But Continue Thou
II Tim. 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
Our Theme for 2018 is Continue
Two fold desire:
- For God to continue what He has started for us
NOTE: God is not a quitter.
- Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
However, He can and He will stay his hand if we fail to respond.
He can suspend the blessings if we fail to obey.
- For us to continue what we started for God
- Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
I. The Directive – but continue thou
One of the greatest burdens on the heart of a man of God is people quitting.
Many people start; few finish.
The character trait known as perseverance is rare.
We live in a throw-away society.
There are disposable plates, spoons, forks, cups, razors, even cameras.
Did you know that disposable diapers weren’t invented until 1948?
We live in a world where it’s easier to just toss it than to keep it.
Unfortunately, that attitude bleeds over into other areas of people’s life.
- They throw away their marriage or their spouse.
- They throw away their kids.
- They throw away their church.
- They throw away their morals.
- They throw away their beliefs.
- They throw away their self-respect.
- They throw away their health and their sanity through substance abuse.
Paul is teaching Timothy to fight for what he has.
To protect what he’s been given.
To find God’s plan, God’s purpose, God’s precepts, and THEN STICK WITH IT!
Paul’s admonition to Timothy was “BUT CONTINUE THOU!!!!
The word CONTINUE here means: to remain, to sojourn, tarry, not to perish, to last, endure
- It’s the opposite of quitting.
- It’s the opposite of falling out.
- It’s the opposite of fainting.
- It’s the opposite of walking away.
- It’s the opposite of giving up.
- It’s the opposite of withering.
II. The Distinction – in the things which thou has learned and has been assured of
- LEARNED: heard; been informed of
The Apostle Paul is talking here about the stewardship of privileged information.
Timothy had had the awesome opportunity to be exposed to the truth.
He had learned things that many people will never learn.
He had heard things that many people will never hear.
He had been privy to information and to truth that much of the world never hear.
Just like Timothy, most of us have had the amazing opportunity to hear the Gospel.
We have heard that we were created in the image of God.
We have heard that there is a God that loves us.
We have heard that God has a purpose and a plan for our life.
We have heard how we can live to experience His blessings.
We have heard how we can enjoy a life of joy, happiness and victory.
Paul is reminding Timothy – continue thou in the things which thou hast heard!
- ASSURED: to make faithful, render trustworthy; to make firm, establish; to be firmly persuaded of
This goes beyond privileged information.
This is proven information.
This is a life of experiences that have confirmed that what we heard is truth.
…and has been assured of means it has become a reality; without question; undeniable.
NOTE: There are many different gospels being preached today, but they have not been assured.
There are many different philosophies and ideas being preached/heard today, but they’ve not been proven!
In other words, Paul said to continue in the word that he had heard and what had been proven to be truth.
I for one am not interested in a “trial and error” message.
I prefer something that is “tried and true”!
I’m not changing horses in the middle of the stream.
III. The Discernment – knowing of whom thou has learned them
You can tell a lot about a message by looking at the messenger.
Paul wasn’t a fly-by-night, fad-chasing, popularity-seeking, mama called, daddy sent professional.
He was hunted down by Almighty God and called to preach the very message he’d been trying to destroy.
Paul’s testimony was that of a man of God that preached the truth, even if it landed him in prison.
Paul preached the truth even if it killed him. It did now that you mentioned it.
Paul’s message was so true, that he said if someone from heaven preached anything different, they were accursed.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time questioning the validity of the message.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time wondering if it works.
We definitely do not need to be looking for another message.
We do not need to revise or modernize or customize the message that we have heard.
You and I just need to take what we’ve heard and what we’ve been assured of AND CONTINUE!!!