Has the End of the World Come Upon Us? (Part 15) The End of False Teachers

end-of-the-world2 Timothy 3:1-9

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

Has the End of the World Come Upon Us? The End of False Teachers (Part 15)

We have been looking at some of the specific signs which the Bible says will become increasingly evident in the behavior and lifestyle of people during the end times. In this series, we have looked at the following, all of which are mentioned in this passage:

1. The increased selfishness of man.
2. The increased lawlessness of man.
3. The increased religiosity of man.
4. Increased blasphemy and rejection of God.
5. Increased ingratitude or unthankfulness among men.
6. An increase in unholy living.
7. A lack of natural affection among people.
8. Trucebreakers and people who do not keep their word.
9. False accusers, slanderers, and people who cause division between others
10. Traitors not only in the world, but in the church
11. Heady and highminded people
12. People who love pleasure more than they love God.
13. Those who have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof.
14. False teachers who sneakily deceive and lead vulnerable Christians astray.

Today, in our final message on this passage, we are going to look at the end result of all of those who persist in the depraved activity described in this passage, and particularly at what will become of the false teachers who lead others astray. Paul likens these teachers to Jannes and Jambres — the Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses when he came to Pharaoh saying, “Let my people go.” Now, these magicians — and these false teachers — were not just pulling tricks on people. They were able to work real miracles, but by the power of darkness and not the power of God. When Moses cast down his rod and it turned into a serpent, the magicians did the same. When Moses smote the waters of the Nile and frogs came forth, the Egyptian magicians did the same. However, Moses’ serpent ate the serpents of the Egyptians, showing God’s power to be superior to the powers of darkness that the Egyptians subscribed to. And, after the plague of frogs, the Egyptian magicians were not able to produce any of the other plagues that Moses produced by the power of God.

The Bible warns us that in the end times “there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” These signs and wonders will be real and will be wrought by the power of Satan. The false teachers of today are the forerunners of these false Christs and false prophets. The Bible tells us three things about them: (1) they resist the truth, (2) they have corrupt minds, and (3) they are reprobate concerning the faith.

The word resist comes from the Greek word “an-this-tem-i” meaning to stand against. In this passage, it is in the middle voice indicating that those who resist the truth of God are personally involved and are fully aware of what they are doing. They are not just theologically mistaken; they are deliberately twisting the truth of God’s word. In Acts, we read of Elymas the sorcerer who “opposed” Paul and Barnabas. In 2 Timothy 4, we read of Alexander the coppersmith who “vigorously opposed” Paul’s teaching. I wonder how many false teachers do we have today who are in the church, who claim to be a part of the church, but who are deliberately teaching false doctrine knowing that they are going against God? That is the first mark of these false teachers — they knowingly resist the truth.

The second mark is that they have corrupt minds. The words used for corrupt is better translated “depraved.” The word depraved means “decadent, destroyed, or laid waste.” According to noted Greek New Testament scholar Kenneth Wuest, in the Bible, ‘the mind is not merely the intellectual faculty or understanding, but also the faculty for recognizing moral good and spiritual truth.’ In Ephesians, we are told that unsaved people walk in the “futility of their minds” — that is, after worldly ways of thinking and human philosophies. But, we who are saved are supposed to have “the mind of Christ”; we ought to have Jesus’ outlook on life. Those who teach false doctrine are following the futile, worldly mindset.

The third thing we learn about those who try to lead believers astray is that they are “reprobate concerning the faith.” The word reprobate literally means rejected. It was used to describe the process of testing a metal or another substance to determine if it was real, reliable, and acceptable to the owner. When a building was being constructed in the first century, the builders would examine the stones and other materials brought to the construction site. If they found material that was deemed useless, they would mark it with a capital A (or alpha in Greek) and would set it aside. The A stood for “a-do-ki-mos” which means “rejected” and is translated as “reprobate” in the King James. The idea here is that false teachers have been brought before God, their teachings have been lined up against the Bible, and they have been found unacceptable, and so God rejects them. Theodore Hiebert states that “the truth which they claim to bring in their teaching, upon examination, is found to be counterfeit gold.”

How much counterfeit gold is being panhandled in the church today? Some preachers say there is no hell. Some say it’s okay for people who practice homosexuality to not only be members but leaders in the church. Some who claim to be Christian pastors have officiated at homosexual weddings. Some say that the Bible teaches that all Christians ought to be rich and ought to have material abundance. But when we line up these positions with the Word of God, we find that they are all counterfeit, unacceptable, and false, and those who continue to teach them ought to be reprobate or rejected by the true church of God.

Finally, Paul informs us that although many false teachers will arise in the last days, they will meet their end. He says that just as Jannes and Jambres were defeated before Moses, the false teachers of today “shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men.” Their deception will one day cease to deceive the people of God and they will be found out. The word “manifest” means “made obvious or quite plain.” These false teachers will be shown up for who they really are, and God’s true church will be vindicated.

We do not need to despair or become depressed when we hear of false teachers inundating the church. Nor do we need to despair and become depressed by the increase in the depraved activities mentioned in verses 1-7 of this passage: the selfishness, the blasphemy, the disobedience, the violence, the slander, the ingratitude, the unholy living, the treachery, the pride and the hypocrisy of our day. All of it will one day be seen for what it is — a way of living that is insufficient and lacking. As we consider these signs and look at the world around us, we can say that it certainly appears that the end of the world has come upon us. But with that knowledge, we are assured that, the second coming of Christ, is also closer than ever before.

_________________

If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.

First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and right now I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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