2 Timothy 4:2-3 (New International Version)
2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For 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.
2 Timothy 4 (The Message)
1-2I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple.
3-5You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.
I find myself really upset. You know that kind of upset where it goes all the way into my throat. I’m choking on my thoughts. I never pretend that I am all holy. More times than not, I fall short of the standard God has set for us. Does that mean that I shouldn’t speak the Word of God? Should I stand back and let people ostracize other Christian for speaking what is so clearly in the Bible? It infuriates me that we as Christian make other Christians feel bad about calling us to live to a higher standard – a standard that been set by God’s Word. It should always be done in love, but anytime I have seen anyone remotely suggest that we aren’t living the life Christ called us to, it always jump to, OOHHHH we aren’t supposed to judge. Yes, we are not to judge, but we are allowed to examine spiritual fruits. We don’t have to right to condemn people to Hell – God reserves that judgement for himself – only He knows who is truly GOOD or EVIL. But, we are as Christian allowed to “speak the truth in love” and let our fellow brethren know if they are going down a path that is unholy. Perhaps if many more of face our fears and let go of our need to be accepted and liked by everyone (and when I say we, I really mean myself), we would stand up PROUDLY and UNASHAMED of what the Bible proclaims. Not to say we should beat people over the head with God’s Word, but I find more often that not, we (really meaning I) want to be considered a “cool Christian” and will let thing slide under the radar that we really shouldn’t. I think that is why we have the decline in morals in our society because we have become afraid of proclaiming the truths of the Bible so now we just all sit in the luke warm pot of soothing everyone egos and making everyone feel like it’s okay to do whatever you want even when it contradicts the Bible. Let’s face it – we don’t want others hold us accountable to God’s standards because we might actually have to give up some of our own bad behaviors. It’s much easier to sit in the luke warm pot of nothing than to light the fire of God’s word under our behind and other’s for that matter. I’m not saying that we should start pointing out faults and saying I’m holier than you – because those of you that speak the truth in love, know that it’s really about love, not about making someone feel worthless or less than. When I feel God calling me to speak the truth in love, it brings me tears – it’s because I love that person so much and I have deep respect for that person. It’s nothing that is done in hate or maliciously.
So, why does this verse (above) strike a chord with me – because I believe whole heartily that there are many of us who just want to take the warm fuzzy parts of the Bible and disregard the parts we don’t like. Many of us “Christians” are soothing our egos and our sins by listening and believing “spiritual junk” because that is what our itching ears want to hear.
As I end this, I feel the Holy Spirit weighing heavily on my heart, because I know that I do things on a daily basis that I am not proud of, things that I know God wants me to give up. Hear me when I say, I am not perfect. I AM NOT PERFECT. But, I will not let my guilt, my shortcomings be Satan’s tool for not speaking God’s Truth or for twisting’s God Truth to suit my own selfish ego and needs.
1 Peter 1: 13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”