2 Timothy 4 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will accumulate teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths.” 2 Tim 4: 2-4
The term “share the gospel” has been limited to evangelism, in our generation. Although evangelism is extremely important, Yeshua called us to “Go and make disciples.” Evangelism originates a disciple, but “discipleship” is the ongoing pursuit of learning to live-out the gospel.
It is safe to say we have become dependent on convenience. Our generation yells at the microwave for being too slow. In response to societal trends, so-called “generational-savvy” congregations have designed ministry paradigms to make the congregational worship experience more convenient, less challenging.
There is nothing wrong with understanding a culture in order to reach its people. But the greater “body of Messiah” fails in its God-intended purpose when it becomes preoccupied with not offending people. By avoiding the hard truths of the gospel, (which are intended to lead to repentance those who fall short of G_d’s standard for believers), the “soft sell” approach is needlessly prolonging the suffering an individual incurs through un-repentance. In seeking to not offend the non-believer, these congregations don’t seem to be worried about offending G_d, Who desires that all come unto repentance. Practically speaking, it takes more energy to constantly pursue cultural relevance, than to simply teach the Bible.
The discipleship process of, rebuking, correcting and teaching is not always convenient. People will often hate you for teaching the undiluted Bible. Why? When people become aware of G_d’s standard, they are confronted with their personal sin problem, and that’s uncomfortable. But rejecting the gospel is not always the unbeliever’s response. Paul tells us what we can expect when we share G_d’s Word as He reveals it.
“But if all are prophesying, and some unbeliever or uninformed person comes in, he is convicted by all and is judged by all. The secrets of his heart are revealed, and as a result he will fall down on his face and worship G_d, proclaiming, “G_d is really among you.” 1 Corinthians 14:24-25
We must preach the Bible and trust G_d to change lives. We cannot be afraid to teach sound doctrine. Anything less is a distraction from the real issues people need to address, in order to grow as believers.
We cannot let fear of rejection discourage us from sharing the gospel. Paul teaches the Messianic community’s lack of effectiveness stems not from our lack of cultural relevance. It’s our lack of passion, persistence, perseverance, and patience.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Tuesday, November 5, 2013