2Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching”
Paul reached churches through his preaching and his writings, when it came to Timothy, he had special place for him. He took time to invest truth in him as he journeyed with the Lord. In 2Timothy 4, sounded like Paul’s journey on earth was coming to an end, and he takes time to impart in Timothy to what I would call the last words. People are intrigued by other people’s last words before they pass. I have read last words of some famous people and they left me thinking.
If I was to sum up Paul’s last words to Timothy I would say he told him to “Preach the word in season and out of season”, in other words, preach Christ as He is at all times without addition or subtraction from the word. He knew Timothy would face trying times which could be means to push him to dilute the word or manipulate it for the sake of people. Paul encouraged him to “preach the word” popular or not. His duty was to please the Lord and not people. Paul Washer says, “We should have seeker friendly churches” but that is “church seeking for God”. Majority in our generation equate success with whether something works. If you are successful in it, and can draw crowd, eloquent etc then a pass is given. If that is the case, then as Paris Reidhead said, men like Jeremiah and Noah would be considered failures. Jeremiah preached many years and I do not recall him having any converts, Noah preached the same, he had only his family as converts. In the eyes of many, they may have failed but not according to God, He was pleased because they preached His word.
I am concerned for what many preachers teach on today. Many years ago I went to a church where they drunk anointing oil. I was still new in Christ and too naive to figure out it was not scriptural. Thereafter in still learning I was listening to men’s teachings that sounded very scriptural until some men of God pointed me to the word to see the truth. Not long after, I began to test the spirits, listen carefully to some teachings and not too quick to receive any word just because it was preached or taught in Jesus name. This why we need to discern, not every one who uses the name of the Lord is of the Lord. I am now very careful not to listen to every kind of preacher just because they may be preacher celebrity and can pull great crowds. All I want to know, are they preaching the word as it is. 1Thessalonians 5:21, “Test all things; hold fast what is good”
2Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;” We live in those times where people do not want to hear sound doctrine (teachings). They go about looking for preachers who will preach what they want to hear. They run from one conference to another, move from one church to another. They love preaching about life enhancement and hate any preaching on sin, law, righteousness, holiness, judgment, self denial, faithful endurance and hell. I believe that there should be a balance including preaching on prosperity, healing, deliverance, callings, reaching the lost. With my constant meeting with the unsaved, I understand why people do not care for the sound doctrine. Infact the line I hear a lot is, “I am comfortable with my own sets of beliefs”. People throw out what is good (the truth) because it does not make them comfortable, they would rather live a lie than be exposed. If you are comfortable in your own sets of beliefs, you will either try to find someone who can support what you believe or get grounded in what you believe. It begins with salvation, the late Keith Green puts it beautifully, “It’s better for someone to be afraid that they are NOT saved and TRULY be saved, than someone to THINK they are saved and they AREN’T. it’s better to have a salvation you are doubting than to have NO salvation that you are SURE of”. See Paul is saying that it will be according to their own desires and having people who will preach what they purpose to hear. I will not be surprised if in some churches the preacher will only preach on what the people who give more money hint to them what they should preach on.
The time is now that we need to be careful of what we hear, what we take in, what we apply. We do not want to live in error, we do not want to go by false prophesies. We do not want to be deceived and we do not want to live a lie. Paul said, “Preach the word”, not to others only but to yourself. I would rather have the total package that deals with everything from the word of God whether it be easy or hard TO RECEIVE. If there be something not right in my life, I want to preach to myself, be convicted of it and change. Paul gave Tim the total package 2Timothy 4:2, “Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching (doctrine)”. Blessings Ev, His servant