26 January 2021 - 1 March 2021
I and II Timothy are known as the pastoral epistles (of the Apostle Paul) because they were written to his protégé, Timothy, who was leading the church at Ephesus. Even at that early time, as in ours, there were always issues that needed to be addressed, persons who needed to be admonished, pastoral practices that needed to be put in place and spiritual perspectives that needed to be maintained for the welfare of the (house) churches in Ephesus and for Timothy (or any other pastor) himself. Advice that was good for churches then and counsel that was imparted to a pastor way back then for the most part is timeless and valid for us yet today, most especially for knowing how to conduct ourselves in the family of God, which is the pillar and ground of the truth. The emphasis in II Timothy, written, it appears, during the time of the monster emperor, Nero, focuses in particular on the prospect of suffering for Christ, urging Timothy (and all of us) in such times to be good and faithful soldiers of Christ in hard times, to follow the example of Paul in his sufferings. Timothy is admonished in his pastoral role to be a workman approved by God and to avoid youthful temptations that will throw him off his game. There is a warning about the acceleration of godlessness the church can expect in the last days as well as strong encouragement for Timothy, as their pastoral leader, to deeply invest himself in the holy Word, inspired of God and therefore profitable for equipping God’s people in such times for every good work. The best way to keep the church on track: Preach the Word, Paul strongly admonishes, Timothy, in season, and out of season, because the Apostle warns, a time will come, it always does, running in cycles, a time like we see in our generation, when people will tire of the truth, and will want to have their ears titillated with myths and happy talk instead. The best remedy for those adverse to the Word is to keep pounding away with it, not getting away from it. A good message for our day!