The Godliness we have to Possess at the Last Time (II Tim. 3:1-9)
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
* Objective: We can overcome the suffering of the last time with godliness.
(1) We feel the quickness of the time passing. When we say, “Peace, peace!” suddenly, the event will happen suddenly, as like the pregnant woman begot a baby. The second coming of our Lord will also suddenly happen to us so we need to prepare for that event so we can present ourselves without shame. Paul called the time that such an event will happen as the last day. (I Tim 4:1) “The Spirit clearly says that in later times, some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. (Acts 2:16-17) “No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:”’ In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” The last days in the Scripture tells us that from the birth of Christ to the second coming of Christ, it will be terrible times (Verse 1). It means that a terrible event will happen before the second coming of Jesus Christ. Recently, we know that our global environment is serious: earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, and hurricanes destroying our ozone layer, the making of small atom bombs, transforming the genes in animals and plants are all things that will have happened and will happen in the last days. We must know that our Lord’s coming is near. 2000 years ago, Paul had been inspired by the Holy Spirit to tell us of the happenings of the last days. Also he taught us spiritual wisdom to avoid troubling things.
I. What happens on the last day?
Modern people are filled with excess humanism, which is new Age and Post modernism. The Scripture already had prophesied lots of signs in that day. Especially Paul told us that the last day is the time of suffering. The suffering of Verse I means “dangerous.” The dangerous world exhibits 18 characteristics. We can divide them as 6 kinds:
1) The Excess Egoism, Self -centered life, affection of money.
This man cannot follow the Lord. If a man receives the grace of God he will have a neighbor- centered life.
For example, the successful have 20 features, those are 1) greet 3 seconds before than the other did. 2) greet to the person who not need greetings 3) thinks it in the view of the other 4) he does not say, “if something exist.” 5) he does not excuse. These things are what the neighbor –centered person have to possess.
“Boastful, proud, abusive”
The background of a Self-centered life is proud. Calvin told that the greatest sin of Christian life is boasting. When we are humble, God shall heal our miserable earth.
(II Chron. 7:14)
3) Rebellion against the authority
– “disobedience to their parents, ungrateful, unholy”
– The people destroy the authority in our lives.
– Example: New age movement (post modernism, unbiblical feminism).
– “without love, unforgiving, slanderous”
– The Scripture called the devil as advocates, “slanderous.”
– As Isaac, though the church is harmful, it has to forgive with our enemies.
We have to learn the prayer of Stephen. (Acts 7:59-60) “Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.”
= The Church of Christ should be filled with mercifulness.
5) Non self-control
– “without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited.”
– They cast themselves into the desires of self devotedly, like a broken brake of a car, unable to exercise full self-control.
– If we do not learn self-control from the Holy Spirit, we can fall down into a state without self-control gradually.
– “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness
but denying its power.”
The culture of Japan is called the culture of joy. That’s very miserable.
2. Right now, we meet six factors of the above in our culture. Also, we feel strongly that the Second Coming of our Lord will happen during our days on Earth. What are the assurances that the Lord prophesied about the signs of last day in Matthew 24:-25:?
– The signs include the same situation of the flood of Noah
– The time of Lot
– The metaphor of the fig tree means the independence of Israel
– There are acts of struggling, warfare, earthquakes, and famine in the world. Now we can meet such things in our environments. Here, a more important sign exists. What is that?
= The evangelization of the gospel in the world is the last sign of the second coming of Jesus.
II. We can overcome the suffering of the Last day with godliness.
1. How can we overcome the suffering of the last hours? Paul claimed that only godliness of saints overcome against that tribulation. (Verse 5) “having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”
2. How can we receive the power of godliness?
1) We have to throw away the habit of ungodliness
– “Have nothing to do with them.”(5)
The cult attacks the wickedness of the Christians so we should take away the false doctrine unconditionally for only the Scripture is the true doctrine that consists of godliness.
2) We have to learn the truth, the word of God.
– Verse 7 tells us of “always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.”
– Paul quotes that Janne and Jambus opposed Moses in order to warm the false doctrine.
= (Ex. 7:11) We have to have a heart trained by the truth. In other words, we have to be devoted to the studies of the Scripture. Whenever we need the Bible, we leave to experience the change of heart by the power of the Holy Spirit, like a fire, a fresh spring, and a hammer.
This experienced knowledge makes us overcome the temptations of false doctrine on the last day.
(1) We pass through the church of suffering on the last day. We feel that the content of the prophesies, which our Lord and Apostles had told, appeared in our age. We have to arm ourselves with the godliness of the apostles in order to complete the kingdom of God in our lives.
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.(IICronicle 7:14)
11 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts (Ex7:11)