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:2 Timothy 4:1(NASB)
In the 2nd book of Timothy chapter 4, you find the last recorded instructions in the Bible from Paul to the Church, and as such should be considered of great significance. Paul was Timothy's spiritual adviser and here we find him solemnly charging Timothy in the most sombre terms to contend earnestly for the faith, to boldly preach the Word of God, and to teach the gospel of grace that was given directly to Paul from the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself.
Timothy was to be so rooted, grounded, and immersed in the Word of God, that no matter when or where he was challenged or questioned about his Christian beliefs, he could answer boldly and authoritatively. Timothy was to be so diligent, alert, and secure in the truth of the Scripture, that he would be enabled to confidently search out every opportunity to preach the truth of God's Word, as well as to reprove, rebuke, and exhort other believers, with great patience and instruction.
Paul added weight to his sombre charge by declaring that both God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ were witnesses to these vital and all-encompassing instructions. Paul was about to disclose to Timothy that as the end of the Church age drew ever closer, fewer and fewer people would remain firmly founded on the sound truth of an uncompromised doctrine, while an increasing number would be enticed away from gospel truth, chasing after teachers who teach a false, but sugar-coated 'gospel'.
Today, we are closer to the appearing of Christ to set up His kingdom, and judge the living and the dead, than when we first believed. Let us take to heart the significance of these final, solemn instructions from Paul to Timothy. If our faith is firmly founded on the truth of God's inerrant Word, we will be thoroughly equipped to preach the Word in every circumstance of life and encourage, reprove, rebuke, and exhort our brothers and sisters in Christ, with great patience and instruction.
Peter echoed these words of Paul when he said: "Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defence to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect."
Heavenly Father, I pray that, more and more, I may be rooted, grounded, and immersed in the truth of Word of God. Use me to encourage others to stand firm in the faith, give me wisdom and courage to discern those that are compromising the truth of Your Word, and keep me from falling, I pray. In Jesus' name, AMEN.
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