Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” – 2Timothy 4:2
In this post I am going to deal with the subject of Biblical Preaching. It is quite obvious that in this day and age we need biblical preachers. There is too much circus going on in the church circles to the point that the bible has been evicted from the pulpits and has been replaced by the books written by these false and egomaniac preachers. There are only three points I am going to treat. First we are going to look at the content of preaching, and then move on to the timing of preaching, and then we shall look at the application of preaching.
I. The Content of Preaching
“Preach the word”
Paul gives Timothy a charge before God and before the Lord Jesus Christ. He tells him to preach the word. There is nothing more Timothy is told to preach apart from the word of God. It shouldn’t be a surprise as to why Timothy must preach the word. It has been explained in the preceding verses, that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” The Scriptures are God’s word and therefore they must be preached. Amos says, “The Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:7). So if God speaks to us today, there is no need then to listen to anything else except the preaching of God’s word.
There could be a number of activities at the gathering of believers but those activities no matter what they may be, are not worthy to be compared to the word of God in terms of importance. The word must be preached at all costs and irrespective of what activity we have in place. When we go to church we enjoy socializing and eating. We also enjoy having fellowship with other believers in singing or in dancing to music but the ultimate purpose is to have fellowship with God in hearing Him as He speaks to us through the preaching of His word. Paul says, “Preach the word, Timothy!” No gibberish! No funny stuf! Just preach the word of God without any reservation whatsoever. It is through the word of God that a man can live. The responsibility therefore, of the preacher, is to preach and to teach the word of God to the people.
II. The Timing of Preaching
“Be instant in season, out of season”
If one were to ask, “When should the word be preached?” this section of the verse covers it. It says, “In season and out season.” Lets us explore the two words. What does Paul mean by “In season, out of season?”
1. In Season (ευκαιρως)
Paul tells Timothy to preach the word in Season. The Greek word is “Eukairos” which is made up of two words, “Eus” an adverb which means “good” or “well” and “kairos” which means “opportunity,” or “proper time.” What Paul tells this young preacher is, he must make use of proper time to preach the word. He must preach whenever he is expected to preach.
Time is always bound up with space. So this also implies that Timothy must preach the word at the right place for the preaching of the word. He must preach at church services, funerals, weddings and many other places where the word is always expected to be delivered. He must preach the word where and when it feels right to preach.
Preaching involves not only space and time but it also involves people. There are different kinds of people but the word of God must be preached to all the people whom God loves. To preach at the right time (in season) means to preach to believers. The people who needs to be edified and to be encouraged in the faith
2. Out of Season (ακαιρως)
Again we look at the Greek word used in this text. The word is “akairos” which is a negative of “kairos.” The word ought to be preached also in times viewed as inconvenient to preach. These are the times where people do not think that there could be any preaching done. Preach it while waiting for the bus and on board the bus. Preach it while watching a football match.
The word of God can be preached at a street corner or outside the sports stadium as people go in to watch the match. Preach the word at a community meeting or at the art in the park event. Anywhere and at anytime, preach the word of God, O man of God.
Preaching out of season means you are going to be preaching to people who do not care about the word of God. People who do not want to hear about Jesus. Sometimes they will be offended but some will be converted. The president of the country needs to hear the preaching. Your boss needs to hear the gospel and that potty mouthed neighbour of yours who is always drunk needs to hear the gospel from you. Since he won’t go to church to hear it there, intrude on his time like an angel of dead and preach the hell out of him. Who knows maybe God will touch his heart and he will come to repentance.
III. The Application of Preaching
“Reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
Paul tells Timothy of four things which his sermons should aim to do. These four things should also be seen in our own sermons.
1. Reprove (correct)
At times people get wrong ideas about many things. When this happens, it is the duty of the preacher to bring about correction. A pastor’s role is to shepherd or guide his flock. When one sheep strays from the way, the pastor must bring them back onto the right path. The preaching must bring correction. It must turn the prodigal son back to the Father’s arms.
When people are doing wrong things, they need to be rebuked. We need preachers who will rebuke wrongdoers without fear. We need the kind of preaching that would rebuke those people who are continuing in sinful practices. Under good preaching, people should have a vivid understanding of right and wrong. If this is not happening then the preacher has failed to execute his job properly.
3. Exhort (encourage)
Sometimes people got through seasons of drought and difficulty. Some are even on the verge to lose their faith. The preacher must encourage them to press on and never to give up. As a preacher you must encourage people to do the following (just to name the few):
ii) Read the Bible everyday
iii) Tell others about Jesus
iv) To live in holiness
v) Fellowship with other Christians
vi) Be kind to other people
To encourage people is not an easy job. Often the result would not be seen as soon as we would like them. Therefore it is necessary to keep sharing and encouraging people with a great deal of patience. Don’t stop preaching just because you think there are no results.
Every preacher must understand the doctrines which the bible teaches and therefore must pass them on to the people of God. The people must understand the subjects like Justification, Sanctification, Resurrection and any other doctrine that we have in the word of God. We must always uphold the true doctrine in our preaching.
a. The Bible
As Paul had pointed out that “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God” He also pointed out that they are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
Note: The scriptures are profitable (useful) for Doctrine. This means every doctrine that is taught in our preaching should always be based on the Scriptures, particularly the Bible.
To say that the scriptures are useful for Doctrine implies that in the matters of teaching, the Holy Scriptures are the only literary work that bears authority in the Christian body. Any other text should therefore be looked at with careful consideration and scrutiny. We teach the Bible and we preach from the Bible.
We have established that Paul teaches Timothy to preach the word of God. He must preach the word of God to those who believe and he must preach to those who don’t believe. There is no place on earth where Christ shouldn’t be preached. Christ must be preached anywhere, anytime and to anyone.
To preach the word of God in our time means to preach Jesus Christ being the Saviour who was crucified and then raised from the dead, and then ascended to heaven and who is soon to return. Jesus Christ should always be the centre of attention and the centrifuge of our preaching. Jesus Christ at the Centre of it all.