Second Timothy 3:12




The Bible says in Second Timothy 3:12, “Yes, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” In this world there is a spiritual warfare. There is a competition between good and evil. Evil hates that which is good and opposes God. Concerning this spiritual warfare, Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” We know that in this spiritual warfare, our enemies are not human beings. As believers we have good intentions towards all human beings. Towards the lost we offer the gospel for the salvation of their souls. Towards the saved no matter what their spiritual maturity we offer the Word of God for the building up of their faith. We regard no person as our enemy. Even so we know that the power of evil comes against us at times in the form of persecutions. Jesus told us that the servant is not greater than his master, and we know what was done to Jesus. If you have never suffered persecution for the name of Christ, then you might want to give some serious reflection to what is your true spiritual condition. You might think that you are rich, when in reality, you are poor and miserable and blind.


The dark spiritual forces of this world certainly have enough human beings at their disposal to use in the work of persecution. The Bible says in Second Timothy 3:13, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” Paul had already warned Timothy in verse one that, “in the last days perilous times shall come.” He related the perilous times to the sinfulness and wickedness of human beings. There is a certain progression to the march of evil across the earth. The progression of evil will continue until the man of sin himself is revealed, and the world will gladly give him the power. How can such things happen? Deception. They think they know, but they do not know. They have got an answer, but it is the wrong answer. They have been deceived. Beware. “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived


The world is going to do what it is going to do, but we do not have to go the same way. Thank God there is a better way. Instead of evil and deception, there is the way of truth and righteousness. Paul wrote to Timothy in Second Timothy 3:14-15, “But continue thou in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them; And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Timothy had come to know the good doctrines and the good teachings that come from the Apostle Paul and that come from the scriptures. He also had come to know them from his childhood. This is an important verse for understanding what should always be the hope, intention, plan, and desire of the Christian parent: to help their children to come to know the scriptures. Of course, the number one responsibility of a parent is to be a teacher, and the best thing that any parent could ever teach their children is the Word of God. If you want children to have every opportunity to know and serve God, then teach them everything you can, and help them to get into safe situations where others will also help teach them the Word. That is what Christian education is all about.


The Word of God is what can make the difference. Without the Word of God, all is lost; no matter if we are talking about children or adults. And so the Bible says in Second Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” The reason that the Bible has such value for both children and adults is its source. The Bible is the only book in the world that comes from men inspired by God. All other books including Christian books come from man only. The Bible is the God-breathed book. That is why anyone who takes away from or adds to the Bible has committed such a great error. Any supposedly Christian organization that says that they believe the Bible but that they also have other books or other writings or other authorities have started down a dangerous road with dreadful consequences. The last chapter of the Bible gives this warning in Revelation 22:18-19, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book


First Paul tells Timothy once again to study the Bible, and then Paul tells him to take what he has studied and preach it to others. Second Timothy 4:1-2 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, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” One of the main reasons for taking in the Word of God is so that you can give it out. God uses His Word to speak to hearts. His Word never goes out void. It always accomplishes the purpose that He gives to it. When is the right time to give out God’s Word? It is always the right time. There is never a wrong time to give out God’s Word. “Be instant in season, out of season


The Word of God changes lives. Our lives need to be changed. Nothing else can do what the Word of God can do. Lost people need to become saved, and saved people need to become better servants of the Lord. The judgment is coming. The Lord will judge the living and the dead at His appearing. The preaching of the Word of God will help prepare people for the great judgment of all human beings. The Word of God changes lives, but it does not always do it as quickly as we would like to see it done. That is why it must be preached with “all longsuffering


There are very specific doctrines that need to be taught about salvation by faith in Christ Jesus, about repentance of sin, about the character of God, about the authority of the scriptures, about the resurrection from the dead, about the return of Christ, about the leading and filling of the Holy Spirit. There are a vast number of those who claim to believe who have not been well instructed in these matters. That is one of the reasons for the different denominations. Someone is wrong. The Bible says in Second Timothy 4:3-4, “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.” It is interesting to note that these who turn their ears away from the truth, shall be turned unto fables. That is a perfect word to use to describe some of the cults today: fables.


No matter what others do, our goal is to always do the right thing. The Bible says in Second Timothy 4:5, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” In this verse Paul told Timothy to do four things: 1. To watch in all things. 2. To endure afflictions. 3. To do the work of an evangelist. 4. To make full proof of his ministry. First, we should watch in all things. There are certainly a lot of things to watch for. We should watch for the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Knowing that Jesus can come at any time and at any day will help us to keep things in the right perspective. Whoever does not watch for the return of Christ may not be ready for His return, and that would be a big mistake. Jesus said in Matthew 25:13, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh    


Paul told Timothy to watch in all things. We should watch for the return of Christ. We should also watch out for temptation. You never know when evil will lie at the door. The next time that you open the door or the next time that you turn a corner, temptation may stare you in the face. Be careful. Be on your guard, or you may fall. Anyone who thinks he stands should take heed lest he falls. Jesus said in Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak


If we watch in all things, then there are always certain things to watch for or to watch out for. We know to watch for the return of Christ. We know to watch out for temptation. We also know to watch for opportunity. Redeem the time. Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today. God has given you today and the opportunities of today, but you do not know if He will give you tomorrow. Look for the open door. Watch out for it so that you can go through it when it comes. God opens the door that no man can shut, but He also shuts the door that no man can open. Sometimes opportunity knocks once. Make sure that you watch for the opportunity if you do not want to lose it. 


Paul told Timothy to watch in all things, and he told him to “endure afflictions.” Difficulties, trials, and sorrows will be a part of life especially for those who desire to follow Jesus in this world. Jesus told the disciples in John 16:33, “In the world you shall have tribulation.” Some people spend their lives trying to avoid afflictions, even compromising and lusting, in order to avoid some of the trials that otherwise would come their way. If you are going to serve Jesus, afflictions cannot be avoided, but they can be endured. The way to gain victory over an affliction is not to escape it, but to endure it until it ends. Some people have failed miserably because they escaped an affliction when they should have endured it. Some marriages have probably ended because of this. Jesus did say, “In the world you shall have tribulation.” But He also said in the same verse in John 16:33, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” The way to be saved from the trials and difficulties of an affliction is to endure the affliction all the way until the affliction ends. That is what Jesus meant when He said, “They that endure until the end shall be saved.” He was not talking about salvation. He was talking about the fact that some things must be endured all the way to their end if victory is to be won over those things.


Paul told Timothy to do the work of an evangelist. The work of an evangelist is the work of spreading the gospel. It is one of the main reasons that God leaves us on the earth after we are saved. The heart of God, the love of God, the work of God, and the will of God all have to do with the spread of the gospel of Christ. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son…” We know very little about serving the Lord in this world unless we are involved in some way in spreading the gospel. Jesus said, “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost.” Jesus also said, “There is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repents than over ninety and nine just persons that need no repentance.” But how shall they believe except they hear? And how shall they hear, except someone tell them the gospel? It is no wonder that Paul told Timothy to do the work of an evangelist. 


The fourth thing that Paul told Timothy to do in Second Timothy 4:5 was to make full proof of his ministry: in other words to fulfill his ministry and to complete it to the full. That is what Jesus did. When Jesus hung on the cross, He said, “It is finished.” Jesus finished paying for the sins of the world. Jesus fulfilled the will of God. Jesus completed all the things that the Father had sent Him to do. God wants us to learn to do that also. Finish the job. Many people have started something, but never finished it. When you start something, finish it. Perhaps you have not done that in the past. Then start doing it. If God has given you something to do, then finish it. You can apply that principle to many things in life, even to marriage. If you have entered into marriage, then stay with it all the way to the end. That is the will of God. “Make full proof of your ministry


Notice that it says to make full proof of your ministry, not someone else’s. Learn to analyze yourself and your own ministry. How can you make it better? How can you improve it? But do not get into being critical of someone else. Do not judge others. Jesus said, “Judge not that you be not judged.” You do not know what they have gone through. You do not know how far they have come already. Besides, God is their judge. They must answer to Him and not to you. Be concerned with making full proof of your own ministry.  



Copyright; 2002 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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