In Part One of this message, Adrian Rogers spoke of the perilous days and end-time issues Paul describes in his second letter to Timothy. Paul wants Timothy to be prepared — not caught off guard by difficult days ahead.
What were some of those issues? Look again at Paul’s colorful description of mankind as the days become more dangerous.
1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, without self control, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive gullible women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 2 Timothy 3:1-8
The apostle’s description of last-day culture is already commonplace in 2011 — so much so, we’ve become accustomed to it.
But what should the believer do? What should the Church’s response be when human behavior has a “new norm” that includes truce breaking, loss of natural love and affection — all the traits above, which cause us to shudder. Dr. Rogers continues:
God Tells Us What We Must Do
He has not left us to fend for ourselves! He’s given us instructions.
1. First, we must withdraw.
“from such turn away.” (v. 5)
Not just stop taking part in the behaviors of verses 2 through 8; God says His people need to leave churches where the Gospel is no longer preached or is watered down to a bloodless salvation by a merely kind, tolerant Christ.
Withdraw from that kind of church if you are a member of one. Saturate that place with your absence. We’re to witness to the people of this world, but we’re not to hob-knob or participate with them.“If any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man and have no company with him.” (2 Thessalonians 3:14)
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them.” (Romans 16:17)
See also 1 Corinthians 5:11 and 1 Timothy 6:5. The apostle John goes even further and warns, “Receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed, for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” (2 John 10)
We don’t put our arms around them and say, “Well, your ideas are just as good as ours.” The Bible calls for a last-day “coming out” from a church such as this.
A Coming Out and a Going In
It’s not simply coming out; it’s also going in.
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25
Parents, see to it that your children are in activities where they’re taught of the Lord. Young married people, surround yourselves with fellow believers as friends. The closer we get to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the more we need to practice separation from the world and communion with the people of God.
2. Prepare for persecution.
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (v. 12)
Some people get the idea, “if we live godly, we’ll escape persecution.” No, you won’t. Jesus didn’t. Paul didn’t. And you won’t. You’re a twice-born person in a world of once-born people. You’re going against the tide all the time. This world is not going to honor you if you truly live for the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. Get hold of the truth.
“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse deceiving and being deceived.” (v. 13)
You’d better know where you stand and what you stand for, because it’s going to get worse. The devil will do his work by deceiving. There’ll be all kinds of charlatans. But God’s people, as they get closer to the second coming of Jesus, will become brighter and brighter. “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18
4. Continue in what you have learned.
“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them…” (v. 14)
Remember the Word of God and who you learned it from. Don’t doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light.
5. Rest confidently in the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures...
“…which are able to make thee wise unto salvation.” (v. 15)
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (v. 14)
“and is profitable for doctrine…” to show us what’s right,
“…for reproof…” to get us when we’re wrong,
“…for correction…” to get us going back right,
“…for instruction in righteousness…” to keep us right,
“…that the man of God may be perfect…” that is, mature,
“…thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
All we need to live in these last days is between the covers of the Bible. We need to be —
You may already be sure that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. But let this book reinforce your faith and help you to share it with others. There are many today who are trying to make their way through a world of darkness, having never heard the gospel. Read John’s account with that in mind, and discover new ways you might introduce others to the Light of the World (John 8:12).