The Time is Now

2 Timothy 4

There are some things that you cannot put off . . . you must do it right away or lose your opportunity. Once mother asked me to mow our yard. Growing up we had a fairly large yard (an acre and ½), the back was a 20 degree grade and the front was fairly large. We had one of those rather large lawn mowers with the big wheels in the back that was not self-propelled. Mother didn’t like people putting off what she asked them to do. I told her I would do it soon and I went to play basketball at the church and then walked over to see a friend. When I returned most of the yard was already mowed and my mother was not in the best of moods. I learned a valuable lesson that day, there are some things you must do quickly.
I. Preach the Word (v2) Be prepared can also mean be urgent or busy about one’s job. We must do this in season and out of season. A tree would bear fruit only in its proper season. Paul is saying to Timothy to share the gospel when it seems like the right time and even when it doesn’t seem right. We should be an army of Christians marching out and telling everyone that Jesus loves them. “Sing Jesus loves me.”
            A. Because of the Judgment of God (v1). We will be judged one day (2 Cor 5:10-11).
Not only did Paul remind Timothy, and us, to proclaim Christ Jesus because we will be judged, but because other people need to hear about the Christ. Christ is coming soon (His soon appearing) and Paul wanted everyone to have an opportunity to repent and come to Christ Jesus.
B. Speak the truth even when it is not popular (vv3-5) Some preachers no longer speak on sin, some no longer speak on the blood of Christ . . . it is offensive they say. I watched one televised church service where they refuse to read from the Bible . . . it is too controversial these days. Paul tells Timothy that the time is coming We hooked up our television last night and I watched a few minutes of Fox News. Ann Graham Lotz was on the television with the Jewish Rabbi and a Catholic Bishop. The question was asked is there only one way to get to heaven.
C. For future generations (vv6-8)
Paul likens his life to a libation or drink offering. He speaks as if his martyrdom has already begun. The time has come for his departure. He does not say death, he says departure. The word can be used someone being released from chains or using a ship metaphor. The anchor has been hoisted, the sails have been raised and the ship is beginning to sail. This is why Tolkien used the ship metaphor when Frodo and Gandolf the White were departing. They were not dying, they were sailing to finally live. Paul will not be on this earth, thus someone must carry on the duty of preaching Christ.
II. Come Quickly
            A. Because of human loneliness (v9-11)
            B. Because of human need (v13) We need a revival of the pocketbook. I heard of a man in Kentucky who was having chronic back pain. He tried pain medications, to no avail, he tried therapy, to no avail. One day as they were contemplating surgery, the physician said, let me see that wallet. The wallet was so thick that sitting on it was causing his back pain. Some of us need to have the love of Christ touch us so that we will be more giving. The love of Christ should motivate us to give and give in abundance. Give to His church (which is His bride), give to those in need. We need a touch of God upon our lives to understand that we as Christians must give to help those in need.
            C. Because of the faithfulness of God (vv 16-18)
III. You Can Begin Again (v11)
Mark was allowed to begin again. So can you. Christ is waiting to embrace you and heal you. Whatever you are struggling, you can overcome it today.
I got in an argument with my parents. I ran out in the woods and shot everything that moved. When I came back that evening, Dad was standing in the door waiting for me. I had blown it, acted like a spoiled brat, but Dad was still waiting to receive me back.
Rob Jackson
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