Saturday, June 30, 2012

I have fought the good fight………

“Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.

But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.

As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near.   I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.  And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return.  And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.”        II Timothy 4:2-8 NLT

In Jeremiah 6:16 we find the mindset of some people today. “This is what the Lord says:
“Stop at the crossroads and look around.
Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.
But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’”  (NLT)

We must not develop this type of mindset—which says, “I know that I’m supposed to know the Bible and seek the old paths, but I’m not going to walk in those paths.”   

Paul warned Timothy that some people want to have their ears tickled.  Thus, some preachers no longer preach the Word of God they are preaching in an attempt to tickle people’s ears.  We must get back to having an answer, and to the best of our ability making sure that we give people book, chapter and verse for what we believe.

We need to be ready “in season and out of season” to teach people. We need to be willing to stand up and say, “There is something wrong” when something incorrect comes into the worship assembly. We need to say, “This is unauthorized, and I am ready to give you a biblical answer regarding why that is the case.”

We must never give up when it comes to battling false doctrine.  In 2 Timothy 4:7 Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  Paul was willing to continue to fight until his last breath.

In Jeremiah 20:9 the prophet even said, “I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.”  It’s humorous—as Jere­miah says, “I’m done with God!”  Yet he then went on to say, “But His word was in my heart like a burn­ing fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.”

Jeremiah said that he could not hold back the Word of God because it was like a fire in his bones that he had to let out. That is the type of desire that we need to have. We should never give up when it comes to battling false doctrine.  We must remember what the Hebrews writer said in Hebrews 12:1-2:

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

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