Holding Forth The Word Of Life

By Rich Carmicheal

    In Second Timothy, the Apostle Paul warns us that godlessness will mark the last days.  He writes, “…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--having a form of godliness but denying its power…” (2 Tim. 3:1-5).

    Unfortunately, these signs are becoming more prevalent in our day, not only in the world, but in the church as well.  At every turn we see pride, materialism, corruption, deceit, immorality, divorce, violence, idolatry, greed, selfishness, anger and so forth.

    Paul goes on in Second Timothy to call believers to live in contrast to this godlessness.  He writes, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of…” (2 Tim. 3:14).  Paul especially emphasizes the importance of continuing in the Word of God.  He stresses that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work…Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Tim. 3:16 – 4:2).  Paul states this same truth in a different way in Colossians:  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom…” (Col. 3:16).

    The need for Word-filled believers in our day is obvious.  The world and the church are in desperate need of those who know the Word and who can “correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.”  Of course, this does not come without effort.  Instead, one must “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15, KJV).  Unfortunately, too many believers today do not even read the Word, let alone study it and use it for effective ministry.  As the writer of Hebrews laments, “…though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.  You need milk, not solid food!” (Heb. 5:12).

    This issue of Herald of His Coming focuses on the Word of God.  I hope that it inspires and motivates you to renew your commitment to God’s Word--not a casual commitment, but a determination to read, study and apply the Word in ministry.  If you are already doing these things, I want to encourage you to press on.  If you are not, I want to encourage you to commit yourself to begin.

    God’s Word is powerful.  If you allow it to dwell richly in you, then you will be in a position in which the Lord can use you to impact the lives of others.  In the midst of a crooked and depraved generation, you will “…shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life…” (Phil. 2:15-16).