CHRISTIANS HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO THE WORD OF GOD. As we reflect on the Word of God as found in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 we discover that all Christians have an obligation to God and His Word. “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:” (2 Timothy 4:1 NIV). This is a very solemn charge given to Timothy by the Apostle Paul. It would be easy to say, “This just applies to Timothy or this just applies to preachers.” And the truth is Elders & teachers have a greater responsibility in teaching & preaching the Word than other Christians do. To whom much is given much is required. With responsibility goes accountability. And it is true in this verse that God the Father and Jesus Christ are solemn witness to the asserting of responsibility given our Christian leaders. When leaders stand before God they will give an account for how well they have carried out their ministries of proclaiming the Word. But before you breathe a sigh of relief may I remind you that every Christian one-day must stand before God and give an account of their life. We are all Ambassadors for Christ and we all have a solemn charge from God the Father and Jesus the Son to live our lives in a proper God-honoring manner.
“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2 NIV). The obligation of the Word is quite clear here. We must preach the word. We must proclaim the word…like the King’s herald used to do before the throne. And we must always be ready to proclaim the Word. Sometimes the season is good and people rush to hear what we have to say. And sometimes the season is bad and people run when they see us coming. But we must always be proclaiming the Word. We have the Words of life. We have the words of the Almighty God Himself. Where will the people marching on the road to hell find the Words of Life if we don’t proclaim it? Sometimes they may laugh at us and sometimes they may curse us. And sometimes they may just avoid us BUT the command is clear, “Preach The Word.”
Because of space I would like to finish my reflections on our obligation to God’s Word tomorrow. In today’s society a common phrase is, “I can take it or leave it” and many Christians appear to take the same approach to God’s Word. It appears we are a society that demands many choices in every area and we are committed to and faithful only to that which satisfies our instant gratification. But when one is handling eternal truths such as those found in the Word of God instant gratification is not always possible. Sometimes it takes deep digging and much reflection to get past our ingrained sense of instant gratification and into the presence of God as found in His Word. And as I observe the Christian community we seem to seek churches in the same manner. People are looking for churches to meet their “felt” needs such as certain kinds of music, entertainment, pulpit personalities, non-commitment, and almost anything else but very often, far too often, the Christian pays very little attention to how the church teaches, proclaims, practices or stresses the teachings of the Word of God.