As our world changes, many are turning away from listening to the truth and wandering into myths. What should Christians do? Paul charged Timothy to keep doing four things, and these four things are ways that Christians can remain faithful in changing times.
“As for you, always be sober-minded” (2 Tim. 4:5).
We are living in such divisive times politically, socially, and spiritually. People are quick to react to the latest news and to jump on the most recent bandwagon. Anger mounts and tempers flare on social media. Amid a chaotic culture, Christians are called to take the higher ground and display self-control. They must keep their heads in all situations (2 Tim. 4:5). People are looking for stability, and Christians are called to stay poised.
“Endure hardship” (2 Tim. 4:5).
To endure means to hold up, to hold oneself firm, to sustain. As things become more difficult in this society, Christians must take hold of the armor that God has given them to fight the schemes of the devil (Eph. 6:10–18). We need to quickly repent and rely on the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that His grace is sufficient in our weakness.
“Do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim. 4:5).
Evangelism takes work. In our changing world, people are looking for hope and answers. Even though there will be many who will reject the truth, there will be others who will receive it. For the regenerate who are being saved, the evangelist will be a sweet aroma; to others, a bad smell. God commissions Christians to speak the truth in love and to spread the aroma of Christ (2 Cor 2:15–17).
“Fulfill your ministry” (2 Tim. 4:5).
To keep performing does not mean churches and Christians need to put on a show. The church is here not to entertain but to remain faithful in performing its duties. Paul charged Timothy to “discharge all the duties of your ministry.” This means to complete the ministry God has given.
A military discharge is given when a member of the armed forces is released from his or her obligation to serve. A discharge is generally based on whether the person completed his training and then fully and satisfactorily completed his term of service.
Unfortunately, some troops get a dishonorable discharge for bad behavior or for not following an order. God has given His people an order that should not be taken lightly. Christians need to keep performing their duties for His glory and for the good of others.
As I interact with my friends at the twenty-year reunion, it will be interesting to see what everyone looks like. People will see that I no longer have hair! It will be fascinating to hear about what has taken place in their lives. What I am looking forward to most is that despite the many personal and social changes, there will be a handful of my fellow Christian brothers and sisters who have remained faithful in these changing times. It will be encouraging to see how they have grown in their spiritual maturity.
Christian, although we find ourselves living in different times than we did twenty years ago, the Christian’s job description remains the same: keep poised, keep persevering, keep proclaiming, and keep performing the duties that God has prepared in advance for you to do.