Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Reflection - Have Nothing to Do with Terrible Characteristics of People

Source (book): "Faithful to the end", Chapter 8, Question 4, Page 125.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


'Have nothing to do with them'
PHOTO: "Have nothing to do with them" (2 Timothy 3:5)
Paul's list of the characteristics of the people of the last days is a horrible list indeed. It has become increasingly true and evident in our modern age. In the days of Paul, such people were already present and did much damage to the church. They found their way into the Christian communities. They visited homes and misled "weak-willed women".
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"Have nothing to do with them" (2 Timothy 3:5). How would you apply Paul's instruction in Practice? How can Christians be different from the people of the world and yet seek to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)? What is the connection between holiness and evangelism?

"Have nothing to do with them" (2 Timothy 3:5). [1]
Paul's list of the characteristics of the people of the last days is a horrible list indeed. It has become increasingly true and evident in our modern age. In the days of Paul, such people were already present and did much damage to the church. They found their way into the Christian communities. They visited homes and misled "weak-willed women" (Greek gynarkia, meaning "little women"). These women were morally and intellectually weak, who themselves were examples of the terrible people of the last days, described as "loaded down with sins and swayed by all kinds of evil" (2 Timothy 3:6). They were curious but not committed.



Characteristics of the people of the last days found their way into the Christian communities.
PHOTO: Characteristics of the people of the last days found their way into the Christian communities. They visited homes and misled "weak-willed women" (Greek gynarkia, meaning "little women"). These women were morally and intellectually weak, who themselves were examples of the terrible people of the last days, described as "loaded down with sins and swayed by all kinds of evil" (2 Timothy 3:6). They were curious but not committed.
Picture posted by Jane Allison Austin on Saturday, 19 June 2010 at 5:51 PM
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-a3QLtXhFWN8/VxY1jFCYNWI/AAAAAAAAjog/2_UjmadRnGQEP_QrkJWB8ET16cMvG6qVACLcB/s1600/joyintherain.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__LaqOoes5Ks/TB1pE7XbgUI/AAAAAAAAAOg/-Cix-qJnzV4/s1600/joyintherain.jpg
http://loveyourparent.blogspot.sg/2010/06/welcome-to-our-joy-in-rain-friends.html



These women were gullible. They would believe almost anything and were, as John Stott says, "easy prey for door-to-door religious salesmen" [9]. Such corrupted teachers who spread heresy and unsound doctrine both deceived and were deceived (2 Timothy 3:13). Their decendants today are more polished and have the technology to easily enter homes through the Internet! Imagine the damage they are doing to the church. Just today, I had to reply to and email from a church leader; his church has easily believed the heretical teachings of a modern day false teacher.



These women were gullible.
PHOTO: These women were gullible. They would believe almost anything and were, as John Stott says, "easy prey for door-to-door religious salesmen" [9]. Such corrupted teachers who spread heresy and unsound doctrine both deceived and were deceived (2 Timothy 3:13). The church also has easily believed the heretical teachings of a modern day false teacher.
Photo by Janine, taken on 27 April 2009
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0aWFeO_6LZg/VxY1hagJ1iI/AAAAAAAAjoM/6e__apl_Cx4je0czP4l9QbXgdUL6bU74QCLcB/s1600/3477692376_a54f0f17f1_b.jpg
https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3393/3477692376_a54f0f17f1_b.jpg
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pinkcotton/3477692376



How would you apply Paul's instruction in Practice? [1]
Deception of the false teachers will eventually be exposed
Paul uses the example of Jannes and Jambres to illustrate the character and apostasy of the false teachers. These men were the Egyptian magicians who were summoned by Pharaoh to challenge Moses and were able to mimic the miracle performed by Moses - up to a point (Exodus 7:8-12). Just as Moses was able by God's power to turn Aaron's staff into a snake, the Egyptian magicians were likewise able to turn their staffs into snakes. As the floor of the Pharaoh's throne room was filled with snakes, others who were present would have been lulled into accepting the deceptive power that was at work through the magicians. But the deception was exposed when "Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs." In the same way, Paul was confident that the deception of the false teachers will eventually be exposed, for he said "their folly will be clear to everyone" (2 Timothy 3:9).



Deception of the false teachers will eventually be exposed
PHOTO: Deception of the false teachers will eventually be exposed
Paul uses the example of Jannes and Jambres to illustrate the character and apostasy of the false teachers. These men were the Egyptian magicians who were summoned by Pharaoh to challenge Moses and were able to mimic the miracle performed by Moses - up to a point (Exodus 7:8-12). Just as Moses was able by God's power to turn Aaron's staff into a snake, the Egyptian magicians were likewise able to turn their staffs into snakes.
But the deception was exposed when "Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs." In the same way, Paul was confident that the deception of the false teachers will eventually be exposed, for he said "their folly will be clear to everyone" (2 Timothy 3:9).
Picture posted by House of The Water Pouring on 8 July 2014
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http://beithashoavah.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/0139_ex_071112-001-snake-.jpg
http://beithashoavah.org/2014/07/just-as-jannes-jannis-and-jambres-opposed-moses/0139_ex_071112-001-snake/



All must be ever learning to know the Lord [3]
All must be ever learning to know the Lord; but these follow every new notion, yet never seek the truth as it is in Jesus. Like the Egyptian magicians, these were men of corrupt minds, prejudiced against the truth, and found to be quite without faith. Yet though the spirit of error may be let loose for a time, Satan can deceive the nations and the churches no further, and no longer, than God will permit.


All must be ever learning to know the Lord
PHOTO: All must be ever learning to know the Lord
But these follow every new notion, yet never seek the truth as it is in Jesus, Satan can deceive the nations and the churches no further, and no longer, than God will permit.
Posted in Dreams, Truth, Life on 22 April 2013
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https://sacredspiritdance.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/the-magic-of-books-tammara-markegard.jpg
https://sacredspiritdance.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/%E2%9C%A9-%E2%9C%A9-sacred-spirit-dance-%E2%9C%A9-%E2%9C%A9-1405/
https://sacredspiritdance.wordpress.com/category/sogni/page/146/



Make continual and earnest and contrite efforts day by day to renew and deepen our personal communion with Jesus Christ. [4]
Make continual and earnest and contrite efforts day by day to renew and deepen our personal communion with Jesus Christ. He is the source of the power which godliness operates in our lives, and the closer we keep to Him the more it will flood our hearts and make us real, out-and-out Christians, and not shallow and self-deceived pretenders.



Make continual and earnest and contrite efforts day by day to renew and deepen our personal communion with Jesus Christ.

PHOTO: Make continual and earnest and contrite efforts day by day to renew and deepen our personal communion with Jesus Christ.
Posted in Dreams, Time, tenacity, Life on 26 march 2012

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https://sacredspiritdance.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/ad957947.jpg
https://sacredspiritdance.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/%E2%99%AC%E2%99%AC-sacred-spirit-dance-%E2%99%AC%E2%99%AC-1269/
https://sacredspiritdance.wordpress.com/category/sogni/page/146/



How can Christians be different from the people of the world and yet seek to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)? [1]
Elsewhere Paul cautioned us: "Do not misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character'" (1 Chorinthians 15:33). We must be careful about the company we keep. Keep away from false teachers and the terrible people of the last days. It may be difficult to keep away from the people with whom we interact daily. In fact we should not isolate ourselves from them, even if we could. How else can we win them for Christ? But we must keep away from their worldviews and lifestyles, from their manners of speech and behaviour - for those will harm us spiritually. The psalmist's spiritual allergy to evil, unrighteousness, and godlessness is something we ought to develop. "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he mediates day and night" (Psalm 1:1-2).



Do not misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character'
PHOTO:  "Do not misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character'" (1 Chorinthians 15:33). We must be careful about the company we keep. Keep away from false teachers and the terrible people of the last days.
"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he mediates day and night" (Psalm 1:1-2).
Photo by: Anupriya
Picture posted by Avatar 24 on 13 October 2011

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The church has to guard itself against the perilous worldliness of the last days. "Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould" (Romans 12:2 PHILIPS) is a biblical command that we must always bear in mind in all our interactions and relationships, and in all our thoughts and choices. The disciples of Jesus must be different from the terrible people of the last days. How this difference is seen in our lives and ministries.



Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould
PHOTO: "Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould" (Romans 12:2 PHILIPS) is a biblical command that we must always bear in mind in all our interactions and relationships, and in all our thoughts and choices.
Picture posted in Christian, Jesus, Uncategorized on 28 April 2015
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https://christianity4u2c.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/do-you-rent-or-own-your-christianity/



What is the connection between holiness and evangelism? [2]
Holiness is the single most important issue for evangelism. John Wesley said, “Get on fire for God and men will come to watch you burn.” May the Lord raise up men and women whose first desire is to live holy and righteousness through the power of the Holy Spirit.


Holiness is the single most important issue for evangelism. PHOTO: Holiness is the single most important issue for evangelism. May the Lord raise up men and women whose first desire is to live holy and righteousness through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Picture posted by buckmccain.com - Jesus Healing the Sick
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In order for us to properly understand biblical holiness and how it applies practically to our everyday life we need to have a basic understanding of separation from the world. We will only look at two vital points, but they are critical for helping us stay clear of legalism and sectarianism in our Christian walk.

Not of the World [2]
Shortly before He was arrested and crucified, Jesus prayed for His disciples. This prayer was not only for the twelve, but also for every true believer down through the ages. (John 17:20) In this prayer, Jesus mentioned how His disciples “are not of the world.” (John 17:16) In some circles or camps this statement is completely ignored and the result is a very worldly church. In other camps, this statement is misunderstood or improperly taught or applied and the result is bondage and legalism. Therefore, to avoid both extremes we need to correctly understand how we are not of the world.


Biblical holiness means separation from the world
PHOTO: Biblical holiness means separation from the world
Shortly before He was arrested and crucified, Jesus prayed for His disciples. In this prayer, Jesus mentioned how His disciples “are not of the world.” (John 17:16). We need to correctly understand how we are not of the world. The focus is on the spirit of this world. We received the Spirit of God and not the “spirit of the world.” (1 Corinthians 2:12)
Picture posted by Amilton on 17 March 2014
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http://www.wgospel.com/2014/03/17/ao-seu-lado-no-getsemani/



The apostle Paul teaches us that, at salvation, we received the Spirit of God and not the “spirit of the world.” (1 Corinthians 2:12) When Jesus instructs us about separation from the world, the focus is on the spirit of this world. Do not miss this: the spirit of this world or age is not necessarily the physical things of this world—but it is the attitudes, dispositions and motives of this present age. John makes this clear when he defines the things of the world as “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” (1 John 2:16)



When Jesus instructs us about separation from the world, the focus is on the spirit of this world.
PHOTO: When Jesus instructs us about separation from the world, the focus is on the spirit of this world. John makes this clear when he defines the things of the world as “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” (1 John 2:16)
Painting by Boucher François, Posted on Sunday, 27 January 2013 at 1:06
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http://blistar.net/images/photos/65287968c7c0f3077bbdb3ef4b07d56f.jpg
http://www.liveinternet.ru/users/solk/post258501072/



Notice that all three of these are intangible elements and not possessions or objects. The Scriptures teach us that separation from the philosophy and attitude of this world is the true meaning of biblical holiness. We could abstain from every object or possession in life, live in a monastery, and still be worldly if we are harboring greed, lust or pride in our hearts. Christianity is not a monastic or ascetic practice of life, but a life which reflects the motives, attitudes and actions of God’s agape (wide open in surprise or wonder) love.



The Scriptures teach us that separation from the philosophy and attitude of this world is the true meaning of biblical holiness.
PHOTO: The Scriptures teach us that separation from the philosophy and attitude of this world is the true meaning of biblical holiness. Christianity is not a monastic or ascetic practice of life, but a life which reflects the motives, attitudes and actions of God’s agape (wide open in surprise or wonder) love.
Picture posted by Dreamies - Painting of Jesus Christ Oil
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http://www.dreamies.de/show.php?img=vpkl87hjetq.jpg&gal=hmiqgked&gali=18



In the World [2]
In His high priestly prayer Jesus teaches us not to be of the world. Then He immediately tells us that He is sending us “into the world.” (John 17:18) If living among worldly men is sin, then Jesus is sending us into sin. However, when we properly understand that Jesus is sending us into the world to be as He was when He lived among wicked men we are liberated from a legalistic and sectarian view of separation from worldliness. Again, we see that worldliness is not about what we do or where we go. It involves why we do what we do and why we go where we go. The litmus test for worldliness is to question the motive behind what we do.



In His high priestly prayer Jesus teaches us not to be of the world.
PHOTO: In His high priestly prayer Jesus teaches us not to be of the world. Then He immediately tells us that He is sending us “into the world.” (John 17:18) If living among worldly men is sin, then Jesus is sending us into sin. However, when we properly understand that Jesus is sending us into the world to be as He was when He lived among wicked men we are liberated from a legalistic and sectarian view of separation from worldliness. Worldliness is not about what we do or where we go. It involves why we do what we do and why we go where we go. The litmus test for worldliness is to question the motive behind what we do.
Picture provided by hanyyoussef on Wednesday, 27 July 2011 (Created by unknown author) - Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
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http://christian-backgrounds.com/christian-wallpapers-backgrounds/jwallpapers_files/2011/7/Jesus_Prays_in_Gethsemane-2.jpg - (forbidden)
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Sad to say, as we look around at the modern church, we see men who are in the world as well as of the world. This is a tragedy. Why? Because if we are not different from the world in our life and actions we cannot properly call people to Christ. Our walk of love and truth should be the loudest testimony of the need for others to come to the Lord for salvation. When we are in and of the world we live as hypocrites.



If we are not different from the world in our life and actions we cannot properly call people to Christ.
PHOTO: If we are not different from the world in our life and actions we cannot properly call people to Christ. Our walk of love and truth should be the loudest testimony of the need for others to come to the Lord for salvation.
Picture posted by K putt (Flickr), taken on 22 April 2014
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https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7406/13963343195_4ae6e76708_k.jpg
https://www.flickr.com/photos/k_putt/sets/72157644191959442/



However, equally tragic are the men who are not of the world but also not in the world. How is our light of absolute truth and holy love going to melt men’s hearts if we are not among them in daily life? We are called by the Lord to let our light of truth and love shine “in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation.” (Philippians 2:15) As we abstain from the spirit of our age, which wars against our soul, let us live honestly “among the gentiles.” (1 Peter 2:11-12) We must not take the light of the gospel and place it under a bushel. Instead, let it light the room and the world around us. (Matthew 5:14-16)



Equally tragic are the men who are not of the world but also not in the world.
PHOTO: Equally tragic are the men who are not of the world but also not in the world. How is our light of absolute truth and holy love going to melt men’s hearts if we are not among them in daily life? We are called by the Lord to let our light of truth and love shine “in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation.” (Philippians 2:15) As we abstain from the spirit of our age, which wars against our soul, let us live honestly “among the gentiles.” (1 Peter 2:11-12)
Picture posted by seeker401 on 22 April 2012
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Defilement or worldliness does not come from what we touch, eat or drink. Neither does it come from the men we hang around or from the places we go. These are external issues. Defilement comes from what proceeds from within our heart. (Matthew 15:10-20) If we really understand this it will prevent us from falling into religious legalism and bondage.



Defilement or worldliness does not come from what we touch, eat or drink. Neither does it come from the men we hang around or from the places we go. These are external issues. Defilement comes from what proceeds from within our heart. (Matthew 15:10-20)
PHOTO: Defilement or worldliness does not come from what we touch, eat or drink. Neither does it come from the men we hang around or from the places we go. These are external issues. Defilement comes from what proceeds from within our heart. (Matthew 15:10-20)
Picture posted by Sylvia Sober on 30 September 2013
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http://www.nepbetegsegek.hu/pirosban-a-nokert-mozgalom.html



In our quest for biblical holiness we need to guard against sectarian isolationism and religious division. We are called to take the message of Jesus Christ to the world. That means we need to be among them and with them in everyday life. That is the only way they can see us live, demonstrate and share God’s message of redemption.

Be Ye Holy [2]
It is easy to read how we are called to be holy before the Lord, and separate from this world, and then abandon the very world we are called to reach. We must understand what true separation from the world means. It is imperative if we are going to be used by God to reach the men of the world with the gospel.



We are called to take the message of Jesus Christ to the world.
PHOTO: We are called to take the message of Jesus Christ to the world. That means we need to be among them and with them in everyday life. That is the only way they can see us live, demonstrate and share God’s message of redemption.
Picture posted by Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence on 24 July 2014 - Resurrection Of Jesus Empty Tomb
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https://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/category/extraordinary-claims-demand-extraordinary-evidence/



None of us, whether a young believer or teacher, should use any excuse to justify known sin in our life. As God’s children, we must repent of our sin and look to the Lord’s grace for victory through the crucified and risen Lamb. As we do, let us realize that we can be in the world and not of the world at the same time!



We must repent of our sin and look to the Lord’s grace for victory through the crucified and risen Lamb.
PHOTO: We must repent of our sin and look to the Lord’s grace for victory through the crucified and risen Lamb. As we do, let us realize that we can be in the world and not of the world at the same time!
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.’ The forgiveness of little things and the forgiveness of very great things; our Father’s forgiveness of us and our forgiveness of others.
Posted by Reverend Dr. John Belham
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http://www.lords-prayer.co.uk/lords-prayer-podcasts/



But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16, KJV).



Dear Lord, we pray that we can be like Paul, confident that the deception of the false teachers will eventually be exposed. We also pray that we
PHOTO: "Dear Lord, we pray that we can be like Paul, confident that the deception of the false teachers will eventually be exposed.
We also pray that we "Have nothing to do with them", the characteristics of the people of the last days but to be holy before the Lord, and spiritually separate from this world.
We pray for repentance of our sin and look to the Lord’s grace for victory through the crucified and risen lamb. Let us realize that we can be in the world and not of the world at the same time!, Amen!
"
Picture posted by rffxsm on 23 September 2014 - Jesus Praying in Gethsemane
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https://gbseminary.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/64/


Adapted from Holiness is Essential for Evangelism, Posted by Terry Ivy on September 27, https://terryivy.com/2012/09/27/holiness-is-essential-for-evangelism/

Reflection - Have Nothing to Do with Terrible Characteristics of People
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012



Reference
[1] From "Faithful to the end" A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, Copyright © 2014 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-241-0, PART THREE: UNLIKE THE WORLD, Chapter 8 "The Terrible World And Its People" (2 Timothy 3:1-9), Page 123-124.

[2] Holiness is Essential for Evangelism, Posted by Terry Ivy on September 27, https://terryivy.com/2012/09/27/holiness-is-essential-for-evangelism/


[3]  2 Timothy 3:5, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.", Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary, http://biblehub.com/commentaries/2_timothy/3-5.htm

[4] 2 Timothy 3:5, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.", MacLaren's Expositions, http://biblehub.com/commentaries/2_timothy/3-5.htm

[9] Stott, The Message of 2 Timothy, 103.

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2 Timothy 3:1-9 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+3%3A1-9&version=NIV

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