“Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction. For there will be a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching. Instead, following their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves, because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things. And they will turn away from hearing the truth, but on the other hand they will turn aside to myths. You, however, be self-controlled in all things, endure hardship, do an evangelist’s work, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:2-5 NET https://bible.com/bible/107/2ti.4.3.NET

 

Have we come again to the days Paul warned Timothy would come? Are these days the result of our failure to do our work in the world? Timothy was to preach the gospel, then reprove, rebuke, and exhort those who received the gospel to live lives worthy of the gospel. The role of those in the church is to bring others to faith in Jesus so that they become part of the church and then hold each other responsible for living as Jesus lived. If we do little reproving, rebuking, and exhorting to righteousness, we can expect little righteousness to exist among us. Instead, people listen to the media and the university, encouraging selfish and indulgent living. People today congregate with and support those who tell them to do whatever they feel is best, whatever they think is best, without moral restraint from any god or law, except their ‘law.’ People today are not responding to the gospel, the church’s message, in the few places it is still being presented. Those who are faithful to warn of the judgment to come and to reprove those who claim to be Christians but are not living godly lives suffer for these words. At a minimum, they are canceled from social media. At most they are being jailed and losing their jobs. Enduring hardship is the reward for failing to disciple the culture that previously was receptive to obedience to everything Jesus commanded. This age must be won again to Jesus through the hard work and suffering of those who love Jesus more than their comfort if we would see a return to a culture committed to His work and His ways demonstrated by holding each other responsible for walking in them.

 

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