6/16/2020 0 Comments
Persevering In Perilous Times
Dane K. Jöhannsson
Lead Pastor, Agros Reformed Baptist Church
(The following is a section of my notes from a preached 6/14/20, titled "Perilous Times")
Perseverance In Perilous Times
Now for the application. How shall we as Christians endure in such times? How do we hold fast to the faith in perilous times? How can we keep our minds from error when false teaching abounds? Isaiah gives the clarion call, “To the law and to the testimony!” To the word of God, dear Christian! The Scriptures will guide us if we will listen. False teaching is easy to detect, “If they speak not according to this word, It is because there is no light in them.”(Is.8:20) Paul walks us through how we may persevere in perilous times.
1. By looking to the examples of godly men. Paul puts himself forward as an example of what persevering faith looks like in perilous times. “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.”(v.10,11) As Christians we are “are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses.”(Heb.12:1) We may look to the faithful who have gone before us and now live among us. Here Paul recommends this pattern of instruction. Timothy is to look at Paul as an example of perseverance in perilous times. Let us briefly examine a few particulars.
2. Paul goes on to say that we all must be prepared to suffer for the truth (v.12)”Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” True godliness upholds the powerful truth of the gospel and powerfully opposes falsehood. We can be assured that we shall suffer if we be godly.
3. The alternative to persevering is to capitulate and demonstrate oneself also to be “reprobate concerning the faith.” If we do not persevere in the faith, holding fast to the truth as it is in Jesus, but rather compromise on this or that point of doctrine, we shall be like the false teachers who are “evil men and seducers” and “wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”(v.13)
4. What is the method we are to use in persevering? How can we do it? Paul reminds Timothy, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.”(v.14) We must continue in the truth. We must remember our first love, Jesus. In the perilous, unsteady and unfaithful times which we live, we must have our eyes always set on the truth of Jesus Christ.
5. To persevere we must not stray even one inch from the Scriptures. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”(v.16,17)
Dear Congregation, I have often been criticized for my constant railing against the modern church, even by those who have attended THIS church. But I have attempted to labor faithfully to prepare us for where we now are. Perilous times are not coming, they are upon us. Sentimentality for routine, naïve fancies that these times are really not that perilous, and childish desires to just feel "uplifted and encouraged in a sermon” will no longer suffice. The enemy is upon us, even in our midst. The battle cry of the hour is, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”(1Pet.5:8,9)
Where has Satan led you astray in your mind this week, dear believer? What areas of faith and practice have you compromised in? What areas of your life do you still refuse to surrender to Jesus Christ in? We must discern and remedy. Repent and believe. The Scriptures must guide us in such examination.
The sufficiency of the Scriptures, the deity of Christ, the power of godliness, the leading of the Holy Spirit, the supernatural regeneration of sinners, the all sufficient substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on behalf of sinners, and the Lordship of God over the inhabitants of the earth are being attacked and denied all around us. We must stand strong, being assured of the truth. Let us give ourselves promptly and sincerely unto our Lord Jesus Christ in these perilous times. Dear congregation, “he which hath begun a good work in [us] will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”(Phil.1:6) Amen.
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