if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; [2 timothy 2:12]
endurance is a work of God in his followers. endurance originates in God, was lived out in Jesus for our salvation, and is now given to us through the Holy Spirit. we have talked much about endurance in these writings and it has been needed. let us focus this morning on the second part of this passage.
if we deny him, he will also deny us.
this is directly speaking to those who deny Jesus his rightful place as Savior and Lord in their life. to deny can carry a lot of meanings, let’s be clear what this does and does not mean so we can know where we are and so we can know how to pray for others who are currently “denying him.”
to deny means, you do not believe there is a God or Jesus was God or that there is any reason you need to be “saved” from your sin. deny means, you chose to be your own god.
to deny means, you believe there is a God and Jesus is God, but you also don’t believe you really need to be “rescued” by Jesus. you don’t believe you are that bad. you just need to be a pretty good person and God will be with you and love you.
to deny means, you believe there is a God and Jesus is God, and you need your sins forgiven. but, you don’t believe your sins are forgiven by Jesus alone. you believe the way you live, how you love Jesus, and how you love others will earn God’s forgiveness for all the sin you have done.
all of these “denials” have one thing in common, they reject that you are utterly sinful and that only Jesus’ perfect life and sin bearing death can pay for the forgiveness you need to remove God’s judgement from your soul. all of these denials – reject the truth that Jesus alone can rescue you from your sin and God’s judgement.
what deny doesn’t mean. if you HAVE trusted that Jesus is the ONLY WAY you can be right with God so you can be with God, you have not denied him. any lack of faith at this point is not denial. to deny doesn’t mean to have a moment of faithlessness after you have trusted your soul to Jesus. (see 2 timothy 2:13) for sure, many will say they have trusted their soul to Jesus and live a life devoid of any fruit that Jesus has truly rescued them. God knows who is his by faith in Christ. some claim it and are lying. some claim it and secretly believe they need to do “stuff” to be right before God. they have not trusted Christ alone so they are denying him. but ultimately, only God knows who is his. [2 timothy 2:19]
how does all this impact you and i? let me ask you to ponder these questions this morning as you sit in the presence of God.
1. have you trusted your soul to Jesus and his work to make you right with God so you can be with God? ask God to reveal this to you. if you have not – you are denying him and he will deny you. o friend, please, receive the LORD’S kindness in Jesus. he loves you so much he gave up his only Son to bring you back to him. trust him now!
and there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” [acts 4:12]
2. if you have trusted your soul to Jesus, are you moved to pray for others who are denying Jesus, knowing they will be denied by God if they do not repent? truth is – many of us are callous to the lost all around us who are denying God. no, we can’t rescue them any more than they can rescue themselves, but we can pray for them. God says our prayers matter. and, we can share the truth of Jesus with them. God says he uses his own to declare God’s rescue to those in need of rescue.
how then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? [romans 10:14]
spend this time in prayer asking God to reveal your heart concerning these questions. and then, allow God to move you to pray for the lost this morning. ask God to break your heart so this will be a part of your regular prayers. get specific. pray for people by name. and then finally, ask God to use you in some way to share the truth of Jesus!
o LORD, so many around us are denying your name. so many will live in eternity separated from you. please LORD, break our hearts. move us to pray and to show the love of Jesus and share the truth of Jesus. hear our prayers LORD! in Jesus name, amen!
~ john ryan