Dec 14 2Th 2:1-1Ti 4:16; Pro 26:5-14

Sounds like someone kind of like Harold Camping was at work in Paul’s day. Only instead of naming dates (which God forbids us to do) he was saying “You missed it,” meaning that they’d missed their chance at heaven as well (2:1-2).

Think on this: If the very first Christians, to whom Paul wrote, were expecting a return of Jesus in wrath very soon; is this something that we should still be expecting? Granted, it seems that some of them had some confusion about the event, but this does not negate that it happened in their day. If we knew our history we would not be anticipating THE Tribulation and allowing this fear to paralyze our efforts to carry out the Great Commission.

Here again Paul commands that Christians refrain from associating with other Christians who are not living a proper life in Christ (3:6). And yet again he reminds his audience of how he did not charge them for his ministry to them but worked another job to support himself while preaching to them (3:7-9).

How is it that we as a society have forgotten Paul’s command at 3:10? My Dad always summed this up as “No workie, no eatie.” I know, the liberal will say, “But what about the children?” They aren’t ours to worry about. That may sound cold but the fact of the matter is that it is their parents’ duty to work to feed them. It is our duty to expose them to the Gospel (it is their parents’ responsibility too but they’ve abdicated). Neither the church nor the state (least of all the state) has any responsibility to feed those or the family of those who refuse to work. Paul commands these in the name of Christ to work and eat their own food! (3:11-12). And when we must refrain from associating with another Christian we are not to treat him as an enemy, but “admonish him as a brother” (3:14-15).

1 Timothy: In this letter Paul again states the fact the he is an apostle sent by Christ. He writes this letter to his co-worker Timothy whom he has sent out on ministry by himself. These two letters to Timothy and the following to Titus are called “the pastoral epistles” because they are letters containing information for young pastors.

Are you aware that some religions focus a lot of time and attention on learning and even memorizing ones genealogy? Hence Paul’s comments at 1:3-4). And how many fit into the category of 1:6-7? Individuals who want to teach others (and may even be in that position) but do not know their topic.

1:12-14 should be a reminder that God can and will use anyone who turns to Him, even a former persecutor of His people.

He “entrusts” this command to Timothy (1:18). An interesting way of putting it. The command is to remain faithful to Christ and not follow the bad example of some whom Paul mentions. I knew a guy when I was in the Army who was in the process of divorcing his estranged wife. At some point he received a letter from their pastor. It read something like this: “You may remember Simon. He was the epitome of the bad example and I used him often in my sermons. Well, he died and I need a replacement. Your name has been suggested and I wonder if I might use it? Ah, the love! I told this story to my first congregation and then said, “and with that in mind I’d like to introduce to you my father-in-law!” I did it because he’s one of the two orneriest men in the world (the wife of the second one is reading this BLOG!).

In 2:9-12 he is not saying that women may not braid their hair. In his culture the things he tells them not to do are things that mainly just the prostitutes did. He does not want them to look like brazen hussies, but “to be modest and discreet.” And he states that women are not to teach men, but to learn humbly. He says his reason why is that although Adam was first created and Eve was given to him to help him she was first deceived. Adam sinned because his desire for what his wife could give him was stronger than his desire to please and obey God. In this context I believe Paul is saying that it is doubly sinful for a woman to do such to her man (using sex to get her way and especially to lead him into sinning). For a great analysis of this passage read “Women in the Church”” by Kostenberger, Schreiner, and Baldwin (1995 by Baker Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan).

The “overseer” position of which Paul speaks is what we would today refer to as “bishop.” Note carefully Paul’s requirements for the position (3:1-10). Faithful to his wife, ABLE to teach, hospitable, not a drunkard, one whose children are well-behaved, honest, with a good reputation outside the church as well. Those things in which all too many pastors fail the test. I believe the women he speaks of in the following verses are the wives of these men (3:11-13). Deacons (3:8) are “servers” or “servants.”

“Liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron” (4:2). This very accurately explains those who we might say “have no conscience.” It’s there, but the nerves are dead and they can’t “feel” it and the reason is that they don’t want to feel it. They are in rebellion against their Creator.

“Worldly fables fit only for old women” (4:7). Is that what we would call “Old Wives Tales”?

Be a good example to those you teach, read the Word, exhort when needed. Pay careful attention that you teach the Truth alone (4:11-16).

Proverbs: Comparing today’s first verse with yesterday’s last verse might cause one to think there is a contradiction. Verse 4 is saying do not answer a fool foolishly or you will be like him. Verse 5 is saying to answer him wisely as he deserves (rebuke if necessary), but NOT foolishly. Wisdom in the mouth of a fool is like the useless legs of one totally crippled. There are a number of examples of what the one is like who trusts a fool. And the lazy one makes up stories (lies) as to why he does nothing.

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