Preach the Word - part 2 (audio - part 2)
2Timothy 3:1 – 4:4
In the early days of the founding of our country a French philosopher by the name of Alexis de Tocqueville visited America in search for the secret to the greatness of our country. In his book, Democracy in America, he writes…
“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers – and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce – and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution – and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”
That was said many years ago. Here is something that’s being said by a presidential candidate. And it’s a slogan
in the presidential race (I know you’ve heard it ) “Make America Great Again”
That must mean, America has in some ways lost her greatness, and according to the French philosopher, America has stopped being good. In recent days we have seen violence and the ugly side of America. Alongside of that we’ve seen the good side of America where there are those who do what is right.
I believe the French philosopher is right. There is a connection between goodness and greatness. And the Bible makes it clear.
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34
Our nation is a sum total of its people. In our country there are over 350,000 churches. That might sound like a lot, but in most denominations there is a great decline in church attendance. There is, however, a growing population of Muslims in America, and very much so here in Tennessee. In the year 2000, there were reported to be about 1200 mosques in the United States. Ten years later, 2010 there were 2100 mosques—a 74% increase. This growth reflects the thousands and thousands of Muslims entering our country.
Churches must reexamine where they are…..and determine by the grace of God..to either be what they are suppose to be, or get out of the business. Long ago, the reformers, such as, Martin Luther made this statement…..”The church is where the Word of God is rightly preached. Where the Word is not rightly preached there is no church, plain and simple. Where the church is found, the Word of God is honored, preached, taught, cherished, obeyed, and believed.”
We must preach the Word of God. In season or out of season as our text says.
There are several reason for preaching the Word of God… we gave a few last time.
1st reason - because of the times of difficulty --- dangerous times, or perilous times as KJV
3:1 in the last days-- began with the coming of Christ…….. there will be dangerous times …and dangerous people…. vv.2-5 ….. they are dangerous….appearance of godliness….deny its power….deny the truth…deny the gospel… creep into households….take captive weak women burdened with sins…led astray by various passions……..always learning…never able…knowledge of truth…like the magicians of Egypt who opposed Moses…they OPPOSE THE TRUTH…..SEE V.9 EVENTUALLY…IT ALL PLAYS OUT…. THEY WILL NOT GET VERY FAR….THEIR FOLLY WILL BE PLAIN TO ALL…..
2ND REASON—must preach…. Because of the Saints we follow vv.10-14
You have followed my teaching… my conduct… my aim…my faith…my patience…my love… This is PERSONAL to Paul…. And it became PERSONAL TO Timothy….
This is where we ended last time….
We must preach………because of the Saints we Follow…..
……because of the Saints who will Follow us…… it was personal for Paul, timothy, and for all the saints down through history…..IT MUST BE PERSONAL FOR US…
V.14 “BUT AS FOR YOU, CONTINUE IN WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED AND HAVE FIRMLY BELIEVED, KNOWING FROM WHOM YOU LEARNED IT.”
Timothy…..was taught by his mother (2Tim. 1:5)
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. (a faith passed down….youth)
What we have learned….in the Bible…. Must continue…….hand down to our children…and our children’s children….
It’s not going to be easy….it’s not now, nor in years to come will it be easy to live for Christ….. (see vv.12-13)
v.12 All who desire to live a godly….
v.13 evil people…..bad to worse…
WE must continue in the faith….that which we firmly believe….must keep on preaching it….passing it down to the next generation.
3rd REASON to Preach God’s Word
1. Because of the Character of God’s Word….. vv.15-17
a) It’s POWER…….It is able to prepare hearts to receive Christ in faith.
Sacred writings = Old Testament-----Timothy had a good background in the law…which prepared him for the gospel. The law is described as our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.
Timothy preached law…and it prepared repentant hearts to receive the gospel of grace.
To be perfect you must keep all the 10 commandments…. No one has kept them, except Jesus. Thou shalt not kill…… you might say..I’ve never killed someone….but Jesus said if you have had anger against another person….that is the same as murder….. another commandment - thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not bear false witness…..that’s telling a lie…..The law is like a mirror, it reveals our inability to meet God’s standards…we are lawbreakers, we are sinners….we are guilty, and the Bible says “the soul that sinneth it shall die…” Ezekiel 18:20
The only hope for sinners is for someone to pay for our sins; pay our penalty; take what we have coming…..and Jesus did exactly that on our behalf.. He died the death that we deserve. He now offers grace and forgiveness for all who will come believing in his name….
Before a person comes in repentance, and brokenness, and humility…. He must first be confronted with his sin…..that’s why …we preach the Word….we preach the law….
Here is what Charles Spurgeon said about the importance of preaching the law….
I do not believe that any man can preach the gospel who does not preach the law. The law is the needle, and you cannot draw the silken thread of the gospel through a man’s heart unless you first send the needle of the law to make way for it.
Make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus….
Power to save….
1Peter 1:23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
b) It’s Truthfulness ---------truthfulness of the Scriptures v.16
The reason God’s Word has the power or the ability to make one wise unto salvation is because of its truthfulness. Just how true is God’s Word? It is as true as God Himself.
See v.16 all Scripture is breathed out by God…. All Scriptures came from the mouth of God…
These are not words of men, but the words of God. The Word of God ! The Word of God is so close to God…that describing the Lord Jesus…He’s called the Word of God.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth
3 important words to help us with understanding the “truthfulness of God’s Word”
(1) Infallibility -- tells us that the Word of God will never cease being true.
(2) Inerrancy-----tells us that EVERY single Word is true…no errors at all..
(3) Inspiration---- tells us how God’s Word was given to insure it’s truthfulness…
Infallibility - --- word “fall” ….we are creatures who fall…we fail…we make mistakes…the Word of God cannot fail; Just as God is infallible, His Word is Infallible…it will never fall, ; He can never do wrong; and the Word of God can never do wrong….never come a day… oops! It’s not working…you can’t use this verse….never fails….. the promise of God never fail…. What God says happen will never fail…. (As a sophomore in high school, I remember asking this question to the biology teacher…. Why aren’t we using these books up here on the shelf..? He said, their outdated, we have new books….science becomes outdated….new information…new theories are learned….but God’s Word never is OUTDATED….. more current that today’s newspaper… never becomes obsolete….. It’s exciting to see what’s going on in current events….God has predicted all these things through his prophets in the Word of God…)
Inerrancy – “word error” Are their errors in the Word of God? No…. there are no errors…
You might find a typo error ……because of the publishers….. and there are erros by those who made copies….before the printing press in 1450 AD….copies were done by hand….there were those errors…but in the original manuscripts…..no errors….
The words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.
Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
I might make an error in quoting a scripture and even reading it, but when it first came from God through the prophets and they penned it down….NO ERRORS… YOU TAKE WHAT the prophets wrote down about future events….and it happens just like they wrote it.
Inspiration - How did the Word of God get from God’s mouth transferred down on paper? Inspiration speaks of the process of how we got the Word of God.
20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit used prophets and apostles….he used their personalities, their style, their background, and prompted them (or moved upon them) to write the very words God intended to be in the Scriptures.
It’s not like when someone says, God inspired me to write a song. That’s not divine inspiration…The only divinely inspired writings are the Holy Scriptures we call the Bible…. That’s not true for the Koran, it’s not true for the Book of Mormons, it’s not true for the Apocrypha writings….all 66 books of the Bible are inspired….there’s a warning in the last chapter of Revelation for those who would add to God’s Word, or take away from God’s Word…
Inspiration, Infallibility, Inerrancy only applies to the original documents….which we no longer have….
How do we know that we still have the Word of God?
The same Holy Spirit that oversaw the process of getting God’s Word through the prophets and Apostles, also oversaw the preservation of God’s Word. History bears this out.
The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and down through the years Jewish scribes followed very strict standards to ensure the accuracy of the copies being made. Strict standards such as the width of columns, the kind of parchment used, the kind of ink, and the spacing of words. Nothing from memory was written down…that was totally forbidden. They had to methodically copy exactly what they saw.
In the 1950’s an amazing discovery of what’s called the DEAD SEA scrolls have proven that what we have in the Old Testament is a reliable text. The scrolls date back to the time of Christ and even beyond that.
And when it comes to the New Testament which was written in Greek, there are ancient copies that date back to 117 AD. Of all the thousands of copies of the New Testament Greek, there are only slight variations, and none of which affect any major doctrine…. Textual scholars conclude that what we have today is a biblical text that is virtually unchanged.
Therefore it is PROFITABLE FOR TEACHING.
When we think of the character of God’s Word, not only is it powerful to bring one to faith in Christ;
Not only is it true in every word, that is, it is infallible, inerrant, and the inspired Word of God…
It is SUFFICIENT for ministry
c) It’s SUFFICIENCY ------- The sufficiency of Scripture
Profitable or beneficial, useful----for teaching, for reproof, straighten us out, correcting us, and training us in righteousness,
Sufficient ….to make us what we ought to be…. To train us…. To instruct us…
That we may be complete, equipped for every good work…
Today….the sufficiency of the Scriptures is under attack….. many church leaders have fallen into the trap thinking we need other things to get the job done….. it’s like the scriptures don’t impress folks, so we say things like, “God spoke to me the other day…..” We think it will grab people attention when you speak of some revelation that God has given you….a new prophecy for the church group to hear….. Or we get caught up in mysticism, and emotionalism, and people seeing visions of Mary, and spirits of all kinds floating around…..
The Word of God is sufficient…..it is profitable, to do the job. To bring the truth to bear upon the heart of the sinner, confront his sin, reveal Christ, and their need to repent and trust what God has said to be saved.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
4th REASON ----Because we MUST give an account--- 4:1-2 “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus…..”
2Cor. 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness
What more can you say? It speaks for itself. When it’s all said and done, what I do is for the audience of one. The One who really matters. So what if preaching the word of God is not acceptable today…. Just as long as I’m true to God’s Word, one day I will give an account to Christ and to God for how I handled the Word of Truth.
5th REASON -------Because of the trend to wander away from the TRUTH 4:3-4
We are easily distracted. We hear something that sounds good, sounds soothing, sounds appealing, and we listen so easily to that which is not from God’s Word. It appeals to the flesh. It appeals to our desires.
People flock to what is popular, what is in style, and I’m afraid we are more concerned about being relevant than being biblical.
Being politically correct, rather than biblically correct
PEOPLE TODAY….ARE FLOCKING TO TEACHERS THAT PROMOTE THEIR OWN WICKED LIFESTYLES…
Last year –(Feb 2015) a church in Franklin, TN…. GracePointe Church decided to accept and support gay marriages. The Pastor Stan Mitchell said this to the Tennessean…”the church had two years of intense and at times devastating discussion before coming to the decision to support gay marriages when other evangelical churches are sticky to tradition.
Sticky to tradition, or sticky to scriptures? Where in the bible does God sanction same sex marriage?
I’m not saying this is all we preach…..but ever once in awhile….let’s nail it down, right?
I was nailing some decking boards down and later on notice…some nails seem to have popped back up a little…. I nailed it down again…and probably will have to do it again…
We must NAIL DOWN THE TRUTH….again and again…. We are like loose boards that lose its grip on the nail…the truth of God’s Word must be nailed down again and again…
Preacher, you hit that nail before…..sometimes you need to hit again….
THERE IS A TREND TO WANDER AWAY FROM THE TRUTH…. (SEE V.4)
Turn away….truth (SEE v.4) ….myths…. fantasy or fiction….
It’s amazing how quickly people who profess to be a Christian will turn their attention
And focus on that which is not scripture….I know of professing believers who spend more time reading what’s called the “Lost books of the Bible”, by the way there are no lost books….
Folks will give more attention to a religious movie, or documentary rather than the Bible itself.
People are caught up with FICTION, Fantasy, rather than TRUTH….
A European queen in the 1800’s left her coachman sitting outside in the freezing cold while she attended the theater. This was not like theaters today, not film on a screen, But actors on a stage, that’s what they called theater back in those days…..Throughout the evening the queen wept uncontrollably b/c she was so moved by the story and the actors. Yet upon returning to her carriage she was unmoved when she found her coachman had frozen to death – she didn’t shed one tear. She was moved by the fiction but untouched by reality.
We are living in dangerous times….. because people are more moved, emotionally moved by fiction, made up stories, more so than the TRUTH of God’s Word.
Every generation of Believers must fight for the centrality of God’s Word.
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 1-3
 Five police officers were shot and killed by a sniper in Dallas, TX in the wake of some police shootings of black men. See newspaper stories dated July 7, 2016.