“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” 2nd Timothy 4:2 [KJV]
Recently during a Sunday school class, the discussion moved toward the topic of proclaiming the gospel. One question had asked about how to proclaim the gospel in times of great pressure, and my mind immediately came to this passage. The question that came to my mind was, what would be the times a Christian is in season, and what would be the times they are out?
Deciding the times that we are in season would not be very hard. These would be those times in our life when the Spirit is actively working in our lives, and you and I can clearly see what God would have us to do or say. Sharing the gospel with someone when they are asking questions about your faith is what we typically look for, which is why I would say that it is fair to call such occasions “in season.” Other “in season” episodes would be times when we know a clear, biblical truth has been challenged or when we are in a setting when the things of faith can be easily discussed. While much could be said in regards to these thoughts, allow me to move on to the times that I would see as “out of season.”
I would consider “out of season” opportunities to proclaim the Gospel are the times in life when we feel like God has already finished working, or we do not expect God to work. One example I would consider “out of season” would be when we need to challenge a church member or someone in our family with how they are living in regards to the commands of scripture. You may have a friend or sibling who would tell you without struggle that they are a Christian, but you know that their life is not reflective of Christ’s teachings. Some would not see a need to proclaim God’s truth, because that friend or loved one claims salvation. However, a life that is not living according to Christ’s teachings, no matter who they claim to trust, needs to be challenged with the truth found in the Bible!
Other times that may be “out of season” would be scenes like; you’ve recently been struggling with a particular sin, but God is asking you to share what he has taught you with another in a same situation. Perhaps you work in a Christian environment, but you can see that a co-worker has not surrendered to Christ as Lord. It may just be that God has brought you to a situation where you are uncomfortable, but you are still felling prompted to share His light. While we could all find times when we think that there is no need to speak about God’s word, what we will find is that there is never a season when the messages of Jesus are irrelevant.
My aim in this post is not to breakdown this passage in a way that will add some fire to your day, but only to remind you that we must always be ready to preach the word. The message of Jesus is a message that offers life, eternal life, and it is a sad thing when the good news is not proclaimed simply because you or I were not ready “out of season.”
Written by Timothy Hegerich
There is truth in our world, and it lies within the word of the One who created the world. It is my prayer that my thoughts and writings echo this truth and inspire you to seek it for your life today!