Readiness Against Evil
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Readiness Against Evil
2 Timothy 2:8-13
2 Timothy 3:1-9
2 Timothy 3:10-17
This weak has been probably one of the most stressful weeks for the United States of America and it doesn’t matter who you voted for or what side you stand on there have been ungodly forces taking place to destroy this country’s democracy and the rule of law. I cannot remember a time when it has taken the entire week to determine the winner of an election. The result is many areas where people are living in their homes in fear. Unfortunately, the media does not want to share some of the lawlessness that is going on in various places in our country due to covid-19 and the elections. For example, what you will not hear is how some of the major city’s in California or like dangerous wastelands due to lockdowns. In the Hollywood area it is unsafe to go out at night because there is no guarantee that you will make it safely home. This is due to rioting, looting, and violence. The bottom line is that this country is being filled with lawlessness and it is only increasing as tensions rise. Lawlessness seems to be a theme for 2020 and the scriptures tell us that this lawlessness is going to ever increase until Christ returns.
2 Timothy 3 tells us, “There will be terrible times in the last days. 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…” And finally, one of the most important things I think to understand, they will “have a form of godliness but deny its power.” Many will where the shirt of a Christ follower yet deny the truth of Christ’s message. Paul tells us to have nothing to do with these people. This is what we are seeing in our country and our world today. Complete lawlessness and many of them that try to appear like they are good and outstanding citizens but, many are crooks, thieves, and thugs. I don’t believe that this is the case with everyone but it does seem like it is ever increasing. However, there is a wonderful promise from the Lord. Though they are people of depraved minds they will not get very far because their folly will be clear to everyone (v.9). The side of evil will be so one sided and so lost in themselves that their foolishness will be clear to all who follow the truth.
Though there will be many to come who will disguise themselves as righteous people we can tell the difference between legitimate teachers and false teachers by understanding their purpose. Paul tells Timothy, “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.” Something also important that Paul says is that those who want to live a godly life in Christ will be persecuted. It is not a maybe or possibly persecuted. It is a given and despite all the evil and all the lawlessness going on in our world today we are charged to continue in what we have learned. Evil doers are going to continue to go from bad to worse and will continue to deceive others and many will be deceived along with them. We are to remain vigilant and ready for whatever evil may want to put before us.
It does not matter who is the president leading our country, our mission is the same. We are to preach the gospel to all nations teaching them to obey what Christ has taught us through His written word. There is still good news and that is found in Jesus Christ. Even when Paul was chained up and in prison being treated like a criminal for teaching the gospel of Christ, he says that “God’s word is not chained.” Because God’s word is unchained, he was able to endure through the persecution that he was experiencing. Paul tells us this trustworthy saying that speaks truth to all of us who believe, “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 remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” Even when we struggle with our faith, he remains faithful to us because that is who he is.
No matter what happens moving forward our mission remains the same. No matter if our democracy in this country falls apart our mission remains the same. The Christian faith has survived through terrorism, dictatorships, communism, socialism, wars, and all other kinds of evil. We are not guaranteed to be shielded from the evil of this world. We are only guaranteed a pathway to endure through what evil will throw at us. Our hope therefore, is not in our government and not in the laws of this country but our hope is found in Jesus Christ. Evil people will continue to do evil things and we must be prepared to endure through that. We should not throw our head in the sand and assume that we will never face such trials. As we grow closer to Christ’s return things are going to heat up and things will grow worse. But as someone shared with me this week, we can open a book to the final chapter and see that Christ wins and has already won. Therefore, no matter what we face in our lives going forward we can be still and know that God is God.
Here is how I know that things are going to be alright if we remain vigilant as followers of Christ. 2000 years ago, Paul writes this letter to Timothy speaking about all the evil that the world is turning to and despite all that the faith has survived through multiple levels of evil. Because of this resilience to survive we had the birth of the freest and most prosperous nation that the world has ever seen. We have the privilege of living in that nation and as evil in the world tries to destroy the freedoms that founded this nation our faith will remain. Though Rome fell as freedoms were taken away from the people the faith continued to persevere. Through plagues, wars, and persecution the word of God survives. Therefore, I urge you today to be prepared for when evil comes knocking at your door. It is not a matter of if it is only a matter of when. When that does happen, I hope you remain vigilant for the faith you have grown to have thanks to the love and sacrifice of Christ our Lord. Be Still and know that God is in control.