·Preach the Word
Scripture: 2 Timothy 4:1-8
What the Charge Is: (vv. 1-2) A.
“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: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. “
These are some of the very last words that Paul writes, and so these are his parting words to young Timothy. Paul is writing to the church leader, to the shepherd of the flock, to the pastor. He is talking to the minister about completing the task, and he has made it clear all the way through the letter that the situation is one of crisis.
There is DANGER all around, Paul himself is writing from prison for the sake of the gospel; there are DIVISIONS everywhere because people are swerving from the truth; and those who have turned away from the truth have DESERTED Paul. Those who are faithful in their Word Work will have enemies on every side, the bullets will fly, the hardships will come, and the hurdles will be formidable.
So, what do you do in the situation of crisis? You preach! 2 Timothy 4:1-2 says “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom
B. The charge is to “Preach the Word”, it is a call to bold endurance, to preach God’s Word, to speak what God has spoken! To pass on to others the Good Deposit, the Sound Teaching, the Truth, the Faith, the Word of God.
Paul is writing to Timothy the young minister and is telling him that in his context the ministry is the ministry of the Word.
We are living in His presence. We must live in His presence in order to prepare for the next life. This life is but a preparation for the next and the next will last trillions and trillions of years in other words eternity.
There is nothing you do or say that escapes His notice. And living in His presence should do something positive to you or for you! Living in the presence of God should motivate you to action!
1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead....
Someday God will judge the living and the dead. However, because we are in Christ and Christ is in us, we will not be judged regarding our sins because Christ paid for our sins. We will have no sins to account for! But what about other people? What about people who don’t know God or Christ? What will happen to them? If we fear for them eternally then we must do something.
PROP.- God will judge the living and the dead. What must we do?
2- We must correct the incorrect
3- We must discharge the duties
I. WE MUST PREACH THE WORD
2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
ILL.- One preacher never prepared his sermon during the week, and then on Sunday morning he’d sit on the platform while the church was singing the hymns desperately praying, "Lord, give your message, Lord, give me your message."
One Sunday, while desperately praying for God’s message, he heard the Lord say, "Ralph, here’s my message. You’re lazy!"
Pastor has given me a sermon text or outline to follow each week. All based on the scripture designated for that week. I take it and structure it to fit the important message that the holy spirit wants to tell. This can take two to three days no rush it is critical to speak from the heart.
HERE’S WHY Because I realize more than ever that I am living in the presence of God and I want to please Him more than ever before! I owe it to God to do my best.
Are you too lazy to preach the Word? Huh? How’s that? You might say, “Hey, that is above my pay grade! I can’t preach!” But you do preach whether you realize it or not. You preach every day. And some people are listening.
ILL. A poem to bring this out
I’d rather one would walk with me than merely tell the way;
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear;
The best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good in action is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it if you’ll let me see it done,
I can watch your hands in action, your tongue too fast may run;
The lectures you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get lessons by observing what you do;
I may not understand the high advice you give,
But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.
Brothers and sisters, our conversation, our actions, etc. do reveal who we are, whose we are, and what we are! We do preach the Word of God when we pray in public and when we act decently and in order in public. We are preaching all the time. What do people where you work think of you?
II. WE MUST CORRECT THE INCORRECT
Verse 2 “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. Verse 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.”
ILL.- A retired couple went to breakfast at a restaurant where the ’seniors’ special’ was two eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast for $4.99. ’Sounds good,’ his wife said. ’But I don’t want the eggs.’
’Then, I’ll have to charge you six dollars and forty-nine cents because you’re ordering a la carte,’ the waitress warned her.
’You mean I’d have to pay for not taking the eggs?’ his wife asked incredulously. ’YES!!’ stated the waitress.
’I’ll take the special then,’ my wife said. ’How do you want your eggs?’ the waitress asked. ’Raw and in the shell,’ his wife replied. She took the two eggs home and baked a cake. DON’T MESS WITH MY DISCOUNT!!!
We must correct the incorrect in life. But how do you do that? Do you go around correcting everyone you see who does something wrong? “Hey, that’s not right. You’re supposed to do it this way, not that way.”
I tell other drivers that all the time! BUT THEY DON’T LISTEN! So, just ask Sue just this week I got honked at for not flooring it as the light changed from red to green. I went RED! All she had to say was you are a servant of God with flashing me her wide eye look!
Truthfully, I don’t think it was but a second from the time the light changed that I heard the blaring horn.
And most of the time, we can’t correct others by telling them how something is supposed to be done or not done or how to act.
Verse 2 “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction”.
Correct, rebuke and encourage. These are things that a preacher must do in his preaching but what about the rest of us? What about the Christian in the pew and in the working world?
We correct the incorrect by living the correct life as best we can. Living a faithful Christian life will probably do more to correct the errors of others better than anything else we could do or say.
III. WE MUST DISCHARGE THE DUTIES
Verse 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
A guy stopped at a local gas station and, after filling his tank, he paid the bill and bought a soft drink. He stood by his car to drink his cola and watched a couple of men working along the roadside. One man would dig a hole two or three feet deep and then move on. The other man came along behind him and filled in the hole. While one was digging a new hole, the other was 25 feet behind filling in the hole. The men worked right past the guy with the soft drink and went on down the road.
"I can’t stand this," said the man tossing the can into a trash container and heading down the road toward the men. "Hold it, hold it," he said to the men. "Can you tell me what’s going on here with all this digging and refilling?"
"Well, we work for the government and we’re just doing our job," one of the men said.
"But one of you is digging a hole and the other fills it up. You’re not accomplishing anything. Aren’t you wasting the taxpayers’ money?"
"You don’t understand, mister," one of the men said, leaning on his shovel and wiping his brow.
"Normally there’s three of us: me, Elmer and Joe. I dig the hole, Elmer sticks in the tree and Joe, here, puts the dirt back. Now just because Elmer’s sick, that don’t mean that Joe and I can’t work."
Brothers and sisters do your work even if no one is working in our government! Whoa! Seriously, we must go to work every day but do it with diligence just do what is right as a Christian in the discharge of our duties, even if our duties are not what we would like or if they seem to be a waste of time. Our actions our words do make a difference.
Preach the Word! Be urgent about it! And don’t be dull. Don’t be a dull Christian. Be excited. Be on fire.
God calls us to do His work whenever, wherever we are and whoever we are! Are you doing your duty?
You see at the end of our life and we are in his presence it will make so much sense. His mercy and his love will be so clear to us!
To quote the lyrics from the group “Mercy Me”:
I can Only Imagine”
I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By your side
I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face
Is before me
I can only imagine
Surrounded by your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe will I be still?
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah, will be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine.