Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 2 Timothy 4:2
This week’s study topic is What Does It Mean to be Ready in Season, Part 2 and today we’re exploring the relationship between preaching the word and sharing the gospel.
First question is, are they the same thing? Preach the word – share the gospel.
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.
Preach the Word
Paul, a preacher, an apostle and a teacher, has given a charge to Timothy, a young minister, of “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ,” to preach the Word. Through Paul’s choice of words, “reprove, rebuke, exhort”, we sense an urgency in the spirit. With all that they were surrounded with, the false teachers/doctrine, and ungodly men perverting the gospel, the urgency is for repentance leading to belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and to live a holy life.
Preach in season, when the hearers are willing to listen. Preach out of season when the time is not feasible because you never know when the Spirit of God will speak to hearts for conviction.
Not only is Timothy to be ready to preach the Word but he is also charged with telling people their faults. Not an easy thing to do by any means!
Reprove, rebuke, exhort, let’s examine these words using Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. The numbers represent the NT Greek definition with Greek spelling.
- Reprove – 1651 – [elegho] -> to refute, admonish, convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke.
- Rebuke – 2008 – [epitimao] -> to censure or admonish, forbid, directly charge.
No one looks forward to this task but pastors must do so to bring believers to repentance.
- Exhort – 3870 – [parakaleo] -> to call a person to the side, to admonish, exhort, to urge one to pursue some course of conduct, always prospective, looking to the future.
Exhortation must be done with patience, encouraging the believer to continue to persevere and teaching them with true doctrine. Timothy, and all ministers, must be urgent in caring for souls and their eternal destination for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, verse 3.
Share the Gospel
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. [emphasis mine]
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. [emphasis mine]
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [emphasis mine]
Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. [emphasis mine]
2 Corinthians 5:18, 19 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. [emphasis mine]
We have five verses from among many that tell us to share the gospel with others. We each have been given the ministry of reconciliation. What is it that we are to share?
We share the gospel message, we share Jesus, we share the hope that we have in us, we share reconciliation.
Who can share? Sharing the gospel is not reserved for ordained ministers only. All believers can share Christ as we have all been given the mandate to spread the gospel.
There is a difference between preaching, teaching and sharing. All three have their place and role in evangelism. Whatever role you take, ensure that you know the Word of God, that it is hid in your heart so it can guide you on your path.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11
Whether you preach, share or teach, do all to the glory of God!
As always, I would love to hear from you. Did you realize that you have a ministry of reconciliation? Please leave your comments below.