Did you do your studying on 2 Timothy 4:3-5 like you were challenged to do in the first post of this series?
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
In context of the surrounding verses, what does this mean? In the previous verse we read that we are to preach the Word, and one of the ways mentioned is through teaching. Doctrine is just another word for teaching. Sound means whole, healthy, not hollow. Is not the sound doctrine in verse 3 referring to the preaching of the Word in verse 2? If that is not sound doctrine, then what is?
Many churches nowadays have compromised their sound Christian doctrine, and have replaced godly pastors with teachers who preach what the congregations want to hear. That's why so few pastors preach on conscience-pricking subjects such as sin and purity.
Let's switch the tense in verses 3 and 4. When we hear something true that pricks our conscience and we want to brush it off, how do we respond? This could be a Scripture passage that we read in our daily devotions, or something a wise adult mentor points out to us. We have two choices: are we going to turn our ears away from the truth and move on, or are we going to confront the issue that they noticed, and work on fixing it?
What should our response be in these matters? Paul says to be watchful in all things. What is we are criticized for not compromising on our beliefs? Paul says to endure afflictions.
Paul told Timothy to do the work of an evangelist. For us, this does not necessarily mean attending a Bible college and becoming a pastor, nor does it necessarily mean learning a new language and flying to another country as a missionary. Anyone can be an evangelist anywhere by fulfilling their ministry.
When Paul says to fulfill your ministry, what is he talking about? We aren't all pastors. True, we are not all pastors, but we are all ministers. A minister is someone who ministers, and "to serve" is another word for "to minister". Our ministry is wherever we are situated. How do we fulfill our ministry? By living as Christ lived, by walking as He walked (see my post Do We Know Him?), by showing the love of Christ to everyone you come in contact with. It means to preach the Word by our words and actions.
My next post will be on verse 6 of 2 Timothy 4. If you are not studying along with me, I encourage you to do so. Bible study is not simply reading what someone else has studied, it is studying the Bible for yourself and comparing insights that you have gained with those that others have gained.
Blog Post IndexWhat Is Christmas? He Said Be Still Don't Fake It As Iron Trusting God With Goals True Friends You Have Been Called To Liberty We Overcome Memories With God All Things Are Possible Is Our Light Shining? Paul's Last Words #10: Conclusion Paul's Last Words #9: Our Faithful Lord Paul's Last Words #8: Who Are We Like? Paul's Last Words #7: Loving His Appearing Paul's Last Words #6: Keeping The Faith Paul's Last Words #5: Running The Race Paul's Last Words #4: Fighting The Fight Paul's Last Words #3: As A Drink Offering Paul's Last Words #2: Your Ministry Paul's Last Words #1: I Charge You Unicorns in the Bible Riches: Good or Bad? Do We Know Him? If There Was No Tomorrow As I Have Loved You Following Christ Forgiveness Faith and Works #4 (Final Part): Dead Faith Faith and Works #3: Works Are Your Witness Faith and Works #2: Works Aren't It Faith and Works #1: What Does It Profit? A God Who Approves Cannibalism? Happy The One Who Dashes Not Everyone Who Says To Me, "Lord" Rightly Dividing The Word?