Read Acts 16:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:1-5
Preach The Word
Paul teamed up with several different people during his evangelistic tours. Some of the more prominent names were Barnabas, Silas, and Luke. The young preacher Timothy was also a close companion of the apostle, and Paul trusted him so much that he left Timothy in Ephesus to strengthen the church there.
Timothy was the recipient of two letters from Paul. Near the end of the second letter, Paul wrote these words: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2).
If a preacher isn’t preaching the Word of God, is he even preaching at all? It is the Word that tells us about Jesus, and it is only Jesus that can save us from our sins. In the words of Peter, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). We must bring people to Jesus because only Jesus can save them.
Of the phrase, “be ready (‘instant’ [KJV], ‘urgent’ [ASV]) in season and out of season,” Marshall Keeble said something along these lines, “Preach it when they wanna hear it, and preach it when they don’t!” There are times, as Paul explains in 1 Timothy 4:3, that men “will not endure sound doctrine” because it makes them uncomfortable. And yet, it is only sound doctrine that can lead a person to the truth. False teaching always falls short.
Paul then uses three words that show different aspects of sound doctrine: “Convince, rebuke, exhort.” There are times a man must be convinced of the truth. There are times he must be rebuked of sin. And there are times he must be exhorted or encouraged to continue doing the right thing.
Finally, Paul tells Timothy to be patient with those who are learning. “Preach…with all longsuffering and teaching.” Don’t give up too soon. Keep doing the right thing, and let the gospel do its work.