Sober Abandon and Adequate Voice…

July 18, 2010


I remember quite vividly the first time I was exposed to this passage some 15 years ago.  It was the 1990’s I was in high school, and I remember reading the description and warning of men who would come and a time which would arrive in which wickedness was normative and instruction rejected.  I recall that at that time i was struck by how accurately this two thousand year old prediction seemed to be.  “Men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revillers, disobedient of parents, ungrateful, unholy…” etc.  I was convinced that Paul was writing to us for such a time as that.

Flash forward 10-15 years later, and patterns of behavior I thought could not become more prevelant have, and wickedness I thought could not get worse exists.  We kid ourselves though if we think that it was somehow easier for Paul and Timothy than it is for us, that the men of our era are more malicious, or our times more tenuous.  Paul did not write these instructions in vain, doubtless Timothy saw in his lifetime men failing to endure sound doctine, leaving his congregation of The Word for greener preaching patures of “The First Gnostic Church of Ear-Tickling and Listless Preaching.” Paul’s warnings and predictions came with a two-fold prescription and a call that is just as relevant today as it was then.

First, Scripture.  Preach it, always.  For it is the unmovable voice of the Almighty capable to teach, reproof, correct and train.  God has not called the preacher or the preached to tasks He will not equip them to complete, how comforting.

Second, work.  Do it.  Endure these hardships, suffer the vanishing crowds of fickle sheep lured away by gentler calls.  Do the work of an evangelist; in short, having been given the message (Scripture) carry it and breathe it out and fulfill your ministry.

What I find so warm and reassuring about this passage is that the times, in many respects, have not changed.  God speaking through Paul, anticipated our need and inspired a Word as adequate then as it is now.  When they leave for gentler words of vain utterance, we must be faithful to pursue them with the Word that pursued us.  Fulfilling our charge “in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His Kingdom.”  By our obedience, for His Glory, let us be faithful. (4:1)

Be sober brothers and sisters.  Endure and do the work for we are all, by His call, evangelists.

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