Gospel Coalition Conference – Observation #6

K. Edward Copeland is the senior pastor of New Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Rockford, IL.  He did a very good job in presenting 2 Timothy 3:1-9.

K. Edward Copeland

2 Timothy 3:1-9

1)    The Last Days

  1. Last days began with Christ
  2. Paul was informed about these last days because he was also in his last days – there is focus and a sense of urgency for him in life and ministry.
  3. This urgency informs our ministry.
  4. No time to waste in preaching, with personal dealings, focus!
  5. These last days are burdensome because of the type of people who populate these final times (characterized by vv.2-9).  These descriptions are not exhaustive, they are descriptive.

2)    What’s the real essence of these people?

  1. Copernican – posited that everything orbits around the sun, not the earth
  2. The ultimate issue is that these people believe that the center of all existence will be self.
  3. This is consistent throughout the scriptures.
  4. Like the neurotic rooster who thinks that the sun rises because he crows.
  5. You must be a qualified conduit.

3)    Avoid these people.  Don’t associate with impersonators.

  1. A subset of these are those who a false ministers
  2. Even without going to extremes in your application, you must possess the scriptures for yourself, not collect the opinions of others and make it your own
  3. These guys specialize in appealing to and approaching the idle and weak.
  4. But the power of the proclamation is not depended upon.
  5. They performed some of the acts that Moses did, but not with power (more like trickery).
  6. 2 is the number of witnesses (A.W. Pink).  Throughout 2 Timothy, Paul gives examples of 2 false witnesses and those in opposition.

4)    These men will not make much progress, because deeds will be known (v.9)

  1. Be faithful regardless of opposition
  2. God has established a limit on this
  3. Folly will be exposed and truth will be found out!

5)    Application

  1. Preach the truth!  The power is in the truth!
  2. Be filled with the Spirit personally and you will be filled in proclamation
  3. Preach for fruit-bearing, not a response / results (in short).
  4. God is in control
  5. All lies have expiration dates
  6. God’s truth lasts from everlasting to everlasting

American Christianity is so numb to signs of the end of the age.  However, with the current state of affairs more Christians are becoming more aware of the signs that we are becoming increasingly secularized and following Europe socially, religiously, and politically.  With that, hopefully many are waking up to the fact that false teachers have been in our midst for years, and their following is many.  I hope that we will awaken to the love for sound doctrine, love for the body of Christ and enduring faith.  We will realize that those who are truly Christian are far fewer than we ever thought…it’s just going to get too hard to fake it.

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