Focal Passage: 2 Timothy 3:12-17; 4:1-8
If we will listen, there are Christians all around the world who can give us insights into an enduring faith. For some Chinese pastors, the seminary of imprisonment is required before one can pastor a congregation. For Christians in Muslim nations, conversion means at least being abandoned and shamed by one’s family – possibly martyred.
While Western Christianity has not faced such open hostility, contemporary morals have shifted so as to be in direct opposition to clear biblical preaching.
In the latter part of his second letter to Timothy, Paul defended the authority of scripture, reminded Timothy of the opposition he was sure to face and commended him to preach the word. Paul’s admonitions are just as true today.
Those of us preaching and teaching the word will give an account before its Author as to the veracity and consistency of our preaching and teaching with the Word of God.
Earlier this year, I preached a series of sermons on the gospel and human sexuality. Some in our community heard about the series and before I even preached a sermon, they condemned it through social media. This experience reminded me that God’s Word has never been popular.
There will always be people to discount and dismiss the Bible.
Biblical ethics will always run counter to self-centered morality.
In that sense, the experience of Paul and Timothy under Roman cultural mores are little different than the experience of gospel preachers in today’s America. But we must not fail or falter.
For we will not answer to the culture. And we will not ultimately answer to our churches. But we will answer to the One who wrote the Bible.
And He is looking for preachers and teachers who endure angst, anger and persecution to communicate the truth of the gospel.