:) Finally had some time! Next week should be fun... we're heading into some messianic prophecies... :)

Happy studying!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

II Timothy Chapter 3

II Timothy Chapter 3

vs. 1-5

- The last days will be full of difficult times. People will become more and more selfish. They will love only themselves and their money. Their whole focus will be on their greed and fulfilling their fleshly desires. They will be boastful and prideful. They will see themselves as so great a people that they will flaunt even their failures as successes.

- Nothing will be held sacred. Everything will be fair game to indulge in. There will be no boundaries to their actions. They will scoff God. They will mock His very existence... not only by their words, but also by their actions. They will be disobedient to their parents. They will turn and despise the very ones who gave them life. They will be ungrateful to their parents. They will take all that their parents are willing to give them... and more... and still want and expect more from them.

- They will be unforgiving. They will hold grudges over every little thing. They will see themselves as deserving of homage from everyone else. They will turn and slander everyone. Friend or foe... No one will be deserving of praise in their eyes except themselves, so they will turn to constantly enumerate the faults and short comings of others.

- They will have no self-control. They will follow their every urge. They will give in to every passion, every emotion of the moment. They will be cruel. They will have no compassion in their hearts. They will use every opportunity to further their own purposes for their own gain, regardless of who they have to crush on the way.

- They will hate what is good. They will despise anything that goes against their own code of conduct. Which means that morals will be worthless and people who are upstanding or upright will be seen as weak and as living pointless lives with no fun in them. They will betray their friends the moment that it will serve a personal purpose.

- They will be reckless. They will have no fear of death because they are living for the moment. They will never ask for help or admit that they have a problem because of pride. They will cut everybody off from connection because their pride won't allow them to acknowledge that someone else could be their equal or their better.

- They will love pleasure rather than God or the things of God. They will act religiously to gain prestige or to make themselves look as though they can be trusted or looked up to. However, in truth, they will reject the power that could change them to make them godly people. They will refuse to allow God to change their hearts in any way. Their outward appearance may look appealing, but they will be wolves in sheep's clothing.

- STAY AWAY FROM PEOPLE LIKE THAT! Beware of those who come in the Name of Jesus, but show no fruit as proof of a relationship with the same.

- Today as we look around, we can see these attributes in the people around us. The people we work with, the people we see on the street. These things are alive and well in our world. And sadly... they are becoming the norm.

- You know... it says that no man knows the day or the hour that Jesus will come back... but every year it seems like things just get a little bit worse. I don't know how soon God will decide that enough is enough... but I do think we are heading in that direction...

- I Timothy 4:1-5
- Jude 1:3-23
- Romans 1:18-32, 2:1-16

vs. 6-9

- These kind of people who become false teachers will work their way into your houses and homes with no problems.

- Paul starts talking about false teachers finding vulnerable women to prey on.

- Women during this time period had never been taught religious things. Men sat under teachers of the law and they were supposed to teach their wives what they themselves had been taught, at home. Women in Christianity were now allowed to sit in on the meetings and learn with everybody else... they were also in some cases allowed to teach.

- However, they were used to getting everything spoon fed to them. So when strange new ideas showed up on their doorstep, they just would automatically jump at them. They made sense...

- Like... “you're a sinner... you're not worthy... God doesn't see you as precious... God's just using you. God wouldn't give you desires if you weren't meant to fulfill them. Why would the God who created you, restrict you? If he's loving... he'll let you have fun.”

- heard any of that before?

- Most occults prey on women. Because we like to have someone take care of us and someone to lean on... Especially when you start looking at family dynamics and see that men are sometimes jerks and father's don't always connect with daughters...

- Enter charismatic man who starts telling you that he and he alone thinks you're precious and deserving of love... that he is directly linked to God... and that through him, God will see you as precious.

- He will fulfill every desire of your heart. He will make you feel as though you are justified for every wrong action... and he will give you every fleshly desire you have...

- These kind of women (or men really...) are especially susceptible to these false teachers. They are looking for something to fulfill them. Looking for something that justifies who they feel they are. And something that's easy. And something that makes them FEEL good.

- Every new teaching that comes down the road or knocks on the door, isn't necessarily something that is a good thing... or something that needs to be listened to.

- Just because it sounds good... doesn't mean it's good... Remember the serpent in the garden? He said some nice things... And the next thing you know, Eve's doing exactly what she wasn't supposed to... and feeling justified in it... feeling right enough in it... that she goes and drags her husband into it too! And he follows! Because she asked him to! Geesh...

- This is not to say that we should strive to learn new things... however... learning new things and chasing after new teachings are two entirely different things.
- Paul talks about “forever following new teachings, but... never able to understand the truth.”

- Learning, but never understanding... or never tearing things apart to really dig at the full truth rather than just accepting without question the half truth(s) that the false teacher presents in order to make his argument appear plausible.

- These teachers however, oppose the truth. They are enemies of the truth.

- Paul mentions the example of Jannes and Jambres.

- footnote- “According to tradition, Jannes and Jambres were two of the magicians who had counterfeited Moses' miracles before Pharaoh (Exodus 7:11-12). Paul explained that just as Moses had exposed and defeated them (Exodus 8:18-19), God would overthrow the false teachers who were plaguing the Ephesian church.”

- Satan can counterfeit a lot of things... He can take things that look like God, or look like God has something to do with it... and twist it to his own purposes.

- When my mom started to date my dad, this guy that she had always kind of liked started showing up to church. Hadn't ever before... but about that time, he started coming to church. And right after my parents got married, or maybe even a little before, he stopped coming. Mom has often said that, sometimes Satan brings things into our lives that look good, or that look like something we want... about the time that God brings what He truly wants and what is truly good into your life.

- The magicians copied Moses to the letter... for a while... but eventually, they were exposed as the fakes that they were.

- No matter what happens, eventually, truth does reign supreme. Eventually the truth will surface... And everyone will see the false teachers, just as people saw Jannes and Jambres after they failed... they will see them as the fools they are. As the liars they are.

- I Timothy 6:3-10

vs. 10-15

- We know truth. We have been taught the truth by our pastors, or our parents or grandparents, or the people we work with, someone at some point has taught you truth.

- You know, the last couple of weeks, my pastor's been talking about discipleship. About how, we can't just show up for church on Sunday morning and expect that to be enough to get us through the week. How we need someone to come along side of us and help us walk this walk. Someone to guide us, someone to lead when we're half blinded.

- Paul was leading Timothy. Paul was living a life worth following.

- “You... know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it.” (vs. 10-11)

- Genuine. We all want to have a friend who is genuine. Someone who is honest and open. If we are honest and open people, then what do we have to hide?

- You know, the one thing that kids today are looking for in people is whether or not they are genuine. They don't care so much anymore about a lot of other things... mostly, they just want someone who will be straight with them.

- Do people around you KNOW you? Do they know what you teach? How you live? What your life's purpose is? Do they know your faith? Does your life exude the fruit of the spirit?

- “They will know we are Christians by our love.” How do people KNOW you?

- This morning, Pastor Mike hit on the love chapter in I Corinthians... and he wanted us to put our name in the place of the word love. (which I thought was funny because my name is interchangeable... lol)

- but anyway, it said “CHARITY is patient and kind; CHARITY does not envy or boast; CHARITY is not arrogant or rude. CHARITY does not insist on HER own way; CHARITY is not irritable or resentful; CHARITY does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. CHARITY bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

- ouch... That's hard. I am not all those things... not by any stretch of imagination. And even if I am some of those things... there are still those people or situations that would challenge me to remain... patient... or kind... etc.

- How you respond to situations shows a lot about your character and your witness.

- Paul was willing enough to say, hey, I know what my life looks like... I know what kind of heart I have, what kind of witness I am leaving... yeah... you can follow my example. Look at my life and I will show you how to walk.

- Can you say that? Can you look at another follower, or even an unbeliever and say, yep... you can follow my example. Watch my life. I'll show you what it means to be a Christian.

- One thing that Paul really hit on was persecution. He was persecuted for his faith... and remained faithful through it all. If you were to be persecuted today, would your faith withstand it?

- I always hate looking at that question... I always automatically think, well... it would depend on the circumstance... But it shouldn't. There should be an automatic response of YES! I would remain faithful no matter what! But... we're all human... that's not necessarily going to be the case... and I hate that... I would love to be able to say that I am no Doubting Thomas... but... even Thomas... a disciple of Jesus, who walked beside him for 3 years... still had doubts...

- but Paul as our example says, I was persecuted. I have suffered for the name of Christ... and Christ rescued me from it.

- Now... Paul's sitting in prison awaiting probable execution... and yet he says that Christ has rescued him from it. What faith... what trust... How much do I trust that God has my life in His hands? Wow...

- Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. Something in that life will be seen as threatening to the life or way of life of someone else.

- footnote- “In this charge, Paul told Timothy that people who obey God and live for Christ will be persecuted. Don't be surprised when people misunderstand, criticize, and even try to hurt you because of what you believe and how you live. Don't give up. Continue to live as you know you should. God is the only one you need to please.”

- We know the truth and must remain faithful to it. Paul is looking at his life and knowing that God has worked a mighty change in his life. That God has been very real and very present. Timothy has had a first hand experience with walking beside Paul. He's been the student. He knows all of Paul's life. Even if nothing in Timothy's own life was as drastic as some of the things Paul has went through, he has at least seen Paul's life. He knows that he has been taught the truth from a man who was sold out for the cause of Christ.

- “You know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.” (vs. 14-15)

- footnote- “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. A parent's work is vitally important. At home and in church, we should realize that teaching small children is both an opportunity and a responsibility.”

- Our lives should preach even if we don't ever speak a word. Can you look at another Christian and say “follow me. My life is worth following”... ?

- John 15:1-27, 5:31-47

vs. 16-17

- All scripture is inspired by God. Granted, a lot of people were used to write this gospel down... but God inspired it all.

- I've heard so many arguments that this bible was thrown together by the catholic church to prove a point or as a tool to make the people obedient to them...

- Or that our religion is an impure one because it's gone through so many generations and so many time changes that something somewhere had to have gotten changed or altered...

- However, I would like to think that my God's bigger than that. I would like to think that when the men met to decide which writings would be included in the bible, that God moved on their hearts and minds to put in what He wanted in there. I would also like to think that God is powerful enough to protect that which is His...

- In Revelation 22:18-19 it says “And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the words of prophecy written in this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that person's share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.”

- I think the men who got together to canonize the book of Revelation had to have read that verse... And if they thought enough about the book as a whole to put it into the bible... I'm sure they took a look at that verse...

- And furthermore, our religion has lasted for centuries now... and the same words written by the hand of Moses, still apply today... only God could work something like that.

- Scripture is still useful to teach us what is true... It still makes us realize what is wrong in our lives. It still corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do right. God uses it to prepare and equip us to do every good work.

- God doesn't change. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. His Word isn't going to change either.

- Through His word, He will continue to teach us, to grow us, and to prepare and equip us to engage in every good work that He has in mind for us to do.

- Romans 15:1-6
- I Peter 1:12-21

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