Temple Baptist Church - 4-21-2013
2 Timothy 1:1-2
A. Most people miss out on the true meaning of life as:
1. Their lives are self-serving. The “religion” of humanism has permeated our society through the effective teachings of an anti-God system that has steadily developed over the years. I remember when the Bible reading, prayer, and salute to the American Flag were a normal part of our public education. I remember when chapel services were a vital part of our week in the public school system as men of God came in and shared the Bible with students.
2. Over the years of my life, I have seen the Bible and prayer taken out of the public schools. Men of God no longer welcome to come and preach to the children. The “Happy Days” gone forever as humanism replaced human responsibility. With God gone from the schools, we have seen the results: drugs and drug dogs, SRO (School Resource Officers) when the towns and counties can afford them, murder and mayhem on school grounds, sodomy and same sex marriages forced upon once godly people’s children, and a breakdown of authority that teachers once held. The list could go on but, now, these are accepted as the new norm.
3. The marriage institution being replaced by living together or simply ending in disaster with children now coming from dysfunctional homes instead of secure two parent ones. There is now violence in the homes, streets, and schools instead of the peaceful, fun loving spirit of the days of our youth. I have said often that “our children will never know the America that we were raised in.”
B. As born again believers, we must protect our homes and children by instilling within them the true meaning of life and living! We are not animals; we did not evolve; we are not accidents and freaks of nature; we are made in the image of our Creator with divine purpose!
C. Paul begins the second of the Pastoral Epistles (again, when you see a 2nd or 3rd epistle with the same name or written to the same people, the general theme is apostasy and the Second Coming of the Lord) by setting forth the divine purpose and plan of God for His children. I want to break these down into 4 very simple parts tonight.
1. A Man With A Mission – “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God”
a. The Importance of God’s Man – “as apostle of Jesus Christ” An Old Testament priest represented men to God. Today, we are individual priests and need no such representation. We go individually to God through the applied blood of Christ. An apostle represents God to man. There are no apostles today but it is still the work of the pastor to continually keep the Lord before the people in such a way as to hold God up and help His people to continue to stand.
b. The Instruction of God’s Man – “by the will of God”
1) Timothy was a pastor and, yet, he still needed the instruction of Paul. As a pastor, one of the critical parts of my work is that of preaching and teaching. It is not a thing of “I am better” or “smarter” or even “more spiritual” than anyone else in the church but it is God’s order and His work works!
2) I need preaching just like you need preaching. When God’s men come to Temple, as a general rule, I allow them to come into this pulpit and preach. I enjoy listening and gleaning from what they have to say. I believe it is the will of God that all of us have preachers to instruct and exhort us in these last days.
3) Last Wednesday night, Barbara and I were in church. We heard the pastor preach a simple message on satanic attacks upon the local church. It was nothing profound or different from what I preach here at Temple Baptist. But, I needed to hear it; Barbara needed to hear it. That is called reinforcement and reinforcement is necessary to God’s people.
2. A Life With A Meaning. “the promise of life”
a. One of the great problems with society in these last days is that of purpose. Happiness is sought for in all of the wrong places and life, therefore, has lost its meaning. Man was placed here with a purpose and that purpose was to have a relationship with his Creator. Careers are great but, without the Lord, purposeless. It is of no wonder that people are so unhappy and unfilled. Something vital to life is missing!
b. That vital part of life that is missing is the knowledge and love of Christ. Life only has true meaning when one comes to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour! Man is innately religious because he is made to worship. Many worship their gods made with hands but I am glad that I worship One who made me with His hands. My life has had true meaning for the past 36 ½ years for which I am grateful.
c. God loves His children and wants the best for each of them. That “best” is found in Jesus Christ. I am reminded of the song that says, “I had rather be an old time Christian, Lord, than anything I know.”
3. A Message With A Promise. “Grace … Mercy … Peace” This is the great apostle’s normal salutation. 1) Because these three things are necessary for the believer to continue faithfully in the faith 2) Because these three things are available to the believer: they are gifts given that must be accepted!
a. The promise of Grace for every trial. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” We often say that God will never place more on us than we can bear and I believe that to be a biblical truth. There is living grace, suffering grace, sustaining grace, and dying grace. As my old friend, Dean Shook sang, “There’s been grace for every trial; grace for every mile!”
b. The promise of mercy for every failure. Jeremiah 33:8 says, “And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.” “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; prone to leave the God I love!” God’s people love Him and, yet, fail Him miserably. God’s love is so much greater than our sin and His forgiveness is always there for His children. I have tried to wear 1 John 1:9 out in my lifetime but it is still there and the mercy of God still available.
c. The promise of peace for the entire trip. John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Isaiah 26:3 speaks of the perfect peace that God offers to these who keep their minds stayed upon Him. Looking around at this world with all of its problems will steal that peace until we turn our eyes upon the Lord and know that all is well as He controls everything.