Sunday, September 8, 2013

Those Who Have Turned Away

Temple Baptist Church - 9-8-2013
2 Timothy 1:15
A. Last week, we dealt with Paul’s admonition to young Timothy to “hold fast” the sound words given to him by Paul and to “keep” that good thing that was committed to him. The first chapter of this second of the Pastoral Epistles seems to be meant to encourage a young pastor, during perilous times, to remain faithful to the Lord, the brethren, and the local church.
B. In our verse for today:
1. I find something that I have never noticed in either reading or study: “All they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.” Evidently the churches of Asia had already fallen away in the later years of the Apostle Paul. He had started churches there and they turned away from him.
2. Then, he named two who may have been pastors or, at the least, leaders in these churches. This is the reason for the warning to young Timothy not to be swayed by others or fail to follow the Old Paths of his spiritual father.
3. These churches and men did not leave the Apostle Paul because of anything that he had done: he was not teaching false doctrine, he was not “lording” over the people, he was straight and loving. Their leaving was their problem, not his!
C. We experience the same “falling away” today as Paul spoke of two millenniums ago. This is not a new phenomenon.
1. Jesus rebuked the Jews for “stoning” the prophets who spoke the Word of God.
2. Israel rejected the forerunner, John the Baptist, who prepared them for the coming of the long awaited Lamb of God.
3. Israel rejected the Messiah, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh and His teachings.
4. Israel rejected the Apostles with almost all of them dying a martyr’s death.
5. The Gentiles rejected, in this verse, one of the greatest preachers the Bible mentions.
6. Thus, two thousand years later, we should not be dismayed or shocked at the denominations—churches—and individuals who reject the fundamental truths of this blessed old book I hold in my hand this morning.
D. Though Paul gave no explanation here as to why these churches and men turned away from him and the truth of God’s Word, I want to use several examples in the Bible to show what possibly happened to the churches in Asia along with their spiritual leadership.
1. Church members are leaving good, fundamental, bible believing Baptist churches for worldly, doctrinally incorrect ones. I am not crying or complaining, as my mother would have said, “I am just explaining.” The “falling away” of 2 Thessalonians 2, in light of the eminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ, is in full swing.
2. They are not leaving because of false doctrine or dictatorial pastors. Their leaving for the most part is their problem!
3. John 6:66-67 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. (67) Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? (Therefore, the question must be asked this morning: “What would cause you to ‘go away?’”)
1. Listening to teachers who are contrary to the doctrine and practice of your pastor! Acts 15:1-2 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. (2) When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. (The airways are full of apostate teachers! These men and, unfortunately women, are doctrinally incorrect in many areas: the word of God, spiritual gifts such as tongues and healings, the local church, eschatology, etc. John Hagee, Joyce Myers, Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, etc. have a mixture of truth and error. GET YOUR DOCTRINE FROM YOUR PASTOR AND CHURCH, not others. If you have doctrinal questions, ask your pastor.)
2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
2. Living in carnality instead of walking in holiness! 2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. (I have no problem with enjoying life. The bible even admonishes us to eat, drink, and be merry. A merry heart is mentioned several times in the Proverbs. BUT, when worldly pleasure becomes the treasure of our hearts, we will drift from God and His church and people.)
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
3. Becoming offended by the preaching of God’s word! John 8:45-46 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. (46) Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? (Offended believers are the result of a lack of love for the God’s word. Psalms 119:165 says that if you love God’s law, nothing with offend you. Failure to change when convicted will cause a child of God to turn from the hearing of God’s word which will cause him/her to leave the church.)
4. Fellowshipping with the wrong kind of people! 2 Thessalonians 3:6-7 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. (7) For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you. (Evil communications still corrupts good manners and hanging around with carnal or disgruntled people will eventually rub off on you. We used to say, “Birds of a feather flock together.” And, “You are known by the company you keep.”)
5. Becoming ashamed of the testimony of our Lord when persecution arises! Mark 14:44-46, 50 And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely. (45) And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him. (46) And they laid their hands on him, and took him … 50 And they all forsook him, and fled.

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