Everywhere we turn today, the world seems to heading on a downward spiral in many different ways. I believe the closer we get to the return of Christ, which seems to be drawing nearer, things get worse. The world has has come to a point where evil is taking hold into every segment of society. As we see day in and day out, our Christian faith is continually under attack. If you dare to stand in public and declare your faith to the world, you are going to be ridiculed, mocked, and attacked. It’s the way this world has come as the enemy continues to run rampant and people continually fall away from any sense of faith, or they follow false doctrines and teachings that draw them away from the faith.
I was pointed to an blog post by a gentleman named John Wesley Reid (click to read) that talked about things that Christian millennials need to stop doing. It was very telling as to the state this world has come. Tolerance, neglecting theology, drawing to the world, bashing the church, and declining accountability. From the age of the baby boomers, to gen X, to the millennials, this world has lost a sense of itself and of true faith. Look at me…it took me 33 years to get a real thirst of learning about God and another 3 years or so to finally come on fire for my faith. The world and the heartaches, temptations, and everyday garbage, pulled me away. I was too focused on success and making more money, to know that God had a different plan for me.
In our teaching this past Sunday, we dove into 2 Timothy 4:1-5. In verse 2, Paul calls on us to “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (NASB). We are all called to continue sharing the word of God, just as Paul tells Timothy and always be ready to do so. The NLT translation says, Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. As we were in the teaching, never lose your sense of urgency, never be stale, stagnant, & complacent.
Unfortunately, too many of us in the church have become stale and stagnant. We are so caught up in the pains, temptations, and struggles of this world, to even worry about our faith except on Sunday. How many of us actually look at our Bible or sink to our knees at any other point of the week. There’s a line from a Luke Bryan song that says, “we cuss on them Mondays, pray on them Sundays.” Not ripping on Luke, but the line shows a lot of truth in the way people approach faith and life. It’s a Sunday thing, if at all. For me it was a never thing, then became an occasional Sunday thing, before it finally became an every single day thing. I have to start my day in prayer and then in the Word. It sets the tone for everything that day. Doesn’t me I’m perfect, but it helps me to focus on what is important and keeps God the center piece of the story.
Be ready…Be prepared. That’s what we have to do know. Get to know the Word and in the face of all the chaos of this world, in the face of the certain struggles we will face, in the face of our brokenness, we will be prepared, no matter what to stand on the Truth of our faith through every facet of our day.
In Verse 3 Paul says, “For a time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine” (NASB). NLT says, “For a time is coming when people will not longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching.” That time is upon us. People want their ears tickled with what they want to hear only. We have to be bold in standing on the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not the prosperity gospel or other false teachings that the enemy uses to cloud us and our thinking and draw us away from Christ, from repentance, from sanctification in Christ, from healing, from real restoration in Christ. We cannot compromise our faith and what is Truth. Be ready always.
“Be Bold in Proclaiming. Urgent in your approach. Uncompromising in convictions. Patient in style. And: Intelligent in understanding and delivery.” – Chuck Swindoll