But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
— 2 Timothy 4:5
Today I want to give you some end-time ministry advice — advice that is very pertinent for the present times. You might want to go back and review what we discussed in the September 26 Sparkling Gem, because it is foundational to what I will share with you today. As we saw, the Holy Spirit prophesied in Second Timothy 4:3,4 that doctrine would change in the last days.
The Holy Spirit inspired these writings in Second Timothy 4 to prepare us for what lies ahead, much of which is already happening right now. He told us that when it comes to our stance on the infallible, incorruptible Word of God, we should be dedicated to correct interpretation and to teaching and preaching that is done with the power of the Holy Spirit.
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This is very important instruction for us in a day when people are abandoning the sound teaching of doctrine. Regardless of what others do, we must decide that we will remain clear channels for the truth, even if it means we must put up with accusations that we are too traditional and stuck in the past. This is God’s command to us.
Then Paul wrote in verse 5, “…Make full proof of thy ministry.” The Greek word for “full proof ” is plerophoreo, which simply means fulfill. Paul was urging Timothy to complete his ministry and bring it to its fullness. Although Paul was addressing Timothy directly, he was also talking very specifically to us — to those who would be alive at the end of the age. I believe this refers to our generation, and it certainly explains why we see so much nonsense going on in the world around us concerning the way people think and believe. This kind of deluded thinking and believing has even crept into the Church.
The pure preaching of doctrine is often replaced today with motivational speaking — nice, uplifting messages. In fact, the majority of people in modern congregations are ignorant of the most elementary aspects of New Testament doctrine. And very often, those who occupy the pulpits — although they may be masterful communicators and rate highly among motivational speakers — are equally uneducated in basic Bible principles. Many of those who do know the Bible don’t preach it as strongly as they once did because it’s not as popular as other types of messages. The result of this compromise is a drift from the Holy Scriptures. And this drift continues, seemingly unabated, while the doctrinal vacuum in the Church is being filled with motivational messages and “new-and-improved” church-growth programs. Yet when everything is said and done, only the Bible has the power to permanently transform a life.
Friend, the Bible has not changed. It’s still sharper than any two-edged sword (see Hebrews 4:12), and it’s still the answer for everyone, whether it’s in written form or on your computer or smart phone! The Bible is still the Word of God that has His very breath infused within it. And if you’ll take it into your heart and release it, it will put you on your feet again. It will heal your body, deliver your mind, and bring peace and order to your children and your household!
So much of what “creeps” into your home today is just a treadmill of information designed to keep you in a continual state of learning, never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (see 2 Timothy 3:6,7). So if I could leave you with some valuable end-time advice today, it would be to continue in the truth you know — found in God’s holy, infallible, incorruptible Word.
You can rest assured that the Word of God is, has been, and always will be unchanging, and it will produce fruit in you if you will abide in it. God’s Word will perfectly equip you to stand strong, unfaltering, and unwavering in the days that lie ahead. Your part is simply to abide in His truth and continue in that which you have learned from Him.
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I thank You for this reminder of the dire need to guard my heart and spirit against the whims of the times that have adversely affected the Church. I don’t feel fear because of this teaching; I feel prepared by it. I am thankful to You for loving me so much that You put such clear, sound warnings in Scripture to protect us in these last days. Help me be open to what You are doing and closed to what leads away from the pure teaching of doctrinal truth.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I exercise discernment when it comes to my consumption of spiritual teaching. I know that what I put into my eyes and ears affects what I believe and what I receive — so I put a filter upon my eyes and ears to make sure only truth finds access to my mind and heart. Lord, I am thankful that You have chosen me to live in these last days, and I count it an honor that You trusted me with this privilege. While so many people struggle to know what is right or wrong — doctrinally or morally — I declare that Your Word is burning and alive in my heart and will keep me walking in the light, enabling me to bring answers to people in a way that will offer them spiritual help and relief.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Have you ever expressed your thankfulness to your pastor for providing solid Bible teaching in your church every week? He works very hard to provide a full spiritual meal, and it would be such a blessing for you to personally thank He would appreciate it.
- If you attend a church where the Bible is not taught much anymore, why are you attending that church? Don’t you agree that you need to be where you can hear the clear, sound teaching of the Word of God?
- Can you explain the basic tenets of the Christian faith? Could you pass a doctrine test? If yes, amen. If no, what should you do to change that?