Thursday, October 18, 2012

Why Proclaim God's Word?- Part 2

Proclaiming God's Word to others is not just an activity for pastors, evangelists, and missionaries. It is the responsibility and privilege of everyone who has been saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

In II Timothy 4:2, Paul instructs Timothy to preach or proclaim the word. In the surrounding verses, I find several compelling reasons we must do this as well.

1. We must proclaim God's Word because it makes us wise unto salvation. 3:15
2. We must proclaim God's Word because God gave it. 3:16a
3. We must proclaim God's Word because it is beneficial to man. 3:16b-17
(I explained these in a previous post.)

4. We must proclaim God's Word because God has commanded that we do it. 4:1a,2
- In verse 1, Paul wrote that he was giving a charge to Timothy.  The idea of charging is "to order or instruct somebody formally to do something."  The actual charge is found in verse two.  Paul used imperative verbs to charge Timothy to preach, be instant, reprove, rebuke and exhort.  Just as Paul was not merely suggesting that Timothy do these things, God has not suggested we share His Word with others.  He has given it as a responsibility, as a command to His disciples.  We cannot imagine a soldier disobeying the commands of his drill instructor, yet we often have the audacity to disobey the commands of God Almighty for His church.

5. We must proclaim God's Word because Jesus Christ will judge us. 4:1b
- Paul made his charge to Timothy before God and before Jesus Christ.  By bringing up the fact that Jesus Christ will judge in the future, it seems natural that this was to be a motivation for Timothy to preach the Word.  When I think of Christ as judge, my mind goes first to a judge in a courtroom.  While I don't see this as incorrect, in this passage I tend to think of Him as a judge of an art contest.  Right now, we each have the opportunity to prepare our "entry"- our life.  When I present it to Him for His judgment, I want Him to look on it favorably.  Keeping that future event in mind is motivation for me to give my best at proclaiming God's Word.  I want Him to be pleased with how I shared His Word with others.

6. We must proclaim God's Word because people naturally gravitate to error. 4:3-4
- People do not naturally gravitate to God's truth.  If they did, we would see people flooding truth-preaching churches all over the world.  Instead, people's tendency is to follow error.  Paul told Timothy that people would not put up with sound doctrine, that they will follow teachers who tell them what they want to hear, and that they will turn away from the truth and turn to fables- lies.  Believing some lies won't bring significant consequences.  For instance, as a Chicago Cubs fan, I believe each year that we can win the World Series.  Believing that lie does not really affect my life.  However, rejecting the truth of God and believing the lies of the devil bring devastating eternal consequences.  Since people don't naturally wander towards truth, we must be intentional in taking the truth to them!

Which of these reasons to share God's Word do you find the most compelling?

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