“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” ( II-Timothy 4:2-4).
The call to the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been made and the hearers have responded, “Here I am Lord.” You have studied the Word of God to show yourself approved unto Him it is time to get ready. Christian discipleship in any form is a contact sport and it is not a question of if you are going to get hit but when and how hard? First things first; “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to be ready (prepared) in season and out of season for something that is going to happen was both earnest and sincere.
All too often convincing believers of the necessity of preparing to walk the Christian walk and talk the Christian talk is more challenging than convincing non-believers. Why? Because many have their minds made up! It is perfectly alright to have a made-up mind, but is far more beneficial to have an open one if you’re going to engage the opposition. Some Christians will never be moved by biblical-argument or evidence, and will continue to withhold agreement or consent to the Bible as the Christian playbook. This is no reason not to try to convince them of the faithfulness of God’s word, if they want to be victorious.
No one has an exclusive understanding on the word, will or commandments of God. However, I’m fully convinced that we have a common set of instructions in the Gospel. We are instructed to rebuke a fellow Christians when we know their disposition, conduct or behavior is less than Christ-like. “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:12). We have a right to express our stern disapproval of failure to follow a prescribed course of action as outlined in Scripture. As in any athletic endeavor, the team suffers or celebrates as a whole the Church Body of Christ is the same.
I remember when I was employed by a large corporation my mentor told me if you do something wrong one time it is a mistake, do it a second time and it is the beginning of a bad habit “For the flesh lusts against Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Galatians 5:17). The best method for breaking a habit is to break it before it is fully formed. And so it is with Christians behavior, we are to exhort—to urge, advise or caution each other earnestly and admonish urgently. We are to do it with patience and by teaching the things of God.
Remember how God dealt with you—with patience and gentleness, a little kindness goes a long way. Certainly, convincing, rebuking and exhorting are parts of our Christian obligation and so is putting on our God gear. There will be days when a brother or sister will need your help in getting ready, putting on their God gear. “God calleth those things which are not as though they were” (Rom. 4:17). God says my grace is sufficient for you it is up to you to put on His armor and be ready. Don’t let your neighbor enter the fight without being properly suited.
The devil, using his wiles—cunning behavior, has convinced many Christians to resist sound doctrine, and turn their ears away from the truth preferring religious-entertainment and fabricated tales of prosperity and hope instead of the word of God. There will be winners and losers in this game called life and each person must decide what preparations they will make to be ready. My suggestion, be ready! Your adversary, the devil, sure is. Be blessed and bless someone in Jesus’s name.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- When Men No Longer Endure Sound Doctrine!! (nytegod45.wordpress.com)
- Advancing Christ’s kingdom together #1 (eardstapa.wordpress.com)