Preach the Word ∙
Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. – 2 Timothy 4:2
2 Timothy 4:2-4
2 Preach the word of God. Be ready whether it is convenient or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.
3 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.
4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths.
In 1924, Dallas Theological Seminary was founded. Why begin another seminary? They wanted to maintain and pass on the art and science of expository preaching. They designed their curriculum to enable their students to study the Scriptures in their original languages empowering them to explain and apply the Old and New Testaments to others.
On the seminary seal, these words are inscribed in Greek: Kerusson ton logon. It is the seminary motto: “Preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2). The goal is to thoroughly equip children of the King to know, properly handle, and preach the Word of God. This is the epicenter of the seminary’s purpose for existence. It has been restated as follows, “To glorify God by equipping godly servant-leaders for the proclamation of His Word and the building up of the body of Christ worldwide.”
Their total commitment is to Preach the Word. They teach the Scriptures and equip their students to do likewise. In so doing, they pass on to the next generation, the primary tool that the Father has provided for spiritual growth and development, the Scriptures. It is the living Word of God that leads people to the knowledge of the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Near the end of the Apostle Paul’s life, coming ever closer to the executioner’s ax. His service to the Father is almost completed. Paul wrote final instructions to his disciple, his son in the faith, Timothy. What was most important to Paul? That is the torch he handed off to Timothy. Think of it as, Paul’s last words.
2 Timothy 4:1-2
1 I solemnly 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:
2 Preach the word of God.
Paul’s words were riveting, solemn, and passion-filled. In Paul’s mind, the stakes could not have been higher in light of what was coming for both Paul and Timothy. They shared a common mission and purpose. They had both been called by the Father into His spiritual work of service.
Paul created vivid images for Timothy to lock onto. It is as though Paul in some marvelous unknown fashion whisks Timothy away and transports him into the very presence of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Once there, with the Father and the Son as witnesses, Paul ardently exhorts Timothy to preach the Word.
When Moses admonished the nation of Israel to do what was right, he did something quite comparable. Moses called on heaven and earth to witness the choice the people made (Deuteronomy 30:19).
In the American culture, it is similar to being sworn in to testify in court. Paul is essentially saying, “I have solemnly sworn to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God! Now Timothy, my son, I exhort you to do the same!”
On a human level, we understand this. But there is much more going on here. Being transported into the presence of the Father is overwhelming. It penetrates and pierces the hearts of those called in the Old Testament to serve as the Father’s prophets. Consider Isaiah the prophet.
1 I saw the sovereign Lord seated on a high, elevated throne . . .
2 Attending him were mighty seraphim . . ..
3 They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
5 I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal . . ..
7 He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your evil and guilt are removed, and your sins are forgiven.”
8 I heard the voice of the sovereign master Lord, “Whom will I send? Who will go on our behalf?” I answered, “Here I am, send me!”
Ponder Ezekiel’s call into the Father’s prophetic service.
28 When I saw it, I fell face down on the ground, and I heard someone’s voice speaking to me.
1 “Stand up, son of man,” said the voice. “I want to speak with you.”
2 The Spirit came into me as he spoke, and he set me on my feet. I listened carefully to his words.
3 “Son of man,” he said, “I am sending you to the nation of Israel . . ..”
5 “And whether they listen or refuse to listen – for remember, they are rebels – at least they will know they have had a prophet among them.”
REFLECT & PRAY
Putting first things first. The Father has commissioned all children of the King to share the good news and teaching of His redemptive work of bringing salvation to the world.
Father encourage my heart to fulfill the tasks that You have given to me.
The Father tasked His Son with a mission. The mission statement was outlined in a messianic prophecy (Isaiah 61:1-2a). In Luke 4, the Lord Jesus Christ visits Nazareth and goes to worship in the local synagogue on the Sabbath. In New Testament times, a segment of the synagogue worship service included readings from Old Testament scrolls and commenting upon what was read. Commenting upon the Scriptures had become a Jewish tradition called targuming. On this particular day, the scroll of Isaiah is handed to the Lord Jesus Christ. He read it aloud.
18 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free,”
19 “and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.”
The Lord Jesus Christ handed the scroll back to the synagogue attendant and sat down. All eyes were fixed upon Him awaiting His Targum. He exclaimed, “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” (Luke 4:21) On that particular Sabbath day, Lord Jesus Christ began to preach the good news and to proclaim liberty. Jesus in turn, exhorts His disciples to proclaim publicly the things which He taught them (Matthew 10:27).
The word herald is somewhat archaic to modern ears. Throughout history, heralds were entrusted with a message and were dispatched to proclaim it. The Greek word for herald is kerux. Kerusso is the verbal form of herald. It means to proclaim, announce, make known, and preach. The Greek word translated preach in 2 Timothy 4:2 is kerusso.
Preaching is all about communication, proclaiming publicly the Father’s redemptive work of bringing salvation to the world. The preacher is not to offer his own opinions or conjectures. He is to preach the Word, the Father’s eternal, authoritative Word of Truth.
Just before His ascension, the Lord Jesus Christ shared with His disciples what was most important to Him. In much the same way as Paul, they were His last words.
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.
19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Every child of the King has the same commission. It has been called the Great Commission.