Preaching the Word in a Man-Centered World Bo & Cindy Lee 2 Timothy 4: 1-8
WHAT IS PREACHING THE WORD? It isn’t just living it out but actually speaking and telling so it leads to salvation and godliness. Timothy has the duty of guarding it, suffering for it, continuing in it, but also now preaching it Our culture’s negative connotations The charge is for all believers Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2
1.Urgently “…be ready in season and out of season…” In season and out of season means when it is convenient and inconvenient for the messenger. HOW DO WE PREACH THE WORD?
Men will not cast away their dearest pleasures upon a drowsy request of one that seemeth not to mean as he speaks, or to care much whether his request be granted. Richard Baxter HOW DO WE PREACH THE WORD?
2.Relationally “…reprove, rebuke, and exhort…” When we encourage others, when we rebuke others, when we comfort others, we should use God’s word. “What can I do for you?” “What is God doing here?” HOW DO WE PREACH THE WORD?
As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:5 WHAT KEEPS US FROM DOING THIS?
“Be sober-minded…” “…endure suffering…” “…do the work of an evangelist…” “…fulfill your ministry…” WHAT KEEPS US FROM DOING THIS?
When the devil has raised his standard, and when scandals and disturbances abound everywhere, we cannot be sufficiently attentive to guard against them, unless we are fortified by patience, and are not discouraged by the adversity which we must endure. If this warning ever was advantageous, how exceedingly necessary is it at the present day! Has not the world arrived at the highest pitch of iniquity? We see that the majority furiously reject the gospel. As to others who pretend to welcome the gospel, what sort of obedience do they render to it? There is so much contempt and so much pride, that, as soon as vices are reproved, or more sharpness is used than suits the taste of those who would wish to have full permission to act wickedly, and whose sole aim is to destroy everything, they are filled with spite... if we teach them faithfully in the name of God and for their salvation, they are so fastidious that a single word will provoke them to rebellion; and if we persevere in doing our duty, war will be immediately declared. Would to God that these things were not so visible amongst us as they are! - Fr. Ser.
1.Jesus is coming back. “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:” - 2 Timothy 4:1 This should have our full attention. WHY SHOULD WE PREACH THE WORD?
2.The contemporary scene. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions…” 2 Timothy 4:3 What are “itching ears”? WHY SHOULD WE PREACH THE WORD?
“…and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:4 ) Be on guard against the myths of the day. Extreme relativism “All roads lead to the top of the mountain.” No need to preach the word, because all beliefs are true. Postmodernism “What is truth?” Good works in God’s name vs. Proclaiming God’s truth. Prosperity gospel Man-centered, “felt needs” gospel Self-esteem, Christian leadership, finances, marriage. WHY SHOULD WE PREACH THE WORD?
Culture over gospel: Example: homosexuality, American culture norms, Asian culture norms Pride makes us avoid the simplicity of the truth. Greed waters down the directness of the truth. Example: how sin is treated “Wimpyness” focuses on the qualities and things of God. WHY SHOULD WE PREACH THE WORD?
3.We are the fruit of others’ labor. “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:6-7 God buries his workmen, but the work carries on. The torch of the gospel is passed down from one generation to the next. WHY SHOULD WE PREACH THE WORD?
1.PREACH the word to non-believers and in relationship with others. 2.Find your own MINISTRY and FULFILL it. 3.Detect your own subtle contemporary MYTH and put it under the test of the Word. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR EVERYDAY LIFE