Why Preach? (2 Timothy – 18)

WHY PREACH?   (2 Timothy – 18)

READ: 2 Timothy 4:3-5

Having explained the importance of patiently and thoroughly teaching the Bible, Paul then explained why this was so important.  First, he said WHAT to do: preach, be prepared, correct, rebuke and encourage (1 Timothy 4:2a).  Then he explained HOW to do it: with great patience and careful instruction (1 Timothy 4:2b).  Then he told Timothy WHY he was to do this:  people will turn from the truth and believe lies (1 Timothy 4:3-5).

We know the world rejects truth and believes lies, but Paul is speaking specifically about church people doing this.  We certainly see that happening today as well.  “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (1 Timothy 4:3).  Many who call themselves Christians will become bored with the truth and apathic to it (“not put up with”).

Paul has much to say to Timothy about “truth.”  He wrote about it 5 times in his first letter to Timothy (2:4,7; 3:15; 4:3; 6:5) and 6 times in this second letter (2:15,18,25; 3:7,8).  Paul tells Timothy and us to know the truth, follow the truth and proclaim the truth.  That’s a summary of what a good pastor is and does.

“They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:4) such as atheism, humanism, evolution, liberalism, false religions, reincarnation and many others.  Many so-called Christians will turn away from truth, but Timothy is commanded to remain faithful. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5).  Paul here gives Timothy 4 final commands to help him face and overcome false teachings and teachers.

First, “keep your head in all situations.”  Literally it means “be sober.”  Be alert to what is not true.  Be self-controlled and don’t react emotionally.  Don’t give in to fear of criticism or pressure from others.  False teachers are like wolves that come to destroy sheep (Acts 20:28-20).  Satan is like a lion that has come to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8).  If there were real wolves or lions near your children you would be very alert and careful.  That’s how we are to be spiritually.

Next, Paul repeats his command to “endure hardship.”  A pastor’s life is not easy, not if he is following Jesus and serving Him.  Those who put themselves first and use the ministry for their own pride do not have to endure hardship, but those who serve as Jesus did will suffer criticism and rejection as He did (2 Timothy 3:12).  We face loneliness, frustration, confusion, discouragement, financial problems, marriage and family issues, personal sins, heath issues, not having enough time, demands of people, sorrow over people who don’t follow God’s Word and many others.  God allows all this because He uses it to make us more like Jesus.  No pastor who is following Jesus is exempt from the trials that stretch and strengthen our faith.

Third, Paul reminds Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist.”  Evangelism was part of Timothy’s mix of spiritual gifts.  We all have a unique combination of spiritual gifts that God equips us with so we can minister to other Christians.  They include such things as pastoring, leadership, organization & administration, teaching, knowledge, wisdom evangelism, missionary work, service, mercy, helps, hospitality, encouraging, faith, prayer, giving, sacrificial living, discernment.  (For more information about spiritual gifts, see “Duties of a Pastor,”  Appendix 2  https://www.christiantrainingonline.org/our-ministries/india/books/).

Even if we don’t have the gift of evangelism, where talking to people about salvation comes naturally and easily, we are still responsible to share His good news.  He is to be the focus of our lives.  Each sermon, conversation, Bible study and counseling time must include lifting up Jesus.

The final command to Timothy is to “discharge all the duties of your ministry.”  We are to use our spiritual gifts, but not neglect other areas of ministry.  (See my book, “Duties of Pastors and Leaders” for more information https://www.christiantrainingonline.org/our-ministries/india/books/).  “Discharge” means to bring to full measure.”   We are to wholly follow Jesus in all a pastor must do.

Being a pastor is much more than a job.  It is not like being a builder, farmer or doctor.  People choose those jobs, but God chooses who will minister for Him.  Other careers need ability, but to be chosen by God to pastor we need only to have availability.  Other careers bring earthly honor to the person by a job well done.  We are to serve so all the honor goes to Jesus.  Our reward in heaven is eternal and will last forever.

PAUL’S ADVICE:  We are to preach the Word because many people, even those claiming to be Christians, can turn from the truth.

How do you do in following Paul’s four commands to Timothy?  Which is easiest for you to follow?

Which is hardest?  Why?  What can you to do improve in it?


Christian Training Organization 



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

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