Keep the Faith

KEY VERSE: “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; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” —II Timothy 4:1,2


THE APOSTLE PAUL said, the time is coming when men “will not endure sound doctrine.” (II Tim. 4:3) This would occur because, having itching ears, they would gather to themselves teachers to suit their own desires, would turn away from listening to the truth, and wander away to myths. (vs. 4) Paul’s addressing Timothy as “his son” ( I Tim. 1:2) indicates the close relationship they had, and his great confidence in him to be his successor in the general “care of all the churches.”—II Cor. 11:28

Against this backdrop, Paul directed Timothy: “Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (II Tim. 4:2) Timothy was reminded of how great his privileges were, having been instructed in the Scriptures from his infancy by his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois.

He was reminded, too, in a modest manner, of how he had received his understanding of the Scriptures through the Apostle Paul, and was assured that the instructions were of God. Paul had been given the Gospel by God, which he had faithfully kept by being obedient and making it known through his many trials and difficulties, including his pending martyrdom.—II Tim. 4:7,8

He cautioned Timothy that he should not lend support to another Gospel than the one he had received, or, as described by the Apostle Peter when he wrote, “which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the Gospel unto you with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” (I Pet. 1:12) The presentation of any other gospel by anyone was to be shunned. See also Galatians 1:8.

“Watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” (II Tim. 4:5) The mission of the Gospel was not the conversion of the world, but to call out from the world the church members to be glorified with the Redeemer at his appearing and kingdom.

Peter, agreeing, said, “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”—I Pet. 3:15

Paul recognized that, as a Christian, he had certain lessons to learn in the school of Christ, and this was part of his course of preparation for joint-heirship with Christ in the glories of the Millennial kingdom. He became a partaker with Christ in the sufferings of the present time. He had finished his course and could now declare, “I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (II Tim. 4:6,7) Paul had kept the faith—the true faith delivered unto the saints—faith in the Redeemer’s sacrifice.—Jude 3

The apostle knew and taught that there would be a “resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” (Acts 24:15) When he received the crown of righteousness as a mark of faithfulness, it would afford him untold opportunities of blessing all mankind in association with his Lord during the Millennial kingdom. Such will be the honor of all who keep the faith!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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