Paul warned that in the Last Days there would be perilous times and perilous men…
2 Timothy 3
Difficult Times Ahead
3 1-5 Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God.
They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals.
Stay clear of these people.
6-9 These are the kind of people who smooth-talk themselves into the homes of unstable and needy women and take advantage of them; women who, depressed by their sinfulness, take up with every new religious fad that calls itself “truth.”
They get exploited every time and never really learn.
These men are like those old Egyptian frauds Jannes and Jambres, who challenged Moses.
They were rejects from the faith, twisted in their thinking, defying truth itself. But nothing will come of these latest impostors.
Everyone will see through them, just as people saw through that Egyptian hoax.
Keep the Message Alive
10-13 You’ve been a good apprentice to me, a part of my teaching, my manner of life, direction, faith, steadiness, love, patience, troubles, sufferings—suffering along with me in all the grief that I had to put up with in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra.
And you also well know that God rescued me!
Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble; there’s no getting around it.
Unscrupulous con men will continue to exploit the faith. They’re as deceived as the people they lead astray. As long as they are out there, things can only get worse.
14-17 But don’t let it faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk!
There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way.
Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.
Paul warned that godlessness and evil schemes would increase as the end of history approached, and how people would follow false teachers who would tell them what they wanted to hear.
And Paul’s words warned and encouraged Timothy to teach the Scriptures soundly —
Paul began his teaching in chapter 3 by describing the moral breakdown that would occur in the last days.
He gave a very dark portrait of man’s spiritual and social decline.
The Christian, however, must persevere in living by faith, adhering to those characteristics which identify him as belonging to God.
Persecutions will come, but those committed to Jesus Christ must prevail in belief.
In verse 14, we learn all the church was being besieged by false teachers and of the inevitable pressures of a growing ministry,
Timothy could easily have abandoned his faith or modified his doctrine.
Once again Paul counsels Timothy to look to his past and to hold to the basic teachings about Jesus that are eternally true.
Like Timothy, we are surrounded by false teachings today, but we must not allow society to distort or crowd out God’s eternal truth.
Spend time every day reflecting on the foundation of your Christian faith found in God’s Word, which contains the great truths that build up your life.
Timothy was one of the first second-generation Christians —
He became a Christian not because an evangelist preached a powerful sermon but because his mother and grandmother had taught him the holy Scriptures when he was a small child (1:5).
A parent or grandparent’s primary mission field starts with the children in their family.
At home and in church, we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to teach children about Jesus.
Jesus wanted little children to come to him (Matthew 19:13-15).
Like Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois, share your faith with your children or grandchildren.
If you don’t have children of your own, support the mentoring and discipling of children in your congregation.
For Timothy, the holy Scriptures were the books of the Old Testament.
The Old Testament consistently, amazingly, and prophetically points to Jesus Christ, and faith in Christ completes the whole message of the Bible.
The whole Bible, God’s inspired Word, should be our standard for testing everything else that claims to be true.
Because Scripture is all God breathed and trustworthy, we should read it and apply it to our lives.
The Bible safeguards us against false teaching and guides us in how we should live.
It remains our only source of knowledge about how we can be saved.
God wants to show you truth and equip you to live for Him.
How much time do you spend in God’s Word?
Develop the discipline of reading the Bible regularly to discover God’s truth and to become confident in your life and faith.
Follow a plan for reading the whole Bible through once a year, and don’t limit your study to just the familiar passages.
The entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is our “Operations Manual for Life,” so we must immerse ourselves in the entire Council of God’s Word so we can get the full benefit.
“Questions can make hermits out of us, driving us into hiding. Yet the cave has no answers.
Christ distributes courage through community; He dissipates doubts through fellowship. He never deposits all knowledge in one person but distributes pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to many.
When you interlock your understanding with mine, and we share our discoveries…
When we mix, mingle, confess, and pray, Christ speaks.
The adhesiveness of the disciples instructs us.
They stuck together. Even with ransacked hopes, they clustered in conversant community.
“They talked together of all these things which had happened” (Luke 24:14).
Isn’t this a picture of the church—sharing notes, exchanging ideas, mulling over possibilities, lifting spirits?
And as they did, Jesus showed up to teach them, proving “where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).
And when He speaks, He shares His story.
God’s go-to therapy for doubters is His own Word.
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
So listen to it.
(From Fearless by Max Lucado)
False religious teachers today still deceive people with twisted versions of “truth” that hurt people and sidetrack lives.
Keep such people away from your family and church.
You will find strength only in the TRUE GOSPEL, and not in phony substitutes.
Wednesday, May 25
Pursuit of His Presence
DESTROY THOSE INCOMING SCUDS
by Gloria Copeland
“Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.”
— 2 Tim. 3:14
Jesus warned us that the distractions of this age, the deceitfulness of riches and the lusts of other things can creep in and choke the Word and make it fruitless (Mark 4:19).
Right next to that verse in my Bible, I’ve written the letters S-C-U-D. They stand for the phrase, “Satan Continuously Uses Distractions.”
He’s always sending those SCUD missiles at you to discourage you and draw you off course.
Hey, he’ll whisper, have you noticed you don’t have any money? Have you noticed your body is in pain? Have you heard all the ugly things people are saying about you?
How do you fight distractions like that?
Just “continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.”
I’ll tell you the truth: It’s not the great revelation you haven’t had yet that causes you defeat.
It’s failing to do what you already know. So whenever you reach a hard place, continue to do what you know and you’ll make it through in victory.
You have everything it takes to be a winner.
You have everything you need to be a part of the glorious, victorious end-time army of God.
Get aggressive. Press in. Lay hold of the kingdom of God with all the force you can muster.
That’s the price you pay to win this race. But one thing is sure, you not only have the present victory, but also the eternal victory you gain will be worth it all.
Satan won’t ever stop in his relentless efforts to distract you. But you have the power to overcome.
You have the power and the knowledge to continue to do what God has already told you to do.
It’s that simple. Continuing will put you over. Don’t quit believing and acting on God’s Word.
You have what it takes to destroy those incoming SCUDS!
Speak the Word:
“But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them.”
(2 Tim. 3:13-14)
For Further Study: Mark 4:14-20
Come join the Adventure!