Preach the Word
Second Timothy, 3:12-4:4 states: “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 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. 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.”
Despite whatever other agreements may exist on paper between a preacher and God’s congregation he serves, the above text serves as the faithful preacher’s divinely-inspired job description, agreement, and contract, between himself and God. And in a day and time where more and more people seem more and more concerned (and/or maybe even consumed) with the “ABC” (attendance, baptisms, and contribution) mode and model for measuring a congregation’s supposed success instead of that congregation’s constant and abiding faithfulness and adherence to the word of almighty God at all cost and in all things, preachers – and indeed all Christians – who would truly fight the good fight, keep the faith, finish the race, and win the crown of life and have God say to them “Well done, good and faithful servant” (See 2 Tim. 4:7-8, and Matt. 25:14-31), need to be increasingly and ever mindful of this text’s vital, essential, and eternally-settled in heaven truth (Psa. 119:89).
Because, let’s face it folks; when the absolute truth of almighty God is being continually, completely, and consistently taught in a particular congregation, the vast majority of those who don’t want to hear, repent, and follow it, are usually either going to seek to supplant, undermine, and/or slander God’s faithful message and messenger; or, failing in that, they will, according to the above text (and others such as Matt. 13:18-22 & Jn. 6:60-66), eventually leave and go find somewhere else to be, where the full council of God (Acts 20:26-32) is not being so faithfully taught.
For example, when God’s eternal and unchanging truth regarding the essentiality of baptism by water immersion having to happen both for and before the forgiveness of sins and subsequent scriptural salvation can occur is continually put forth from the faithful pulpit (Jn. 3:35; Acts 2:38, 22:16; 1 Ptr. 3:21), the majority of those who will choose to reject this eternal truth and go through life deceived and lost while convincing themselves they’re still saved by and through some other and therefore obviously anti-biblical process, will usually, eventually, get irritated enough to leave and go somewhere else where they don’t have to hear that God-breathed and eternal truth repeatedly preached. When God’s eternal edicts regarding adulterous relationships are lovingly but firmly taught and defended without compromise just as faithful Jesus did it (Matt. 19:1-9; see also 1 Cor. 6:9-11 and Gal. 5:19-21), those living in them will sometimes repent, obey and stay; or, leave and find a way to deceive themselves and defend remaining in their ongoing, God-defined sin. When God’s eternal truth regarding what we would refer to today in some circles as “social drinking” is lovingly but firmly poured forth from a faithful pulpit, those who want to continue to justify such on some level will usually go and find another place to worship wherein such practices are not scripturally challenged or condemned as sin.
And God knows (oh so sadly and tragically as do we), that there are far too many such places of worship all too available to them; congregations where biblical compromise for the sake of the ABC’s is common; places where such proud and impenitent sinners can easily and routinely get their ears tickled and their sins not challenged, condemned, corrected or even taken all that seriously; congregations where they can “come as they are, do as they please, and leave as they came” – still dead in their sins and deceived in their souls.
In their intrinsic insistence on such self-indulgent and sinful behavior, those living in New Testament times are really no different from those who lived in Old Testament times (Isa. 30:8-14; Jer. 5 + 6). Nor should it seem in any way surprising to us if those who have left because they simply cannot bear to constantly hear and be challenged to obey God’s word (Matt. 13:11-15; Mk. 10:21-22), will continually and consistently then boast and brag about their new-found “freedom” and the friendliness they’ve found amongst such ear-tickling false teachers, and thus seek to draw off those from their previous and still-faithful congregation to join them in their illusion (2 Tim. 2:15-3:9; Titus 1:10-16; 2 Ptr. 1:16-2:22).
So; what’s the faithful Christian, preacher, or congregation to do in such times and circumstances? Compromise God’s truth and lose their own soul in order to please people who are daily surrendering theirs to the enemy’s purpose? NEVER! (Gal. 1:10; Josh 24:14-15) PREACH THE WORD!