Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 45
II Timothy – Titus – Part 2
Now, let’s wind up II Timothy.
II Timothy 2:15a
“Study …” Not just a verse or two. It means you sit down, and take a good cross reference, either a study Bible or a concordance, and you make work of it. You study! Compare Scripture with Scripture.
II Timothy 2:15a
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, (Not for salvation, but rather for reward. You can literally earn reward by becoming a Bible student.) a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,…”
The thing that keeps most Christians from sharing their faith is that they are not sure what to say, and what Scripture to use. Well, they don’t study. The more you study, the more skilled you become as Paul pointed out in our last lesson – then we can become teachers of the Word. That takes study. So, then you become a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. You don’t have to be afraid to share your faith, because you KNOW what you’re talking about.
If you were to ask a really good auto mechanic something about your car, does he put his head down and avoid you? No. He is tickled to tell you what’s wrong and how to fix it because he knows his business! Well, that is the way we should do with the Scriptures. We should KNOW them and be able to open them up and say, this is what the Bible says. Then if they don’t want to believe it, like I always tell them, then it’s your problem, I’ve done my part.
II Timothy 2:15c
“…rightly dividing the word of truth.” Now that is a hang up for a lot of people. But, the words “rightly dividing” in the Greek are really a carpenter’s term. It meant to cut straight. You wouldn’t have much of a building if you didn’t cut your angles straight. So the idea is to keep everything straight, so that when you build something, it fits! Now that’s the beauty of Scripture. If you rightly divide it, there is no problem. It’s so easy to understand. But, if you are going to try to mix the Old Testament Law and Christ’s earthly ministry and some of Peter’s statements with Paul and then jump on into the Revelation, no wonder we have confusion! But you separate it all out and you cut them straight!
In other words, you take the Old Testament from Genesis up until Abraham. That’s a separate period of time that has nothing to do with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You can’t mix them up. You separate it. Then you come from Abraham on up through the Nation of Israel and the giving of the Law and temple worship and all of that, it just sits by itself. You can’t go back and say, well, I have to bring a ram for an offering because that’s what the Bible says. That doesn’t work. So all that is just segmented and when one series of God’s dealing is finished, you don’t just mix them together.
You cut them straight and you keep them separated! Then when you come to the Apostle Paul and his revelation of the mysteries, again it is something you cannot mix with Christ’s earthly ministry. You would get nothing but confusion. So, this is all the Word says. Study, but learn how to segment the Scriptures so that they will not be confusing but that they will all make sense. It all fits!
Then verse 16. Do you realize how much time Paul spends in his letters to warn us against false teachers? Over and over he says, “Don’t be deceived. Don’t follow this or that.” He tells us that all the way through. And here is another one. What does it mean to shun something? Hey, run from it!
II Timothy 2:16a
“But, shun profane and vain babblings:…” There is a lot of it out there. You are supposed to just turn away from it. Don’t try to argue with them. Don’t try to do anything, just simply get away from it.
II Timothy 2:16b
“…for they will increase unto more ungodliness:” That is the final result of false teaching. It takes people into Satan’s domain rather than into the Lord’s. Then verse 17:
II Timothy 2:17
“And their word will eat as doth a canker: (today, we would say a cancer and then Paul names two of them) of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;” They were two who were scoffing at Paul’s teaching concerning the resurrection.
II Timothy 2:18
“Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” So they said that the resurrection is something in the past and consequently they overthrow the faith of some. They were false teachers. And, they were successful in their trade. Then, verse 19.
II Timothy 2:19
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his,(consequently, if we are the Lord’s and we claim to know God’s saving grace,) And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ (do what?) depart from iniquity.” The Lord used the exact example. You cannot serve two masters. Either you serve the one and cut away from the other. Or visa versa. You can’t be constantly on the fence. If you are a believer, then you have to cut the stuff that pertains to the ungodly world and turn your back on it. Reading on in verse 20. Here I am going to be careful:
II Timothy 2:20
“But in a great house (we will use a millionaire’s mansion, as the example) there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.”
Now, can you picture what he is talking about? You have this beautiful millionaire’s home. And, among all the other rooms I like to hone in on the dining room. This lady of the house, with all of her wealth, probably has a gorgeous table setting. Sterling silver. Cut glass goblets. Beautiful plates and flatware. But even in the home of a multi-millionaire, what has to be somewhere out back? A garbage can. You can’t run a household without a garbage can! So this is what Paul is saying. Even in a great house you also have the things that most people don’t want to have anything to do with. That is exactly the way a lot of Christians are.
I remember years ago when I had a high school class, do you know what I used to tell the kids? Don’t be a garbage can Christian. Get what I am driving at? They were not vessels of honor. They may have been believers, and we have them in every church in town. They are believers but they are not reflecting the gold and the precious things on that wealthy person’s table. They are reflecting the trash can and all the stuff in the back. That is exactly what even the Lord used as example that in a field of wheat you also have a field of tares. What were tares? Weeds! So, I think what Paul is saying is that it is up to the believer. Are you going to be a garbage can Christian or are you going to be one that brings honor and glory to the Lord? It is up to you what you want to be. Now, verse 21.
II Timothy 2:21a
“If (here’s the condition you are left with. You are a free moral agent as a believer) a man (a believer) therefore purge himself from these,…”
In other words, from being a garbage can Christian, and not bringing honor and glory to the Lord. Oh, he still belongs to the household of God, he’s still there, but, he’s not bringing any honor and glory, so Paul says, “If you don’t want to be that – purge yourself!” You’ve already been forgiven! Don’t ask God to do that. Come back to Romans 6. We have this same connotation in verse 11. Now, he is talking to believers, because Paul doesn’t talk to the unsaved world.
“Likewise reckon (that’s something you do in your own mind) ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, (that’s what you are supposed to be) but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” If you are dead to sin, you are not going to be satisfied with a garbage can level of Christianity! Now, verse 12, in order to bring yourself up to that place of being “gold and silver” in that household:
“Let not sin therefore reign (as a king) in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” Is it possible? Of course it is, but here is where the self-will comes in with God’s help, of course, but still it is up to the individual believer to attain the level of spirituality that would be pleasing to God. God doesn’t take us by the nape of the neck and push us in someplace. Here’s where the freedom in Christ comes into play. Alright, now verse 13, still in Romans 6.
“Neither (what’s the next word? What does yield imply? Your will, your free will. It is up to you. But he says DON’T) yield ye your (physical) members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but (on the other hand) yield yourselves unto God,…” Do you see the choice there? We are not talking about unbelievers, we are talking about believers. Made my point? Okay, back to II Timothy.
II Timothy 2:21b
“…he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” Now verse 22, and if you don’t want to be a garbage can Christian then it stands to reason you are going to have to get some prerogatives.
II Timothy 2:22-23a
“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (See the choices?) But foolish and unlearned questions avoid,…” Don’t get involved in minors when majors are SO much more important.
II Timothy 2:23b-24
“…knowing that they do gender strifes. 24. And the servant of the Lord (that person who reflects the gold and silver in verse 20, won’t be constantly striving) must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, (again see what the Lord is looking for?) apt to (what?) teach,…”
Get out there and get busy. Start a home Bible class. Ask a few people. When Iris and I first started this way back, we had four people. I didn’t say, “Well, I’m not going to go in there and spend all evening with just four people!” Heavens no! We were tickled to do it. But, God in His grace brought eight the next week and sixteen the next and after that it just started rolling.
Numbers don’t mean anything, because if God is in it, He will permeate and He will send them out. So here is where we are be apt to teach, be ready to start sharing some of these things with those that are around you. Now to chapter 3:
II Timothy 3:1
“This know also, that in the last days (as we come to the end of the Church Age and God is getting the stage set to pick up where He left off with the Nation of Israel and those final seven years) perilous times shall come,” I think we can all see the handwriting on the wall. We can see the upheaval in weather and earthquakes. Well, they are multiplying just like the Bible tells us that they would. Alright, verse 2. Here is the world in which we live.
II Timothy 3:2
“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents,…” We wonder why our kids are the way they are. It’s all part and parcel of the end time scenario.
II Timothy 3:2b-3a
“…unthankful, unholy, 3. Without natural affection,…” When we read of a young lady throwing her baby in a trash can and going back out on the dance floor, it is unbelievable! But, that’s part of the end time scenario. Get ready for it, because it’s going to get worse, and not better. So they have lost that love for natural affection.
II Timothy 3:7
“Ever learning, (we have a tremendous explosion of secular learning. The Internet is packed with it.) and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” They will see everything and anything, but you remember what I am always telling you. What is the Truth according to the Word of God? The Gospel of our salvation! They will see anything and everything but that! Ever learning and not able to come to the Truth.
II Timothy 3:8b-9
“…men of corrupt minds, (Does that ring a bell? Oh, we are living in a corrupt time) reprobate concerning the faith. (But, verse 9, Paul says) But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.” Then he comes down and describes all the things that were part and parcel of Paul’s as well as Timothy’s lifestyle. Now, in to chapter 4 so that we are sure that we can get this in before this lesson is over. Paul says:
II Timothy 4:1a
I charge thee…” He is putting Timothy in the spotlight. He’s handing the whole mantle of his Apostleship over to this young man.
II Timothy 4:1b
“…therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;” In other words, when we come to the end of the Age. Now verse 2, Timothy:
II Timothy 4:2
“Preach (or proclaim) the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering (or patience) and (what?) doctrine.”
I’ll never forget a young man who was on the plane with us over in Israel and he was with one of the big groups. When we got to Israel and we arrived at the hotel, the very first evening after dinner, I approached him about something. The first thing he told me was, “Hey, we don’t get involved in doctrine! All we are concerned about is doing good.” Well, that just told me everything. When people aren’t concerned about what they believe, they are not in the Lord’s camp. They are the devil’s tool. Doctrine is at the heart of our belief system. That’s why we have to know what we believe.
II Timothy 4:3-5a
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; (They don’t want to hear the Truth.) but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5.(They just want to hear that which sounds good.) But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions,…” In other words, Timothy, hopefully, you won’t have to go through what I went through, but it is going to be tough. You are going to suffer persecution, it’s coming Timothy.
II Timothy 4:5b
“…do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” Now here it comes! Here comes the heart of the Apostle as he is facing the martyr’s death. He says:
II Timothy 4:6
“For I am now ready to be offered and the time of my departure is at hand.” Can’t you just hear the heart of the old Apostle?
II Timothy 4:7a
“I have fought a good fight,…”
In the Olympic term that Paul was probably thinking of – I have run a good race! And I have to think of the Marathon. Not the hundred yard dash, but the Marathon, where it takes a body of steel to run that 26 miles. It takes determination. It takes everything that that physical body can put in to go 26 miles and win the race. But you see, he also says in another place to do it lawfully. The Marathon runner would never be a true winner if somewhere along the line he took a short cut. See? He has to stay on the prescribed race course. Then if he can run that full 26 mile marathon, he can truly be exemplified for winning the race. And, that is what Paul says, I have fought a good fight: I have never taken short cuts. I have never done anything that would escape the persecution. I have fought a good fight, I have run a good race.
II Timothy 4:7b-8
“…I have finished my course, (that’s why I think a race sounds better than the fight) I have kept the faith:” (He never wavered. The Lord had him do everything that he did.) 8.Henceforth (because he has run the race. He has been faithful to the end.) there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day:…” Do you see what Paul is also advocating? Rewards. Rewards! Remember that is what he tells us constantly. You are not just saved to sit, you are saved to serve for rewards!
If you are a sports fan and if you have any energy level whatsoever, where would you rather be? Down on the field, or way up there in the onlooker seats? Well, I think most of us would rather be down in the action. Wouldn’t we? That’s where the fun is! Every time they have one of these big games (my oldest son is a sports nut, worse than I am), and when we see these young men coming out of the tunnel, do you know what we always have to say? Can you imagine what that must feel like for those young men? To hear that crowd of people acclaiming them! And, to be ready to go into the game, whether it’s basketball or football or whatever. My what a thrill that must be!
Listen, we are coming to the end, we are getting there! One day, you and I are going to come down the tunnel and we are going to hear the, Well done! I hope! I hope you can all say that I want the Lord to one day say, “well done!”
II Timothy 4:8b
“… and not to me only but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
So this reward is for everyone that loved His appearing. The easiest reward that you can win is this one! Be anxious for the Lord’s coming. And in the state that the world is in tonight, how can you help but be anxious for His coming? But, there will be a reward if you are truly looking for the Lord to come quickly and you pray to that end. “Lord come soon!” There is a reward, a crown of righteousness waiting for you because you loved His appearing. Now verse 9 Here’s the heart cry of the Apostle. He his hoping that Timothy will still make it from wherever he is in the Roman Empire and that he will get to Rome before Paul is put to death. So he says:
II Timothy 4:9
“Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: 10. For Demas (probably one of his other fellow workers) hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica: Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. 11. Only Luke (Good old Luke, the physician is still with him even in spite of the horrors of Nero.) is with me. Take Mark and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.” Then he begins to wind it all up with verse 18 where he says:
II Timothy 4:18
“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
So the Apostle comes to the end of tremendous service and sacrifice so that you and I can sit here today, reveling in the Grace of God. Because of this Apostle we have the biggest part of our New Testament in our hands. We have all these revelations that only Paul received for you and I.
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