February 18, 2018 – 2 Timothy 3:1-17
Lesson Date: February 18, 2018
Focal Scripture Passage: 2 Timothy 3:1-17
AIM: To lead students to discover the Bible’s instructions for living in perilous times, and to decide on practical ways to apply those instructions to their lives.
Before class: Read the notes on 2 Timothy 3:1-17 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Locate some pictures of damage caused by natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or earthquakes. Also locate some instructions about what to do when facing such dangerous forces of nature (the following link gives hurricane preparedness instructions: https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes). This lesson plan uses the example of hurricane preparedness; adapt it as necessary if you choose a different natural disaster as your example.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Show the class the pictures of damage caused by hurricanes. Remind them that our country was hit by multiple strong hurricanes in 2017. Ask if any volunteers would briefly tell what it was like to live through such a dangerous event. Ask: “How can we know how to face and survive a deadly hurricane?” (by following the advice of experts). Tell the class that a lot of information is available to teach us what to do when a hurricane is approaching. Show the list of hurricane preparedness instructions you have brought to class. Ask the students to name some of the instructions authorities give us when a storm is approaching. Tell the class these instructions cover three main topics. Write the following on the marker board or chalkboard:
- Understand the Conditions
- Know What to Expect
- Know What to Do
Tell the class today’s lesson is about preparing for perilous times.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Remind the students that Paul wrote this letter to Timothy shortly before he was executed in a Roman prison.
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (staying focused on serving the Lord).
- Ask if any volunteer would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (2 Tim. 2:15).
- Perilous Times are Coming.
- Ask a volunteer to read 2 Timothy 3:1.
- Ask the students what they think the word “perilous” means (full of danger or risk, hazardous, risky, treacherous).
- Ask: “When does the Bible say these perilous times will come?” (in the “last days”).
- Explain that we commonly use the term last days to describe the time immediately before the return of Jesus Christ, but the Bible uses those words to refer to the entire span of time from the first coming of Christ to His second coming. Technically, then, we are living in the last times right now.
- Tell the class this chapter tells believers how to face perilous times.
- Write “How to Face Perilous Times” on the board, above the three things already written there. The things written on the board form the outline for today’s lesson.
- Understand the Conditions.
- Read 2 Timothy 3:2-8.
- Direct the students’ attention to the lesson outline on the board and tell them that these verses reveal the Conditions in the last days, the first point of that outline.
- Show the portion of the hurricane preparedness guide that explains what a hurricane is.
- Explain that just as you need to understand what a hurricane is if one is coming toward your home, we need to understand the conditions of the last days, since we are living in them.
- Tell the class verses 2-5 describe the people living in the last days.
- Re-read each characteristic and ask the class if and how we see that characteristic today.
- Ask: “According to the last part of verse 5, how should we relate to such people?” (we should turn away from them).
- Tell the class verses 6-8 tell what these people living in the last days do.
- Ask the students to identify what those people do (they lead people astray, they talk a lot but never truly understand the truth, and they resist the truth).
- Verses 2-8 describe the conditions in the perilous last days.
- Know What to Expect.
- Direct the students’ attention to the lesson outline on the board and tell them that the next verses tell us What to Expect in the last days, the second point of the outline.
- Read 2 Timothy 3:9-13.
- Show the portion of the hurricane preparedness guide that tells what to expect when a hurricane makes landfall.
- Explain that just as it is helpful to know what to expect when the hurricane hits, it is helpful to know what to expect in these perilous last days.
- Ask: “According to verse 9, what will happen to the people described in verses 2-8?” (eventually their folly and deception will be exposed to everyone).
- Tell the students that in verses 10-11 Paul reminded Timothy that he had seen him live and teach, regardless of the persecutions he had faced.
- Ask: “According to verse 12, what can we expect?” (persecution).
- Stress the fact that this is not an “if” or a “maybe” – those who live for Jesus Christ WILL face persecution. We are seeing this in our day.
- Ask: “According to verse 13, what else can we expect?” (spiritual and moral conditions will get worse and worse).
- State that we are certainly seeing this in our day.
- Verses 9-13 tell us what to expect in the perilous last days.
- Know What to Do.
- Direct the students’ attention to the lesson outline on the board and tell them that the rest of the chapter tells us What to Do in the last days, the third point of the outline.
- Ask a volunteer to read 2 Timothy 3:14-17.
- Show the portion of the hurricane preparedness guide that tells what to do when and after a hurricane hits.
- Explain that just as it is helpful to know what to do when a hurricane strikes, it is helpful to know what to do in these perilous last days.
- Ask: “According to verse 14, what should we continue in?” (the things we have been taught from the Bible).
- Ask: “According to the last part of verse 14, why should we stick with the truth?” (because we know that it comes from a reliable source).
- Ask: “According to verse 15, what does the Bible teach us?” (how to be saved).
- Ask: “According to verse 16, where did the Bible come from?” (God).
- Ask: “What is the Bible profitable for?” (doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness).
- Briefly explain the meaning of each of those words:
- Doctrine = teaching us what is right.
- Reproof = telling us when we’re wrong.
- Correction = telling us how to get back on the right path.
- Instruction in Righteousness = teaching us how to stay on the right path.
- Ask: “According to verse 17, what is the result of studying the Bible?” (maturity and equipping for service).
- Verses 14-17 tell us what to do in the perilous last days.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Show the hurricane preparedness guide to the class once again. That guide tells us what a hurricane is, what to expect when a hurricane hits, and what to do to survive a hurricane. Ask: “What might happen if I fail to read and follow this guide in the face of an oncoming hurricane?” (I could get killed). The purpose of the guide is to help prevent bodily injury and property damage.
Ask: “What good will this guide do me if it sits on a shelf and I never read it?” (it will do me no good at all). In order for the guide to be beneficial and help save my life I must read it and apply it by doing what it says. Tell the class the same is true of the scripture they have read today. We are living in perilous times, which are only going to get worse and worse. Today’s lesson will only help us if we apply it by doing what it says. Ask: “What are some ways we can apply these instructions to our lives?”
Tell the students we are living in perilous times. Evil people and seducers are getting worse and worse, deceiving others into following their wicked example. How can we face such perilous times? The instructions we have discovered today can be summarized in four points:
- Turn away from ungodly people (v. 5)
- Follow godly examples (v. 10-11)
- Stick with the Bible truth that you know (v. 14-15)
- Study the Bible, which will make you mature (v. 16-17)
Tell the class that if there is someone they need to turn away from, they should do it today. If they are facing persecution or feeling overwhelmed because the world is getting worse and worse, they should accept those conditions as part of living in these last days. If they are not reading, studying, and applying the truths of the Bible, they need to start today. Lead a closing prayer of commitment to obey God’s commands and spend more time reading the Bible.
CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Urge them to turn away from wickedness, and spend more time in God’s Word this week.
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