Verse of the Day Devotion: 2 Timothy 4:3-4 – For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
Paul is writing here to Timothy at the end of his letter charging him in the presence of God and of Jesus Christ to be diligent in discipling those under his care. This is very important to him because he was then imprisoned in Rome for a second time and shortly before his death. Paul had worked extremely hard in teaching the truth to the church and He wanted this to continue after his death. And Paul did not just suggest this or tell him, he charged him. “I solemnly 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: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:1-2. Note all that Timothy was being called to do. To preach the word in season and out of season. In other words. be urgent whether the times are prosperous or not, whenever there is an opportunity and when there is none, strive to make one. The Judge is at the door and to every man eternity is at hand! Wherever you meet one in sin speak to him the word of reconciliation. Do not be content with stated times and accustomed places for all times and places belong to God and are proper for his work. Wherever it can be done, there it should be done. Satan will omit neither time nor place where he can destroy. Omit nothing where you may be the instrument of salvation to someone.
And why is this important? Paul states his reason in our focus verses. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4. He is to press home the truth of the word of God on every occasion whether it is convenient of not for the urgency of the message overrides any other circumstance whether or not the situation is favorable or not. Because there is a time coming to the Church when people will not hear the practical truth of the gospel when they prefer something else. They will interpret the word in a way that agrees with their lusts and will go out and find teachers that agrees with them. And he encourages Timothy to stand firm to the truth. “But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5.
Unfortunately, we live in a day where this has become true. Many still stand firm in believing the truth, however, there are many who look for a church that teaches things that are absolutely sinful and encourages the people to follow these teachings. There are various places that are called churches that teach homosexuality is ok to the point that many of their leadership practice this lifestyle, even though the scriptures condemn it. Now, to make this clear, we are to reach out to the homosexual to help them see the truth that the activity is sin, but we must never allow this to be in the church. One other issue that can be brought up is abortion, which many church goers declare to be acceptable. However, murder is never acceptable, no matter who it is.
We as leaders in the church must preach what the scriptures say and not what it does not say We must understand what God says is sin and teach it as such and not accept it simply because our society says so. And there are preachers out there that will teach what is socially acceptable in order to be accepted themselves. Whatever God has declared as sin is sin and must be preached accordingly, and what He has declared as righteous must be preached accordingly. To do anything else is to lead people away from the truth and cause many to be condemned at Jesus’s coming if they do not hear and follow God’s word as stated. We should desire that all be saved and none condemned. Therefore, as Paul said to Timothy he says to us. “I solemnly 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: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:1-2. Let us shower the world with God’s truth everywhere we go and do all we can to help everyone understand and follow it. If that requires reproof, then reprove them. If correction, then rebuke. If exhortation, then encourage them in the truth. Our goal is to lead as many as we can to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Let all we do accomplish that goal and not lead them astray simply because they want to hear a different word.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.
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