I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
Jesus Is The Reason For The Season
There are three words that are imperative for the church today: preach the word! There is nothing more fundamental yet so often disregarded as the exhortation of the apostle Paul that preaching must find itself rooted and grounded in the message of Jesus Christ. Preaching the word is more than unraveling a yarn of interesting stories with humorous antidotes and pithy sayings to excite the ears of the listener. The word is based on the character and the divine nature of the Son of God and nothing less. All men will stand before the Lord God and receive a judgment in accordance with the words of the book – the Bible. A grandfather was asked by his young grandson why he always read his Bible, the aged man said, “I am studying for my final exam.” If the word of God is going to judge the hearts of men in the final day those who preach the word are obligated to preach the words found on the pages of holy writ. Paul reminds Timothy of the day when God and the Lord Jesus Christ will judge the living and the dead. He then declares the need to preach the word and that word is found in convincing, rebuking and exhorting the saints with the message of the risen Christ. There will come a time when men will not endure the doctrine of Christ and turn away to hear something more appealing. This is evident by the many different brands of churches that fill the land. Brand A Church teaches a different doctrine than Brand B Church which differs from Brand C Church and so it goes. If everyone preached Jesus Christ how could there be any division or disharmony? A denomination is a divisive mathematical term showing the fallacy of human wisdom trying to preach the doctrine of Christ from different viewpoints. The cause of religious division comes from men failing to teach the doctrine of Christ and Christ alone. If preaching was done through the authority of Jesus Christ all men would be united but they are not. This shows that all men do not preach Jesus Christ but their own doctrines.
Paul declares the nature of preaching as something that is without regard to what the world accepts or denies. Preaching the word must be done in season and out of season. In other words, a man must preach the word of Christ whether the time is favorable or not, whether people accept it or not. Jesus is the reason for the season if it is a sunny day and Jesus is the reason for the season if it is a day filled with storms. Preaching must convict the heart and as Dee Bowman says it must storm the will. Assaulting the bastions of the human heart requires diligence to preach Jesus Christ when it appeals to the minds of the audience and when it does not. There is much in the teaching of Jesus that does not tickle the ears of the listener. Like His Father, Jesus taught His goodness and His severity. Preaching Jesus is telling the audience there is judgment, hell, condemnation and contrary to popular preachers today, there is something called sin. Jesus was full of love, compassion, mercy, and grace. If a man is to preach Jesus he must preach the whole counsel of Jesus in the good seasons and in the difficult seasons.
Jesus is the reason for the season because He is the only message. Vance Havner said, “Make Jesus Christ your theme! I have seen preachers espouse causes and champion movements, and when the cause died and the movement collapsed, the preacher vanished too. But the man who glories in Christ never grows stale.” What is remarkable about the message of Christ is that what a man preached in the year 1245 or 1492 is just as powerful today as it was then. For two thousand years, the doctrine of Jesus Christ has remained unchanged. What has destroyed the unity of the body of Christ is the changing nature of preaching where men stop preaching the word and begin teaching the tenets of human wisdom. History is filled with the failed efforts of those who preach a different gospel. There is only one message of Jesus Christ and it is found in the word. If the world accepts the teaching of Jesus the Father is glorified. When the world fights against the teachings of Jesus Christ and persecutes the saints of God the preaching of Christ remains powerful. It does not matter what the political, social or moral climate of the world becomes – preaching Jesus is the only imperative. He is the reason. Preach Christ.