Be Faithful inn Persecution (2 Timothy – 12)


READ: 2 Timothy 3:10-13

Paul warned Timothy about those who will turn further and further from God as the return of Jesus draws near (2 Timothy 3:1-9).  These people tear down and try to discredit the true servants of God so people will listen to them instead.  The ones in Ephesus have been criticizing Paul.  Since they can’t discredit truth, they try to discredit the truth bearer.  People who can’t disprove your teachings about Jesus will attack you personally instead.  They will find things they don’t like about you or your personality and complain about them so others won’t respect what you say.  It happens to everyone who serves Jesus.  It happened to Jesus, and to Paul as well (2 Timothy 3:10-13).

Paul reminded Timothy of the persecution he endured so Timothy wouldn’t be surprised when he faced it.  We can think opposition and difficulties are our fault, because we are doing something wrong.  More often, though, they are because we are doing things right, just the way God wants.  His enemies (the world, the flesh and Satan) rise in opposition to God and any who represent Him.  This ties in with the third duty Paul reminded Timothy of, to endure difficulties (2 Timothy 2:3-13).  Paul taught Timothy about these things by his words and well as his actions, setting an example of applying what he taught to his own life.

The sad truth is that much of the opposition and criticism Paul faced, and which we do as well, comes from within the church, not without.  That was true of the early church, and is still true today.  Yet God is still faithful to carry out His mission through us.  It doesn’t mean there won’t be pain, rejection, hard times and loss, but God will be with us to help us endure them all (2 Timothy 3:10-11).

One of the reasons God allowed Paul to face so much was to be an example to Timothy and others, and to us today as well.  Who are you a good example to?  Who is watching you that you don’t know about?  God allows it and uses it for our growth and His glory.

Then Paul makes a striking statement, actually a promise although it isn’t one we claim very often.  “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:13).  If you don’t want to be opposed and persecuted, then stop living for Jesus and Satan will stop putting pressure on you.  Don’t be surprised or disappointed when facing hardships in life and ministry.  “Everyone” includes you and me.  Clearly the prosperity gospel is not supported by the Bible.

The second part of the promise in verse 12 states that evildoers and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  The truth will win, but we may not see it happen in our lifetime.  When Jesus returns everything will be made perfect, but not until then.  Don’t be surprised when those who oppose God and His people seem to prosper while those who serve God struggle.  That’s the way it’s always been and always will be.

PAUL’S ADVICE: Don’t be surprised when the ministry is very hard, just stay faithful.

Matthew 5:11-12  “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

What is your first response when things don’t go as you want or when people oppose you?

How did Jesus respond to rejection and opposition?  That’s how we must as well.


Christian Training Organization

(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)

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