Summary: Paul wrote Titus to "set the church in order. This was preached as part of a series of sermons called Route 66, taking a look each week at one of the sixty-six Bible books.
Titus: A Word of Caution
by, Tony Thomas
Sr. Minister, Woodland Heights Christian Church, Crawfordsville, IN
No. 56 in a series called, Route 66, a Road Trip Through the Bible
When I was a student at the Cincinnati Bible Seminary, one week each year was set aside for a World’s Missions Conference. Several missionaries were brought to campus each fall and the men who take turns preaching in chapel. Their wives came to class and we learned what it was like to live and work on foreign soil in different cultures.
One of the more inspiring missionaries was LaVerne Morse. LaVerne was the third son of J. Russell Morse who founded Asia Christian Services in 1921. Morse began his work with the Lisu Tribe where China, Tibet, Burma and India intersected.
Today, his grandson, Mark, is a third-generation-missionary. 96 years later, he reaches not one tribe, but 40; not one church like his grandfather, but hundreds. In addition to China, Tibet, Burma, and India you can add Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.
What would have happened had his grandfather succumbed to discouragement in 1921? The Morse family left Oklahoma for the Himalayas. They dreamed of baptizing thousands, planting new churches, building a hospital, a Bible College and an orphanage.
But after a handful of years on the field, all they had to show for their efforts were two small churches. Their field of work had to contend w/things others did not: the communists kicked them out of China, J. Russell Morse was arrested and imprisoned, and the rest of the family hid for their lives in the Burmese jungle.
While the Morse’s dealt with communistic oppression during World War 2, all of their Bible College classmates flourished! They planted churches, built orphanages and hospitals, and founded Bible Colleges. That was the pattern for missionaries to follow.
That’s the way Denny Pruitt did it in Rhodesia, Africa. That was the way Art Morris did it in Madras, India. That was the way Bernie Getter did it in Bangalore. That’s what my mission’s professor, Bill Gulick, taught in the classroom at CBS.
If you want to read about the history of Asia Christian Services and the Morse family, Eugene Morse, the second son of J. Russell Morse, wrote a book titled, Exodus to a Hidden Valley, and you can buy it on amazon.com for $5.41.
So … what does this have to do with our series on Route 66? Everything! Like LaVerne Morse who adjusted his sails, Titus had to change the pattern of 1st century ministry. While Timothy enjoyed a ministry of ease in Ephesus, Titus was busting his backside and getting nowhere fast on the Island of Crete.
There are three pastoral epistles (1-2 Timothy and Titus): In 1 Timothy, Paul emphasizes doctrine; in 2 Timothy, Paul challenges us to finish well; and in Titus we are given a word of caution that every ministry is different.
Let’s begin w/three questions to build context: First, Who was Titus? Titus was a Greek believer who was converted by Paul in Corinth. Paul took Titus with him to Jerusalem to show the elders that the Gospel was reaching the Gentiles.