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1104. How Do We finish Strong? Pt. 1

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
October 21, 2021 7:00 pm

1104. How Do We finish Strong? Pt. 1

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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October 21, 2021 7:00 pm

Evangelist Jeremy Frazor delivers a message titled “How Do We finish Strong? Pt. 1” from 2 Timothy 3.

The post 1104. How Do We finish Strong? Pt. 1 appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Today on The Daily Platform, evangelist Jeremy Frazier, a dynamic Bible preacher with an emphasis on revival and evangelism, will be preaching part one of a sermon from 2 Timothy 3 titled, How Do We Finish Strong? As we turn there, what a passage to even read tonight, because in one sense, I told you last night that the focus is going to be more towards the gospel, a double-edged sword, and tonight it really is going to be geared more towards believers and your walk with Him. As I think about this, probably the passage we're most familiar with would be found in chapter 4, and let's maybe read that little passage first, 2 Timothy chapter 4, and let's look at verse 6. The Apostle Paul, before he's going off of the scene, the Apostle Paul, really you could say his last words to Timothy, his son in the faith. What does he say to him in verse 6?

He says, to all them also that love his appearing. When I think of this passage, there's a lot of things that go through my heart and my mind, and one of those things is a friend of mine named Tom Craig. The truth is I would not have really known Steve and traveled even on his team, and wouldn't have been connected probably with Alan Benson later in life even too, if it wasn't for this guy named Tom Craig. Tom was my youth pastor.

I grew up and I was a troubled teen, and I remember one time in particular where in the middle of the Sunday school, he said, you four, and he pulled us out in the middle of it, and brought us to his office and basically said, if you don't come before the youth group and stand before them and ask their forgiveness, you cannot be a part of this youth group anymore. To know Tom Craig was to know, I mean, talk about genuine of genuine people. I mean, he loved people. He loved the Lord.

I mean, it was evident. Tom was not like a, I wouldn't say when you kind of heard him preach that you were just going like, wow, what a preacher necessarily. He just, man, he just understood people. What a counselor, what a friend, what a disciple maker. Actually, he was a youth pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Simpsonville, South Carolina for right at 15 years. He then, he then steps down from that position and goes to the church, Oak Ridge Baptist Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. At that point when he moved to that position, my wife and I connected with him and I said, you know what I want to do?

I said, Tom, if we can help, I'd love to be a help to you. I've always kind of felt like, you know, I love to start things or love to be a part of, of those kind of ministries. And at the time I became his youth pastor. We actually, I was doing grad school and I would, we would drive from, from Greenville, South Carolina on Friday after kind of school stuff being done, grad school. And we would drive up. My wife was a nurse and, but yet we would, she'd be off of work and we would drive up to Oak Ridge.

We would live with Tom and Kim Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday night after the service, we would actually then drive back. And I was his assistant pastor for two years there at Oak Ridge. It's amazing because at some point in this, I mean, he connected me with, again, with Steve, the fellowship and the friendship was amazing at some point years down the road. He, they call me and say, Hey Jeremy, you should come back to Oak Ridge. And we have a special 10 year anniversary thing for him.

He doesn't really know about it. And we'll have you be the preacher. And, and he thinks he's going to preach. So it's going to be fun. We're going to, we're going to play him that day, you know, kind of make fun of him a little bit. And there's going to be people from all over the world, really. He was going to come back for that special occasion. And so it was an, it was an awesome day where we, where we really celebrated the life of a faithful person. And then as you, as you fast forward, even some more years, Tom being on the board of our ministry along with Steve and others as well.

But it's interesting. I remember at one point in time, Tom calls me up and it was, I was headed to Northland camp. I was up in upper Wisconsin. I'm driving the truck and trailer. And as we're making our way up there, Tom calls and, and as he calls, it was interesting because I was super excited. Hey Tom, how are you doing?

But he, he seemed to be not real excited. And he said, well, Jeremy, it's Saturday night. And the reason I'm calling you is because I have to tell you something before I tell my church tomorrow.

What's going on? He said, I went into the doctors this week and they have died. And they diagnosed me with pancreatic cancer. Now I'm driving down the road and I said, Tom, I said, what does that mean?

I said, forgive me. I don't, I don't know if I know my cancer is too well. You know, what does, what does pancreatic cancer mean? And he said this, he said, pancreatic cancer is a death sentence. You don't live with pancreatic cancer, but we're going to battle this.

We're going to, we're going to fight this. And, and I remember just, I didn't know what quite to think. I mean, Tom was honestly, you know, I knew like if I recall two different people in ministry with some serious struggles, I mean, Tom was the first one because obviously I'd known him forever. He was my youth pastor, my pastor. He connected me with Steve.

Steve would be another one I would call, but I think about Tom and just that relationship and, and anyone who knew Tom knew him kind of that way. I mean, he, he just was this, he was so good with people and he loved people. And, and I remember as he tells me this, I'm shocked by this. I mean, this is the same guy that, that told me, he said, Jeremy, you know, it's his assistant pastor said, Jeremy, you don't understand how many times on a Monday I considered quitting the ministry because of you. And he says, and now you're my assistant, you know, are you?

That's right. It was, it was funny. I was just kind of, but at this point here, he is diagnosed three months to basically almost the day that he was diagnosed in May. Tom died.

51 years old. That may seem old, but I wouldn't say that's old, but it's interesting how even through the summer, you think about his life. And I think about the people that came to his funeral. We actually were on the island of Guam at harvest and doing ministry there. And when we heard this, Kevin Inafuku says, Jeremy, I don't know if you'd realize this, but we're a day ahead.

You could get an earlier flight back if you, if you make it and you probably will make the funeral. And honestly, that's what we did. We paid a lot of money and, and, and literally made it about two minutes before that funeral began from halfway around the world. I mean, crazy how the Lord allowed us to be there and yet it was all worth it. And I looked around and so many people from all over the world really were, were connected and were discipled by this man, Tom Craig. I would say that probably the greatest discipler I think I'd ever met. And I think these guys, you know, on the, on the, on the podium up here would say the same thing. As you think about this, I think about Tom's life. Not only did he start well, but Tom finished strong. And for many of you when it comes to not only this semester, but I think about life, you know, it's in one sense, it's easy to start well, but how do you really finish strong? That's the real question really tonight.

I really want to challenge you when it comes to this. I want the word of God to affect you tonight. And so that's my prayer as we would read the scripture and we go through some of this, that God would stir you to a, to a greater love for him and a love for his word. Let me personally pray for you tonight as well. Dear God, I thank you for my friends.

I thank you for this evening and all the things that you can do in a heart and life. Lord, I know there are many in this room who are without Christ. I know that God, just statistics would again say that. But yet there are many in here who know you, who have a true relationship with you. Lord, I think about some of them are doing really well spiritually and really pushing forward while others may be seeing me just kind of hanging on. There are some who may be really down low, low spiritually, but I know God that you and your kindness that begin this good work in us, you will bring it to completion. Will you sanctify us? Will you stir us when it comes to your word? And God, I ask, would you allow this message to actually bring forth lifelong fruit?

That it wouldn't just be something that happens in the past. And I realize, God, that yes, your word teaches the sanctification is progressive. I know that, dear God. But I also know there are times in life where there is a, there are crisis moments where we really come to grips with some serious truths of the word and we begin to obey and respond to that. In real repentance and following you as believers. So, dear God, I ask, bring us along. Lord, take us.

Teach us tonight. Use me, God, in spite of me. And God, empower me now. In Jesus' name we pray.

And all God's people said, amen. I want you to look at chapter three for just a moment because in 2 Timothy, an amazing book, I mean chapter one begins to encourage you. I mean, you read chapter one and you can't get away from the fact that the Apostle Paul loves Timothy, his son in the faith. This is his mentor.

This will be our modern day influence. I mean, he's mentoring or discipling Timothy. And yet chapter one, you read it and you might feel like that Timothy is this weakling. I mean, he's a, he's not very useful for the Lord, maybe. I mean, but as you read chapter one, I think we can't get away from the fact that that verse is, if we're God of thought, give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Timothy is low.

But you know, you have encouraging words from this dear friend who comes in and just bombards him with all this encouragement. Chapter two, as you move into chapter two, you can't get away from the fact that to go in and make disciples, to go and teach others also. Find the faithful, invest in the faithful, Timothy. As you see the baton even passing, we hit chapter three and I would say chapter three, if you were to highlight this and what does it mean and kind of overall looking at it, I would look at this passage and you see the truth of what it means and what real ministry is. He tells them it's going to be rough. And when I read this passage to you, you will see exactly, I mean, we're reading this and this is exactly where we live.

It's amazing. Thousands of years ago and yet the timelessness of the scriptures. Look at this closely. In chapter three, verse one, what does he say? He says, this know also that in the last days perilous time shall come.

He's talking about how it's going to get really, really bad. Look at verse two. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof from such turn away. As he begins to describe this, he's because describe even the false teachers in verse six and how they creep in and they go after people and pray on people, the immorality of the false teachers. As you go even further, it's amazing, you get this and there are 19 sins listed. And actually every one of those sins point back to one major sin and it's the sin of pride or the sin of selfishness. Self-centeredness that so affects, warning there's going to be a time within the culture where everyone's all about self. Does that sound familiar? I mean everything when you consider this, it's like social media so often is just self-centered.

Everyone wants a name for themselves. And then when you can't be seen, it's like the despair of mankind. And you look at this, and I wish I would say this, that the church so influences the culture, but so often it's the other way, the culture influences the church. And we're bombarded this way and I think those who are true believers, we're saying, dear God, help me, deliver me from this. I don't want to live this way. I don't want to live within my sin. You've delivered me. God, deliver me every day. Sanctify me. As you go further, he names all these different sins, showing the reality of real ministry. In verse 13, he says this, but evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

It's going to get real bad, Timothy. He's telling them. Don't you love people that tell you the truth?

I do. I feel like so often in our culture we hear lie after lie after lie. I would rather a person tell me the hard truth. And this is the apostle Paul in love speaking the hard truth. And he's telling them this is the way it's going to be. It's going to get real, real bad. There's going to be a downgrade in the culture and there's going to be an uprising and false teachers, more and more false teachers. And this is what it's going to look like.

But then he turns. Look at verse 14. How encouraging.

We need encouragement at this point. Verse 14, but continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hath been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them. So he's saying, think about this, Timothy. What was taught?

To you. Who taught you those things that actually modeled an example of this in your life? You could say the church is filled with hypocrites.

But I think we would all, I think we would all say, you know what, but not everybody. Some of you have had genuine believers in your life who really have shown grace and love and modeled Christ to you. And he's pointing back to this and encouraging him when it comes to this, knowing of whom thou hast learned in verse 15 and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise into salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. He's saying, Timothy, don't you realize the scriptures?

Remember what they have done? They brought you to faith in Christ. They have birthed you into the family of God. You responded to the scriptures by faith. You said, I don't want my sin, but I want Christ.

And that would have happened to him even from a child. He began to learn those scriptures and yet it brought him to faith. But notice this verse 16, all scripture, what's this mean? The totality of all the Bible. All scripture is given by inspiration.

Now, what does that say? It's literally saying it's God breathed. God breathed it out. He breathed it into existence. God is the true author of scripture. And yes, he did use mankind. We know that how sure enough it wasn't by man's own private interpretation or different idea that he somehow did this and thought it one day. Well, I'm going to write scripture, but God used the holy men of God.

He carried them along as they wrote holy rent, you could say, but he did this. And yet, as you notice, all scripture is given by inspiration of God and notices and is profitable for doctrine. Doctrine means the truth that you should believe for reproof.

I mean, that's showing you where you've gone wrong and are in error. And yet for correction, how to get right in your spiritual life and for instruction in righteousness, how not only to get right, but how to actually stay right. It's the scriptures that do this. To you that the man of God may be perfect. That means matured and thoroughly furnished into all good works. In one sense, you say, what is what is Paul at here?

What is he saying? The person who is going to be a true influencer in life, who is going to make a significant impact in this world is a person who is constantly going back to the source of scripture. It's the person who is rooted and grounded in the Bible. As you begin to consider this and what God's word does is it bursts you into the family of God. It doesn't leave you there, but God, through his spirit and through his word, continues to work on you and to mature you, to make you more like him. And he's saying, Timothy, this is what this is what has saved you, but this is also what it sanctifies you.

Go back to the scriptures. When you think about this, it's a person whose source in life is the word. If you begin to consider throughout history, who are the people who made a significant impact in this world?

There is one common denominator. It's the person, yes, who was saved by God's grace and yet continued in his grace in the word. They were people committed to the Bible in their spiritual life.

You could say these are people who have a deep rooted hunger and passion for the word of God. How about you? And we talk about it and we say, well, yeah, I got the Bible. But what about you? See, some of you, when it comes to academics, academics takes first place. Some of you, when it comes to sports, sports, it takes first place. When it comes to your friends and the people to hang out, you got opportunities.

So you go with people. The scripture takes a back seat. But you know, there are some of you here tonight who I know who are truly in Christ. And can I just tell you this, that if you if you would come before God in a humble way every day and just say, Dear God, speak to me, work in my life, where you set aside time and have a quiet place that you go to and you take the word of God and you cry out to God. I tell people before you ever read the Bible, pray like the psalmist prayed. Open my eyes and I may behold wonderful things from your law. I mean, if the psalmist is praying this, how about you and me? You consider that the psalmist is crying out, God, stir my heart, God. It's like God illumine me. Have you ever read the Bible? And as you're reading the Bible personally, it's almost like you've read that passage before.

But for some reason, whoa, it like just comes alive. God is dealing with you. For me, this didn't seem to happen in my spiritual life until the age of 17. The age of 17, I think what really happened to me is, as you know, the scripture tells you as newborn babes, there's a comma. And it says a command, desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby. But often we forget the verse in front of it, which talks about removing sin. At the age of 17, in my own heart, I remember as God was breaking me over different sins in my life, I just kind of came clean before God and I just want to walk with God in a genuine way. I hated the innocence of the hypocrite. I mean, I could point him out left and right, you know. And I mean, I grew up in the academy.

I was thinking ACAD brat, big time, you know. And yet in the midst of that, it's interesting how God started to stir me. And my senior year of high school, I finally said, you know what, I want to spend time with God every day by His grace. And so for me, what I did is I actually did something really practical. I would actually get up in the morning. I would get ready for school and those things. And I would put like a devotional Bible. I'd make my bed. I would actually put my devotional Bible on my bed. So here I was a senior high school. I put it on my bed, on my pillow and what it was is this is because I would go throughout school, I would have sports and have all kinds of different things and work and all that stuff, but I would come back and I would study and get things ready and I would go back to where I'm getting in bed and I would see my Bible there.

And it was a practical reminder to say this, Jeremy, don't put your head on the pillow until you spend time with God. For me, it was an evening thing. I would read my Bible at night. Now, there were times where I think about exam week or things where, you know, you have procrastinated some and you're staying up till two or whatever in the morning studying.

I was a town student. But anyway, so, you know, I'm staying up and I'm studying. And and then it would be like eight a.m. exam. And so at that point in time, you know, I many times I would come home and I would I would stay staying up studying. And then I would look at the Bible before and I'd be going, oh, no, what am I going to do? And I would actually ask myself this question. What do I love more? Sleep.

Or God. Do you realize that you will find time to do everything you really want to do? Some of you, you know, you want to play pickleball, you will find time. You know what I mean?

So I know I know some of you because I drive by it, you know, and. But it's interesting, if you really long to do something, you will do it. And then you consider this. And if you say, well, I don't have time. Jeremy, you don't understand my major.

You know, I'm nuclear engineering or something, you know. OK. But I would say to you, wait a second, though.

It's interesting because you find time for that. Could you imagine saying that to a boss, you know, like in the workplace? OK, please don't do this.

This might be a really help for life. OK, if you're in the workplace, don't say to your boss. Oh, I would have been here the last three days at work, but I couldn't I just couldn't find the time. I've been so busy because then they'll say, well, don't worry.

You have plenty of time. You're fired. I mean, you consider this. And I go, when you look at people, this is the number one thing. Even when I think about people traveling, you've heard it often from Steve. You'll hear it again and again and again.

I mean, he's getting older, so he's going to repeat himself. And I'm not afraid. He's not my boss anymore.

OK, does it. There's three rules. We've kept these from Steve. We use it in our team.

That's what I'm saying. So rule number one, read your Bible every day. Have you heard this before? Rule number two, pray every day. Rule number three, don't do anything stupid. And we would always ask a stupid question. Well, Steve, how do we know if we do something stupid? He'd say, don't worry, I'll tell you.

If you know Steve, he will tell you, you know. But I think about that. I go, you know, that is so profound. To have a personal walk with God on a consistent basis. And when I consider this, the people that we would long to see, because you know this, when God works in you, what's the overflow? Then he works through you. So if you continue to let God work in you and you're constantly humbling yourself daily before God, God, speak to me and work in me.

It's amazing what God will do through you. But I'm amazed at how many people graduate and they look kind of good on a resume. And even in, maybe even in a spiritual kind of a major of some sort, I don't know. But then you ask them about their personal walk. And they say, well, you know.

It's almost like they use chapel as their personal time, it's not. So I look at this and say, so who's going to be used of God? Who's going to finish strong?

Who's going to make an impact? The person who's constantly going back to the source of scripture. Is this you, number two? If you notice this number two, I would say look at chapter four, verse one, because chapter four, verse one, there's this shift the apostle Paul gives because I don't know if you realize this, but earlier in chapter one, he says, he says to Timothy, Timothy, my dearly beloved son. So you have this warmth, this welcome, this hugging idea.

You know, I long to see you. There was tears. You know, the last time we departed, it's like they're just great friends. When you consider this, think about look at chapter four, verse one. He doesn't say my dearly beloved son. No, he looks at his his son in the faith, and now he's a military commander. And he says to him, I charge the Timothy. This is so different now, the way he's speaking to him.

But he's he's challenging him. I charge thee. And he says, therefore, before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead is appearing in his kingdom. Think about this. Who are the quick and the dead? The idea is the living and the dead. All people will stand before God. Those who are living in Christ, they will stand before God. We talked about this last night.

I don't have to repeat the message. I mean, the reality is we all have an appointment with death. We all have an appointment with God. And as you consider this, he's saying, I'm charging you, Timothy, you're going to stand before God for all these things.

This is so, so serious. What would you say? Number one is, yes, you must go back to the source of scripture. But number two, you must get serious about the coming judgment. Any person who's greatly used of God is a person who who in longing to be with Jesus knows that God has you here for a purpose.

There's not a mistake. Did you know that God didn't make a mistake by having you here at Bob James this semester in the midst of everything that here is God and his divine plan, who has you here and yet for a very specific purpose. And I really believe that many of you can really grow in your spiritual life and thrive in your spiritual life. You're in a great environment to do that. Many people in this room and I would say faculty and staff, they desire the best for you spiritually.

They want to see you mature and move forward. But not everybody. And you'll realize that you always have a wrong crowd, even among the good crowd. But you look here and he's challenging him. You could say this. This is a content, a sobering reminder of the sovereign Lord. Hey, you're going to give an account of this.

I think this is such a serious calling that God is talking to him about through through the Apostle Paul. Timothy, this is so serious. That's why I like is, as one author put it simply, don't waste your life. Don't waste your life. You don't have you have one life. You're not like a cat with nine lives. And can I tell you, they really don't. And I'm glad because I don't like cats.

OK, just so you know. But when I think about this, I'm going, here's God. You've got this one life and you might you might not live to be 90. So why not live each day in light of eternity and to live fully for him and hold nothing back? Some of you've been holding things back in your spiritual life.

For me, that was that way. I kept thinking maybe maybe in the future I'll do this. I kept I kept considering this.

I remember times just in some significant evil. And I and I'm standing there and I'm thinking in the back of my mind, when am I going to live for the Lord? Don't wait. You know what my regret is? Why did I wait? But the truth is, I think about that.

That is amazing. Why would I why would it be that bullheaded? Why wouldn't I have just humbled myself earlier? Because now I'm experiencing this life of Christ and with Christ and a walk with the Lord and the joys of the beauty of Christ and who he is. I mean, it's like it's like that's why David said, I'd rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

He understood what it was like. He would rather just be something even menial and yet be full of of grace and glory from God and a walk with God in a genuine way. Unfortunately, that's all the time we have for today's sermon titled How Do We Finish Strong? Be sure to listen tomorrow as we'll hear the conclusion of this sermon from evangelist Jeremy Frazier, preached from the Bob Jones University Chapel platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-04 17:04:29 / 2023-08-04 17:16:16 / 12

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