Sunday, May 3, 2020
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).
Let us be ready to correct false teaching!
Recently, a friend was listening to a radio program when he heard a commentator make some incorrect remarks concerning the Bible. The “expert” claimed the New Testament Scriptures never mentioned a particular controversial issue. My friend phoned this man on-air, and had him take his Bible and read some verses. The man replied, “I never saw that before.” My friend answered, “Well, maybe you better read your Bible before misinforming people!”
It is most unfortunate many people who speak about the Bible have little to no familiarity with it. They should be studying more and talking less. It is better for them to stay silent until they study. For some, they are so confused they should never speak. While they are eager to comment—and, hopefully, they are sincere—they need to prepare and straighten out their own thoughts before they misrepresent the Scriptures and further confuse people.
Today’s Scripture issues three directives. The first is “preach the Word.” We are to proclaim the Bible, rightly divided (2 Timothy 2:15)—not traditions, speculations, opinions, philosophies, et cetera. The second is “be instant in season, out of season.” Whether convenient circumstances or inconvenient, we should be ready to address error. The third is “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” We are to “reprove” (expose and correct wrongdoing), “rebuke” (warn, disapprove, criticize), “exhort” (urge, encourage) “with all longsuffering” (patience) and “doctrine” (information to be believed). Unless we know sound Bible doctrine—the Word of God rightly divided—we will be unable to identify false doctrine.
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For 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.”