The message was brought by Pastor Eddie Foster on March 26, 2023.
II Timothy 3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 11 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. 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
The first word in this portion of scripture is “but.” That means that things following are a change from what was just said. We’re told that Naaman had a glowing biography then we see BUT and are told he was a leper. That changed everything. Galatians gives a list of the works of the flesh. What a list! Then the next word is BUT and we’re given the fruit of the Spirit. What a contrast these two lists are. Last Sunday we talked about the last days. The list there gave the characteristics of people in the last days. It was a list of sins characterizing the lifestyle of people who don’t have Christ in their lives. Saul was a religious man but destined for hell. But the Damascus Road experience happened. He thought he was doing God a service in persecuting Christians but found out otherwise. Paul called himself the chief of sinners yet God saved him. No one is beyond the reach of saving grace. He’ll have no trouble saving you. Salvation changes a life. Has your life changed?
The godly life. Paul appears to be boastful but he is simply telling Timothy the pattern to go by. Paul thought it was important to pass his knowledge along. When I was a young preacher I watched pastors when they did things like communion and baptism. I wanted to know how to do it. Paul told us in Corinthians that our lives are living epistles. I know you’ve heard the saying “the only Bible some people read is you.” Paul spoke about his doctrine–what he believed; his manner of life–how he lived; and his love. We are to unconditionally love all people, even our enemies. Respond to pain and afflictions. Paul had many. He bore in his body the marks of what had been done to him. Stoned and left to die. Shipwrecks. Beaten. It appears his life was an open book. We’ll all give account of our lives to God. Paul understood persecution because of his association with Jesus Christ. Persecution is here, even in America.
The guarded life. We must be on our guard lest we get deceived. You can get lured in by smooth talk. How do you protect yourself? Spend time in the Word of God. We’re lazy. We listen to preachers and teachers but don’t study ourselves. Be faithful to a Bible believing church but spend time praying and reading for yourself.
The delivered life. God is able to deliver. He delivered Daniel from a den of lions. He was able and willing to deliver many. He’s always able to deliver but sometimes he doesn’t. We don’t understand it but we know God is sovereign and always does the best and right thing. We must believe he’s always able to. He delivers from the hour of temptation. This doesn’t come from God for he tempts no one. He may allow tests and trials but he doesn’t tempt. Temptation comes from our own lusts and desires. One way to keep this in check is to be careful who we associate with. God delivers from sin. Not everyone will get saved. I don’t know why they reject the offer to go to heaven instead of hell but they do. But he’s ready to deliver the unsaved. Praise God! If you respond to Jesus he’ll save you.
If Jesus is pursuing you today, don’t let him pass by. One day will be the last time he passes you by. You don’t know when that will be so let him save you. Then you can live the godly life that Paul talked about.