When you get to this point in the letter, you sense Paul’s urgency increasing as he begins his final thoughts …. He begins this section with a charge. He used this same word in 1 Tim. 5:21.
Paul grounds this charge on 4 realities: God, Jesus, Jesus’ return, Jesus’ Kingdom (See the similar grounds in 1 Tim. 5:21)
- Not only that – all will stand before Him (living and the dead)
- Believers and unbelievers
- All believers, including you, will give an account before God
- There is a judgment coming (for all people: believers and unbelievers)
In light of Christ’s coming judgment … Paul has some final instructions. This passage contains two sets of commands à 9 imperatives (5 in verse 2; 4 in verse 5)
- The initial imperative is explained by the next four
- The action required is to preach and the content is the Word
- It begins by being prepared; be ready
- The imperative here in vs. 2 means to “stand by,” or “be ready”
- NOTE that we are to be ready in season and out … Season? (whenever!)
- The next three imperatives describe the content of our preaching
- Convict – carries the idea of persuasion; convincing; bring to light
- Rebuke – dealing with the correction of sin
- Exhort – with patience and doctrine
Like God’s instructions to Ezekiel in Ezekiel 3:17–21, we are to preach the truth whether people listen or not. We are to preach the Word, because THEY will not endure and the result will be that some will NOT LISTEN
- They will amass teachers to fit their own desires (say what want hear)
- “they will heap up;” gather large numbers of false teachers who will serve to simply satisfy the “itching” in their ears
We combat that by the faithful preaching of God’s Word!
- The initial imperative is explained by the next three
- Do the Work!
The imperative to “be alert” is used 6 times in the NT (1 Th. 5:6, 8; 2 Tim. 4:5; 1 Pt. 1:13; 4:7; 5:8), and all have something to do with an alertness related to the return of Christ.
- Word relates to sobriety (from alcohol)
- Clear-headed …
Christ is coming; be ready!
- Endure hardship (hardships will come … endure!)
- Do the work of an evangelist (carry out instruction for evangelism)
- Fulfill all your ministry – (be a hard-worker)
- It is already happening
- I am already (in contrast to what will come)
The word, “departure” – literally, “loosing” (as in an anchor)
- The image comes from Num. 28 in the description of the Drink Offering, which was described as a sweet smelling aroma
Paul used 3 verb tenses: I have fought; there is laid up for me; the Lord will give in that day
- I have fought; I have finished; I have kept
Here, Paul, sort of mixes metaphors (fight; race)
- Fought – a good fight (Gr. Agon – 2X) – “I have agonized the good agony”
There is laid up for me!
- Kept; reserved
You might title this message: Preach the Word!
There is a Pattern:
- Do this … because they will do this and this will happen
- Do this … because I have done this and this will happen
Preach the Word because they will not endure and (as a result) heap up teachers
Be alert in all things because I have fought the good fight and there is laid up for me a crown
Be faithful to your calling; be alert → because Jesus is coming again; ALL will stand before Him; and He will reward faithfulness!