The Bible says that in the Last Days people will have a form of godliness but deny its power. (2 Tim.3) That describes much of the church today. They observe religious rituals to look like they fear God, but they have no Spiritual power. Churches often just become social centers, where people can go, and hear some motivational speakers, and maybe some inspirational music, but the power of the Living God is not there. You may be motivated to live ‘Your Best Life Now’, or learn about raising your children or investing your money. And sometimes it is good advice; but the Power of the Holy Spirit of God is not there. Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15). Christians must realize we need the power of God’s Spirit working in our lives. To ignore that only teaches us how to get along without God, and without Him we cannot do anything righteous & meaningful.
In the Old King James Version of the Bible, 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to show thyself approved unto God..” In the New King James Version it says “Be diligent”, both phrases convey the message that we are to make a sincere effort to please our Lord, Jesus Christ. Studying God’s Word will take our time and effort if we sincerely desire to “rightly divide the Word of Truth.” Distractions to our studying and Spiritual growth must be recognized and avoided. And know this; that when we read the Word of God and study it, Jesus is pleased, because we are growing spiritually. He can bless our lives when we work on knowing and practicing His Word.
Paul could rightfully speak of afflictions because he endured many by the hands of the enemies of the Gospel of God. With Paul these afflictions took the form of beatings, imprisonments, shipwreck; dangers in the city, the wilderness, at sea; and among false brethren; also hunger, thirst, cold and nakedness. In Western civilization today our afflictions are of a different nature. But in most of the world our brothers suffer the same as then. Paul writes to Timothy, and Christians everywhere; “Accept your suffering in the strength of the Holy Spirit, for the sake of the Gospel.” Paul was writing during a time of great persecution, and Timothy would suffer greatly as a Christian. God’s Word teaches us that we must also experience affliction; and by it, we will learn Christian discipline. The seed of God’s Word has been planted in us, but that seed must grow. And the best soil for spiritual growth is affliction. Accept it with the power of God, and share the Gospel with those who persecute you.
We evangelical Christians need make no apology for our beliefs. They come in a direct line from the apostles. We can check the tenets of our faith against the beliefs of all of the church fathers, and they will check out one by one. Then check them all with Holy Scripture, and again they will prove solid. What then is the trouble that lies over the church? The answer is we are too relaxed, and too comfortable. We hold the faith of our fathers, but it does not hold us. Are we spiritually blind? God has committed the most precious of all treasures to us, but we are not committed to it. God has set eternity in our hearts, and we have chosen earthly things instead. Jesus wants us to be attracted to a glorious tomorrow, but we settle for a dull today. We improvise and muddle along, hoping for heaven, but not eager to get there. We are correct in doctrine but weary of prayer, and bored with God. Oh Lord give us ears to hear & eyes to see!
Paul was giving a very serious charge to Timothy. He said “I charge you before God,” and if that wasn’t enough, “the Lord Jesus Christ,” and finally, “the elect angels.” What was this charge? “That you observe these things without prejudice!” The exhortation was against showing favoritism to some. (1 Tim.5) Every person is equal in the eyes of God. So if a servant of God shows favoritism than they are misrepresenting God. It is important that we understand that everyone is of equal importance in the eyes of the Lord. God loves us all, He doesn’t have any favorites. We should follow Christ’ example. Christians should treat everyone, regardless of their position in life, with respect. To do any less is to offend our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
God has provided salvation for all mankind. When Christ died, He died for the sins of the world. His offer is open to all; “Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev.22). But most people reject Christ and refuse God’s gift of salvation. So although Christ died for all and makes the offer to all, only those who accept Jesus Christ receive the benefit. So He “Is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe”(1 Tim.4). In other words, He died for everyone, but it takes acceptance by faith to really know Jesus as your personal Savior. Christ’ death doesn’t do you any good unless you receive His forgiveness.
It is sad when people are raised up in Christian ministry too soon after they are saved. They may be clever business people, or prominent citizens, or they may be talented entertainers, singers, musicians, artists or athletes; and when they come to Christ, and began to attend church people see how gifted they are, and immediately put them into a visible, public position. (1 Tim. 3) Talented new Christians are sometimes not given time to develop or mature, and quite often the result is that they are lifted up in pride. Christians need to give them a chance to become grounded in the faith before they are put into positions of leadership.
There is one God & one Mediator between God & men, the Man Christ Jesus”(1 Tim.2). All roads do not lead to Eternal Life! Most religions do not! There is only One who can lead us to Eternal Life, and that is Jesus Christ. He said; “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me” (John14). We sometimes hear from people who are very upset because we teach about the narrow path that leads to Eternal Life, and that there is only one way. That’s not our opinion. Jesus said that!