“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”
Commentary: Paul instructs Timothy in this letter, which could help those who aspire to teach their fellow brethren, to preach the Word, as in to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are urged to preach at any time and any place when necessary. If at a moment’s notice you need to preach, you must stand and do it boldly as the Lord summons you, and with all endurance to do it well enough.
We are in times when sound doctrine is not easily tolerated, which means that people do not want to hear the hard truth the Gospel contains; rather, they want to live according to their own lusts and will only listen to people who cater to their inner desires. The truth about our Lord that breathes fire into the pit of our soul is what we must earnestly yearn for – what we most need in this turbulent world. Show the Lord how well you can preach the Gospel by your humility, and endure through it because it is surely rewarding.
Be wary of heretical and false doctrine, especially in our contemporary age where progressive, liberal, and new age agendas are being pushed as the Will of God, and that God is being used as a device to spread the progressive agenda to the nations. Some of them are able to preach about Jesus Christ for their own gain; however, they are potentially unsaved. Be watchful, and do not be easily deceived or partake gullible doctrine.
4:2 gives the following instructions, which are defined as follows:
- Reprove: To charge someone with a fault, or criticize them for something wrong or incorrect they have said, believed, or done. Reprove has more to do with errors and heresies.
- Rebuke: Similar in meaning to reprove, but can also mean to check, restrain, or discipline as in correcting someone. For example, if someone has done something incorrect, you can reprove them by criticism, and rebuke them by correcting them with the correct fact/opinion. Rebuke is more associated with helping someone understand their sin or what they are doing is incorrect.
- Exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine: To encourage, advise, or warn someone, and to do it with endurance or patience (not quitting easily), and with doctrine (as in, what you are stating is to teach them what is true based on what the Bible says and nothing heretical or false about it). Christians should exhort each other in love, to do good works, to hold fast to our faith, to persevere in faith and holiness, or comforting them as a minister of the Gospel of Christ. Preaching peace, pardoning, righteousness, and Salvation by Jesus Christ is assuredly a good thing when you detect someone needs to be exhorted.