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Perilous Times & Twisted Paths (2 Timothy 3:1-9, 13)
Sermon Notes
Sunday, 02 December 2012 00:00

2 Timothy 3:5 contains the ONLY command in the paragraph found in 3:1-9 – “From such people turn away.” Literally, this reads, “From these turn away.” The “these” would then include both the teachings and the undesirable traits (3:2-5a) of the false teachers.

This command is crucial to understanding and applying the paragraph of 2 Timothy 3:1-9.
Paul would not call Timothy to turn away from such people if such people were not present there in Ephesus during Timothy’s days on this present earth.
And, since this letter is ultimately for all believers, such people clearly exist in our day too.
APPLY IT: Those with whom we are associating have an influence on us.
The two biggest influences in your life will be the books you read and the people you allow to influence your life. This influence can come in person, via TV or radio, over the internet, through movies, and of course, a book contains the ideas of a person.
We are to turn away from people and perspectives like this that are bad influences!

We are to turn away from these kinds of people, for (gar) of this sort … (3:6).
We are back to thinking now of this false teaching that undergirds such bad behavior (3:6-9).
These false teachers work secretly (they creep into households) and their specialty is winning women over to their false doctrines and false ways.
They can often gain a foothold if they can get the woman of the house.
These gullible (literally, “little”) women are laden (loaded down with) sins in the sense that they are easy prey for false teachers who have seemingly effective techniques to offer them for dealing with their troubles.
These victims are led astray by various lusts, meaning that these women are pulled by many different types of wrong desires. Their various lusts would seem to include a desire to be seen by others as well-informed. Notice the next verse (3:7) which tells us that they are always learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

The truth here is probably not the truth of how one is born again, but rather the truth of Christian growth as found in John 8:30-32, where knowing the truth set believers free from bondage to sin. But by following the doctrines of these truth-resistors, they are not going to be able to be set free because they won’t be learning and knowing the truth of the Bible.
The character of these apostates is seen in verse 8. He compares them to two of the Egyptian court magicians who opposed Moses. The point of comparison is that Jannes and Jambres opposed the truth. These false teachers are “truth-resistors” as well.
This is not to say that since Jannes and Jambres were most likely unregenerate, then these false teachers in 2nd Timothy must be as well.
After all, Jesus called Peter Satan in Matthew 16:23, and that is worse than saying that someone is like Jannes and Jambres.

Paul clearly states here is that these teachers will resist the truth. They are “truth-resistors.”
Like Jannes and Jambres, these future false teachers will be of corrupt minds. They will not think with a true biblical view of things.
And they will be disapproved concerning the faith.
Paul’s use of this word is most informative.
Romans 16:10 tells us of “Apelles, approved in Christ” and 1 Corinthians 9:27 where Paul himself feared his own disapproval. (a-dokimos)
This may imply that these men are regenerate, for in the NT “approval” and “disapproval” are terms uniquely related to believers.
All who come to faith in Christ for eternal life are in the family of God, also called “the household of faith” in Galatians 6:10. They are accepted as permanent members of the forever family of God (John 1:12).
But not all children in the family of God are “approved of God” (2 Timothy 2:15).
Only those who are walking by faith and who continue to do so are approved and will hear words such as “Well done, good and faithful servant,” when we stand (present ourselves) at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:10).
I can be absolutely certain that I am accepted and thus eternally secure because that is based totally on God’s promise, and He is always and forever faithful (2:13).
However, I cannot be certain that I will someday have His approval and hear Him say to me, “Well done, good servant” (Luke 19:17) at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

The reason I cannot know for sure that I will have His approval is that I cannot be sure that I will persevere. Even Paul said that he would be disapproved if he fell away after having preached to others.
I realize that my life will have been a success if the Lord approves of me at His Judgment Seat.
Of course, my life will have been partially successful if I lay up treasure in heaven and receive at least some measure of authority in His kingdom (Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 19:19).
But I aspire to hear Him say, “Well done, good servant.”
Don’t you want to hear Him say that to you?
Wouldn’t that be the greatest thing that will ever happen to you other than the time you received everlasting life (by faith in Jesus’ promise to give it to you if you simply believe Him for it)?

Living for Jesus’ approval is a wonderful motivation as long as we realize that the issue here is how well we will be able to glorify Him forever, not whether or not we will be with Him.
In 3:8-9, we see that truth-resistors manifest a corrupt mind (that leads to crooked living,twisted lives). We see that truth-resistors are disapproved as to the walk of faith. And we see that the truth-resistors, (who often see themselves as “progressives”), will not progress as they supposed. Instead their folly will be exposed, just as was the folly of the truth-resistors (Jannes and Jambres) became clearly exposed in Exodus 8:18; 9:11.

The antidote to the alphabet of adokimos (disapproved) attitudes and actions is the application of God’s Word to our lives. It goes back to 2:15 and the three questions that we, His children, can ask ourselves concerning the way we are living our lives as His servants:
(1) Is the Lord well pleased?
(2) Is the work well done?
(3) Is the Word well used?





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