Summary: "Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas because He loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica
How to Handle Rejection
2 Tim. 4:1-10
Illustration: A man left his house for church one Sunday just as his neighbor was loading his golf clubs into his car. "Henry," the neighbor called, "come play golf with me today." Henry answered firmly, "I always go to church on the Lord’s Day."
After a pause the golfer said, "You know, Henry, I’ve often wondered about your church and I really admire your faithfulness. But I’ve invited you to play golf with me seven or eight times, and you’ve never once invited me to go to church with you."
What an eye-opener! To all the "Henrys" in today’s church, Jesus gives the same challenge He gave to the Pharisees: "I desire mercy and not sacrifice" (Mt. 9:13). In other words, He wants us to show mercy and love to those who need salvation, not just go through the motions of our own religious beliefs. Jesus further explained His mercy by saying, "I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance" (v.13).
Consider the destiny of people without Christ. Let this stir you to a compassion greater than your comfortable routine or your fear of rejection. Pray for several people or families near you and ask God to love them through you. And, without nagging, invite them to church (Our Daily Bread)
1. Remember how the Lord came to the rescue of Paul the apostle who was betrayed and forsaken by close companions. Paul writes, "Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas because He loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. (2 Tim. 4:9,10) The Lord always raises up a replacement for those who have forsaken Godly people. He knows what you need.
2. Remember that faithful people are few. Paul writes, "I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 1:19-21) Do not be surprised when close friends betray your trust. Only the Lord is ultimately trustworthy. It is impossible for God to go back on His word. It is completely inconsistent with God’s character of reliability.
3. Even though Jesus knew that Judas Iscariot would betray Him, He kept him on the team. Matthew writes, "And while they were eating, He said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me." They were all very sad and began to say to Him one after the other, "Surely not I, Lord?" (Matt. 26:21,22) Do not spend your time looking for traitors. God’s specializes in identifying, dealing with and punishing those who betray His trust.
4. Figure that there will always be people who are ready to take advantage of their privileges in Christ. Matthew writes, "And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present." (Matt. 22:4-6) Be on your guard for those who look like they are taking advantage of the powers, privileges, and the opportunities given to them in Christ.
5. Do not get frustrated with people who are unwilling to stay alert to attacks from the enemy. Mark writes, "Returning the third time, He said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer! (Mark 14:41,42)
6. Never forget to put on the full armor of God so that you can do well in every spiritual battle. Preparation is half of the battle. Be aware of devious attempts by some to kiss up to their leaders. Luke writes, "But Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" (Lk.22:48) Some people will try to ingratiate themselves to their leaders for their own advancement. Do everything to please the Lord first, not people. (Col. 3:23,24)
7. Always be forthright with people about their motives. Do not be gullible, naive, or easily misled. David went out to meet them and said to them, "If you have come to me in peace, to help me, I am ready to have you unite with me. But if you have come to betray me to my enemies when my hands are free from violence, may the God of our fathers see it and judge you!" (I Chron. 12: 17)
8. Let people know that God is the one who is the ultimate judge that they will have to one day give an account for everything. Do not prematurely judge people’s motives. Jesus said, "Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Matthew 7: 1,2)