Warning of Terrible Threat to Church
Part 3, Defending the Truth Series, 2 Timothy 3:1-17
As he has previously done, Paul warned Timothy about the coming threat to the church. This threat wasn’t coming from the outside, but from within. Paul’s prediction was that the church has entered a grim time in its young history. And this terrible time will continue until Christ returns so Paul explains to Timothy the nature of the threat.
1. Explanation of the threat.
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.” 2 Tim. 3:1
· The “last days” begun from the time of the Lord’s birth and go all the way to the time of His 2nd coming as Judge of all things.
· The “last days,” is not measured in calendar days, but a day to the Lord is a thousand years. “8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” 2 Peter 3:8, NKJV.
· The last days will be marked by social degeneration, even within the church. See 2 Tim. 3:2-5.
19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 2 Tim. 2:19.
· Since Paul’s 1st letter to Timothy, and even up to this 2nd letter, the apostle has been battling false teachers who have infiltrated the Ephesian church, and they will increase even more towards Christ’s return.
· Paul confronts the false teachings as they have been weakening the faith of some and behavioral degeneration.
· An example of false teachings that Paul has been confronting is the doctrine of salvation by (religious) works. See 2 Tim. 1:9, Eph. 2:8-9, Gal. 1:6-10.
2. Effects of false doctrines in the church.
· False doctrines negatively affect all aspect of life.
“2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power.” 2 Tim.3: 2-5.
· False teachings will weaken the integrity of the church.
“Have nothing to do with such people. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 2 Tim.3:5-7.
· False teachings will turn us against godly leaders.
“8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.” 2 Tim.3: 8-9
· False teachings will remove God’s blessing on relationships.
“9 they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.” 2 Tim.3:9
3. Encouragement to fully commit to sound teachings.
“10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. Andout of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” 2 Tim. 3:10-13, NKJV.
· Doctrines means teachings of the faith. It refers to the body of Biblical teachings. In essence, sound doctrine is the teachings of a Biblical teacher.
· Paul have taught Timothy and the latter have been careful to follow the former’s teachings. v.10.
But why study and commit to sound doctrines?
· It promotes godliness. See vv. 10-12
· It protects our faith. See v.11.
· It makes us Christ-like. See v.12, 1 Peter 2:20-21
· It equips us for correct Christian service.
“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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim.3: 16-17.