Timothy 1 & 2 Timothy        

A Bible Study

1 Timothy  Contents:
Greeting  11,2
False Teachers  13-11
Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners  112-17
Instructions to Timothy  118 - 215
Overseers and Deacons  31-16
Preparing for the Last Days  41-5
More Instructions to Timothy  46-16
Giving Advice to Widows, Elders, Timothy, Slaves  51 - 62
False Teaching and Love of Money  51 - 63-10, 17-19
Paul's Final Instructions to Timothy  611-16, 20,21

2 Timothy  Contents:
Introduction 11,2
Be Faithful  13 - 213
An Approved Workman  214-26                                             
In the Last Days  31 - 48
Paul's Testimony  46-22

1 Timothy       [Contents]

Timothy became a believer when Paul went to Lystra on 1st missionary journey.
      When he returned on 2nd journey he chose Timothy to come with him.
After release from Roman imprisonment, Paul went to Ephesus,
      and left Timothy there to deal with false doctrine, disorder in worship,
            need for qualified leaders and materialism.
      Paul went on to Macedonia and wrote this letter to Timothy in Ephesus. ~64AD
            (Paul had spent 3 years ministering in Ephesus some 8 years earlier.)

Greeting  11,2       [Contents]

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Saviour
      and of Christ Jesus our hope.
Paul first gives his authority for writing such a letter to the church.
      Almighty God chose him for the work, and he obeyed.
            My hope is built on nothing less
            Than Jesu's blood and righteousness.

To Timothy my true son in the faith.  12a
      Paul often refers to Timothy as his true son in the faith.
      He began under his ministry and became his faithful co-worker.

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 12b
      A greeting that Paul uses at the start of all his letters.
      God's precious gifts of grace, mercy and peace bring great joy to all believers.

False Teachers  13-11       [Contents]

Paul tells Timothy to stay in Ephesus
so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. 13,4
Myths are unproven, often fictional; used as fact to promote false ideas.
      e.g. 'global warming' due to greenhouse gases, or evolution theory.
            Governments are now insisting that both are taught as being fact.
The myths were probably various Jewish legends about prophets and patriarchs;
            but had no foundation in the scriptures.
'Endless genealogies' probably served to promote an individual or legend.
      While inheritance can have importance, new birth and righteousness
            is an individual gift from God, it can never be inherited.

Both promote controversies rather than God's work - which is by faith. ... Some have wandered away ... and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about.  14-7

Controversies promote doubt and divisions.
Truth brings certainty and practical faith in the revelation of God and his Word.
Learned men often confuse rather than enlighten their listeners.

The law is good if one uses it properly.
We also know that law is made not for the righteous
      but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful.
The Jewish Law's goal was to be our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.  Gal 324
      This is what makes the law 'good'. See also Ps 19
Its aim was to reveal sin, its consequences, and our desperate need for a Saviour.
      It revealed God's requirement for a promised, perfect sacrifice;
            which Jesus Christ fulfilled on the Cross.
Sabbath and dietary laws were a common problem for the early church.
There is always a need to balance freedom with discipline and holiness.
      You are not under law, but under grace.  Ro 614

      Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets:
            I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
  Math 517

Paul's desire was to build life, truth, faith in Christ and zeal for Christ;
      not promote endless controversy about diet, Sabbath, dress, circumcision etc.

In order to bury the challenge of Christianity, successive UK governments have
abandoned Sabbath/Sunday laws, legalised murder by abortion (180,000/yr), substituted evolution theory for creation, legalised homosexuality, joined the evil EU that mocks God (see Europa/Beast, Strasbourg/Babel, stars/queen of heaven etc), repeatedly lied (federal purpose of EU, global warming, terrorism/WMD Iraq war), promoted greed/debt, removed religion from charity status and substituted 'public good' (as defined by Charity Commission).
The law is good if one uses it properly. None of this is good law; it is evil.
      What will the next 50 years bring as God removes his protection
            because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie?  Ro 124-26
Beware of false teachers, preachers, and governments;
      their intent is to deceive - and they will !!
      See warnings in Math 244, 11, 24

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners  112-17       [Contents]

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.  112-14

Paul never lost his amazement that Almighty God should have chosen him.
      With him it was always:
            Amazing grace how sweet the sound
            That saved a wretch like me ...
His gratitude drove him ever onwards to serve Christ whatever the cost.
Personally I was never a violent persecutor; but a churchgoer,
      who none the less needed Christ, his mercy, forgiveness and life.
To be saved, all men need a Saviour, a Redeemer. And there is only one!
      There is absolutely nothing I can do to earn any hope of heaven.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

This verse summarises
      the whole purpose of Christ's coming to the earth he had created.
      It clearly tells us why he had to come - to save us.

Paul twice admits that though he is the worst of sinners; he was chosen that
      Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example
            for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
                  O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise,
                  The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace!

                  He breaks the power of cancelled sin, he sets the prisoner free;
                  His blood can make the foulest clean, his blood availed for me.

      Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God,
            be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Instructions to Timothy  118 - 215       [Contents]

Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience.  118,19a

What these prophecies were we are not told and it is futile to speculate.
      Timothy knew, and so did the church.
      The instructions that followed confirmed and encouraged his ministry,
            and in no way contradicted the earlier prophecies.

Some had rejected the revelation of God's truth (faith), and also
      their good conscience that guides the Christian and exposes falsehood.
      So they have shipwrecked their faith. e.g. Hymenaeus and Alexander.  119b,20

1. I urge that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving
            be made for everyone - for kings and all in authority,
            that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
      How should we pray for them? God wants all men to be saved.
            Peace comes, not by signed treaties, but by leaders being righteous.
            May they learn to walk in the fear of God, rather than of men.
            May they seek God's approval more than the popular vote.
            May their speaking be honest and their promises kept.
            May the truth of Jesus be revealed to their hearts.
For there is one God and one mediator between God and men,
      the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men.
      Let us pray for them for today's decisions, the long-term needs,
            and especially for their eternal destiny.

2. I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer,
            without anger or disputing.
      Sadly, the history of the church is littered with disputes and splits.
            A few were necessary - like the Protestant split with Rome.
                  Though Henry VIII reasons were based on his national power / divorce,
                  not on the multitude of errors which Rome still upholds.
                  He never embraced protestant faith, and burned many who did.
            One day Christ himself will end the natural propensity of men to dispute.
      Causes of disputes are many and usually mixed;
            sometimes important theological issues, but more often:
                  power complex and desire to control others
                  personal history, resistance to or desire for change
                  overflow from political opinions
      The first casualty of all disputes is meaningful prayer together.
            And this spells disaster for any church
      Not getting my own way can easily lead to anger and resentment.

3. I also want women to dress modestly ...
      A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.
            I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man.
      Today these statements have riled many and led to fierce debate.
            Some have just blanked them out of scripture, calling Paul a woman hater.
      But modesty, dignity and a refusal to slavishly follow modern fashions
            is more godly and more becoming to woman than flaunting.
            Among Christians this characteristic should surely be the norm.
            A woman can and should have much more to offer than sexual attraction.
      The question of authority in the home and the church has become an issue.
      In the past excessive domination by men instead of partnership
            rightly caused a rebellion.
      Strong women have always sought to manipulate their husbands,
            rather than support and encourage them.
      Respect, harmony, responsibility, sharing, honouring, encouraging
            is so much better than fighting either openly or secretly.
      It would be good if the mother's role of bringing up children,
            especially in the early years, was more greatly honoured.
            There is no greater privilege or more fulfilling task.

      For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived;
            it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.
      But Adam did neglect his responsibility to protect Eve.
            He was present, he witnessed what the serpent was doing to Eve.
      Today both genders are equally open to temptation.
      Let us have done with fierce independence and strive to protect each other.
            Greed and thirst for power (domination) can lead us all astray.
            We both need to live in faith, love and holiness with propriety.  215

Overseers and Deacons  31-16 (see NIV p.1803)       [Contents]

Overseers = Bishops, Pastors, Elders, Leaders
Deacons = Servers, Workers, Helpers

Qualifications for these noble tasks are listed here, (also in Tit 16-9)
Elders Deacons
Above reproach Worthy of respect
Husband of one wife Sincere
Temperate Not drunkard
Self-controlled Not dishonest
Respectable Keeps deep truths of faith
Hospitable Clear conscience
Able to teach Tested (given trial period)
Not drunkard Wives worthy of respect, temperate and trustworthy
Not violent, but gentle Husband of one wife
Not quarrelsome Manage own family well
Not lover of money  
Manage own family well  
Able to care for God's church  
Not a recent convert  
Good reputation with outsiders  
Sound doctrine (Tit 19)  

Paul rightly sets very high standards for church leaders.
Should they be appointed by Bishops and / or church members?
What if best available man is deficient in one or more of these requirements?
Leadership should be male whenever possible.
      Men and women should complement each other, not compete.
      Women should have a vital role in both the home and the church.
Married - c.f. Roman church that forbids marriage of priests.
Multiple parish pressure makes good family management almost impossible.
We may well add style of worship to the list.
Power and pride can easily corrupt all men.

Let us strive earnestly to encourage our leaders to keep in the right path.
      Especially with regard to the gospel truths that Paul then summarises.
      God's household, ... the pillar and foundation of the truth,  315
            that sees and always maintains Jesus Christ.
                  the mystery of godliness is great:
                  He appeared in a body,
                  was vindicated by the Spirit,
                  was seen by angels,
                  was preached among the nations,
                  was believed on in the world,
                  was taken up in glory.

Preparing for the Last Days  41-5       [Contents]

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith
      and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
How will they deceive the church?
      Paul gives just two examples:
            They forbid people to marry
            and order them to abstain from certain foods.
      Scripture commends both singleness 1Cor. 725-35 and fasting Math 616,17
      The deception was making these a prerequisite for salvation,
            or exaggerating the intended application.
      The Roman Church today forbids all priests to marry
            and it forbids the eating of meat on Friday - (fasting is voluntary).
      See www.dickworth.uk     'Danger in the Church Today'.
            Today there are still many deceiving spirits that compromise the truth.
            These invariably either omit or re-write Scripture to suit 'modern' ideas.
            They dwell on popular extraneous distractions
            When Paul was in Corinth he resolved to know nothing ... except Jesus Christ and him crucified.  1Co 22

More Instructions to Timothy  46-16       [Contents]

If you point these things out to the brothers,
      you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus,
      brought up in the truths of the faith
      and of the good teaching that you have followed.
Being continually nurtured in the Word of God is the only safeguard.

We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men. 410
      Not in the vagaries of men.

Command and teach these things :
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young.
Set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message.
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them.

These are always wise and good instructions for church leaders.

Giving Advice to Widows, Elders, Timothy, Slaves  51,2       [Contents]

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers,
older women as mothers,
and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

All correction should be given with respect, irrespective of gender or age,
      though sinful behaviour may require a sterner response.  13, 20

Widows  53-16
Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. ...
If anyone does not provide for his relatives,
      and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith. ...
No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty,
      has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds. ...

Elders  517-20
The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honour,
      especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.
Do not entertain an accusation against an elder
      unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.
Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning.

Timothy  521-24
Do nothing out of favouritism.
Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands.
Keep yourself pure.
Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them;
      the sins of others trail behind them.

Slaves  61,2
All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters
      worthy of full respect,
      so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered.
Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them
      because they are brothers.

False Teaching and Love of Money  63-10, 17-19       [Contents]

If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk. ...  63,4

Throughout history Christians have been embroiled in unnecessary controversy,
      that inevitably divert or even divide the church.
      Such action dishonours Christ and must bring him great sadness.

Very often such men think that godliness is a means to financial gain. 65
      They can also enjoy their leadership status, its power and authority.
Paul then reveals the folly of seeking to be rich.

But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish
      and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith
      and pierced themselves with many griefs.

These words were true 2,000 years ago.
      Their relevance today has never been stronger.
      Government, foolish economists and the media advertising
            continually encourage debt and the greedy 'have it now' desire.
            But it usually brings misery instead of the promised happiness.
Wealth can, and sometimes is, well used.
      It can enable evangelism and many good projects, and relieves much distress.
      It is not money, but the love of money, that is the root of so much evil.

Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked.  Ps 3716

Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the Lord?'

Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonour the name of my God.  Prov 309

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."  Heb 135

Share gladly, give generously and never forget the widow in Lu 211-4.

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant
      nor to put their hope in wealth.
      The desire for wealth can be hedonistic,
            for selfish security
            or for personal power.
      God is not pleased with any of these desires.
Paul commands the rich to put their hope in God and use their wealth rightly.
      They will thus lay a good and firm foundation.

Paul's Final Instructions to Timothy  611-16, 20,21       [Contents]

1. Man of God, flee from all this. (False teaching and love of money - see above)
2. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
3. Fight the good fight of the faith.
4. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.  611,12

Each of these require continuous, active, concentrated, determined zeal.
      Righteousness, godliness ... doesn't just happen; they need grace and work.
Timothy obeyed these instructions.
By the time John recorded the letters to the churches in Revelation,
      the Ephesian church persevered, endured hardship and had not grown weary,
      but it had lost its first love. Rev 21-7
      It is very easy to fall into a comfortable, self-indulgent lifestyle.
      It is also easy for zeal and love to be distracted from Jesus.

Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care.  620
      And guard it well - your life depends upon it.

Grace be with you.  621
      Indeed so. And also with us, now.

2 Timothy       [Contents]

Introduction  11,2
Paul wrote this 2nd letter about 3 years after the first one.
He was now back in a Roman prison, chained and abandoned by nearly all.
It was the last known letter he wrote before being martyred in 67 AD.
      He knew his execution by Nero was imminent.
He also knew he was an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.  11a
And that he lived according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus.  11b
      Such was his courage and confidence in the grace of God.

Be Faithful  13 - 213       [Contents]

I thank God ... as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.  13
      There is no trace of self-pity here.
      He was determined to make the most of his prison days.

I have been reminded of your sincere faith ...
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God,
      which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
In other words, 'keep right on to the end of the road',
      never give up, never neglect God's gift to preach, teach and evangelise.
      Perhaps Timothy's courage was faltering slightly under Nero's persecution.
      For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
            but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
  17 (NKJV)
      A sound mind that sees beyond the power of Nero,
            and sees through the various teachings of false prophets.
            It is transformed to maintain the truth revealed in Scripture.  Rom 122

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord ...
But join with me in suffering for the gospel.
May we never be ashamed of Jesus who said,
      Whoever is ashamed of me and my words,
      the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory.  Lu 926
Paul then reminds Timothy of the basis of salvation:
      by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life -
      not because of anything we have done
      but because of his own purpose and grace.
  18b,9   (also Eph 28,9)

      God expects Christians to be proficient in kindness and good works,
            but never be under any delusion that such works can earn our salvation.
            At best they can only be an expression of gratitude to our Saviour.
This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.  19 (Eph 14)
      What a statement!
      In the heart of God and in his book of life, we existed before time began.
      When Mum and Dad came together and I was conceived,
            they had no idea that God had planned it all before he created the world!
      And that was not the end of astonishing words:
            Christ Jesus has destroyed death
                  and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
            No mere man can either destroy death or create life;
                  but Jesus can and does in the gospel.
            It is indeed very 'good news'.
Paul was not in any way ashamed because:
      a) God had appointed him a herald and an apostle and a teacher.  111
      b) I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard
            what I have entrusted to him for that day.

What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching,
      with faith and love in Christ Jesus.
      Add nothing to it, subtract nothing, don't alter anything, guard it all well.
      They obeyed. There are 13 letters of Paul kept safe and sound in the NT.
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
      And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses
      entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.
By the grace of God the letters of Paul, Peter, James, John and Jude
      are now given to us as the accurate Word to teach us and others.
      God knew that reliable men would be rare.

Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  23
Life is not easy for a good soldier.
      Nor is it for a competing athlete, or a hardworking farmer.
Remember Jesus Christ raised from the dead ...
and also that even if I am chained like a criminal, God's word is not chained.
In the Reformation the Roman church made every effort to stop the Bible
      being printed in English - but by God's grace and intervention, they failed.
      100's were 'good soldiers'; burned at the stake by Henry VIII and Mary.
      But God's Word brought salvation and life to all who sought him.
Endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation
      that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
Paul, Timothy and the whole host of martyrs did endure;
      and now enjoy the crown of life with their Lord and Master.

Here is a trustworthy saying:
      If we died with him,
            we will also live with him;
      if we endure,
            we will also reign with him.

      If we disown him,
            he will also disown us;
      if we are faithless,
            he will remain faithful,

for he cannot disown himself.  211-13

An Approved Workman  214-26       [Contents]

Keep reminding them of these things.
Warn them before God against quarrelling about words;
      it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.
No matter how old we are, or how long we have been a Christian,
      we still need to be reminded of the truth, and kept in the right way.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,
      a workman who does not need to be ashamed
      and who correctly handles the word of truth.
Compromises and distractions to the truth will always surround us.
Beware of new 'popular' ideas.
Keep searching the scriptures.

Avoid godless chatter,
      because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
      Their teaching will spread like gangrene.
It is easier to pull someone off a trestle that to lift them up onto it.
Avoid criticism of others and gossip.
Make the most of the time given to us.

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.  220,21
The good is sometimes the enemy of the best. Strive for the best.
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  222
'Money, sex and power' each need to be carefully controlled.
None of these is wrong, but desire for them can easily destroy a Christian.
Beware of youthful jealousy, pride and misdirected zeal..
On the positive side seek the Lord God and his presence in all that we do.
      Work for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, learn to be holy.

Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments,
      because you know they produce quarrels.
Unnecessary arguments have often broken friendships and even split churches.
A wise man will know when it is important to stand for the truth.
Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.  225

In the Last Days  31 - 48       [Contents]

There will be terrible times in the last days.  31
The last days will not be filled with joy, but with tears, anguish and deep sorrow.
Some falsely predict revival and triumph. Beware of such men.
It is vital not to be selective with scripture, and thus ignore/mis-apply prophecy.
Wickedness in the last days will be horrific.

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth - men of depraved minds ... evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  32-8, 13

Not a happy picture.

You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings ... Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.  310-12
God's 'rescue' needs amplification.
In Lystra Paul was stoned and left for dead, but survived.  Act 1419,20
In Philippi stripped, beaten and put in prison. Released by earthquake.  Act 1619-40
Storm at sea, shipwrecked off Malta, but swam to shore.  Act 2713-44
See also 2 Co 1123-27 for a list of Paul's persecutions.
Like his Master, Paul endured persecution and despised the shame,
      for the eternal joy that was set before him.  Heb 122

Continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  314-17
Here again is proof that the scriptures are always true and reliable.
It is all 'God-breathed'.
As it remains the treasured gift of Almighty God to us
      we must read it, believe it and obey it.

What was Timothy's responsibility?  42,5
1.Preach the Word.
2.Be prepared in season and out of season.
3.Correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction.
4.Do the work of an evangelist.
Many sermons today are little more than personal homilies.
      They should be the zealous exposition of the Word of God;
            delivered with care and courage (it can be unpopular).

For the time will come when men 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.
They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

A man who is satisfied with his comfortable life style objects to being challenged;
      he has little desire to walk with Jesus Christ and serve him whatever the cost.
He will devise all manner of excuses.
In the last days there will be no shortage of 'charlatan' preachers;
      sound scriptural teaching will be rare and Christians starved.

Men will reveal their foolish preferences:
      Happiness to holiness.
      Compromising tolerance rather than truth.
      Justify abomination of homosexual perversion.
      Legalise the murder of unborn children.
      Scripture will be twisted or cut out as being outdated.

Paul's Testimony  46-22       [Contents]

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering,
      and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness,
      which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day,
      and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Such a testimony is better that one who said on his death-bed,
      "Would that I had served my God as I have served my king."
      Cardinal Wolsey died with many regrets; Paul with none.
Paul served his Saviour with every ounce of his being.
      He encouraged Timothy to do likewise.

Do your best to come to me quickly ... Only Luke is with me ...
At my first defence, no-one came to my support, but everyone deserted me ...
But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it ...
The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack
      and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.
      To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

To the end Paul trusted in Almighty God,
      and fully proclaimed the gospel to the Gentiles.
For nearly 2,000 years his work and his letters have been used by God
      to save and instruct countless souls throughout the world.
      Our thanks is inadequate.

The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.  422