Reading this part of Paul’s letter to Timothy (chapter 3) there will be those within the Church who would read this passage and start thinking / believing that Christ’s return will be any day now due to what is happening around the globe. But in reality for the last 2000+ years due to circumstances around the globe people have predicted Christ’s return, we should live our lives as if each day is our last as Jesus said “32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.” Mark 13:32-33 [ESV]
In verses 10 & 11 it is evident that Timothy had spent a considerable amount of time with Paul, who had in effect mentored him; Timothy will have witnessed the sufferings which Paul had endured for his love for Christ.; and willingness to proclaim the Gospel. Paul reminds Timothy and us in verse 12 of Jesus’ warning “13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Mark 13:13 [ESV] The phrase ‘endures to the end’ sounds painful and hard work, which is why we need to put the armour of God on each day, read our Bibles daily and seek the Lord for His strength and wisdom.
As followers of Christ we need to continue in our private study of Scripture, while fellowshipping with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to encourage one-another in being disciplined studying Scripture, not so we can become ‘big headed’ winning theological arguments; but being able to spot untruths being preached from the pulpit, on social media, in home groups etc. If we don’t know Scripture we won’t be able spot the ‘wolves in sheeps clothing’ until it’s too late, in verse 6 Paul mentions those who have sneaked into homes (churches) leading people astray and once they have a proverbial foot in the door it’s hard to remove them as they will be likeable, pleasant, charming people who will form a group of unwitting loyal friends. I’ve been in a church where the majority of the congregation including ourselves left the church, due to a similar situation.
I believe as the Church enters a new phase in it’s life post pandemic, it will be vital that within each church there is a core group of people who meet up for in depth Bible study. And each member of the congregation has a ‘Bible Buddy’, who they will be accountable to in relation to their private Bible study. In 1 Peter 3:15 “15 but in your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, [ESV] if we are ready to make a defence of our hope in Christ we will also be ready to speak up when untruths are being spoken.
This coming think how often do you study Scripture in private, and who could be your Bible buddy.
All Bible quotes and links have been taken from http://www.biblegateway.com