In Season and Out
Scripture: (2nd Timothy 4:1-3 NIV) In the presence of God and
of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his
appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared
in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience
and careful instruction. For the time will come when men 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.
(2nd Timothy 4:1-3 KJV) I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
I listed this passage of scripture both in the King James Version of the Bible as well as the New International Version for a reason today. First I know that there are those reading today who have come to the conclusion that if it is not from the King James it is not the bible. Secondly, and more importantly I want you all to get what the LORD is saying to all of us in this passage of scripture. Paul begins by telling us of the coming judgment. This is not the great white throne judgment but it is the judgment called the Bema where your entire life will be judged. You have a responsibility to God. God has called you for a purpose. You can read over and over again in God's word how God Himself has formed you in your mother's womb and ordained you and sanctified you. God has set you apart for greatness. And deep down inside you know this is true. So start right now. Determine in your heart that you are going to fulfill your calling. No matter what mistakes you have made in the past. No matter how far off the course you are. No matter the risk, there is eternity in that balance. Now, Paul starts talking about preaching the word. So many people just at this point figure that he must not be talking about me. The Greek word is kayrussw, it means to proclaim. We, you are instructed, commanded, pleaded to speak the truth. Let others know of the hope that you have found. Do you want to experience real revival with your own life? then let as many people as you can know about the truth that you have discovered in the LORD. When the word of God says in Romans that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is LORD and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved it means to confess with your mouth. tell someone the truth. Proclaim the good news to those who need it. Shout it from the house tops. Always, always be ready to let anyone know the truth of God's love for them. Now listen to this next part of the passage. (reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. K.J.V.) ( correct, rebuke and encourage-N.I.V.)
So many people are just masking up their own beliefs. The first word there is correct or reprove. The difference between these two words is that to correct someone is to guide them into the truth, whereas to reprove is more of a reprimand. Granted there are some people who get it so wrong that they need some strong correction but more often then not hauling someone over the coals is only going to cause them further rebellion. Now the next word, rebuke, that is a different story. What kind of word is rebuke? It even sounds nasty. Rebuke, rebuke, rebuke. The original Greek word is epitimaw. It comes from a couple of words the first is epi which means simply above. the second word is timaw. It means to honor or value. So putting these together what it is saying is to fix a higher standard or value upon the truth. Help people out of the temporal and lift them to the eternal and divine. Then the final word is to exhort or encourage. Now we all need more of that. I believe what Paul is telling us is that we need to speak up but think before we speak. Not criticizing condemning people but strongly yet gently correcting and encouraging and lifting them up. We need to do all of this with great patience, long-suffering and careful study. Get into the word yourself. Daily searching the word of God for the truth that is in Him.
My Islam neighbor has been evangelizing the community with books about his religion. After reading his propaganda he asked me what I thought. Well, now that opened a door of opportunity. The first and main thing that stuck in my mind was the relationship they hold with Jesus. The Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet and great teacher. So, I asked him if a great teacher and prophet would be a liar? Because Jesus claimed to be the son to God not just a prophet. You cannot leave Jesus at the point of a Goodman or teacher. He is either a liar, a lunatic or Lord. Now, this is just the first step towards the revealing truth. As long as we can keep an open chain of communication there is hope of salvation. And that is the desire of God's heart that none be lost. That is why He has been so patient with you and me.
Now let's get to the close of this passage and see what God has for us.
(For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; K.J.V.) That time is now. People do not want to hear the truth of their sin and the effects of it, they just want to hear that everything is going to be OK. They want to think that God will bless America simply because America is America. They do not want to face the truth of the sin of our nation. They do not want to repent but they want to be blessed. Now let's get personal. I want God's blessings. How about You? I am willing to give everything for it. How about you? I have taught so often how repentance is a changing of our minds, but it is more then that. It is changing our minds and our ways. It is a searching and a following of God's way. We have spent so much of our live chasing after the American dollar and do not even know the true joy of God's presence in our lives. Most of America does not know what revival is because they have never been vived in the first place. It may take a complete change in your life. Are you ready for that? I may mean you take your focus off yourself and put it on your family. Can you do that? It may mean that you will have to stop drinking, or smoking or watching certain television programs. Are you willing to do that? We all say we want God to bless America, but are we willing to pay the price of that blessing. Yes, your salvation was free but come that day of judgment you are going to be accountable for the rest of your life.
I for one am ready for a change. I for one am ready for revival. I for one am ready to pay any price for blessing of God. I for one desire the presence of God in my life. How about You? Will you join me in bringing about a national revival? Will you join me in going after the blessing of God. I know that most of us have read and studied the prayer of Jabez: (1 Chr 4:10 KJV) " And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested." But do not forget that Jabez proves himself to be more honorable then his brethren. For honor's sake. for your own sake. For the sake of God and country let us forsake that which is dishonorable in our lives and press on, go after, strive for and towards a higher calling. Let us turn from our ways of selfish desires and go after God with all our hearts and all our strength and all our minds. Do you want to be blessed beyond measure? then be willing to bless in the same measure. You are loved like you do not even know. Now discover the depths of that love. Repent, resolve and revive. It is a new day. A new day of salvation and life and honor and love.
Lets pray together again and receive your forgiveness, receive your answer to prayer, revive your revival touch. Let's pray expecting, knowing believing that all things are possible for the LORD.
Father God. I surrender all. My heart, my home, my life is yours. Forgive me for repeatedly going astray. take me in your arms and just hold me now. I need you. I give up trying on my own and I turn my entire life over to you. I know that you have a plan for my life. I know that you can still gain glory through me and so I make myself available to you. You know the things I need in my life. You know the people in my life that need a touch from you. Lead me, guide me, forgive me, teach me, love me. Thank you for your loving kindness. Help me to show that loving kindness to the world around me. In Jesus holy name I pray Amen And Amen.