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Mission Control

2 Timothy 4:2 (ESV) … “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”

First and foremost, Timothy was to preach the message of the gospel. The word preach suggests vigorous proclamation! Paul wanted Timothy to be bold and passionate. It was up to Timothy to preach the gospel so that the Christian faith could spread throughout the world.

We believe in Christ today because people like Timothy were faithful to their mission. It is still vitally important for believers to spread the gospel. Half the people who have ever lived are alive today, and most of them do not know Christ. He is coming soon, and he wants to find his faithful believers ready for him. It may be inconvenient to take a stand for Christ or to tell others about his love, but preaching the Word of God is the most important responsibility the church and its members have been given. Be prepared for, courageous in, and sensitive to God-given opportunities to tell the Good News.

Be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable. Timothy must be always on duty and ready to serve, whether or not the opportunity was right. Paul, soon to die, may have looked back on his life realizing how short the time had been. Paul urged Timothy to make the most of the time he would be allotted on this earth, as Paul had written in Ephesians 5:16, “Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (NIV).

Correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. Timothy should correct those who were in error by patiently and carefully explaining the truth, helping them to understand and accept it. Timothy should rebuke those who were sinning by patiently and carefully explaining their sin and their need for repentance. Timothy should encourage those who were growing, for even those growing in the faith need patient and careful instruction and guidance. Patience should always characterize Timothy’s attitude as he dealt with the people in his church; careful instruction (or doctrine) should be the basis for his words. Patience and careful instruction insure that preaching, correcting, and rebuking will be compassionate, not harsh.[1]

[1] Barton, B. B., Veerman, D., & Wilson, N. S. (1993). 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus (p. 220). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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