Things for Christians to flee
The apostle Paul had a special bond with Timothy and he considered as his own son.
1 Timothy 1:18 †This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,
Paul and Timothy spent a great deal of quality time with one another. Paul did what he could to prepare Timothy to go out and preach the Word and flee away from sinful things. Paul had great confidence in Timothy and sent him several times to new congregation to remind them and encourage to worship God according to his word.
1 Corinthians 4:17 †7 For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.†
Perhaps the greatest example we have that shows how much Paul loved and respected Timothy is found in:
Philippians 2:19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state.† 20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state.† 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.† 22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel.
As you can see Paul really thought a lot of Timothy, but at the same time he realized that Timothy was young and he was always concerned that Timothy might stray away from the faith. That is why find Paul writing to Timothy encouraging him to keep the faith and to stay from those things that are evil. So we are going to be examining the morning several things that Christians should flee based on what Paul tell tells Timothy to flee starting in:
1 Timothy 6:9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.† 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.† 11 But you, O man of God, flee these things Ö
All these things that Timothy is to flee from has to do greediness for the love of money.
Flee from temptation
The word temptation means a trial or test and this trial or test can be either good or evil. Temptations can you lead you to sin while some temptation can be used to test you and cause to grow as Christians. James gives us a example of both.
†James 1:2- My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,† 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
This is where temptation is used in a good sense because it produces patience.
James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.† 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
This is the kind of temptations that produces evil and this is the kind of temptation that Paul instructing Timothy and ever Christian to flee. The only way to beat temptation is to run away from it. Some people seem to think that they can be around a temptation day after day without ever being tempted to indulge in it. You know what they are playing a very dangerous game. Paul rightly said:
1 Corinthians ††Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."
We can learn a great lesson from Joseph in the OT because he knew when to run away from temptation.†
Genesis 39:11 But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside,† 12 that she caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me." But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.
Potiphars wife had set things up so she could get Joseph alone so that she might fulfill her desires. But as soon as soon† a Joseph knew her intentions he did stay and try to talk to her about it no he ran leaving his garments behind. Sometimes running away from our temptations can be very difficult for us but it always the wise thing to do. I can tell the devil doesnít like when we flee from our temptations because it makes his job hard.
James 4:7 ÖResist the devil and he will flee from you.† 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to youÖ
As Christians we have power of the devil and his ways and we can resist him by fleeing temptations and by resisting him he must flee.
Jesus did this very thing to the devil when he was in the wilderness. The old devil came a long and tried to tempt Jesus 3 different times and each Jesus resisted him by quoting scriptures that showed it would be wrong for Jesus to partake in such a temptation. Finally Jesus drove him away saying,
Matthew †"Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' "
It very dangerous to keep the devil around and start thinking that his temptations are so easy to overcome. We must understand that the devil is sneaky and he knows that if he can feed you a temptation a little at time he will eventually lure you in and trap you. It would easy for a† lot of us to resist a temptation if it was presented to us all at once. But harder to recognize the temptation when it given to us little by little. One man said this about temptation.
Temptation† is a sleepless, unwearying enemy, watching and waiting to find us off guard.
Now we should be able to understand why Paul wanted Timothy to flee from temptation. We can all flee temptation and we must realize that we do not have to do it on our own because god will be there to help us.
2 Peter 2:9 †then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,
Flee the love of money
The love of money was not just a problem in the first century, it has been a problem with mankind throughout the all the generations. Some have misunderstood what Paul teaches about money because some think that Paul is saying that money evil and we should flee from it. But thatís not the case. What Timothy and we today are to flee is the love of money. Money itself can be a very useful tool for serving God and taking care of your family. There is not evil about money itself. Notice Paulís instructions to the rich.
1 Timothy 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.† 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,† 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
There are many good things that can be done with money. However the love of money is a evil master that drives us into greed, dishonesty, and all kinds of evil. What was the first recorded problem that faced the church shortly after it was established? It was the love of money. In Acts 5 Ananias and Sapphira bought a piece of land and brought part of the money to Peter yet they claimed they were giving it all.
Acts 5:3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?† 4 "While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."
Because of their love of money which motivated them to lie they paid with their life.
Paul didnít want Timothy to get caught up in such a trap. He didnít want to have love for something that is only temporary. Notice what Solomon says in:
Proverbs 23:5 †Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
In Mat. 13 Jesus gives a parable about sowing seed 4 different types of soils. These soils represent different type of hearts that word of God fall on. Notice what Jesus about the thorny soil.
Matthew "Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
The love of money is temporary† and love of money can choke out Gods word making you unfruitful. Surely we can see why Christians should flee the love of money.
Flee all kinds of evil
Not only Paul give specific things for Timothy and all Christians to flee he also tells flee all kinds of evil. This means we are flee from anything that is immoral or harmful according to Gods Word. You see we are going reap what we sow and Paul goes on tell us this in:
Romans 2:8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness -- indignation and wrath,† 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;
There† are serious consequences when we allow ourselves to get involved with evil things.
1 Thessalonians †22 Abstain from every form of evil.
Romans 12:9 ††9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
Greediness is defined as: Excessively eager to acquire or possess something beyond what one needs. Being greedy is where the love of money comes from. Notice how Paul describes some gentiles in:
Ephesians 4:17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind,† 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;† 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
A greedy person is one who selfish and they only think about themselves and how they can lay their hands on things that they really donít need. The Word of God teaches completely different message than this because it tells us to put others before ourselves.
Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.† 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
A great example of Greediness can be seen in young children. Lets say that you have three kids and hold in front of them 3 different sizes of candy bars. Which candy bar do think that all three of them will want. They will want the biggest one even if it is just slightly bigger. Whoever doesnít get the bigger one will cry and complain because they didnít get it. We must be careful as Christians not to be greedy or the devil will trap and keep you from God.
We need to remember what Jesus says about money in:
Matthew 6:19 " Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;† 20 "but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.† 21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
As Christians we must flee from Greediness.†
Flee foolish lust
The word lust is associated with unlawful sexual desires. When a person tries the fill the desires in improper way then it becomes† a sinful, foolish and destructive. The world does not exercise and restraint when it comes lustful practices. You can easily see that just from watching† your TV. It is getting harder and harder to find a program that doesnít promote unlawful lust in one or another. Because of it destructive nature Paul want Timothy and all Christians to flee foolish lust. Paul gave some good advice to the Romans on this topic.
Romans 13: 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.† 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
Christians should not allow† the lust of the flesh to be apart of their lives. When the apostle John command the Christians not to love the world or the things in it he tell them 3 things to avoid.
1 John 2: 16 For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world.
Notice 2 of things that are to avoided have to do with lust. There is no way that Christian can follow after foolish lust and still serve God. Paul also uses the term lasciviousness to describe lust. Those who do not flee foolish lust will find that they will be come a friend to the world but an enemy to God.
James 4:4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Gal: 5:19ff basically says those who live in this type of cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Again when Paul† was writing to Timothy in.
Timothy Flee also youthful lusts
While there is really not a age limit to who can fall prey to lust but it does seem to be more of a problem for the younger than† the older. A person need to nip this† problem early on or it could grow in to something really bad latter on in life. You see is like a fire it starts out with just a few flames that are controllable but the longer is left to burn the† bigger it becomes and the grows out of hand. That is why imperative that† we run away from such temptations.
I think† we can† all clearly see that the things Paul wants Timothy to flee from is something every Christian should flee from. The world tells us that we can be involved in these sins and still be a Christians but Bible tells differently. Paul says,
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Therefore, think about life and ask yourself am fleeing from temptation, the love of money, all kinds of evil that can snare, greediness, and foolish lust? If you find that these things are hindering you from serving God than start running from the today or if these things have kept you from becoming a child of God why not put them behind by repenting, confessing Jesus and lord and allow yourself to baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of your sins.