The fatal reality of secularism
2 Timothy 4:1-5
Secularism: The belief or practice of removing faith or worship of God from society.
1I 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. 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. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
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.
"We are regularly in danger of having too light a view of our sin and also too light of a grasp of what Jesus has done to free us from our sin." ~ Tim Keller (Pastor and Theologian, NYC)
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68-69, ESV)
1I 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.
2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season;"
" 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith..." (Romans 1:16 & 17, ESV)
"5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering..."
5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
" 6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ." (Colossians 2:6-8, ESV)
"God, you made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in You" ~ Augustine
Week 2 - The Fatal Reality of Secularism
The passage from Sunday provided a great insight into the struggle with secularism. We saw in this warning from Paul to Timothy that there are people who will abandon true, sound doctrine for non-truth because it is easier to hear. These people will purposely gather around teachers who don’t preach the truth and who propagate myths, because their preaching will scratch the itch of their ears--the desire to be comfortable and affirmed in their sin!
1. One of the passages from today’s study (Phil. 3:12-21) uses vivid language to describe the struggle and fight that is found in the Call to follow Jesus Christ. Paul provides us with a detailed inventory of how a person should live their life as a follower of Christ. As a group, read through Phil. 3:12-21 and look for any language that might indicate a fight, a struggle, or something being difficult.
2. Focus on v18-19. What do you see in this verse that reinforces the truth from Sunday’s passage (2 Tim. 4:1-5)
As a group, turn to 2 Tim.4:6-8. This passage also talks about the fight that the citizens of GOD’s Kingdom must endure. It is quite a summative perspective of what Paul taught in Phil.3:12-21, let’s take a look at the three verses that immediately follow the passage from Sunday’s sermon.
3. What does Paul mean in v6 when he says, “and the time of my departure has come”?
4. As a group, does anyone know the Apostle Paul’s relationship with Timothy.
5. Compare 2 Tim.4:7 with Phil.3:12-16. Discuss any similarities that you see in these two passages.
6. Notice the word “Henceforth” in v8. What is this word here to magnify?
7. In v7, Paul mentions his ‘fighting’, ‘finishing’, and ‘keeping’ the faith. How does this verse relate to the temptation and seduction that is secularism?
Think about this…a U.S. citizen can travel and even live abroad, but they are still a U.S. citizen. 1 Pet. 2:11 tells us that as believers, our time here on earth is as a sojourner and an exile. So it makes sense that we would face the temptation and seduction that all the world has to offer. We are here, but we don’t belong…our citizenship is with GOD in heaven. In these verses Paul is telling Timothy, ‘I have been a citizen of GOD’s kingdom, traveling on the earth as an exile. As a non-believer, I have tasted of the power, fame, and notoriety that the world has to offer. Now as a person redeemed by Christ, I have continually been exposed to the temptations and seductions of the world--but I have fought, finished, and kept my faith. But now my travels are done, I am dying, and I am going to live where I will no longer be a stranger and an exile…with GOD’! Paul makes sure to show Timothy that it was not easy…it was a struggle and a fight. Paul had to stand firm and hold true, he had to press, and fight, and strain. He wanted Timothy to know that this is what it is like to follow Christ and withstand the seduction of the world! Are we fighting the good fight? Are we striving to finish the race and keep our faith? Are we living like citizens of GOD in a foreign land or like we belong to this world?