Just before Paul is about to lose his head under the rule of Nero in Rome during June of A.D. 67, he has some final words for Timothy that are in the form of a charge. This charge is compact and filled with critical instruction for anyone in ministry, particularly when their mentor or other persons of accountability are not present. Read again these vital instructions:
“I charge you 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: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:1–5).
Notice that the charge is given “in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus”. There is a divine witness who will oversee the person being charged. I fear that many in ministry forget they are always in the eyes of God, public and private, and Christ Jesus is also the judge of all we do and say. Without going into the details of the charge, I ask you to read this over several times and ask yourself whether you are being true to God’s charge in your calling. The reason this is so important is that people and false teachers in every age will seek to undermine the truth and principles that must govern the church for selfish reasons. Be careful to honor and glorify God who called you!
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