Listen:  135.2

To explain this verse, we really need to consider 2 Timothy 4:1-4 which says, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the word: be instant in season and 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.”

This was the Apostle Paul’s last epistle and in it he predicted that times were only going to get worse before Christ would appear to judge the world and set up His kingdom. The dark days that were setting in called for faithfulness on the part of young Timothy and thus Paul gives him a solemn charge in verse 2, “Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” In contrast to the false teachers in verses 3-4, who would only preach things that made the people feel good and that would cater to their lusts, Timothy was to “Preach the word,” which means he was preach the whole Word of God. Paul himself had done this wherever he went, as he reminded the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:27 when he said, “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsels of God.” It mattered not to Paul, nor was it to matter to Timothy, if the Word made people feel good or not. In fact the next few commands to Timothy convey the thought that men wouldn’t always like what they needed to hear. Let’s take a closer look at them:

1) “Be instant in season, out of season”…Timothy was to take advantage of every opportunity he had to preach the Word. “Out of season” would imply that there would be times when men didn’t want to hear the Word; it wouldn’t be “convenient for them.” That was not to deter Timothy from his charge.

2) “Reprove”…The Greek word for this is ‘elenko’. It’s found 17 times in the New Testament and besides the word “reprove” it is translated “convict,” “convince,” “rebuke” and “tell fault.” In each case it has the thought of “exposing” someone’s sin with the hope they would be “convicted” of that sin. Timothy was a rather timid man, so this would take the power and energy of the Holy Spirit to do this.

3) “Rebuke”…Timothy was also to “admonish” those whom he had to “reprove.” Sometimes it’s not enough to simply expose a person’s sins; at times they may need to be shown just how wrong it was for them to have done it and to be told not to do it again.

4) “Exhort”…On the positive side, Timothy was also to “encourage” the wrong-doer to make things right and to walk with the Lord in “paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.”

5) “With all longsuffering and doctrine”…If Timothy was faithful in his charge; it would most definitely require him to be “patient” with those he was seeking to correct. This was to be accompanied with just the right “teaching” to meet their needs.

If the times were bad in Timothy’s day (and they were!) and they called for him to be faithful in these things, how much more is this needed today. By God’s grace let’s apply this passage to ourselves.  (135.2)  (DO)