Timothy’s Charge-2 Timothy 4:1-5

2 Timothy 4:1-5 “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”

2 Timoteo 4:1-5  « Ti scongiuro, davanti a Dio e a Cristo Gesù che deve giudicare i vivi e i morti, per la sua apparizione e il suo regno: 2 predica la parola, insisti in ogni occasione favorevole e sfavorevole, convinci, rimprovera, esorta con ogni tipo di insegnamento e pazienza. 3 Infatti verrà il tempo che non sopporteranno più la sana dottrina, ma, per prurito di udire, si cercheranno maestri in gran numero secondo le proprie voglie, 4 e distoglieranno le orecchie dalla verità e si volgeranno alle favole. 5 Ma tu sii vigilante in ogni cosa, sopporta le sofferenze, svolgi il compito di evangelista, adempi fedelmente il tuo ministero.”

Paul, in a forceful and yet passionate communication, gives Timothy a charge in his ministry. The word “charge” literally comes from two words meaning “through” and “witness”. Paul binds Timothy in an oath that he does not break. The key to this charge centers on the theme “Preach the Word.” Every admonition that follows is related to this theme. It was Timothy’s business to be prepared at any time to defend the faith that was within him; it our business as well. Paul had faced much resistance to the Gospel from outside the church but alleged that there was also an enemy that could take up residence in the church.

    Timothy’s charge involved doing everything possible to carefully train the people of God through correction, rebuking and encouragement. Even after doing this, he was to be aware that the enemy could still come in to distort the principles of doctrinal purity. Paul then divulged their clever scheme. First, they would need to find a teacher who would espouse their ideas. In the time of Paul’s letter, there were always an abundance of teachers who would hire themselves out for a price. Secondly, these teachers would use the technique of appealing to only what people would enjoy hearing. Paul called it “itching ears”. When we have an itch, what do we do? We scratch it. In essence, the teachers would create an itch and then provide the scratch. Not a lot has changed over the centuries. Today, in the name of Christianity, we have preachers who simply teach what people enjoy hearing. The great numbers that follow them are a testimony to what Paul warned Timothy would happen.

In dealing with this, Paul’s advice is straight forward. Keep steady and don’t let it affect the preaching of the Word. Hardships are part of the ministry; with great patience and careful instructions, we must keep training others.

Pray with Me: Lord, there have always been forces that have tried through every way possible to distort the truth of God’s Word. Help me to know and stand for the truth even when it is not popular.

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