Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering [patience] and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2 NKJV
We are on study five of our six topic series and today we are studying What Does It Mean to be Ready in Season.
Let’s look at the context of 2 Timothy 4:2. What happened prior to this verse? The Apostle Paul, in writing to Timothy concerning the last days when men would be lovers of themselves and of their own pleasures rather than lovers of God, instructs him to be ready to preach the word of God at all times. Not only to preach it but to reprove, rebuke, exhort, with patience, those who are being deceived as well as the false teachers themselves. Remember that Timothy was a minister, a preacher of the Word and as a preacher, he is to be ready to preach at all times.
In season, that is, let no opportunity slip by and do it out of season, that is, not shift off the duty, under pretense that it is out of season. Matthew Henry Commentary.
As in other studies I have published, I like to use the King James Version, so if you have your own favourite version, please use it to read along with us.
In chapter 3 of 2 Timothy, Paul reminds Timothy what will happen in the last days, that ungodly men will supplant themselves into the church family and homes and lead women captive. As evil doesn’t like to have the light shine upon it, these evil men would become friendly with those in the home to lead them astray. By going into homes, rather than the church, they could avoid the light of the gospel as they could seduce women with their vain words outside of a church environment.
How can we relate to this today? Would you say that the internet, TV, and books play a big part in hearing false doctrine? Even Bible Study books, written by false teachers, can taint the believer’s understanding without even realizing it. We need to be so aware of the doctrine we are hearing and stay away from the unfruitful works of darkness.
The context is that the gospel will see many antichrists rise up to thwart the Good News by having a form of godliness but denying the power of God. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and those who minister the word of God ought to be ready to preach it both when the time is right and when the time is not right as they never know where the seeds will fall and what it will produce.
False doctrine is to be corrected and the false teacher is to be exhorted to obey the true gospel. If the false teacher does not repent, we are not responsible for his/her response as we have done our part. When we correct the believer concerning the false doctrine they are listening to and they do not receive our exhortation, there is nothing more we can do, except to pray for them. Ask God to open their eyes to see the truth so they can let go of the source [books, TV evangelist, etc] of false doctrine. Only God can do this.
Related Post: This post explains more on the subject of false teachers. What Does it Mean to Avoid False Teachers?
Can we, who are not ministers, be ready to preach the Word, in and out of season? By all means, YES! This verse, taken out of its surrounding is still applicable and within the context of the Bible as a whole so by all means, be ready to preach and teach the word to others.
Some of the things we can teach and remind others are:
- Christ and the Holy Spirit dwells within us
- greater is He in us than he that is in the world
- edify and build up each other
- pray and carry one anothers’ burdens
- walk in the Lord and be holy as He is holy
- pray, using the Bible as your text
- each believer has a book with their name on it, Psalm 40:7 is one verse of several to confirm this
The Bible is full of excellence that we can remind each other with. The Word, when hidden within us, is there when we need it. Know the Word so you are ready to share it with others. You don’t need to “preach” it as a minister would, but share the Word one on one. While it is important to learn the chapter and verse (address), it is the content of the verse or passage that ministers to hearts. If do you know the address, you can discern in each situation whether you need to quote it or not.
Let’s Wrap Up
What we learned today is the context of this verse was written regarding false teachers. Be ready to preach the truth of the Word to convince, rebuke, exhort, with all patience and teach those who are misled so they might hear the truth and turn back to it.
However, we can also use this verse to remind each other what the Bible says regarding our circumstances and encourage each other to remain strong in the Lord and in His Word.
As always, you are invited to leave a comment. Has this study cleared up any thoughts you had about the meaning of this verse? Do you have any thoughts regarding false teachers? I would love to hear them. I look forward to hearing from you.