2 Timothy 4:1-2
4 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;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
So which are you? Are you among the quick or the dead? This is not a reference to how fast you can run! This is a reference to the nature of your spirit! Paul tells us that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead will quicken your mortal body! That word quicken means to make alive! The Spirit of God, otherwise known as the Holy Spirit, brings life into our spirits when it enters in at the time of salvation. It is a similar life giving as when God breathed life into Adam into garden. He had formed the body out of the dust of the ground, but as of yet, there was no life, no part of God, in that body. But when God breathed life into him, he became alive. We need the breath of God in our lives as well.
There is coming a day when God will judge us all. The quick he will judge according to our works on this earth and we will gain our heavenly rewards. The crowns are mentioned throughout the Bible, and we will receive those crowns we have worked for. There are five crowns. The Crown of life will be given to those who persevere under trials. The. Imperishable Crown is given to those who demonstrate self-denial and persistence in their faith. The Crown of Righteousness is given to those who everyone who is in an intimate relationship with God. The Crown of Glory is given to those who shepherd others and lead a life that is a good example for others. The Crown of Rejoicing goes to men and women who work as evangelists, or who wins souls to Christ. These crowns are then cast down at Jesus feet in a sign of submission and worship in Heaven.
The dead will also be judged. Those who do not have their name written in the Lambs Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire, along with the devil and his demons. This is the final judgment on mankind. They will never have an opportunity to leave that burning lake of fire. For all eternity they will feel the flames of torment that were never, meant for mankind. All because they refused to accept Jesus Christ as Savior. This is the only way to get your name written down – a personal confession of faith in Jesus. He said that no one goes to the father except through Him. Please, if you do not know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, ask Him to forgive you today, and accept Him as your Lord and Savior. He will hear your prayer and wrap His loving arms around you if you do!
Then comes the call to our hearts. Paul declarers the mission Timothy has in dealing with the churches he has been assigned to. But this mission can be passed to all of us. It is a microcosm of how to bring people to Christ. and how to disciple those who come to Christ. If we follow this simple formula, we will see our churches grow, our friends saved, and disciples rising up to follow Jesus. I fall short in utilizing these steps too often. I must learn to incorporate these things in my daily living and conversation. Let’s take a look at how this works out in our lives.
Preach the word. I think often we get intimidated by that word preach. We think it means to be a great orator and to together a stirring sermon that will touch the heart of a person. We think we have to study hard to get the message just right. Our minds tell us we are not preachers – far from it. We are too imperfect to preach. But our imperfection is the key to the whole message! God loves us just as we are, and we can tell that truth with conviction, we are preaching. Sharing what God has done for me is the best preaching anyone can do. It does not have to be a long, studied out argument on the merits of being a Christian and all that it takes to become one. Just a simple testimony of what He has done for me, for you! Preach that message and the world will listen.
Be instant in season and out of season. Here is where the study comes in. This is really where the rubber meets the road, so to say. If someone comes up to you and asks you why you are full of joy, or why you have such peace in the midst of turmoil, are you ready to give them an answer? Are you a student of the word of God? Can you defend your position with solid scripture? You don’t have to know the address, although it is helpful to give validity to what you are saying. But knowing the word is helpful what times are good or bad – in season or out of season. Have a read through the Bible? Do you have the word of God somewhere in your brain? If you do, then the Holy Spirit can bring the right word to your remembrance when you need it. I can’t tell you how many times He has done that for me. And he will give you the words to say when you are asked about your faith. But they must be inside you in order for them to come to your remembrance. Study to show yourself approved!
Reprove, rebuke and exhort. These three things are essential ij discipling others in the way of Christ. If we are not doing these, we are not properly leading people down the path to holiness in Christ Jesus. I need to do these to myself as well. But we must do them with two key elements always in mind. The first is longsuffering, or patience. It is easy for me to want someone to change their ways now, to take my rebuke or reproof now, to grow up and mature in Christ now. But I must always remember that God was patient with me and I must exhibit the fruit of longsuffering with others. The old saying says Rome wasn’t built in a day! Well, neither was a mature Christian! These things take time and we must bear with those who are trying to find their way. The second element is with all doctrine. I have a friend who loves to tell me what a particular preacher says. I want to hear what God says in His word, not what some preacher says. Sharing a message someone has given is OK, but give me the word of God if you are trying top build me up or correct me. The word of God is what can change a life, not the word of some preacher. Preachers can get it wrong, but God’s word is always truth and life.
To reprove is to show someone the error of their ways, or to correct them. This has to be done with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You should never just walk up to someone and say they are doing this or that wrong. And it should never be done in front of anyone else. This is a private matter, and you must use wisdom m and the word to show them the error of their ways. Remember that if they have offended you for some reason, that reproof can only come after forgiveness is granted. Forgiveness to them for the offense, forgive ness to you because you took offense. You should never give reproof if there is an offense that has not been corrected properly.
The same is true for a rebuke. A rebuke is more of a warning that going a certain direction can cause one harm. I get caught up on certain things from time to time and if I don’t get them under control, that can cause me harm. One example is chocolate! Once I start eating chocolate, it is hard for me to stop. But if I don’t stop, or at least use temperance, I will balloon in my weight, which I do not want. So, I must rebuke myself and remind myself that this is bad for me to keep doing. This is a simple example, but I think you can see what I mean. The spiritual applications are many. Perhaps someone is listening to bad doctrine, or they have fallen into a pattern of sin, or they had stopped attending church. All of these can be cause for rebuke. But remember the lovingkindness and doctrine part!
To exhort is to uplift or encourage someone. This is a positive thing but still must be done with patience and doctrine. Too much of this can instill the wrong kind of pride in a person, and that is dangerous. Exhortation should be true and justified, not just pretty words flowing off our lips. If you enjoy your pastors’ message, tell them and tell them why! Often, we just say “Good message”, but we never tell them, how it affected us. Exhorting explains why it is a good message. Exhorting lifts a person spiritually, not in the flesh. Exhortation should come sparingly, but it should always come. This is a sure way to see someone grow in Christ. These two verses show us how we should conduct our everyday conversations with others. I pray you will go out and keep these words in mind as you go about your day. Find someone to peach the word to. Be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in you. Have the right words to say to those around you, and use them sparingly and lovingly. If you do thisl sopuls will come closer to Jesus Christ all around you.