Faithlife Sermons

War and Peace

The Prophet Joel (Old Testament) declared:
Joel 2:28 ESV
28 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
Have you ever had a dream that you felt came from God?
Early Wednesday morning, September 2, 2020, I had a dream.
Preaching at a very large church.
Preached what I felt was a well-executed message.
Received the applause of the people.
Then God said: “You preached a message that made people feel good—but it was a message without the Word of God.”
When I woke up, I had this impression: we are living in a day where the American church wants to hear message that makes them feel good rather than hear and doing the Word of God.”
We are living in challenging times! And, that is what God’s Word reveals (2 Timothy 3).
Main Text
2 Timothy 3:1–5 ESV
1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For 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, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
Do you believe that this prophetic passage of Scripture applies today? Why?
It is reasonable to describe our present spiritual cultural climate as what God’s Word prophesied nearly two thousand years ago. It is what happens to any people and any culture that abandons righteousness.
It is in this ungodly environment that we become susceptible to rejecting the truth and embracing what is false.
2 Timothy 3:6–7 ESV
6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
This describes that challenges we face in the reality of spiritual warfare.
This is why the Christian must once again understand and implement God’s directives to guard oneself from deception and fear and engage in the battle to rescue the lost.
What do you think spiritual warfare is all about? Do you think spiritual warfare is something that Christians should understand?
An important component in Spiritual Warfare is God’s Word!
2 Timothy 3:16–17 ESV
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
The lack of study, reflection, and intentional application of God’s Word leads the Christian to a vulnerable state of weakness, misunderstanding, and fear.
Important: the great danger for Christian’s today is the temptation to abandon the truth of God and embrace the way of the world.
Hebrews 3:12 ESV
12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.
TRANSITION QUESTIONS: What should the believer do?
2 Timothy 4:1–2 ESV
1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

Preach the Word.

This is a serious charge—an imperative commission for the believer.
Paul reminded Timothy that the believer will be judged by Jesus one day. We will be held accountable for our actions and attitudes.
We are called to preach (proclaim) the Word carefully and faithfully.
Our activity as Christians must avoid meaningless speculation, foolish theories, and unbiblical teachings.
Rejecting the Word of God and holding on to false teachings render us unfit for duty.
And, many have become unfit!
2 Timothy 4:3–4 ESV
3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

Guard Against False Teaching.

There is a significant problem festering among professing Christians.
Many are not attracted to the “healthy doctrine” of the Word of God. They would have carnal and fleshly desires for religious novelties.
Because of such desires, they would accumulate teachers, pastors, and prophets who would satisfy their cravings for things that disagree with God’s truths.
The temptation is great to turn away from truth. Once people have rejected the truth, they turn to fables (myths).
It is therefore unlikely that they would be convicted of sin and convicted to repent!
The result is a congregation of comfortable, professing Christians, listening to a comfortable, religious talk that contains no Biblical doctrine.
Avoiding such things requires a deliberate actions:
2 Timothy 4:5 ESV
5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Fulfill Your Ministry.

Be sober-minded.
Meaning: moral alertness and presence of mind.
We must possess a watchful and alert attitude.
An alertness to everything we say and do—and a deliberate attention to our work as a Christian.
Endure suffering.
Living by faith, and engagement in Spiritual Warfare requires the ability to face and experience suffering—without losing hope.
It is wrong to assume that the Christian life is a life free from hardship. Ease of life does not necessarily indicate alignment with God and His plan.
Do the work of an evangelist.
The Gospel of Christ must be our priority and reason for being.
Telling others about Jesus (His life, His death, and His resurrection) is the work that every truth believer must embrace.
Evangelism is spiritual warfare.
Spiritual warfare is a fact. As Christians, we must recognize that alignment with God will place us in the sites of the enemy.
In this difficult days, God is calling you to enlist in His Kingdom assault against the enemy that his brought deep spiritual pain to this world.
Are you willing? Are you ready?
Questions for personal reflection and small group discussion:
How would you define Spiritual Warfare?
Do you think 2 Timothy 3 describes the present condition of our culture? Why?
Why do you think God’s Word is so important to the Christian’s life?
How do we guard ourselves from embracing false teaching?
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