(2 Timothy 4:1-2) “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”
Paul told Timothy to preach the word. We know how Paul defines “the word” from Galatians. (Galatians 1:6-8) “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” Paul defines the word or gospel as knowable and doable. How do I know that? He said that he had preached the gospel to the Galatians and if someone told them differently, the Galatians should treat the false teachers as being accursed. Paul said basically to judge what one person taught against what he taught and if they didn’t line up, the other fellow was teaching a perverted gospel. That is my job and yours today. I have to preach the word only. That means scripture for everything I say as a minister.
Paul also said in 2Timothy 4 that the word is to be taught and that there was no wrong time for it. Marshall Keebles was quoted as saying “preach it when they likes it and when they don’t.” Paul said to convince when you preach. That can only be done with Biblical lessons instead of stories. He said to rebuke and exhort. Preaching requires encouragement and sometimes it means “stepping on toes.” He said it requires longsuffering. How long? Preach until the message is rejected. When the door is closed, move on to the next one.
Why did Paul give such dire instructions to Timothy? (2 Timothy 4:3-4) “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.” Paul was telling Timothy that there will be times when folks just don’t want the truth. That is a truth that is as old as recorded time. Hear the words of Jesus: Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” Remember Stephen in Acts? They killed him also when he taught the truth. Jesus’ Jewish brethren chose a murderer over Him because of His message. His own people!
Think of Paul as His brethren tried to kill him over the message he preached. Often it isn’t the world that is the impediment to preachers but some of his brethren. Yet, God expects the word to be preached whether it is heeded or not. God has told His preachers at times that they won’t be listened to but they must go. (Ezekiel 3:4-7) Then He said to me: “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. “For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel, “not to many people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you. “But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted.” God told Ezekiel to go but that they weren’t going to listen!
God’s preacher has one of the most wonderful jobs, on one hand. Proclaiming His word and telling of His Son is an honor. Sadly, the world, and often, his own people will persecute him for doing so. No one makes us do it. Despite our many flaws, most of us do it because God demands it and because we love others’ souls. Remember that sometime when you clearly see your preacher’s flaws. He will (or should) be willing to teach you the truth at all costs.

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