Saturday, August 7, 2010
Heavy Duty Christianity
II Tim 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
The second chapter of II Timothy is not for weak-kneed or wishy-washy Christians who have prayed the prayer and feel they are “good to go.”
This chapter could be summed up in the phrase, "If you do not bear the cross, you cannot wear the crown."
For those who think Christianity is a party, this chapter is a wake-up call. Prosperity preachers, the “name it, claim it, blab it, grab it” crowd leave chapters like this alone.
This chapter shows that believers are not promised a rose garden, but an all out warfare.
Consider the following exhortations from the old grizzled soldier, Paul to his son in the faith, Timothy (and to those who would volunteer to become a soldier of the cross:
1. Be strong in the grace of Jesus, vs 1
2. Pass the faith along, diligently teaching other true disciples, vs 2
3. Endure the harshness of the battle, this is what good soldiers do, vs 3
4. Don't get bogged down with the unnecessary things of life. vs 4. Imagine a soldier engaged in battle on a foreign field pausing to play a round of golf!
5. Obey your orders! vs 5
6. You will suffer and be slandered. vs 9
7. You've got to endure for the sake of those who follow your faith, vs 10
8. Death is a possibility, vs 11
9. Deny the Lord, and risk Him denying you, vs 12
10. Speak the truth, no matter the consequences, vs 14
11. Master the Word, vs 15
12. Give no place to wickedness, stay on the straight and narrow, vss 19-22
13. Fight the good fight with love and meekness, knowing the stakes, eternity! vss 24-26
Those who are in it for the blessings, rather than the service are in for some hard times. Unfortunately, most of them will not endure when the battle heats up.
As our friend Johnny Flanagan said in his song, “It’s a battle field brother, not a recreation hall, a fight and not a game, I don’t know what you came to do, but I came here to stay.”