The Word This Week

2 Timothy 3:1…

From the Mamartine Prison at Rome, under extreme duress in the anticipation of his death by beheading and the unspeakable squalor of his living conditions, all of Paul’s thoughts in his second letter are focused on the future of the fledgling church.

Will it survive everything Satan throws against it?

Attacks from the outside are to be expected. This bit of persecution from Rome is par for the course. Its false accusations, its fake recriminations, its unrelenting power? All what we are to expect. Just as Jesus said, the world hates Jesus, and it will hate you too. At some point that hatred will spill over into brutal action - including murder, imprisonment on false charges, theft of property, ostracization, and the like. Maybe even worse things than that if it were possible.

But when the attacks which would destroy the Church come from inside the church it would come as quite a surprise if that were not expected too. Paul says this SHOULD BE expected, and it must be guarded against. Especially in the last days.

The last days will be characterized by a distinct lack of character among men which will infiltrate the church because the Church is open to anyone and everyone who wishes to attend, and because the Church generally desires to believe the best about people.

This very attitude of grace and forgiveness provides a platform for some who have no fear of God to exploit. We must not allow this to take place.

These kind of people bring all sorts of destructive worldly influences which slander the work of Christ and make it of no effect. If the Church cannot and does not withstand the influences of these kinds of people it offers no alternative worthy of pursuit by the world the church is designed to save.

Doctrine must remain paramount in the Church, lest it falter to the constantly changing philosophies and opinions of men. Good doctrine must be known, taught, informed, and repeated over and over and as often as the Church meets, lest it recede into the oblivion of worldliness and obfuscation.

The main, most important doctrine the Church must be taught and made constantly aware of is this is not man’s word, or the design of men - but is the very Word of God.

Paul here predicts in the last days the Church will deny the Bible is literally God’s Word.

This is exactly what we have seen since the beginning of the 20th century. We are those presently called to expect and defend the church against exactly the kinds of internal attacks Paul describes here.

Pastor Bill