In this lab, John Piper warns of the dangers that follow when preaching wanes. People begin to be ruled by their passions. They then turn away from the truth, gather teachers who say what they want to hear, and wander off into more myths.
Some questions to ask as you read and study 2 Timothy 3:16–4:5:
- Is preaching necessary for the life and health of the church? What happens when preaching wanes?
- Read 2 Timothy 4:1–5. What happens if a church stops preaching the word?
- Watch the lab. What did John Piper say would happen if we fail to preach the word? If someone said that he liked every part of church except the preaching, how would you respond?
Principles for Bible Reading
Look for Sequences in Lists
Often, when we see lists in the Bible (for example, lists of virtues or vices, like those found in Romans 1:29–31 or Colossians 3:12–14), we might assume that there isn’t any connection between the items on the list — and there may not be. But by assuming that no sequence exists, we pass over insights we might have found had we paused and asked whether any relationship exists between the items.
The first step for identifying a sequence consists in defining each item on the list. Knowing how each item differs from the rest helps us observe any patterns or progressions. After defining the terms, ask whether the items on the list progress or can be categorized in some way.