July 8, 2018
Pastor John Hering
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
4 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Last week you heard Jesus speak the word and raise up the daughter of Jairus. That’s a powerful Word! But, is that same Word of God so powerful today? Here’s why I’m asking the question. 1) Students are increasingly disobedient and disrespectful. Here’s a quote from an expert: “Kids are rude because they’re modeling rude behavior that they see around them,” says April Masini, relationship expert with the Daily Observer. “From parents to teachers to rappers to movie stars—kids learn from what they see, so if your kids are exposed to rude behavior, they’re going to model it.” Let’s not just pick on the kids. Millennials are famous for the unrestrained behavior in pursuit of personal pleasure and parties. Middle-aged folks are less impressed with the heritage handed down and senior citizens press the default: NO WAY! Button with anything to do with change and unwilling to contribute anything except their bitterness and complaints. So, is the Word of God as powerful now as it was in the days when Jesus spoke it? One could argue that it seems the answer is, “NO!” in a world gone mad. Sadly, it’s the same world that Timothy and his congregation in Ephesus were living. They had the best schools, libraries, scholars, researchers and experts. Add to this the same mantra we hear today, “The object of life is to satisfy my own desires, so go ahead and step on anybody that gets in your way” and you can agree that we are still living in a World that has Gone Mad, is broken, ruined, and desperately in need of help.
Our Gracious God did just that. He gave his gracious help through the pen of St Paul in 2 Timothy so that we can
Cope In A World Gone Bad! (How? Preach God’s Word…)
Of Promise. Of Power. Of Peace.
How can we remove evil for society? This question was posed on Quora.com and here are the top 4 answers: 1. Education 2. Build Character 3. Spirituality 4. Yoga Now, to some degree you might agree. After all a good education leads to good citizenship. Put the kids on a farm for a month and build their character. Get them to meditate without phone or TV and you might get somewhere, right? Yes, you might influence the morality of people, but you must have good teachers with good materials. And compared to the books I had growing up, today we have Siri, Cortana and Google. Here’s the thing. These places are constantly updating, changing, correcting, and if you run across experts, usually disagreeing! New research digs up new ideas so today you’re not sure if you should eat eggs, drink coffee, or clean out your ears with Q-tips! What today’s experts have to say will probably be replaced by what tomorrow’s experts have to say. So, wouldn’t it be frustrating—no scary—if what we needed to know in order to cope with a world Gone Bad were left up to the experts? Thanks be to God, this is not the case!
There are answers to life’s biggest problems from a book with an expert who is the perfect author who never changes, never makes a mistake and makes some amazing promises. Paul was inspired to write this:
“14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
God himself “breathed into” the pens of his prophets and apostles the very thoughts and words he wanted to be recorded. That’s a miracle. In this book God reveals himself to us with these promises: To make us wise for salvation, that God’s Word is inspired, that it is useful, that it equips us! In this book God writes down what we need to hear so we can believe that Jesus is the promised Savior, and by believing in him we have the gift of eternal life. That’s what Timothy has learned and that is what he was passing on to people. Notice—the importance of learning from little on! Let’s give a shout out to our Kingdom Kids and to our Christian Day school at Calvary! Those truths from God’s Word taught from little on do what? “….which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” Don’t you love the phrase, “wise for salvation!” A little child who knows the promises of God’s Word can speak so simply to the so-called wise and learned experts of today, “Jesus can do it. He can do anything!” That’s coping with a world that has gone bad by preaching the the Promises of God’s Word. And when you do, then you’ll….
Preach the Word that is powerful!
When people write or text they want to share information or want to touch your heart, maybe with a meme or imoji. If you’re watching a TV it is probably for entertainment (sports), or information (History channel) or maybe something that will touch your head; a murder mystery might scare you, a love story might make you happy, a war story might make you angry or give a sense of justice. God’s Word is so powerful because it not only affects our head and our heart, but it feeds our soul and strengthens our faith! That’s a Word of Power.
Think about this: You go to the Doctor for your cough. He gives you medicine for your throat, but not for your lungs that are causing the cough. Doesn’t make sense. Or you climb up a pile of sand to see over the hill, but keep sliding back down. Or walking through a corn maze but never finding the exit. Frustrating, yes? God used the pen of Paul to Timothy to help the Christians in Ephesus and you identify the root of our world gone bad and then be able to get at the root problem, to sort through all the false teachers, to get to the exit all the way to heaven! So Paul wrote
, “3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
No wonder Paul appealed to Timothy to
“continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it.”
This wasn’t just texting, sending memes, or trying to share some head or heart story—this was about rocking their world! They heard God’s law and were exposed just like we were for the way we treated our friends and co-workers, held grudges against family, the envy for those who make more money, for the silent treatment against soured relationships, for exposed skeletons in the closet, for the lack on honor due to the Lord God in worship, for their world that had gone bad and the eternal punishment deserved on account of our sins! But, the also learned God’s Gospel—the Good News that the Word was made flesh and lived among us to set us from the curse of sin, the power of Satan and the grip of death. It caused their lower lip to quiver and their eyes to tear with joy because God loves us for Jesus’ sake! They heard the powerful Word of God that assured them,
“Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. 17 The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing”
Yes, we can cope in a world gone bad because the Powerful Word of God has been preached to us. That’s what Paul means when you read,
“how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
That same powerful Word that brings us peace in this world is the same Word that brings peace to others.
Preach the Word of Peace
You know the feeling of peace. Think of those living in California who face wild fires and wonder if they will escape with their lives. It is a feeling of peace and safety when they are rescued by the air national guard! The Word of God rescues us from the curse of sin and hides us in the mighty fortress of Jesus’ love. However, the Savior does not want us to hide behind the walls of Jesus’ love in a curled up position praying that the messes of our life will pass on by. We are directed to proclaim the peace we have to others!
Timothy, the early Christians and we all needed a fortress for our faith, but also we need direction for our lives. The Lord sent these directives:
“16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work….. Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”
Notice the wide range of applications because of the wide range of people who are living in a world gone bad. Tammy didn’t go to church because of a bad experience she had in church. Her Christian friend taught her that church wasn’t primarily about her relationship with others, but about her relationship that is strengthened through the Word of God. Now she helps reach out to others with on the evangelism team. Rob—made a mess of his life abusing drugs and alcohol. He was rebuked by his Christian friend that helped him see the bad choices he was making and ruining his life. Now he helps others who are stuck in the ditch of abuse. Mike and Mary were about to give up because they weren’t getting anything out of their marriage, but Mary’s sister-in-law took her out to lunch and corrected her thinking that marriage was not about what you can get out of it, but about what you put into it. They repented of their selfishness and not enjoy the game of trying to out-please their spouse in the life-long love story. Joe never had enough dough. Then one day his Christian friend patiently and carefully instructed Joe on godly stewardship. During that instruction the Holy Spirit snagged Joe’s heart and his wallet came along for the ride. Now he’s known as generous Joe!
Do you see, when we face a world gone bad with the power of God’s Word we have the joy of sharing the peace that comes only in our Savior Jesus.
You’ve probably heard people say the Bible just isn’t relevant for our world today. Well, in a world where students are rude, millennials are materialists, and the old people do nothing but nitpick—yes, in a world that has gone bad, it is time to counter the world, the sinful flesh and the devil with the powerful Word of God. What can you do about a world gone bad? Preach the powerful promises of God’s Word that bring Peace. Amen!