2 Timothy 3:1–9

 |  September 5, 2018

This pericope contains two imperatives in vs. 1 and vs. 5.

The message is a warning.  Paul began this section – “Know this!”  This passage admonishes believers to guard your heart and your home.

Difficult days are coming.  So, Paul identified what we are to look for and what we should do about it

The phrase, “In the last days” sounds like a picture of some distant future and remote time.  But that is not the case here.  The instruction in vs. 5 to “avoid these people” is in the present tense, suggesting that these false teachers were already infecting them.  So, “end time” refers to a period they were already experiencing!

There are two instructions in this text: what we are to look for; what do we do when we find it

The 18 characteristics listed in 3:2–5 represent a staggering list of people negatively impacting the church.  Paul said that they have a form of Godliness, but denying its power.  They had the appearance of Godliness, but it was false.

They are religious imposters whose primary identifying feature is misplaced love

It is significant that in Revelation 2, Jesus to the Church in Ephesus (this same Church), “You have left your first love.”

The word used here for “avoid” (αποτρεπου) occurs only here in the New Testament, but represents a common theme (Cf. Rom. 16:17; 1 Tim. 6:20; 2 Tim. 2:16, 23; Titus 3:9)

Look at the characteristics of those vulnerable to false teaching:

  1. Weak-willed (give in easy to temptation)
  2. Loaded down with sin (obviously, when you are IN sin – easy target)
  3. Swayed by various lusts (evil desires – enticing them) – controlled by desires
  4. Always Learning (religiously curious) – curiosity not necessarily a bad thing; motivation
  5. But not gaining understanding of the truth

Vs. 8 – Puts this in context of false teachers

They had the appearance of religion

Vs. 9 – But they will not succeed!

You might title this sermon: Know this!

What we are to Know:

  1. Religious Appearance without Character
  2. Religious Words without Content

What we are to Do:  Turn away from them!


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