit was moving him along so that the result is God’s Word - true and complete. There were a number of methods by which He communicated with man. We have discussed these but will mention them again. Verbal communication, Dreams, Visions, Trances, Theophanies and Written communications.

“The doctrine of inspiration would seem to be directly related to that information which the writer put into writing from verbal communication, however Scripture would also bear out the fact that other forms of communication were also inspired, and were also God’s own message.

“This is the only view that allows for differences of style and language. It is the only view that allows God to communicate with man in a logical, real manner.” (MR. D’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY; Salem, OR; 1992)

Inspiration simply means God breathed – He moved the writers along as they wrote.

Profitable for doctrine: This is the usual word for doctrine or learning - that which is taught and learned. Any teaching is actually doctrine, and in the church situation Bible teaching is doctrine. You see doctrine is not a bad thing as some indicate - it is the natural result of the Scriptures.

Reproof: This is a proving of something - proving the wrong action of the one being reproved would be the thought of the word.

In church discipline you would want to reprove the one in the wrong - confront them with their wrong, with why it is wrong and with why they should abandon their wrong.

Naturally the use of Scripture in this process is a must - a required to make it right and correct.

Correction: This term has the thought of righting a tipped over item - setting back upright.

This runs along the lines of reproof, only probably not quite as strong. It might include items such as incorrect lifestyle or treatment of others.

“Instruction in righteousness:" This instruction most likely works along with the previous items - the correcting of what is wrong via proper teaching of the Word.

Verse 17

That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

This is the purpose of the Word - the proper preparation of the man of God - preparing him for the GOOD WORKS that His God expects of him.

Good works has fallen into the category of bad words in recent years within many churches. Works are not the “in thing” for the run of the mill believer - he does that at his job and he comes to church to be fed and nurtured - or so goes the logic of things.

God through Paul says the Word is to prepare the believer for proper living and good works - not in the great bye and bye, but now and right now! All believers should produce good works.

I might add that good works don’t necessarily need to be within the pastor’s control nor within the church, but some of the good works should benefit the church in some manner.

I might also add that church leadership should get to know their people well enough so that they know if there are good works or not in a persons life. If not there should be encouragement toward them, if there are then encouragement in them would be quite appropriate.

Many a pastor assumes that if a person is not active in the good works they want them active in that they are not doing anything.

The Holy Spirit is capable of leading the individual priest into those areas of works that He wants them in without the pastor’s intermediary activities. Not to say that the pastor is not to seek works from his people as he feels lead - just that if he is turned down by someone, he should not judge the turn down to be laziness on the part of the parishioner.

Bibliographical Information
Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3". "Derickson's Notes on Selected Books". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/sdn/2-timothy-3.html.
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