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Best Of Finding Purpose

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews
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September 20, 2023 12:30 am

Best Of Finding Purpose

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews

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September 20, 2023 12:30 am

Today's episode is a "Best Of" for Finding Purpose.


Hello, this is Matt Slick from the Matt Slick Live Podcast, where I defend the Christian faith and lay out our foundations of the truth of God's Word. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network.

This is the Truth Network. Do you feel like you're on a religious treadmill? Do you feel like Christianity is just a system of rules and regulations?

I can do this, but I can't do that. Do you feel like your efforts to reach God, find God, and please God are futile? Do you feel like your faith is dead or alive? Today, Pastor Russ Andrews will walk us through Scripture to answer these questions. Join us on Finding Purpose, a local triangle ministry glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living. For more information and to connect with Russ Andrews and Finding Purpose, you can visit us online at or connect with us on Facebook. Now let's listen to Russ Andrews as he teaches us how to be a Christian without being religious.

This is part one of a special two-part episode. Good morning. Y'all glad to see the sunshine?

Good. Would you bow your heads with me? Dear Heavenly Father, we just come before you now, and Lord, we thank you for this beautiful day you've given us. We thank you that we can gather in this place to worship you freely. We thank you, Lord, for giving us the Bible, your preserved Word, that you've protected through the centuries. It's your Word.

It's the truth. And sometimes, Lord, it's hard to read because the message is so somber, and that's what we have to do this morning. We have to pray. We have to pray what we have to do this morning. We have to read a text that is so somber and sobering.

But, Lord, it's the truth. And so I pray that everyone in here this morning will recognize that what I'm about to say comes from you and not from me. Lord, I pray that you would take your Word, that you would penetrate the hearts and the minds of every person that will hear this this morning, and if someone hears it online later, that you will penetrate hearts of those to God who need to hear it. It's in your name that I pray. Amen. Lord, I've entitled this message, Be Forewarned, The Days Are Evil.

We're going to be looking at 2 Timothy 3, verses 1 through 9. You've probably heard the old joke about the man who was having a bad day. A friend said to him, Cheer up. Things could get worse. And so he did what he was told.

He cheered up. And sure enough, things got worse. Well, that is in essence what Paul is trying to convey in his last letter to Timothy.

Remember, Paul is sitting in a dungeon in chains in Rome. The year is approximately 66 A.D. Paul knew that things were going to get worse. In fact, for him, things had gotten worse.

That's gotten worse. That's why he was in prison. And he loved Timothy, and he wanted to make sure that Timothy was prepared for the difficult days that lay ahead.

Things were going to get worse. Mankind was becoming more and more wicked, and Timothy would need to be strong and remain strong. In Paul's two letters to Timothy, 1 and 2 Timothy, Paul challenges Timothy to be strong, to remain strong, and to live for God and not to live for the things of this world. In 1 Timothy, chapter 6, verses 11 through 15, Paul writes to Timothy, But you, man of God, flee from all this worldliness and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith.

Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God and of Christ Jesus, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul loved Timothy probably more than anybody else in here on earth, and he wanted to make sure that Timothy was prepared to fight the good fight in the difficult days that were coming, days which would see the world becoming more and more evil. I wonder what Paul would say to us this morning in light of the world in which we live. I believe I know what he would say.

In fact, he's already said it. This morning, I want you to think about this. Why don't you just almost close your mind and you picture Paul sitting in that dungeon with a pen in his hand, knowing that he's soon to be executed, and he's writing the last things he wants Timothy to hear and really the last thing that God wanted to tell the world through Paul. And so this morning, we actually have the privilege of hearing Paul speak to us through time. And so in honor of the reading of God's word, I want us to stand up and listen to what Paul has to say to us.

Would you stand up with me as I read this passage? 2 Timothy chapter 3, verses 1 through 9, beginning with verse 1, Paul writes, but mark this, there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power, have nothing to do with them. Verse 6, they're the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Janaz and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers opposed the truth, men of depraved minds who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

You may be seated. In this portion of Paul's letter, I believe that he's trying to convey three very important points to Timothy, and here they are. The first point is a warning, the second point is a revelation, and the third point is a command. I want us to first consider the warning. I believe if Paul was standing right here this morning in my place, I believe this is what he would say.

Everyone, listen to me and listen carefully. I want to warn you about what is in store for the world. The days that are coming are going to grow more and more violent and wicked. This is the warning that Paul would give us this morning right here in 2015. This is the warning that he gives to us from this dungeon. Look at verse 1 again. Paul writes, but mark this, there will be terrible times in the days, in the last days. The conjunction but changes the direction that Paul was going in this letter from an encouragement to Timothy to live a godly life to this warning that he wants each of us to understand.

This is why he says, but mark this. That means realize this, understand this, get it in your head. He doesn't want us to stick our heads in the sand. I know that some of you would probably hear, would rather hear a much more encouraging and uplifting message this morning. That's why so many people listen to Joel Osteen. But let me explain one thing to you. I'm not Joel Osteen. If things are really going to get worse and much worse, then God must have a reason for wanting us to know this. So even though this message this morning is not one that I particularly enjoy giving and one that may make you a little bit uncomfortable, go ahead and fasten your seatbelts.

I don't want anybody leaving, but I want you to listen carefully. By the way, this phrase, the last days, is a reference to the time period between the first coming of Christ and His second coming. It is the age of the church. It is the age in which we now live.

Hebrews chapter 1 verses 1 and 2 states, in the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son whom He appointed heir of all things and through whom He made the universe. 1 John chapter 2 verse 18, John writes, Dear children, this is the last hour. As you've heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come.

This is how we know it is the last hour. You see, when John wrote this verse, 1 John 2 18, he was describing the day in which he lived as well as the day in which we live. When Jesus came into this world almost 2,000 years ago, the clock counting down the last days began to tick. We are living in the last days just as everyone else who has lived since Jesus walked on this planet. However, I also believe that we are inching very close to this last hour, the hour that will usher in the second coming. As we get closer and closer to that hour, the Bible makes it very clear that the world will grow more and more violent and wicked. See, Satan will know, I mean Satan knows the Bible better than we do. Satan will know that the time for his final destruction is at hand and he's not going to go quietly. Paul warns us that there will be terrible times in the last days. This word terrible, it comes from a Greek word that literally means perilous, dangerous, savage, and violent. Does that not describe the day in which we live? Did you know that there's only one other place in the New Testament where this word is used?

It's found in Matthew chapter 8 verse 28, which states, when he, that is Jesus, arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent, there's that word, that no one could pass that way. Apparently the wickedness that will characterize the last days will be so violent that there's only one word to describe it, and that is that it is demonic. I'm somewhat of a news jerky, a news junkie, both.

I'm kind of a jerk too. I love to watch the news every night because I really, I love to see what's taking place in the world, and my wife, Crecy, has learned to love to watch O'Reilly with me most of the time. But the main reason I watch the news is because I just want to see a breast at what's happening around the world, and I always watch the news through the lens of Scripture. And as I've watched the news over the last few years, I have to say that I've never seen a world so perilous. Everywhere you turn, there's danger, and the danger that is out there has turned decidedly violent, and this increased violence has brought great distress around the world. And this is exactly, that word, distress, exactly describes the way the world would be according to Jesus when we approach the end, a world that's full of distress. In Matthew 24, verse 21, Jesus said, For then there will be great distress, unequal from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be equaled again.

If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened. See, these two verses make it clear to me that the world we live in, even though it's full of violence and wickedness, it's going to grow exceedingly more violent and wicked as the end approaches. In Luke 21, verses 25 through 28, Jesus said, On the earth nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. That phrase, roaring and tossing of the sea, it's just a picture of a world that's chaotic.

It's full of chaos. He says, Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. Remember the images when those twin towers collapsed?

All the people in Manhattan were running. You could see that they were, the men were fainted from terror, apprehensive of what was taking place in New York. That's the way Jesus says the world will be. He says, At that time they will see, here's the good news, that the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And Jesus says this, When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near. At some point, when the world has become so violent that it's about to destroy itself, Jesus says that we should stand up, that we should lift up our heads because the end is upon us and our glorious redemption will be at hand.

And so what I'm telling you this morning is not something where you should leave here with your heads down. When I get through preaching this morning, we should be walking out of here standing up with our heads looking up because the end is near. In the last days, the world will become more and more evil. Rebellion against God will become more prevalent, more visible, and more bold. It will be just like in the days of Noah. In fact, Jesus said that the last days will be just like the days of Noah. In Genesis chapter 6 verses 5 through 7, we read, The Lord saw, think of God looking down at the earth, and it says, The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, I will wipe mankind whom I've created from the face of the earth, men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air, for I'm grieved that I've made them. Evil became so prevalent in the days of Noah that God finally said enough.

I believe the world that we live in is headed towards another time when God will say enough, and then the end will come. Paul has issued a warning. It's a warning to believers. Do you know why it's a warning to believers? It's because we're the only ones who are listening. We're the only ones who really believe God's word.

You see, most people think that man is basically good. This explains why many people have a very difficult time calling anyone or anything evil. See, that kind of thinking goes against their worldview, but they should heed Paul's warnings that the days ahead will be filled with ever-increasing wickedness, ever-increasing violence, and unabated evil. All we have to do is watch the evening news and observe the world around us, and we can see that Paul's warning has already come true.

When people are being beheaded and burned alive, there's only one word to describe it, and that word is evil, and it's an evil that has been brought upon the world by demons. The last days are upon us, and they are exceedingly wicked. Not only has Paul issued this warning, but he's offered us a revelation, a picture, if you will, of the heart of mankind during these last days.

In verses 2 through 5, Paul uses 18 characteristics of the evil that will be prevalent as the end approaches. Warren Wiersbe wrote the following in 1989. I mention that date because that was 25 years ago. I wonder what he would write today.

This is what he wrote then. There's no doubt that these characteristics started to appear in Paul's day, and now they have increased in intensity. It is not simply that we have more people in the world or better news coverage. It appears that evil is deeper and of greater intensity. It is being accepted and promoted by society in a bolder way. It is not that we have small pockets of rebellion here and there. All of society seems to be in ferment and rebellion.

We are indeed in terrible times. Paul begins his diatribe by saying that people will be lovers of themselves, and therein lies the problem. As we read through this list, one thing becomes quite apparent. The heart of the problem is the problem of the heart. Jeremiah 17, 9 states, the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.

Who can know it? Listen, if you don't take but one thing away from here this morning, take this. There is no cure for the human heart except Jesus Christ.

He's the only hope for the world. Mankind can try to cover his wickedness with education and rebellion, but that is nothing, excuse me, with education and religion, but that is nothing more than putting a coat of paint on a rotting facade. In this list, we see that people will become lovers of themselves, lovers of money, and lovers of pleasure. Notice that there's no mention of being a lover of God. Does this not describe the world in which we live?

Never have I been more aware of how much, and I'm convicting, I'm condemning myself here. Never have I been more aware of how much we love money and pleasure, and the reason we love money and pleasure so much is because we love ourselves so much. I don't know if you know this, but raising kids is getting very expensive, especially if they're used to taking private jets to their five homes. In an escalating divorce battle, Chicago hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin says in court papers that his wife, Ann Griffin, wants one million dollars a month for child-related expenses. How can three kids under age 10 cost one million dollars a month? Well, it depends on your needs.

She says that she needs $300,000 a month for private jets, $160,000 a month for vacation rentals, and $60,000 a month for professional staff. Paul says that people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, and lovers of pleasure, and that's the world in which we live. In Romans chapter 1, verses 18 through 32, Paul describes the downward spiral of sin that is so evident in our world today.

I want you to listen very carefully to what he says. Beginning with verse 18, Paul writes, the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools in exchange of the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles and jets.

I added that part. What is Paul saying? He's saying that in our foolishness and wickedness, we've turned away from God. The very one who longs for our affections, we rebuff. Instead of loving our Heavenly Father, we give our affections to idols like money and pleasure.

And what is God's response? He lets us have what we want. He lets us go our own way. He gives us over to our own desires. In this passage in Romans, Paul says that three times God gives us over.

Three times He just lets us go our own way. Verse 24, Paul writes, therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the created things rather than the Creator who's forever praised.

Amen. Because of this, second time, God gave them over to shameful lust. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way, the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, a third time, He gave them over to a depraved mind to do what ought not to be done.

They become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. Did y'all know that this message today I could be arrested for at some point? In fact, when we started our men's study on Tuesday night about 10 years ago, we started with Romans. And I remember saying that at some point what I'm saying is going to be called hate speech, and I could be arrested. I've got really bad claustrophobia.

If I get arrested, would somebody get me out of jail quick? I say this with no hatred, no animosity towards anybody who is gay. In fact, several years ago, I had a man come to my office who was about 34 years old at the time. He had a daughter who was seven years old. He sat in my office right across from me, and he confessed to me with tears dripping off of his cheek that he'd had three homosexual relationships. Do you know what I did not do? I did not throw my Bible at him and told him that he was a sinner. I began to tell him about my sins. My sins were worse than his. I knew the Bible better than he does.

When I sin, I know what I'm doing, and I know what's wrong. But listen, our society needs to be turned around, or we're headed over the cliff. As our society has turned more and more away from God, God has given us over. He's let us go our own way. If you look at the history of our nation, you can see very clearly that in the 1960s, which were characterized by psychedelic drugs and free love, when the saying was, make love not war, during that time period that God gave us over to sexual impurity, to natural sin.

The first issue of Playboy magazine hit the newsstands in 1953, and by the 1960s and 1970s, the magazine hit its zenith in terms of popularity and circulation. As we continued in our downward spirals of nation, God then gave us over to shameful lust, to unnatural sin. In the 1990s and 2000s, homosexuality was thrust upon us in every venue, on television, in the movies, in the courtroom, and sadly, even in some churches. And listen, each time that God has given us over, the downward spiral has only accelerated, until finally God has given us over to a depraved mind, a mind that can no longer distinguish between good and evil, between right and wrong.

And that is where we find ourselves today in America. We are a nation with a depraved mind. We call sodomy gay.

We call murder choice. We call a God-fearing man who believes the Bible is God's word, ignorant and bigoted. Our depravity has become so wicked and rebellious that not only do we as a nation practice all kinds of evil, but we cheer and celebrate with those who do all these things. And in our celebration, what we're doing as a nation is we're mocking God and we're asking Him, we're inviting Him to judge us. Paul concludes his indictment of those whom God has given over with these words in verse 32. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things, but also approve of those who practice them.

Just watch Hollywood. Hollywood celebrates that which God calls indecent, unnatural and perverted. I know this is a very sober message, and this message brings me no pleasure, but what I'm saying is the truth. It comes straight from God's word. These are not my words, these are God's words.

You don't get mad at the mailman for bringing the mail. If someone doesn't like what I'm saying, then they have a problem with God's word. We need to remember this one truth. God is holy and we are not. He is the one who determines what is right and what is wrong. Go back to 2 Timothy. Paul says in the last days, people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal.

Just look at the Middle East. Not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Now I could spend the remaining time this morning describing each one of these words, but I've decided I'm not going to put you all through that. In fact, you know, words have meaning. These words mean what they say.

They don't really need any explanation. You see, the real problem we face as a nation and as a society is this. We don't really love God. In fact, we've lost sight of God. And so the question is, how did we lose sight of God? How did we as a nation that began with a Christian foundation lose its way?

Well, the answer to that question points to what I believe is the number one problem we face as a nation, and that is this. We as a nation have lost our spiritual mooring. Do you know what a mooring is? A mooring refers to the cables by which a ship is secured or anchored.

You know, when a sailboat pulls up into a harbor, you're looking for a mooring that you can tie up to so that you won't drift away by the currents and the wind. We as a nation have lost our mooring, and thus we are tossed back and forth by the waves and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Paul points to the problem in verse 5 when he says, having a form of godliness but denying its power.

What does he mean by this? Paul is informing us that in the last days people will be religious and lost. We will have a form of religion that is no longer mored or anchored to the gospel or to the truths that are given to us in the Bible.

It will be a form of religion that has no spirit and thus no power. Do you know how you define a Christian? A Christian is simply somebody who possesses the Holy Spirit. This concludes part one.

Part two will air next week. Being a Christian is not about being religious, but about having a dynamic, alive relationship with Jesus Christ. You've been listening to Finding Purpose with Pastor Russ Andrews, a local triangle ministry glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living. You can discover more about finding your purpose in life by checking out the resources at or connect to Finding Purpose on Facebook. Pastor Russ Andrews is a member of Finding Purpose on Facebook. Pastor Russ would also like to extend a special invitation for you to join him and over 300 other local triangle men to study God's Word together every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in downtown Raleigh. Find out more at
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-07 20:26:31 / 2023-10-07 20:37:29 / 11

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