"So, do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time," 2 Timothy 1:8,9
Just recently I was listening to a sermon while driving to the grocery store. The pastor was speaking on the second book of Timothy specifically Paul's exhortations to young Timothy. Paul was writing from his prison cell. All his words were desperate. Not the desperate like we might speak..."Please bring me a soft pillow" or "I can't do this anymore!" It was more like an urgent last exhortation. Timothy! Be strong, Guard your heart, Don't be ashamed of the Gospel, Endure hardship, Join me in suffering, and Be aware of the last days. We would do good to pay attention this letter. It just wasn't for Timothy.
We find ourselves in desperate times. Times of political unrest, people fleeing their own lands, changing values, and religious persecution. 2 Timothy 3:1-4 says, But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days...People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.-" Are we not seeing these verses played out in our times?
Desperate times call for desperate measures! Like Paul we need to exhort each other. We need to STAND OUT for the GOSPEL! We can't modify what we believe to FIT IN. We can't let fear grip us, or let our feelings reign. It may be easier to just float in and out of our convictions when its convenient. But that is not what God has called us to. He saved us and called us to a HOLY LIFE. A life that STANDS OUT. We have our foundation on God's Word. It's not going to get any easier. We may not be persecuted as the Apostle Paul was. But we have this assurance and confidence that in the end God WINS!
Come, let us join together! Don't shrink back! Our TIME is NOW! Stand out and be a voice! A voice for those who don't have a voice. A force that joins in PRAYER. Our Gospel is a MISSIONARY GOSPEL.