Remaining Steadfast

Key Verse: “Watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”
—II Timothy 4:5

Selected Scriptures:
II Timothy 3:1-5,
12-17; 4:1-5

IN WRITING THESE WORDS of advice to Timothy, the Apostle Paul warns about the last days of this Gospel Age. They were not as likely to come while Timothy was still active in his ministry, but they were sure to come in our day. Nevertheless, these times of stress that were to come, also in part came in Timothy’s day. Paul describes these days as follows, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”—II Tim. 3:1-5

Such breakdown in our society has occurred at various times and in part in the past, but not as completely as in these last days of the Gospel Age. Paul then goes on to cite situations that occurred in the time of Moses as he had to withstand the magicians of Pharoah’s court. Such enemies to God’s commandments are all around us and they can arise at any time to cause trouble.

The Apostle then tells of such men who caused him trouble, and he said to Timothy, “Thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (vss. 10-12) Paul was reminding Timothy of their first acquaintance, when he was stoned in Lystra and left for dead. He was taken to Derbe where Timothy lived and, most likely, to the home of Timothy where his mother and grandmother tended to Paul’s wounds and in nursing him back to health. Timothy became fully acquainted with Paul’s life and was being reminded that persecution was to be expected in the Christian life.

Paul then prepared Timothy for similar experiences and encouraged him to look to God’s Word for help. He said, “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”—vss. 13-17

The apostle then concludes his exhortation to Timothy to continue preaching even if the time comes when they won’t listen, saying in the words of our theme text, ‘Watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.’ This is good advice for us as well—in particular since we are living in the last days of the Gospel Age, when times of stress come. We need, and have, the help of God’s Word.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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