Preach the word; persists in doing so, whether or not it is opportune; correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience, while continuing to teach (2 Tim 4: 2)
Pablo is writing a few weeks before his martyrdom. According to tradition, he was beheaded on the Ostia road after having worked approximately 30 years as an apostle and evangelist. In the midst of this circumstance he leaves us his legacy: "Preach the word."
In other words, it tells us to be prepared, alert and awake. It indicates the sense of persistence and what is important. We are exhorted not to be ashamed. Paul tells Timothy: "Do not be ashamed to give testimony of our Lord" (2 Tim. 1: 8).
The apostle urges us to remain firm in what we have learned, not to retreat.
It is a commission for the church of all times: "Never lose your sense of urgency."
Timothy must dedicate himself to evangelization and preach this word (2 Tim. 4: 5). Your responsibility goes beyond listening and believing. Now you must preach the word to others. He must raise his voice without fear and do it with courage as a herald in the market (2 Tim 1:11).
John Stott tells us that "all true preaching must convey a sense of importance and urgency. The Christian herald knows that he is responsible for a matter of life or death. It is announcing the danger of the sinner under the judgment of God, the saving work of God through the death and resurrection of Christ and the call to repentance and faith "(1).
Preaching this word implies talking about what God has already spoken. "We have no freedom to invent our message, but only to communicate 'the word' that God has spoken and now has entrusted to the church as a sacred deposit" (2 Tim 1:14). (two)
The preaching of this Word is the equivalent of sound doctrine, rejecting the "novels that people want to hear" (2 Tim. 4: 3). It has to do with the truth, finish the race well and stay in the faith (v 7). It is being faithful to the Word and not forcing people to search for results. The "decisions" are the work of the Holy Spirit.
Paul tells us to persist in preaching, "on time or out of time," whether or not it is opportune. What Paul probably wants to convey to us is not related to the point of view of the listeners but of the preacher. "A more accurate translation could be" remains active all the time, whether it is convenient or not "(3).
It is a biblical appeal against reluctance, indolence and negligence. This reminds us of what happened to a fig tree whose sin was to respect the seasons of the year: "It was not time for figs" and it was cursed (Mr.11: 12-25). Christ asks us for something more; on time or out of time. As if to say: Faith has the obligation to perform miracles.
We are encouraged to correct, reprimand, encourage and teach. The correction will have to do with sound teaching and doctrine appealing to the intellect. Reprimand will appeal to the honrado given that we struggle with sin. People often suffer fear and insecurity. We need to encourage them. The word of God does this and much more.
The way to carry it forward is through a proclamation and a patient behavior, "with a lot of patience". We must be careful not to be inconsiderate with people, insensitive and aggressive. We are exhorted not to proceed abruptly: "And a servant of the Lord must not go fighting; rather, he should be kind to everyone, capable of teaching and not prone to irritation, "with humility. (2 Ti 2: 24-25)
Pablo, is now being sentenced to death. Christians at that time were accused of crimes because they talked about eating the body of Christ. They were also accused of disloyalty against the Cesar and of atheism because they evaded idolatry, the cult of the emperor and had renounced the popular pleasures of sin.
The acquaintances and friends of Pablo leave him alone, they do not defend him. Perhaps, the silence was due to fear. Paul expresses the following: "In my first defense, nobody supported me, but all abandoned me. Let them not be taken into account "(2 Ti 4:16) A. Plummer tells us" Among all the Christians of Rome there was not one who was willing to stand by Paul in the court, defend him, or advise him in the conduct that he had to assume, or even support him with an expression of sympathy "
What was the position of the apostle in the midst of the court and these circumstances? Would you think of yourself and defend yourself? Perhaps, he answered the charges against him but his concern is not in himself, but in Christ; be a witness of Christ. "In one of the courts of the Empire, before the judges and perhaps before the emperor himself, no doubt with a crowd of the public present, Paul preached the Word" (4) The scripture says: "But the Lord was by my side and He gave me strength so that through me the message could be preached and all the pagans would hear it "(2 Tim. 4:17).
Paul does not renounce and does not deny faith. Nor does he evade or avoid his responsibility to save himself. "If a sermon was ever preached 'out of time', it certainly was this!" (5) He places Timoteo and all of us in this charge. It is the solemn model of preaching the Word and doing it with urgency. It shows us what the paradigm should be for all time and time.
Current times may be good for some and not so good for others. Very difficult for the persecuted church, poor and refugees. The countries of restricted access remains one of the main challenges for the church.
We are tempted to believe that we are well. The truth is that we are not good if we are losing the sense of urgency in preaching the Word. Who is enough for this? Paul's last words were "The Lord be with your spirit. May grace be with you "In grace lies the source and the resource. Let's take his grace because God considers us capable of doing impossible things (Jn 14:12)
Questions for reflection
What are my fears and obstacles to preach the Word? In what situations do we usually feel ashamed to preach the Word?
How can we overcome our fears and obstacles?
What are our main challenges in the postmodern world and among the less reached ethnic groups with the gospel?
Local and Global Mission (GloCal)
Autonomous City of Buenos Aires – Argentina
(1) Stott, John R. W., Save the Good Deposit, p. 131, Editions Hebrón, 1976
(2) Ibid, pp. 130-131, Editions Hebrón, 1976
(3) Ibid, p. 132, Editions Hebrón, 1976
(4) Ibid, p. 156, Editions Hebrón, 1976
(5) Ibid, p. 156, Editions Hebrón, 1976Author: Carlos Scott
Carlos is a member of the executive committee and completo leadership council of the Missions Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), Resides in Buenos Aires.(tagsToTranslate) articles (t) evangelism