Good morning once again my friends and family. I thank God for this opportunity to share from His heart to yours. If you brought your Bibles, please turn to 2nd Timothy chapter 2. I have had many conversations this week in person with some and on-line with many. Friends, we have learned about the power of our tongue. I believe we have done two studies in a year and a half on how we need to bridle that little guy that comes out of our mouth. Also, there have been many discussions about some of the things we will be looking at in this chapter. Praise God.
I have felt obligated to teach on heart issues. Amen? I think there are a few reasons why. I could teach on healing. I could teach on prosperity. I completely believe that God wants us whole. Also, how can we carry out the purpose that God has planned for our lives if we are sick? As far as the latter, I believe God does want to bless us. It is His nature to want to bless us and for us to be a blessing to others for God’s honor and Glory. Amen. But for those teaching to everyone that they can be rich and to own all the things they want, I don’t completely agree with that. God’s Word says He will supply all our needs (not wants) according to His riches and glory. There is a big difference between the two words needs and wants. Then there is “according to His glory”.
If God blessed us with all our wants, would we give Him glory? I think not. We would become like that of a spoiled rich kid. Then if we asked for something and the answer was no, we would have a head fit. Think back to when you were a child. When we were scolded because we wanted something and we got the no answer, we threw a temper tantrum. Many, and I have heard this plenty, would say “I hate you.” Sound familiar?
I am going to do something different today. Usually we discuss a topic. Today we are going to break down a chapter. So I want to read from the King James and then at least one other version. Amen?
2 Timothy 2:1-26 KJV Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2) And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. (3) Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (4) No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. (5) And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. (6) The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. (7) Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. (8) Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: (9) Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. (10) Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. (11) It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: (12) If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: (13) If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. (14) Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. (15) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (16) But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. (17) And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; (18) Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. (19) Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (20) But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. (21) If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. (22) Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (23) But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. (24) And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, (25) In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (26) And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Wow!!! there is a mouthful there. Just a quick outline of what is going on here with Apostle Paul and why this letter to Timothy. There is much to learn from this whole epistle, but for this week I felt led to go to chapter 2. Maybe God is trying to speak to me, maybe someone else. Maybe many.
If we were to read chapter 1, we would find that Apostle Paul addressed this letter like most of the ones he sent opening with prayers and thanksgiving. 2 Timothy 1:1-3 KJV Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, (2) To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. (3) I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
Paul had gone through much. He had planted many churches and nursed them along. From what I get from the Bible, Timothy was very close to Paul’s heart. And as we will see when we get to chapter 2, Paul gives strong advice to Timothy.
Paul was being kept in Rome in a dungeon for (the closest thing I could find) the possibility of his connection with burning much of Rome. He was the leader of the people that Rome was punishing. This is not a proven fact, but there are some history books that do share this.
Anyways, Paul knew that his time was almost up, although chapter 1 shows no sign that he blamed God, or was sorry, ashamed or anything to make one believe he would have done anything different. His faith was in Christ. Is yours? Even though you maybe going through a storm?
Last week, we looked at what Paul did before that Damascus experience. Having Christians jailed and put to death. Then he met Jesus. I say he met Jesus. Praise be to God!! He had that Calvary experience. Paul’s whole life changed when he gave his heart to Jesus and repented from all the things he had done. Then he was baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost and man, what a change in him. I said there was a major change in him after Jesus broke those chains that bound Paul. This man who had believers jailed and murdered was a changed man. The old man was dead and Paul was a new creation in Christ Jesus. Anyone who has studied Paul’s life knows that he loved Jesus with all his heart, mind, soul and strength. Paul had that intimate relationship with Christ like we all need. Amen?
Now that there is some history of what was going on, I want to read from the God’s Word version. I want you to see the love that Paul had for Timothy, but also the guidance he gives him. Paul knows his time is very short and that Ephesus, which is where Timothy was, and the church, was being attacked by false teachers, much like what is going on today and might be the reason that is driving me to prepare this message. Paul did much of his work in Ephesus and I think this must have really saddened him.
The false teaching of Hymenaeus and Philetus undermined the authority of Christ's ministry. To falsely teach that the resurrection was past without the Second Coming of Christ and the pending judgment on apostate Israel, was an attempt to vindicate Judaism and the hypocrisy of its religious leaders. Thereby giving an acceptable credibility to the Gospel's greatest opposition.
I want to read this slow, so you can really get a full understanding.
2 Timothy 2:1-26 GW My child, find your source of strength in the kindness of Christ Jesus. (2) You've heard my message, and it's been confirmed by many witnesses. Entrust this message to faithful individuals who will be competent to teach others. (3) Join me in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (4) Whoever serves in the military doesn't get mixed up in non-military activities. This pleases his commanding officer. (5) Whoever enters an athletic competition wins the prize only when playing by the rules. (6) A hard-working farmer should have the first share of the crops. (7) Understand what I'm saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things. (8) Always think about Jesus Christ. He was brought back to life and is a descendant of David. This is the Good News that I tell others. (9) I'm suffering disgrace for spreading this Good News. I have even been put into prison like a criminal. However, God's word is not imprisoned. (10) For that reason, I endure everything for the sake of those who have been chosen so that they, too, may receive salvation from Christ Jesus with glory that lasts forever. (11) This is a statement that can be trusted: If we have died with him, we will live with him. (12) If we endure, we will rule with him. If we disown him, he will disown us. (13) If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful because he cannot be untrue to himself. (14) Remind believers about these things, and warn them in the sight of God not to quarrel over words. Quarreling doesn't do any good but only destroys those who are listening. (15) Do your best to present yourself to God as a tried-and-true worker who isn't ashamed to teach the word of truth correctly. (16) Avoid pointless discussions. People who pay attention to these pointless discussions will become more ungodly, (17) and what they say will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are like that. (18) They have abandoned the truth. They are destroying the faith of others by saying that people who have died have already come back to life. (19) In spite of all that, God's people have a solid foundation. These words are engraved on it: "The Lord knows those who belong to him," and "Whoever worships the Lord must give up doing wrong." (20) In a large house there are not only objects made of gold and silver, but also those made of wood and clay. Some objects are honored when they are used; others aren't. (21) Those who stop associating with dishonorable people will be honored. They will be set apart for the master's use, prepared to do good things. (22) Stay away from lusts which tempt young people. Pursue what has God's approval. Pursue faith, love, and peace together with those who worship the Lord with a pure heart. (23) Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments. You know they cause quarrels. (24) servant of the Lord must not quarrel. Instead, he must be kind to everyone. He must be a good teacher. He must be willing to suffer wrong. (25) He must be gentle in correcting those who oppose the Good News. Maybe God will allow them to change the way they think and act and lead them to know the truth. (26) Then they might come back to their senses and God will free them from the devil's snare so that they can do his will.
So what is Paul saying to Timothy and us today? We need to be stirred up in God’s gifts. We all have a gift that God has given us. Some, many. Let us look at some of the gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:4-13. James 1:17 KJV Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
1 Corinthians 12:4-13 KJV (4) Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. (5) And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. (6) And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. (7) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. (8) For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; (9) To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; (10) To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: (11) But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. (12) For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. (13) For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
Apostle Paul is talking to Timothy and us for this very season that we live in. Times are going to be very tough for a Christian. There are going to be those who will teach a message that may sound like it’s biblical, but just like when Satan tempted Eve, just like when he tempted Jesus, it is fake. It is corrupt and twisted. Just like when he tries to tempt us, it will seem like it might be okay, but does it line up 100% with the Bible?
We need to be a testimony to this dying world. Jesus is the only answer to salvation. He is the only way to God and to a life of eternity. John 14:6 KJV Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. When we live our lives for Him, our whole life changes. The world needs to see those changes. We can’t be saying we are a Christian and out living like the world. That would be like living a double life. James 1:8 KJV A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. I love the book of James because it is so convicting.
Paul was saying to Timothy that because of His faith, there would be persecution. That is so very true for right now. Friends, there are many places you can go to online to see very graphically what is happening to believers of Christ. Many preachers are being shot, beheaded and all kinds of painful, horrible deaths. The local TV and newspapers are not going to show you this. They won’t even tell you it’s happening, but it is. Just like when Paul wrote this epistle, Christians were being persecuted in many barbaric ways. Not to purposely gross anyone out, but some of the things that Nero, the Emperor of Rome would do to kill Christians were crucifixions, beheadings, wrapped in skins and thrown into arenas where dogs would mall them to death for entertainment for the people. They were thrown to wild beasts to be eaten alive. Christians were tied to stakes in Nero’s gardens with pitch poured over them and used as human torches to illuminate the gardens at night.
He was being instructed to never give up his love and works for Christ no matter how hard it got. Not to be part of the silly little games that people will try to entrap you, teach always in love.
Friends, what Paul was saying to do is exactly what the Holy Spirit taught and directed in Paul’s life. That miraculous transformation that only Christ can do. Amen?
Church, I have sat in a congregation where because of things going on, it caused a church split. I sat in a church where lusts of the flesh of a pastor and his wife ended up in divorce and a church split. I sat in a place of worship where the word preached was so watered down, you felt like you were just dipped in honey, you felt so sweet. I was part of a church where 2 pastors felt called to leave and what used to be about 50 people attending dropped to 4 after the new person came to teach that had no teaching abilities and never wanted to pray. I have been in a church where I had to leave because of evil spirits that you could feel as soon as you walked in the sanctuary and could see the true colors of the leadership as time went on. Beloved, it is hard to leave a place of worship where you might have been for so long. It may be because of losing friendships that you have made. It may be, like me back years ago, the denomination that keeps you there. Friends, these are all poor excuses to keep you in a place that God might be trying to get you to leave. Be in prayer that you are in God’s will in a place. Be in your Bibles daily feeding your souls with incorrupt seed. Ask God for guidance. Live your lives for Jesus.
Looking back, I’m not really sure why this was added, but someone needed to hear this. One might be saying, Brother Jim, are you telling me to leave the church I’m at? I would say not at all, if you are learning the truth. Sometimes the problem isn’t where we go to church. It maybe you. It might be an issue that you might have to let go of. I have walked in those shoes. I was like a Pharisee. I was always looking at my clock to make sure things were done on time. I was one who had to obey and make sure that laws that church leaders made were followed by all. I hope that anyone who knows me now can see a change, especially my Savior. Amen.
Friends, this is why I want all of you to keep Leanna and I in check. We are far from perfect, but we try to follow where God takes us and what He directs us to teach on.
Apostle Paul loved Jesus. He knew Jesus and clung to His Word and tried, I believe to get it right, even to his dying day. He was trying to instruct all these things that the Holy Spirit guided him with to Peter. Amen. There is much more to learn through this chapter and I hope that all of you will study on your own all four chapters.
So in closing, I want each of us to take a couple minutes and do some soul searching. If everyone will bow their heads and ask God to reveal things that aren’t quite right in your life. Maybe it is unforgiveness. Maybe there are chains of addiction that have you bound. Maybe, like I shared about me, that religious spirit. Just please ask God to reveal it to you in the next few minutes.