It can get you down. We know we’re living in the last days. Here Paul is teaching us to be sure we know ourselves in these perilous times. Confidence is missing today. With each decade it has eroded to the point that many Americans don’t realize what it means to be an American and who gave us our prosperity. The Bible tells us that righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people. This was proven as the nation of Israel divided. Our nation is so much like Israel was in that day. Israel assimilated so many heathen kingdoms that they refused to humble themselves and hear the truth of God. As a result, captivity came. The Babylonians took over and almost succeeded in making Babylonians out of all of them. Many remained true to God including Daniel, the three Hebrew children and the other prophets God sent during this time. God heard their prayers and saw them through. Today we’re called out to put aside our confidence in God. We can actually know in our heart that we’re following him.
II Timothy 3:10-12 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
I was raised in Saltville and everybody had a nickname. We all knew each other. Nobody was ashamed of what nickname got stuck on them. We had nothing to hide. Parents trusted their kids with other parents. Those days are gone. Verse 1 says this know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. And these are scary times. You have to keep your eyes on your kids at all times. What is being taught to them in school is scary but more than that what they learn from other kids is concerning. What they learn from TV is bad. People are deceived and being deceived. The outward wickedness is there but the gullibility of people and the deceit is awful. What passes for a church these days is troublesome. Anything goes. Now those who follow the path of the Bible are called the radicalized Christian right. We are to remain true to God’s Word. John reminds us that while Jesus was here he didn’t commit himself to any cause or group. He didn’t become a Pharisee or a Zealot or any of the others. He knew all that would come to naught. Don’t let the world do your thinking for you!
Be known as a child of God who follows God. The Pharisees used to have someone go before them to sound a horn when they were getting ready to do something good so that others would know it. You don’t have to toot your own horn. Don’t be a Christian of words only. Live the life. In days gone by people were respectful. Not now. The wicked will persecute you for having a good name. It eats at their soul because it shows their sin. Paul told Timothy we would suffer persecution. Still be a child of God in deed, in a manner of life that shows God. Possess him, showing him forth in your everyday life. Part of the conviction in my heart came from watching other Christians live for God. It ate at me. Our manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, and patience should be an example. Be known by both friend and enemy as a child of God.
We’re going to go through these times. Be like Joshua who said as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. If people want to be as verses 2-3 state they will. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good. We can be known as a real Christian. Let it not be just a testimony of word but in deeds by the way we live. Verses 14-15 say but continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
The Bible is truth. Everything else is false. The Bible is right. Everything else is wrong. There is no other source of truth. It is the source of hope. Be in the Word and let it be in us. Live in the power of God. Pray this prayer: Lord, help me be a person fully known as a Christian in word and deed.