The title does not mean that I am giving instructions to young preachers. God knows I still need instruction. There are many young pastors and preachers who are better instructed, than myself, and do so much better a job than myself, and some other older pastors I know.
Paul, in giving instructions to Timothy instructs all who will hear God’s call and follow Him. My reading today was in the first two Pastoral Epistles – First and Second Timothy. They are “Instructions To a Young Preacher” that we all need to hear and heed. There is much sorrow on my mind and life for the many things I have not done according to these instructions.
First we can see that Timothy must have been struggling a bit with timidity and fear. We hear Paul say to him,
“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God…” 2 Timothy 1:6-8 (KJV)
As you can see this is addressed in the second epistle. It was probably a problem with Timothy from the first, though it could have also have became a problem following some time in ministry. Timothy needed encouragement from his teacher, the apostle Paul; and Paul was giving it.
In these letters the apostle addresses several issues; prayer, leadership, and praying for those in authority. He addresses the matter of women teaching men. Because of the cultural prostitution, there is even instruction for women concerning the way they dress. Do not dress like prostitutes. Which, still needs to be heard. It is a matter of creation order, not equality that we should realize. It was not a cultural issue it is a life issue for every culture. The apostle Paul addresses the qualifications of pastors and deacons. Who can fully measure up to these, but by the grace of God?
The apostle reveals Jesus Christ as “the man” in Heaven,
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6
The young pastor is also instructed to “Flee youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22). The young pastor, preacher; and the old pastor/preacher needs to heed this cautions. Youthful lust is not the only problem. Old men can lust too. There have been far too many pastors and preachers, young and old who have fallen to the seductive calling of applause, approval, and power.
There is much in these two letters for us to read, to hear and to heed. Let me leave you with these last verses,
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:1-2
It is needed by the world of 2012 just as much; if not more than in the first century A.D. Let us all be faithful to preaching the inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired Word of God.
-Tim A. Blankenship