Thursday, June 05, 2008

Avoid them!

Oh my... Do I feel bagged this morning. Silly thunderstorm with even sillier dog. And a boy child who's up with the sun! This will be a good day to remember that the Lord provides for all my needs. :)

Anyways, was looking at the book of 2 Timothy chapter 3 and I have the brains for this one this morning? Not sure that I do, but I can at least look it over, post my thoughts and re-visit tomorrow if I think that I aught to.

Here then are the opening words of this chapter.
1But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.
Paul had just finished giving Timothy a list of various attributes and attitudes to avoid or pursue. This is how one lives honourably before God. He goes on in this passage to remind Timothy that life will not be easy for them. That the end days will have times of difficulty.

Paul talks about what people will be like
  • lovers of self
  • lovers of money
  • proud
  • arrogant
  • abusive
  • disobedient to their parents
  • unholy
  • heartless
  • unappeasable
  • slanderous
  • without self-control
  • brutal
  • not loving good
  • treacherous
  • reckless
  • swollen with conceit
  • lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
  • having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power
What are we to do with such people? AVOID THEM!


Because in essence, these folks don't want to know the truth and in fact oppose the truth. They are corrupted in their minds and disqualified regarding the faith. Even though they try to sneak in and capture weak women, and are burdened with sins etc, they will not get very far in what they are doing, for they will be seen for what they are.

I have to admit, I read through that list and what came to my mind was...these are things I can be alert to in my own life, and as such avoid them and deny their power over me. To continually seek the fruit of the spirit to be evident in my life.

And not to feel badly if I do what Paul tells me to avoid those proud, haughty people, those who really don't want to know the truth and love of God.

That's all I got for today with a lad begging me to be all done with my 'botions.


Stan said...

Years ago I taught this passage on a Sunday night. I was trying to point out how these people, listed in "in the last days", were now. What I ended up with was the realization that these people are not only now, but too often in the Church.

One accusation I found quite telling was what the ESV calls "heartless" (v 3). The Greek word is astorge. It is the only place we find the Greek "storge" love, and it is in the negative ("a"). What is it? It refers to natural, familial affection. Now, look around. We see women divorcing their husbands and leaving their kids. We see fathers who don't care about their children. We see disintegration of families of all sorts. And too often we see it in the church as well.

If we are to avoid these people, do we avoid those in the church that fall in these categories? (I would say "Yes.")

Annette said...

I have to admit Stan, that I don't always know.

Avoid them? yes, sinners and unrepentant people...those we avoid.

BUT believers who truly call upon God's name, but as stuck in sin... do we call them to church discipline or do we merely avoid them? Which is the more effective method of ministering to them?

Church discipline is done with the sole aim to restore individuals back into proper fellowship with God. Too often the church fails to exercise church discipline, particularly GOOD church discipline and not merely punitive in nature.

That, within the church is more key. IF a person after going through proper church discipline remains unrepentant, then it's another matter entirely, then you are dealing with a non-believer, and need to treat him/her as such.