Sermon Titled “Do Your Best” (2 Timothy 2:14-19) – Sunday 26th October, 2014
- 2 Timothy 2:14-19 NIV Dealing With False Teachers14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
In this piece of scripture, Paul warns Timothy (and all Christians) to guard themselves against the words of false teachers. In last weekend’s sermon, Pastor Reimer presented the question, “How do we do this?” It’s quite simple really, and only possible by seeking, loving, and obeying the truth.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-11 says that many will be deceived by lies, and that they will perish because of their stubbornness and unbelief. Yet, the bible also says that anyone, even the worst of sinners, can be set free if they search for truth and find it in God’s Word.
Those who already believe are equally vulnerable too. Christians must learn to be discerning in all situations, and realize that even the words of other Christians may sometimes be deceitful or untrue. That reality extends to the pulpit too, as there have been many accounts of false teachers preaching to trusting congregations.
To protect ourselves from being led astray we must have a thorough knowledge of God’s word, and that means reading and studying it as often as possible. Our love of the word should supersede any feelings of reverence we might have for our church leaders. Some churches are led by extremely charismatic preachers, and it’s easy in situations like that for members to develop a greater love for the person delivering the word, rather than the word itself.
By steeping ourselves daily, or as often as possible in the Word of God, we build immunity to false teachings and lies. We also build immunity to the temptation to participate in “godless chatter” (i.e. gossip), which Paul says is dangerous because it spreads like gangrene and harms all those that it touches. A knowledge of God’s Word gives us the confidence to question motives, and the ability to resist anything (or anyone) that threatens to destroy our faith.
In addition to knowing and loving God’s Word, we can also protect ourselves by spending time with other Christians, whether at church, in bible study and community groups, or at social events. There is truth in the saying that people become like those who they surround themselves with.
So, if pursuing a path that is pleasing to God is your number one priority, it shouldn’t be difficult to follow Paul’s advice in exercising a little discipline: how you spend your time and who you spend it with will either lead you to the truth, or away from the truth.