In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight,I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:1-8)
The highest value today is tolerance. To be tolerant is to be wise and mature. But tolerance, in today’s definition, is not simply respecting people’s opinions or views. It has to do with the whole concept of truth. Is there such a thing as truth? Can we actually say something is right or wrong? Tolerance, for many people today, especially when it relates to religion, simply means “believe whatever you like to believe.” Consequently, there is growing disdain for preachers who claim to preach “the truth.” How can those who are called by God to preach continue to preach in such a negative environment?
Those who are called by God to preach the word of God must do so faithfully regardless of how people are responding. The simple reason is this: Those who are faithful with the word will be rewarded by the Lord. People may not listen or respond in obedience to the word of God (vv.1-5). That will happen, according to the apostle Paul. It’s part of prophecy. But it’s also true that in the end God will honor and reward those who are faithful in preaching His word regardless of what happens. Therefore, those who preach must look to God as the One who will reward them in the end. They must endure hardship and preach the word in season and out of season.
Preaching may not be a lucrative career, but it is the vocation that will be rewarded someday, if we do it faithfully. God will reward those who faithfully preach His word regardless of how people are responding. Do this starting today, and focus yourself on the rewards that God and Jesus will give you on that Day. Don’t focus on pleasing people. Stay faithful!