Reach the Word (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

Reach the Word (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

Leslie and I could not be more excited about the opportunity to be a part of this great church family. God is so good, and we are so thankful that He has brought us together. In our bulletin articles over the next few weeks, I would like to share with you some passages of Scripture that describe the kind of ministry that I hope to be involved in. While these passages certainly discuss the responsibilities that I have as a preacher and evangelist, they are not to be limited to only those who work in full-time ministry. I believe that these passages should be a part of every Christian’s life.

The section that I would like for us to consider today is found in 2 Timothy 4:1-4. In v.2, Paul gives us a command: “preach the word.” As Christians, we are to be active in boldly proclaiming and lovingly sharing what God has revealed in the Scriptures. We do not preach our opinions or thoughts. We do not preach what is popular in our culture. We do not preach our political leanings. We preach the word of God. As Peter says in 1 Peter 4:11, “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.”

How do we preach the word? Just as the content of our preaching has not been left up to us, we do not determine the methodology of our preaching either. Paul commands us to preach the word and then tells us how to do it in v.2. We are to “be ready in season and out of season.” As a preacher once said, “We have to preach God’s word when it is popular, and we have to preach it when it ain’t.” While we must lovingly reprove and gently rebuke those who are in error or sin, we must also encourage people to love God with their entire being. Just as Jesus has displayed His perfect patience in our lives (1 Timothy 1:16), we must be patient with people as we teach them what God desires for them.

Why do we preach the word? Paul gives two reasons. First, in v.1, we preach the word because Jesus Christ will one day “judge the living and the dead.” One day, all people are going to stand before Jesus in judgment. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” We preach the word not only for our own salvation but also for the salvation of our hearers (cf. 1 Timothy 4:16). Second, in v.3-4, we preach the word because there are some who “will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” False teaching is present in the world and must be combatted with the truth of God’s word.

I want you to know that these are the thoughts that will be in the back of my mind every time I step into the pulpit. But what about our lives on a daily basis? Will we commit ourselves to sharing the word of God with souls that are lost? Who in our lives needs to hear the word of God? Will we be willing to take it to them?

-Tyler Alverson


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