Sustaining Hope in the Growing Darkness of our World.
welcome to real Christianity my name is Dale Partridge as you know you can get the show notes for these episodes had a relearn. Org our missionary learn.org is to bring the church back to the Bible we are fighting for biblical and Theological literacy in the church meaning that we want every Christian to know how to properly and accurately interpret their Bible and understand coresential theological Doctrine today's episode we are talking about
 sustaining Our Hope
 in the growing darkness of our world everywhere around us we are dealing with major issues from the covid pandemic to laws being passed the vaccination discussion the Afghanistan discussion the earthquake in Haiti that happened a few weeks ago and the Myriad of other issues that are going on on the global on the global stage as well as the national and even local stage of your life
 I don't want to talk by I should say I want to teach from a couple passages of scripture that really speak to this generation that we are in the last days and we know that the last days are really anytime after Jesus resurrection and Ascension and his second coming that hole. Is referred to as the last days but there is a sense and I think every generation but especially now that there is a multiplied frequency and a greater portion of wickedness in this generation
 so I'd like to talk to you about what we are to expect as well as how we should anchor Our Hope in the midst of it if you guys are new here thanks for joining this podcast I've been doing this podcast for almost I think a little over three years now and it has been a wonderful opportunity to preach biblical Doctrine and the gospel is so many of you listeners if you guys haven't been to relearn. Org and that is a place where we are producing more and more resources for your walk with Christ in to strengthen your understanding of historic Evangelical Christianity for those that are supporters of relearn. Org in this podcast I just wanted to say thank you and for those who would like to contribute
 to our ministry efforts you can do so at a relearn. Org forward slash donate it makes a major difference when you as a listener is they are committed to your $10 a month or $20 a month that permits us to have the stability that we need as an organization to plan to make higher and produce further content so thank you for that I want to start off by talking about a passage of scripture that
that Jesus is talking about these days of tribulation and Jesus is speaking to Jewish Believers in Matthew 24 he makes the statement to them in that audience that I believe is true in our generation he says and because lawlessness will be increased the love of many will grow cold now that passage of scripture for you who are very theological and understand where you're in the geography of your Bible I know this is connected to a discussion around eschatology 10 times for not going to talk about that right now but I want to take the concept that Jesus Takes here and say because lawlessness will be increase the love of many will grow cold
 the world is growing rapidly in lawlessness the internet has permitted evil to be multiplied in a greater capacity than ever before in as a result of the love of Christians even not just Humanity but the love of Christians will grow cold now it doesn't say that the love of Christians will be lost that's not what that passage is saying but if we're not careful and committed to seeking the source of love and which is God this Lawless world can discourage the saint and our love for Others May decrease and I think many of you whether you want to admit it or not I have found yourself discouraged and overwhelmed with the state of our world
 and it's difficult as a Believer to radiate that love when everything around you is rebelling against God and so today I just want to discuss a similar passage in 2nd Timothy chapter 3 verses 1 through 5 and I'll read it to you shortly Paul warned Timothy about the type of culture that is coming in the last days and then it's to be expected as time goes on and how we as Ministers of the Gospel as Christians are to respond
 and so Paul and your prior to this chapter to give you a little bit of contact and 2nd Timothy chapter 1 and 2 is encouraging Timothy and instructing him and shepherding and teaching duties that are required of Missionary Church Planters like Timothy now he tells Timothy to not be ashamed of Paul and the gospel that Paul preaches he tells him to be strong in the grace of our Lord according to the teaching that he's received he affirms his salvation in Christ he tells him to be a diligent worker of the ministry who can rightly interpret and teach scripture to others and he reminds him of the character qualifications of faithful ministers
 the very next paragraph
 is the text that we're going to be discussing today and I'm going to read it and then stop and offer a little bit of insight in explanation and then keep going
 reverse one of chapter 3
 Paul says but realize this that in the last days difficult times will come first I want you to notice that he starts this sentence off with the word butt and the word but is a contrast to the encouraging words in the previous chapters it's a contrast Claus it's a way of showing you know there was this but you need to focus on that so whenever you see the word but you want to find out about what or what's it referring to what's a contrasting against says in the last days and again as I mentioned earlier biblically speaking the last days or anytime between the resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ and his second coming promised throughout the New Testament and so yes we are in the last days but Paul was also in the last days and you're the question I think a lot of us are wondering
 is are we in the last hours of the last days and I don't know great theologians if you know your church history know that Augustine and Martin Luther and some of the Puritans Jonathan Edwards all talked or thought that the second Advent of Christ was within their time or near at that time and they were all wrong and I will say that my belief that the internet has accelerated evil in such a way that I find it difficult to see Humanity going on for you know another several hundred years but again I could be wrong the teaching you know Jesus that we all know is that nobody knows the day or the hour but the teaching really is that we must always be ready and sure
 there are elements of the signs of the times and there are prophecy Watchers and I have not really indulge myself in too much of that though I m I do know the scriptures on those matters and pray for discernment and do believe that we are in a unique time in history
 he says that in this time is it in this time. That we call the last days difficult times will come the Greek word is coal a poopus and it really means for the word difficult or perilous sometimes another way to explain it or translated means fiercely difficult to bear it's hard to cope with and sustained basically he's telling Timothy that stressful times are coming especially for those in Ministry in like Timothy and in one sense this was true again when when it was written to Timothy but in another it was prophetic about the times that are ahead and I also do think that there is a sense that the times will grow in difficulty and rapidly in frequency as we get closer to the SEC
 I mean and I believe that that's been our experience in this generation in with the birth of the internet
 I believe that we can kind of all sense that the Earth and all that's in it is experiencing the labor pains of pairing for the king in in birthing this new world and the groaning that comes with the anticipation for Christ's return and Paul attributes the source of these difficult times that are coming to the growing quantity of evil in the hearts of mankind he says for men will be for men will be lovers of self lovers of money he talks about this idea in the next verse which will read in a second
 and when he says for men will be for the word form and we talked about the word but now we're going to talk about the word for four is a synonym for because because is a causal Clause it's whenever you see the word because the text is identifying the cause of the action being discussed and so what Paul is saying here is going but realize this that in the last days difficult times will come for men will be like because men will be
 until the cause of the difficult times will be these attributes of so many people the frequency of them and the rapid growth of this
 wickedness that we're going to talk about in a moment
 so he talks about this list
 any list off 19 attributes you can may be counted as 20 but I counted as 19 that the describe the character of of humanity that we are I think in this generation are very familiar with
 he says for men will be lovers of self lovers of money boastful arrogant revilers disobedient to parents ungrateful Unholy unloving irreconcilable malicious gossip without self-control brutal haters of God treacherous Reckless conceited lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
 basically it's the evil
 that dwells in men that makes the coming time so difficult and dark
 now I again I can't teach on all 19 traits or even bring an explanation of all 19 of these attributes but I do want to at least discuss the first one because I believe there's a reason the spirit listed
 this specific trait as the first in this list he says the first trade is self-love they'll be lovers of themselves okay or lovers of of self self love is rooted in Pride it's an idolatrous and self-righteous send
 it's an inward Focus instead of an upward Focus it's the soil of which all other sin grows its this obsession with the mirror instead of looking up to heaven and if there is a generation that is marked by self-love over any other generation in human history it is our generation
 and that is worth something in this discussion I've done a podcast called the do the selfie self-love delusion which you can find a trailer. Org or in your podcast out that I speak on this on a much deeper and much deeper still that I don't have time for today are you just want to look briefly at these attributes Beyond lovers of self but think about lovers of money just think about the way that we write songs about money and we you know the the music industry in the the way that we've portrayed riches and wealth and I see MMA fighters with you no boxes of cash in their private jets does Justice
 you know that that that's not going to things throughout history at this this open bragging and worship of money every generation has done it in some degree but again it's Amplified with the internet boastful social media bragging is just part of society today arrogant revilers disobedient to parents and it's so rare to find children that are obedient to their their mom and dad honor their mom and dad ungrateful Unholy unloving irreconcilable think about the divorce rates there just you know skyrocketing irreconcilable relationships people that hate one another on malicious gossips thing about the tabloids in the press and just the false fake news in the just how much of that's going on without self-control brutal haters of good think about the hot
 still a detour the church are towards Traditional Values you know the the traditional view of marriage of the traditional view of the pregnancy or the value of unborn baby just haters of good treacherous Reckless conceited lovers of pleasure are Obsession we are in love with pleasure here in the United States and just the modern world with this is why it didn't we are focusing so much on Saxon physical pleasure on pornography on Leisure we have Instagram accounts in in social media accounts that are bragging about our our just Leisure our desire for leisure all the time we're not a hard work culture we are a get out of work culture and I think about our obsession with sports and all things that come with pleasure just we are lovers of pleasure rather than as a screw
 lovers of God
 it's a Paul shows really that there is a preference to these attributes rather than God that guy I would say he's he says that people place their love on the splash on these these Pleasures in such a degree in in such a way that it is the primary raining location of their love rather than their creator he's pointing out the rising intensity of our desire to self direct and to self loving to remove the very one who made us it's really when you think about it just as evil as it gets and
 and the very next verse is what just makes this so shocking
 he says
 they will hold to a form of godliness
 although they have denied its power what a fascinating statement to read 19 Action beautiful people and then think that there's any possible way that those attributes can be
 viewed by anyone as holding to a form of godliness
 but shockingly we know that this is possible in a Polish saying that while these people that are walking in these Wicked Ways they will put on a facade of righteousness and we see this again all over social media people are promoting the most vile ideas and practices and La Paz and and belief systems in the Name of Love and acceptance and kindness and inclusion right and they Proclaim that their ways are somehow maybe authoritative it they do this with this patient as if they're backed by some sort of Godly principle but they're really mistaken and perverted they've actually Twisted what is good or what is bad and somehow made it appear to be good
 and this is actually not just outside of the church but inside those who call themselves Christian in the Progressive Church in in the Prosperity Church they they basically take these principles they pervert them and they deny the power of the Gospel that permits us to mortify sin through Christ and Obey God's law through the spirit and that's why it says holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power what's the power of the Gospel well the power of the Gospel is our ability to overcome sin through Christ and walk and righteousness of the power of the Holy Spirit and so we're going to see that people will hold to a form of godliness they're going to stay all on the spiritual person Roi I'm you know yeah I'm a Christian we have to bring Clarity to define those terms what does that mean that you're a Christian
 are you a Biblical historic Evangelical Christian the trust that Jesus Christ is Lord and that you're bleeding and him alone for salvation is that is that what you are because there is many many people today who called The Name of Christ but are not born again and Believers the passage then closes succinctly with avoid such men as these
 now I think I want to talk about that because it's you saying
 wow everybody that's wicked you need to avoid those people know that's not what he's saying and I can say that for a fact because the intention of these specific words avoid such men as these is the same statement very close and same principle we see Paul riding in 1st Corinthians 5 9 through 13 which is instructive and I'm going to read it and bring some explanation and then we will get ready to close out he writes I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people I did not at all mean with immoral people of this world or with a covetousness are swindlers or Ty Dolla chargers for then you would have to go out of the world meaning
 I'm not saying
 not to associate with immoral people you'd have to go out of the world to get away from the more people cuz everybody outside of Christ is immoral
 he's saying but actually I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother or someone that says named a Believer maybe in your friend's translate your name to brother if he is an immoral person or Cottages or $9 for a reviler or a drunkard or a swindler not even to eat with such a person
 for what have I to do with judging Outsiders Paul says I'm not the one that judges those that are outside of Christ that's the Lord's job but he uses an Old Testament passage you says do you not judge those who are within the church but those who are outside God judges remove the wicked men that Wicked Man from among yourselves so he's referring back to church discipline and so
 Paula saying hate for those people that are wicked and walking in his Wicked Ways we are to go out and preach the gospel to them build relationships we can have friendship but not Fellowship but friendship in the sense that we can build a relationship with these people but we can't have Fellowship without having Christ in common but we are to get out there preach the gospel to be a good neighbor to these individuals you know have discussions with these people and they're walking and all these Wicked Ways we need to get out in the world and make those relationships to preach the gospel to don't want to get pushed back into our own little bubble but those people who are calling themselves believers
 and are walking in that way need to be called out dealt with regarding church discipline you can see Matthew 18 for the steps in process of that there's several great books on church discipline on that process one by 9 marks that you can look up on church discipline there because that person is perverting the reputation of Christ by calling himself a Christian and walking contrary to the directive of Christ and that is it a different instance and he says avoid such men as these now what are we to do how we have hope in this situation how we to look at the world as its seemingly going down to the drain
 and stay joyful and hopeful and peaceful
 a couple versus later and 2nd Timothy chapter 3 it's verses 13 through 15 Paul write 2 Timothy
 but evil men and imposters will proceed from bad to worse deceiving and being deceived you however continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of knowing from whom you have learned them and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings the scriptures of the Old Testament which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to Salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus so I closed it this the world will grow darker
 it's going to continue to grow darker the frequency of evil will increase the darkness and vileness of the acts will get worse the Lord may bring temporary reprieve for small and short Seasons with a grand narrative follows an increase in evil
 but you as Paul says to Timothy and I'm saying to you
 must continue in the things that you have learned and become convinced that that is the wisdom of the gospel and that is your hope of your salvation
 you know if you keep your eyes and your heart here
 you're flooding your brain and your time with the scriptures praying worshiping in the spirit surrounding yourselves with other believers for the edification of the Saints for the work of the ministry your joy and your peace will sustain for he will hold you fast
 My Hope for you is
 diving deeper
 the world is not going to get easier
 we need to be much more
 then our parents generation the previous generation were in terms of trained we need to be trained men and women of the scripture so that we can communicate to the we can have hope this world is becoming hard to go outside you need to put on the armor of God
 every morning if you're going to survive the fight that's out there
 it's a may God give you the strength to seek him everyday and stay strong and bold and courageous maintaining peace and joy in your walk with him I hope this episode was helpful and edifying for your walk with Christ I thank you for your faithfulness and listening to this episode if your regular listen to this podcast would you consider leaving a review you don't need to write anything you could just tap the stars but if you do Tapper if you do write something I will read it and they are very encouraging for those that have left those written reviews
 on that note thank you so much for taking the time to listen to episode my name is Dale Partridge this is real Christianity and I'll see you next week
 thank you for listening to this episode of real Christianity if your regular listener to the show would you prepare fully consider making a donation to support our ministry efforts simply visit relearn. Org forward slash donate again that's relearn. Org forward slash donate and for those looking to explore the idea of joining or planting a church in your home you can download a free pdf ebook title the basics of biblical House Church by visiting relearn. Org forward slash house last week do you have a theological question you would like answered on the show submit your question at relearn. Org forward slash question thanks for joining us on this episode of real Christianity we will see you next Wednesday