I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 2 Timothy 4:1-6
“The Time of my departure is at hand…” Isn’t that true of all of us? We are drawing very near the time of the second coming of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. A good many of us are in the winter of our life. I know my time is running out. We only have so many days, hours, opportunities, in which to offer ourselves and the gifts God has given us to serve him with. Moses said “Teach us to number our days…”.
Consider the simplest and greatest gift of all, the Gospel … did we give the gospel to others around us? Do you remember how beautiful and profound was the news given to you, that you could be forgiven of your sins, and have a share in the Kingdom of Jesus?
We will all soon be summonsed up before the Bema seat to give a full account of our lives. What did we do with the talents and gifts God gave us? Did we exchange them in the great spiritual marketplace, the world?
I have spent too much time lately in strife and conflict , and have too often fallen into the trap of being put on the defensive, and being tempted to go on the offensive as well. Why? What a waste of time! The LORD knows who is who and what is what. God can vindicate us or if it pleases , He can condemn us. As Paul teaches u,
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. ( I Corinthians 4:3-5)
I realize there were and are important issues at stake, such as correct doctrine, integrity in ministry, the defense of the gospel, the nurture and care of the church. I will always be committed to those issues, as I believe it to be my calling. I believe the fruit of the Spirit is also a huge issue.
But we do not want to waste time defending ourselves or our name when it is maligned, nor should we wish to attack those who have sought to discredit us or the church .
How about remembering what it is all about and all of us just committing to preach the gospel?
There are so many hurting and broken people all around this decaying and dying world we live in. We constantly see the sexually confused, those who struggle with demons and despair, the fearful and those twisted and crushed by their sins.
When was the last time we told anyone that Jesus loves them? That Jesus died for their sins and that if they were the only one on earth ,He would have come and died for them? When was the last time we told someone to get back up from a fall and press on in Jesus, and that we would stand with them in prayer?
A lot of people in our part of the body of Messiah put much stock in knowledge, for we have been exposed to deep teachings in a day of shallow pablum and even worse in the name of Christian teaching. I also believe that the knowledge of God is vital and of utmost importance .
But what about Love? Where is the love? I have seen people on every side of several issues, who can lie about or misrepresent their brothers or sisters without batting an eye. In many cases, they know the Greek or Hebrew in a lot of verses or prayers, but prove to be cruel and presumptuous, argumentative and combative on social media.
It is easy for any of us to lose our first love. It’s so easy to forget the gentleness and forbearance of Christ, His grace, mercy, and patience when we were still lost, and seemingly hopeless. We stand against Heretics, hypocrites, false Apostles, false prophets, etc etc and etc. .
What about people? Do we remember that Jesus came and died for the people who were and are lost? Let us resolve to dedicate ourselves to sharing the gospel, in any way we can. In simplicity, even if it means giving a tract to someone, or on the internet, or even in church! (Churches need to be evangelized because many have been brought in without salvation or repentance, and do not realize it).
Loving and serving people can be evangelism, praying for them is an awesome witness, so can street witnessing, or publishing on line, or discipling people, or reaching to the one few others even notice. Standing with someone through some ordeal, praying for release from addiction, or disordered sexual desires, or constantly teaching the simple things of the gospel such as justification by faith, Grace, the cross.
We have to get back to preaching the gospel, sharing Christ, and loving people in Jesus name.