Here are a few thoughts on this powerful charge given to the young pastor, Timothy, and some takeaways for us as ministers of the gospel:
1. Preach, instruct, correct and encourage all the time—when you’re ready and when you feel you’re not; when you’re full of passion and energy, and when it’s totally inconvenient and you’re exhausted. Strive to not be caught off guard with nothing profitable to say.
2. Remember, you can’t change hearts or society—it is the Holy Spirit who does this through the proclamation and ministry of the Word. You’ve been called to fulfill the stewardship God has entrusted you with. So focus on completing the work set out before you until He returns or takes you home.
3. People, like you and me, are very stubborn and hardhearted. You must minister “with complete patience.” As Paul wrote in chapter 2: “And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26).
4. Sound doctrine leads to godliness. The opposite is true as well—departing from sound doctrine will lead to all kinds of immorality (“…the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine…” (1 Timothy 1:10)).
5. Even if you are not an evangelist, there is still a responsibility to do the work of an evangelist.
6. All of this is carried out in light of the fact that the Lord is ready to judge the living and the dead, ready to appear, and
ready to consummate His kingdom. Therefore, be sober-minded and endure suffering through this short season of life you are given here on earth.