May 27, 2017
2 Timothy 3
Shawn Bumpers / General
Paul was preparing for his departure … he knew that he was near the end of his race.
And so he was communicating to Timothy things that he figured to be very important for Timothy to carry on Paul’s ministry.
2 Timothy 1:13 NKJV
Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:2 NKJV
And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
He reminded Timothy that in order for him to do this, he needed to be focused on that good work.
Isaiah 55:10–11 NKJV
“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
2 Timothy 2:10 NKJV
Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
Galatians 1:10 NKJV
For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
True teaching promotes righteousness … but where “sound doctrine” is ignored, sin flourishes.
Hebrews 1:1–2 NKJV
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
2 Peter 3:9 NKJV
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
The Greek word for perilous in verse 1 is χαλεπός Chalepos (HALAH-pose) and means dangerous, hard to deal with … even violent.
Matthew 8:28 NKJV
When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way.
1 Timothy 4:1 NKJV
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
These things were appearing in Paul’s day, and with each passing generation they have increased in intensity.
Yet of course some would say that it just seems that way because today we know nearly instantly what is going on anywhere in the world, and news concentrates on the sensational.
Some understand “last days” to mean the final period immediately before the return of the Lord Jesus to establish his kingdom.
In fact, the Greek word for “last” here is ἔσχατος Eschatos where we get the term Eschatology from … that is the study of End Times.
Acts 2:17 NKJV
‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.
And he says that perilous times will come.
In the last days which Timothy was in and that we are in today.
A faithful believer should have nothing to do with the people that Paul describes here.
And where does Paul say that these people are in operation today?
The Greek word that is here translated “men” does not single out any single group of people, but is ἄνθρωπος Anthrōpos, simply meaning “people.”
Matthew 22:37–39 NKJV
Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is God, and then there are people and things.
There are teachers who say that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them.
Many in the church today teach that if you are financially poor or in poor health, then you are lacking faith.
Genesis 3:5 NKJV
For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Romans 1:25 NKJV
who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
This stuff snuck into the church and has now become a large and influential movement despite the fact that it is unbiblical.
And the preachers who teach this stuff are just as Paul describes in verse 2, “Lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud (arrogant), and blasphemers.
2 Timothy 2:15 KJV 1900
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
“Disobedient to parents” is next.
The Greek word used here for disobedience pertains to a continuous disobedience to parents.
Next up … “Unthankful” and “unholy” may not seem to belong together.
That is until we look at another list of Paul’s in Romans 1:29–31.
Romans 1:29–31 NKJV
being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
Romans 1:21 NIV84
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
To withhold thanks from God puts the believer in the realm of the unbeliever, refusing to acknowledge that God exists and that our life and all we have come from Him.
“Unloving” in verse 3 describes people who cause division.
They are people who are unyielding and irreconcilable and must have their own way.
The Greek word for unloving is ἄστοργος Astorgos meaning “Without natural affection.”
The word that is translated as unforgiving is ἄσπονδος Aspondos and is better translated “without offering.”
Often, these people who cause division resort to slander and tearing down the reputation of others in order to prop up their false teachings.
We find the word “slanderers” in verse 3.
Here, it’s the Greek word διάβολος Diabolos which means devil … it’s root means “To bring charges.”
Another characteristic that Paul points to is a lack of self-control.
“Do your own thing and enjoy it” is the motto of the world.
2 Corinthians 7:1 NKJV
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Romans 12:1–2 NKJV
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
For one thing, it is ἀνήμερος Anēmeros meaning “Fierce, savage, and brutal.”
Isaiah 5:20 NKJV
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
In verse 4, we have “traitors.”
It describes people who betray others and cannot be trusted.
2 Peter 2:1–3 NKJV
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
And then we have “Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”
Paul is not suggesting that we have to choose between pleasure and God.
Psalm 16:11 NKJV
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Now we get to a verse that those who push false doctrine often try to quote to divert the argument.
“Having a form of godliness but denying it’s power.”
Understand that Paul is not belittling women here.
He is merely pointing out a condition of his time.
They find people who are ripe for being deceived.
Paul is referring back to the contest between Moses and the Pharaoh’s magicians from Exodus chapters 7-9.
Yannēs and Yambrēs are not named in those chapters, but they are identified in the Targum.
In their attempt to be “modern,” they deny the reality of sin and people’s need for salvation.
Yannēs and Yambrēs were finally exposed and made fools of by the judgments of God.
Yannēs and Yambrēs were ministers of Satan’s work.
In contrast, Paul is our best example of a worker for the Lord.
John 18:20 NKJV
Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing.
Timothy knew Paul very well and while Paul was not perfect, he tried to be a good example to young Timothy.
He stood up for the truth even when it meant losing friends and, in the end, losing his life.
Acts 20:27 NKJV
For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
The only way to defeat Satan’s lies is with God’s truth.
But how do you know if what you are hearing is truth if you are unfamiliar with the Bible?
In the final verses of this chapter, Paul made some important statements about the Scriptures:
John 5:39 NKJV
You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.
2 Timothy 3:16–17 NKJV
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The word is θεόπνευστος Theopneustos: God Breathed
The doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture is vitally important.
Genesis 3:1 NKJV
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
Deuteronomy 32:4 NKJV
He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.
John 14:6 NKJV
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
1 John 5:6 NKJV
This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.
John 17:17 NKJV
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
2 Peter 1:20–21 NKJV
knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Verse 16 also tells us that scripture is profitable … it means beneficial.
And verse 17 says that the scriptures equip us for service.