Today you should read: 2 Timothy 4:1-8
Paul’s words in these verses sound very familiar to us. I think they are so familiar because it describes a lot of the world around us. We live in the “Bible Belt” where casual Christians are immensely prevalent. These people tend to settle into church environments where they won’t be challenged, rebuked, or shown truth that comes from the Bible. They find teachers who, as Paul says in verse 3, “suit their own passions.” This causes them to no longer listen to anyone who may interfere with their life even if they are living in sin.
This may sound judgmental of me, but Paul first mentions in verse 1 how God and Jesus are the only ones to judge, but instead we should preach the Word, reprove, rebuke, and exhort those who claim faith, but are not living it out (verse 2). How should we approach this? Paul answers that question at the end of verse 2 when he says, “with complete patience and teaching.” This is where a lot of Christians fail at this. Instead of presenting truth, they condemn and judge. I am quickly reminded of a church in my hometown that would carry huge signs at the town square, yelling at all the cars driving by telling them that they were going straight to hell. (This is not an exaggeration.) They didn’t present the truth of the Gospel or the hope that is found in Jesus.
Lastly, Paul is reminded of the hope found in following Christ. Although he was thrown in prison and knew that he would eventually be killed for his faith, he continued to preach the Gospel. Paul kept the faith and was reiterating something that Jesus had mentioned in Matthew 24:13-14 where it says,
“13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
So I encourage you, fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith.
By: Jacob Kerr — West Campus Pastoral Ministry Apprentice: Worship & Students
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