2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
I read about a small town that was to be relocated because a hydroelectric dam was to be built across their valley. Their town site would be flooded and submerged. The utility company offered all the property owners a good price for their properties. A strange thing happened. Shortly after the buy-out was announced the once quaint and well-kept little town fell into disrepair. Paint that peeled wasn't re-painted, boards came loose and weren't reattached, and weeds grew in the parking lots and were just left there. This once beautiful little town began to look terrible. A local man summed up the feelings of the community to a news reporter, "Why keep the town up now when it will be gone tomorrow?" Over the last several weeks we have examined the major events on the timeline of biblical prophecy. We learned about the Rapture of the Church, the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Tribulation Period, the Rise of the Antichrist, the Second Coming of Christ, the Millennial Kingdom, the Great White Throne Judgment and eternity future, the Heaven Ages. But what are we supposed to do with this knowledge? One thing is certain. We are not to give up and let the paint peel and the weeds grow up in our lives. Tonight I want to give you four keys for living today in light of tomorrow.
I. Follow the Faithful (3:10-12).
A. Timothy Followed Paul's Example.
1. After writing about the signs of the "last days" and the evil that would come, Paul commends young Timothy.
2. He encourages this young pastor to remain faithful.
3. Paul is nearing the end of his life, and he knew the time was coming when Timothy would have to stand on his own.
4. Paul had instructed the Corinthian believers:
1Co 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
5. As we approach the "last days," the times foretold in prophecy, people who are faithful to God will stand out in the crowd.
6. Paul prayed for the Philippian believers…
Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
B. There are Many Biblical Examples.
1. Heb.11 is called the "Hall of Faith."
2. It gives both a definition and numerous examples of faithful lives.
3. Here we find the examples of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, and many more.
4. Susan Butcher is a four time winner of the Iditarod, an 1100-mile dogsled race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska.
5. How did she do it? In an interview Butcher stated, "I just remembered that others have done it before me, and I could do it too. Because they did it, so can I."
6. That is what living the life of faith is all about.
Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
II. Trust the Truth (3:13-17).
A. The NECESSITY of the Bible (v.13)
1. In the context of the "last days" Paul says that "…evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."
2. We don't have to look around long without agreeing with the Apostle on this point.
3. Turn on the Radio or TV, check out the books at the local Christian bookstore…there are plenty of deceivers.
4. But the Bible is to be our guide, and our life manual.
5. It will lead us day by day to the finish line.
B. The STUDY of the Bible (vv.14-15).
1. Paul encouraged Timothy "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them."
2. He reminds him that it was his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice who had carefully taught Timothy the Word of God from His childhood.
3. This reminds us that as parents and grand- parents, we need to carry that on and pass the torch to the next generation.
4. We are only one generation from apostacy.
5. Maybe you didn't have a parent who taught you the Scripture "from childhood" but you have God's Word today, study it!
6. Paul's word to Timothy is "Don't give up. Don't stop. Stay with the truths you have learned."
7. We live in an information age, yet, the more I learn the more I am convinced of the truth of the Bible.
C. The POWER of the Bible (vv.16-17).
1. The Bible is "given by inspiration" or is "God-breathed."
2. It is not just any book it is the Book.
3. The Bible is 'profitable' whatever time you spend reading, studying, listening, etc. will be of benefit to you.
4. The Bible will make me "complete" or mature.
III. Share the Savior (4:1-4).
A. Paul's Charge (v.1).
1. In this verse Paul is like a general before his troops.
2. He says "I charge [command] you."
3. He also reminds us that we will stand before Jesus who will "who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing."
B. Our Mission (v.2).
1. We are to "preach the word" to "preach" simply means "to proclaim."
2. This is not a verse just for pastors or Bible teachers but for all believers.
3. We all have a place in God's prophetic plan; as the Day grows nearer, we are to be faithful to share the message of the Savior.
4. We are to "be ready" to tell others about Jesus both "in season and out of season."
5. When we it is convenient, and when it isn't convenient.
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
C. Dark Days (vv.3-4).
1. In these "last days" these "perilous times" there are a lot of voices clamoring for attention.
2. Many will "not endure sound doctrine."
3. The occult, New Age, mysticism, humanism, secularism, etc… all claim to be true.
4. In these dark times the clear shining light of the gospel becomes increasingly more important.
5. In these "perilous times" of the last days it is important to keep the message simple.
1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
IV. Complete the Course (4:5-8).
A. We should pour out our life, not hoard it up (v.6).
B. Keep the faith, don't bail out at the end (v.7).
C. Keep our eyes on the finish line, not the race (v.8)
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
How should we live in light of tomorrow? In light of all that we know about the future?