preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. – 2 Timothy 4:2,5 ESV
The Apostle Paul wrote 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament. The book of Hebrews has an unknown author that some believe was Paul, but many believe was not. Of the written words of the New Testament, in sheer volume, only Dr. Luke, the Apostle, wrote more words in the New Testament at 27%, vs Paul’s 25%. This is Paul’s last letter he will ever write. He has had the death sentence handed down from Nero. This is Paul’s ‘swan song’, his final parting words. Hear the Word of the Lord; For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up 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 loved his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:6-8) This is the final chapter of His final writing, and he is writing to his beloved Timothy, his son in the faith. Consider the greeting in Paul’s first letter to Timothy: Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. (1 Timothy 1:1-2) Paul had no children, and it is believed that Timothy and Paul’s relationship was of a Father\Son nature. Paul had many that he brought into the Kingdom of God, and was considered their “Spiritual Father”, however Timothy was far more than just one of Paul’s converts. Paul had a deeper, Familia love for Timothy. So these last few parting words were to his son. These are parting words of wisdom from father to son, and they were important to Timothy then, and they are important to us today because, it is written: All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Leader, Paul, is CHARGING Timothy! Paul is saying, In the Presence of God I solemnly urge you, I COMMAND YOU! Paul is giving Timothy His mission- PREACH THE GOSPEL! Any questions? We are ALL called to preach the gospel! It is NOT our responsibility to convert people, we are called to testify. We are not paid a commission, we are paid a salary. It is written; What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, as the Lord has assigned to each his role. I planted the seed and Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. (1 Corinthians 3:5-7) God is responsible for His Children, we are responsible for our actions, for keeping Jesus primary directive command, which is the GREAT COMMISSION. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) Paul is telling Timothy, and us, to Preach the Word. Paul, and his student Timothy, understand that in order to preach the WORD, one must know the Word. You get to know the Word by studying the scriptures, sharing the Word, and by using the word- LIVING IT, applying the Word, as it is written, as it says it should be used: Know, Rebuke, Exhort, Teach.
Conduit, Paul is telling Timothy and us, that we are to do the work of an EVANGELIST. The Apostle Paul was, with little doubt, the greatest evangelist that ever lived. How did Paul win so many to Christ? Paul won the lost to Christ by teaching the great doctrines of alienation, reconciliation, justification, etc. If you are going to be an evangelist, you must be well-grounded in the Word, for souls are saved only as the Spirit uses the Word See I Pet. 1:12-25. The Word of God never returns void. It always accomplishes its purposes. Paul is telling us to do 4 things. 1st; Watch, be on the watch for all things. Have an awareness of where we are as a society, and where we are eschatologically, in the Spiritual World. When we know the Word, we know what time it is, CHAIROS! 2nd ENDURE afflictions. Hear the Word of the Lord; Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. (2 Timothy 3:12) Paul is telling us, the ministry is NOT going to be easy. There is going to be hardship. Difficult people and difficult situations in a difficult world- soldier on! 3rd, do the work of an evangelist. Spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 4th make full proof of your ministry. In other words, fulfill your purpose, your ministry. The Bible tells us that we were created for a purpose, and that purpose is NOT to make money, or be happy, or have children, or to leave a legacy. Our purpose is to glorify God. To Know God and to make Him known. It is written: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10) The Bible says that we are to judge ourselves, for if we judge ourselves we will not be judged by God. What a great blessing. To come to the end of your life and to be ready to go be with the Father. As you come to your last days, to feel good about what you did, and to be secure about where you are going. This is the PEACE that comes from KNOWING JESUS and making HIM KNOWN. “You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No lazy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself”. Amen!