Suppose a number of persons were to take it into their heads that they had to defend a lion, a full-grown king of beasts! There he is in the cage, and here come all the soldiers of the army to fight for him. Well, I should suggest to them, if they would not object, and feel that it was humbling to them, that they should kindly stand back, and open the door, and let the lion out! I believe that would be the best way of defending him, for he would take care of himself; and the best “apology” for the gospel is to let the gospel out.
2 Timothy 4:1-22
Click on the Play Button below to Listen to Today’s Scripture
New Testament: 2 Timothy 4:1-22
Summary: Preach the Word
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
~ 2 Timothy 4:1-4
Christ is coming. In view of this, we must know our task and be faithful to do it. Apostasy is also coming. Indeed, it’s here now. Many professed Christians have no ear for the word of God.
They prefer religious entertainments and sermons that will tickle their ears instead of cut their hearts. Departure is also coming. Paul the Apostle saw his approaching death as the offering of a sacrifice to God, the ending of a difficult race and the gaining of a glorious crown. This is the victor’s crown given to winners at the Greek Olympic Games. And help is coming.
The apostle Paul was greatly disappointed when the people he administered to turn from him and were ashamed of his bonds. He asked Timothy to come as soon as possible and to bring Mark with him. But best of all, the Lord came to Paul and encouraged him. No matter what his people may do, Jesus will never leave you or forsake.
Paul warns his disciple Timothy, times and seasons will come when people will not listen to the truth. Therefore fearless preaching becomes all the more necessary in light of what is ahead of us. It’s not going to be able to be done at all times. Do it while you can. Preach while they listen. Preach while you have a responsive audience because the time will come when people will not tolerate the truth. Times like this have come and you can chronicle them in church history, you can study them, times when the people turned their back on the truth of God.
Notice what he says in verse 3, “The time will come when they will not endure sound teaching.” The word “endure,” anechō, means to hear, to support, to hold to. The best way to say it in English is to tolerate. They will not tolerate sound teaching. They don’t want any part of sound teaching. They’re not interested in sound teaching. That word “sound” there is an interesting word in the Greek. Hugiainousēs is the form here. It’s the word from which we get the English word hygienic. They don’t want to hear clean teaching. They don’t want to hear healthy teaching. They’re not interested in that. They’ll turn a deaf ear to that.
In fact, in 1 Timothy 1:10 he said there are immoral men, homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to healthy teaching. And where you have a society pervaded by people whose lives are contrary to healthy teaching, then you’re going to have resistance to healthy teaching. You have a society filled with homosexuals and liars and perjurers and murderers and those who would overturn God’s order for the sexes and feminists and all the rest of that stuff. Where you have a society pervaded by that, you have resistance to the truth. No question. ~ John MacArthur
Do we believe what Scripture tells us, and are we prepared to affirm it in a collapsing culture and a confused church? We may find that it is often uncomfortable to proclaim the truth—but by God’s grace, it will always be profitable. ~ Alistair Begg