Thursday, August 1, 2013
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).
Be ready to preach the Word, anyone, anywhere, anytime….
Today’s Scripture is an excerpt from the Apostle Paul’s final epistle to a young bishop, Timothy. In this farewell letter, the elderly apostle encourages young Timothy to endure the hardness that is coming, yea, to survive the intense hardships that he is already facing in his ministry. Soon after this epistle is written, Paul will pass off this earthly scene (verses 6-8), having been executed for, in the eyes of the Roman law, preaching an “illegal message.”
In today’s Scripture, Paul is not suggesting Timothy do something. He wrote in the previous verse, “I charge [command, order] thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;” What is the Holy Ghost’s commandment to Timothy? What is His commandment to us? “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” Why must we do this?
The next two verses explain: “For [Because] the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
As Christians, it is our responsibility—yea, our privilege—to study God’s Word rightly divided on our own so we can then preach it (thus allowing that truth to combat the apostasy, the doctrinal error). We must be “instant [ready] in season, out of season:” we will get into Bible conversations we would never expect, with some of the people we would never expect to hear from, at a time when we would never expect them. Today’s Scripture says to “reprove [expose sin; blame], rebuke [correct], exhort [advise, encourage, urge] with all longsuffering [patience when provoked] and doctrine [sound Bible teaching].” The only way we can do this is to study God’s Word rightly divided on our own.
Again, be instant to preach the Word, anyone, anywhere, anytime!