Monday January 8th 2018
Memorise: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 28:19
Read: 2nd Timothy 4:1-5 (KJV)
4:1 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;
4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
You will observe that parents often pass across their most important instructions to their children at the time they are about to leave the world. In like-manner, our Lord Jesus Christ, when He was about to leave this world, gave us the instructions contained in our memory verse today. The Body of Christ refers to this set of instructions as The Great Commission. Due to the place of this mandate in the heart of God, I always encourage my spiritual children not to be guilty of the error of neglecting to act upon it. Not only must we do the work of The Great Commission, we must also do it right. We must not be like a certain torch bearer at a railway crossing, whose responsibility it was to warn people from crossing the rail lines whenever a train was approaching. He indeed waved the torch at the sight of an approaching train, but alas, the torch had no light in it. You can be sure the result of such error of omission would be catastrophic. It is terrible to engage in evangelism, but it is much more terrible to not engage in it as an empty routine. On the other hand, it is life-giving when we engage in it with all due diligence.
In 2nd Timothy 4:2, the Holy Spirit gave us a template for what the mode of our evangelism and content of our message should be: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
For this scripture, we understand that the gospel should be preached when it is convenient (in season), and also when it sounds offensive to the society we live in (out of season). We also understand from this scripture that our gospel message should contain reproof, rebuke, exhortation and doctrine. Many preachers today chose not to dabble into doctrinal issues because they would not want to be caught in controversies. You hear them saying, “I am sent to preach prosperity or deliverance and not doctrine!” One wonders whether they are preaching the same message given by the Holy Spirit to the early disciples, which put Stephen and James to death. Are they preaching the same gospel and landed Paul and Silas in the midst of controversies and ultimately in jail? Should we, because of the fear of controversies, imprisonment or even death, fail to preach the word as we ought to? God forbid (Revelation 2:10)! I encourage you, if you have encountered the saving grace of Jesus Christ, to raise up for the salvation of others, in season and out of season, preaching the unadulterated word of God to them.
Organise a line of action on evangelism in your local assembly and ensure that the undiluted word of God is preached regularly through it.