Summary: Living life at a constant level to be used by the Lord, is not only our reasonable service, it is the world’s greatest hope of coming to Jesus.
God Is Counting On You!
The Passage: 2 Timothy 4:1-5
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: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction. 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. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
Note: While there is a great shortage of teachers for our children’s academic education, there will never be a shortage of teachers when it comes to teaching us about living immoral, unbiblical lives.
Question: Have you ever wondered why the Lord has truly placed you at your present job or residence?
The Problem: Here is the problem, suppose you were taken out of the equation that defines your present relationships; who would be left to teach them about Jesus?
The Need: I am suggesting to you, that you are extremely valuable to the Lord right where you are! And HE (who will judge the living and the dead) is counting on you!
Vital Issue: I truly believe, and I believe many of you believe with me, we are living in a time when Christians, and certainly non-Christians, are looking for authority figures (or teachers) to give them license to live below the moral level, the Lord requires of us all.
The Point: Living life at a constant level to be used by the Lord, is not only our reasonable service, it is the world’s greatest hope of coming to Jesus.
Let’s observe and put into practice three principles offered in our passage.
1.The Winning Word
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: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction.
Everyone loves a winner.
Illustration: My senior year in high school when I stole home from third base on the pitch.
Jackie Robinson did the same thing. While many think he was out and the television camera angles suggest the same, the umpire called him safe and the rest is baseball history.
The Principle: The eternal umpire will one day “make the call” as to how we individually lived up to His charge to witness (be a teacher) for Him.
The Application: Our eternal umpire has instructed each of us to:
1.Preach the Word, kerusso (kay-roos’-so); to herald (as a public crier), especially divine truth (the gospel)
2.Correct, elegcho (el-eng’-kho); give a warning (let the Holy Spirit bring conviction)
3.Rebuke: epitimao (ep-ee-tee-mah’-o); to tax upon, i.e. censure or show disapproval; by implication, forbid. (Walk away from sinful behavior)
4.Encourage: parakaleo (par-ak-al-eh’-o); from NT:3844 and NT:2564; to call near, i.e. invite, call upon or call up (comfort, support or console: KJV-beseech, call for, (be of good) comfort, desire, (give) exhort (-ation), intreat, pray.
When are we do this? In season and out of season, in other words be willing to take a stand (carry on in the tradition of the martyrs, "stick to it). There are all sorts of seasons, some difficult “chalepoi” meaning through the idea of reducing the strength (times when we just don’t feel like it); difficult times, dangerous times, or (by implication) furious: fierce, perilous.
2 Tim 3:1-5
1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
And there are easy times (seasons), meaning well timed, very convenient or opportune. Few and far between maybe, but if we will look for opportunity to share our faith we will find it to be easier than we think.
Major problem with witnessing…
Illustration: The Fear of WITNESSING
Lieghton Ford, Good News is for Sharing, 1977, David C. Cook Publishing Co., Page 15
I have talked to a lot of people, and the fear issue comes up front again and again. What makes people hesitate to share their faith? Here are some of the fears that have been mentioned to me: