Preach the Word

by LA UBF   09/01/2012     0 reads



Preach the Word

2 Timothy 4:1-22

Key verse 2

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

Pretend you were going to leave  tomorrow--maybe move to another country, and never see your children, your students or a young person in your life, ever again.  What would you say to them?  Would you say, have a good day, or the gee the weathers nice outside, or you owe me 10 dollars. No! You'd give them something really significant and meaningful to hold onto-a gem of some kind that if they followed, would really bless their life.

Paul was going to depart from this world. So, with what little time he had left, he charged Timothy to preach the Word.  This is not just any charge, but a charge that would bless Timothy and make Timothys life a huge source of blessing.  From this passage, we will look at why we should preach, how we should preach, by whose strength we should preach so that our lives can be a source of blessing as well.  

Part 1-In View of His Appearing

Before someone commits themselves to doing something big, they usually ask, Why.  In verse one we see why we should preach the Word.    

V1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge.

In verse one, a charge is given in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus.  God is God.  He Creator of all the universe and Christ Jesus the Christ, God's instrument of salvation.  Paul and Timothy were standing in the presence of the most important individuals in this world.  God and Christ Jesus were like eye witnesses to this very important charge.  It was a charge that they supported and stood behind 100%.  Paul wants Timothy to carry this charge.  God wants Timothy to carry the charge.  Jesus wants Timothy to carry the charge!  How many more people should it take for Timothy to do the charge?

In addition, this charge is also given in view of certain future events.  The future event is the judgement day of Christ.  On this day, Jesus will judge every one for how they lived their lives.  Some people think they are the judges of their life.  Some people think that others are the judges of there life.  But the truth is Christ is the judge of everyone's life.  And his judgment is special because its final.  When he decides something, its decided.  No one can change, and no one can stop him.  Its a time when no people cant change their minds or be given a second chance, or turn around from their past mistakes.  At that key moment, people will either be forever punished with no hope, or forever rewarded.  Paul gives this charge in view of this huge event.

In view of Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, what should we do?  We should preach the Word!  The word talks about Jesus and how to be saved.  It also talks about how we should live, and what kind of life pleases God.  In view of these facts, it actually seems proper and right that this be preached so that people can be prepared and ready when he Jesus comes back.  In Allan's message, we learn that we have the Holy Spirit, and we should make use of it.  In the same way, we have the Word, and we need to make use of it.  Otherwise, like the Holy Spirit, an important resource is being wasted.  

If gas prices were very high, $10 a gallon, what how would you live your life?  Would you drive to the east coast for fun.  Would buy an SUV?  No! You would drive less, get those high mpg car. Maybe you’ll take the bus more, or bike, or walk.  What's in our view, directly affects our choices.  Unfortuantely, most people don't live in the presence of God, or in view of his judgment.  They live in the presence of men, and in view of their work, family, the world.  As a result they live only for temporal things instead of eternal things.  But the man who lives in the presence of God, and in view of Christ judgment is truly wise, because they live for eternal things like the salvation of people’s souls, and eternity life.  This is why we should preach the Word. 

Part 2-Be Prepared

So, we know why we should preach: it is because Jesus will come back one day to judge.  But how should we preach the Word exactly? How should we do it so that we’re actually successful and effective.  We all want to be successful right?  So, lets look at verse 2 and find out how we can do this.

V2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

First, be prepared in season and out of season.  Being prepared means knowing the Word.  In order for us to know the Word, we need to study it, diligently, frequently, and in depth.  WIthout a proper study of the Word, we can't understand it.  And if we don’t understand it, we can't teach it effectively.  If someones a math major, they've had to study math concepts and ideas a lot.  Because of this, they are more able than others to teach math like me.  But studying the Bible actuslly goes beyond human efforts because its God's words.  Because its God's words, we need God’s help.  That means we also need to meditate, pray, and listen to what our spiritual elders have to say.  Also, being prepared in season and out season means being ready in season and out of season.  This basically means all the time.  All means all. 

Second, correct, rebuke, and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction.  Here we see that correcting, rebuking and encouraging are a necessary part of preaching.  These things must be done.  Jesus himself set an excellent example.  While preaching, he corrected, rebuked and encouraged.  He helped all kinds of people.  From lowly and rejected prostitutes, to high status pharisees.  But his 11 disciples, in particular stand out. He was able to use the Word of God effectively in this case.  The word not only saved them, it changed them, and equipped them.  These men would later lead the Christian church after Jesus left.  And, it was all because of the Word.  Also, notice the terms used.  No one likes to be corrected or rebuked.  These are perceived as negative, and usually has a negative response.  But, if you really want to help someone, your gonna have to do and say things that may come across as harsh or insensitive.  But it's for their own good and well being.

Luckily, Paul makes sure to say, correct, rebuke and encourage with "great" patience.  When people don't listen to us, or the Bible, we usually get angry or upset.  We may resort to more aggressive ways.  But we shouldn't.  Instead, we should have "great" patience for them, and give "careful" instruction.  People are able to grow, and flourish, when those who preach and teach them are "patient" with them.  

V3-4 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Being an effective preacher can be hard though.  The reason is the people we preach to.  Here is mentioned people who will reject sound doctrine, and turn to myths and lies.  These myths and lies satify what they want to hear.  What do people want to hear?  They want to hear things that make them feel good, things that support a sinful lifestyle.  People don't want to hear that they're sinners, that they need to repent and believe in Jesus to be saved.  Timothy might feel pressured to compromise his message, or give up because of these people.  This could actually be a huge hurdle for Timothy and for us, as we try to preach the Word.  But we shouldn't feel pressured, or give up.  Instead, we should listen to Paul's words in the next verse.

V5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

If there are difficulties in preaching, we need to keep our heads.  In Greg's message, we learn that Timothy should continue in what he had learned.  So should we.  When we do, we won't lose our minds.  We need to do this not just in some situations, but all situations.  Even in the most difficult ones.  On many college campuses, a lot of ideas are floating around: some of them strange, some very liberal and and very non-Biblical ideas.  That is why, we must remain in the Bible, and not be swayed by any kind of false teachings.  To do this means enduring hardship, and bearing the sufferinsg that come with standing firm.  But once you are able to maintain yourself, can continue "the work of an evangelist, and discharge all the duties of your ministry," which is to preach the gospel.  Being effective outwardly, requires we be spiritually stable inwardly-through God’s words. 

Part 3 The Lord Stood at My Side

No one is a one man army, even someone as impressive as Paul.  So, while he dows some amazing feats in verse 6-8, we see where the source of his strength and power is in v 18.  First off...

V 6-8. 6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Paul was a hardworking when it came to the charge.  He received the charge to preach three decades before this letter was written.  He heard Jesus' command, and obeyed.  In the process, he poured out his life like a drink offering. An drink offering was a wine drink that was offered to God during various sacrifices on special feast days. After Jesus called him, Paul's view of his life changed. It was no longer for himself.  Instead it was for God and God's purpose.  So he went from, city to city, region to region, to preach.  In fact, up until the day he would die.  And he sums it all up in this, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith...." He didn't regret his life. He was proud of how he lived. And it all started because when he heard Jesus' charge, he listened.  And, Paul's practical life not only changed, but his future as well. Because of the choice he made, he could look forward the crown of righteousness, God's eternal reward. And not only him, but everyone who has longed for Jesus' appearing.

V9-15. 9 Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.

14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.

But everyone could use a little help in preaching.  Here is a list of good and bad coworkers. Some stood by Paul's side, and some did not. Demas, Crescens, and Titus chose to abandon Paul, and went their own ways. Luke, Mark, Tychicus chose to remain with Paul, and faithful and so continued coworking.  On top of that, Paul wanted Timothy to come visit him, and warned him about Alexander, a man who had brought a great deal of harm to Paul.

V16-18. 16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

There was a time when Paul did not always have any coworkers. Conjuring the strength to continue when this happens can be hard.  We want help.  We need help. But Paul didnt rely only people only.  He mainly relied on God.  When Paul decided to carry the charge, "the Lord stood at his side." This should bring us alot of comfort, joy and confidence. When one makes the decision to carry the charge, God himself stands by their side. Why? V 17 says, "so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it." People are God's servants on earth. God wants to use them powerfully. Since this is the case, he will strengthen us so that we might fully proclaim the message.

One of the main complaints I’ve had, and other’s have had when  preaching the Word, is the issue of power and strength.  We seem to never have enough of it.  Things like work, school, family and even other ministry responsibilties requires a lot of time and energy.  We feel demotivated to preach the Word after a long day of caring for other duties.  In addition, sometimes serving student in and of itself is demanding and exhausting.  Bearing people’s sin, and guiding them is hard.  We want the strength and power so that we can prech the Word, and here we see that we have it.  We just need to tap into it.  This comes by faith in God, and making firm decision to serve him.  When we do this, God gives us the strength we need to sustain ourselves and serve others.  

V19-22. 19 Greet Priscilla[a] and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21 Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers.

22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

In the final verses, Paul concludes by asking Timothy to greet Priscilla, Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus for him. Paul also tell Timothy some of the health conditions of coworkers.   In addition, Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers greet Timothy. 

If we make the decision to carry the charge, we are not alone. There are many others, nearby, far away, and in other counrtries who are carrying it as well. They are our coworkers, brothers and sisters in Christ.  Their ministry, their health and well bring should be on our hearts and in ours prayers. 


Paul called Timothy to preach.  He also calls me.  I received this charge almost a decade ago.  Back in high school, and in my early college years I was faithful.  In college, I use to fish almost every day, for hours, with others inviting people to one to one, and bible lectures, and our group studies.  It was pretty intense.  We served joyfully and powerfuly.  But as the years went by, I didn’t do as much as i did before.  

As more and more time passed, I did less and less at the University, until it seemed like my ministry had fizzled.  I consistently had no students and rarely went fishing.  Instead, now a days, I had been only once a week, in the evening, when it darks, for like half an hour, when there were no students are out, while chit cahtting with coworker.  A total contrast to years ago.  I thought about why.  Why the change?  Tons of reasons came to mind.  Things relating to co workers, a busy schedule, past failures in serving students, etc.  But the more I thought about reason I didn't preach, the more I saw that the reasons never ended. It seemed like there was always a reason why I didn't preach. 

Thats when I realized that I wasn’t going about preaching the right way.  I was living in view of all these excuses, I stopped being prepared to preach at any given moment, and I didn’t always depend on God’ strength.  What happened was a natural spiral of me from Preaching the Word, to Preaching nothing. This is the worse spot for me to be in because niether me or others were being blessed with the Word. 

So from this passage, I learn that I should remember Christ’s judgment, be prepared and depend on the Lord’s strength.  I can do this do being diligent to coming to God’s word daily, one of the ways mentioned at the conference is through daily bread.  On top of this, make use the opportunities I have to cowoerks with others brothers no that many of us have the same work schedule.  We can fish, and pray, and be at the campus together more often. 

From this passage we learn why we should preach, how we should preach and by whose strength we should preach.  If we remember and do these things, we can be an effective preacher and a blessing to students.

One Word: Preach!