In the bulletin last week we gave a summary article of the sermon of the previous week (8/4). We reminded ourselves that the word EVANGELISM is not a word that pertains only to the leaders of the congregation, but involves us all. We considered a part of an acrostic: E – ETERNITY (2 Corinthians 5:11). V – VENGEANCE (Romans 12:17-21)! A – ASSURANCE (Acts 17:30-31). N – NADAB & ABIHU (Leviticus 10:1-2). G – GOSPEL (Romans 1:16-17). This week we want to finish the acrostic.
E – EXHORTATIONS (2 Timothy 4:1-5). When Paul left Timothy in Ephesus, he left him with the charge to teach no other doctrine; Timothy was faithful to this charge. Now, at the juncture of life when Paul was prepared to leave this world behind, he gave exhortations to Timothy to preach the word of God, and do it faithfully. For a preacher, for a Christian, no better charge can be given.
L – LAW & LIBERTY (James 1:25; Galatians 6:2). The exhortations that come from God’s word are words that pertain to God’s law; it gives liberty to all who obey it. It would be a mistake to think that God’s word is not God’s law simply because some people fear the notion of “legalism.” Legalism practiced is compliance to an outward idea, with no inward movement or motivation that has its origin in love of God.
I – IMMINENT (Revelation 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2). The law that gives us liberty also gives us clarity concerning the actuality of the Lord’s return. When the Lord comes He will come as a thief in the night, and if we are fortunate to be alive when He comes, we shall all see Him. On the other hand, we won’t be fortunate at all when the Lord comes and we aren’t prepared to meet Him. Life has a frailty component to it; unprepared, it will be a fearful experience!
S – SALVATION (Acts 2:36-47). The precarious nature of life should encourage us to give consideration to the Lord’s salvation. It may be that many will refuse to do such, and if so, it will be at their own peril. There is coming a day, however, when those in Christ, those who are faithful to His word will enjoy the pleasures of His salvation that He offers to the obedient.
M – MAJESTY (Jude 24-25). The Lord is glorious in all His ways; we may not understand them to our satisfaction, but that He is in control encourages us to put our trust in Him. Whatever good may be seen in another person, it does not compare with the majesty and holiness of the Lord. Paul said that he knew in whom he believed (2 Timothy 1:12), and the faithful Christian does as well.
To all this we can make some applications. Let us consider but a couple. Take inventory with regard to yourself (2 Corinthians 13:5). It is the mark of good business practices to know one’s inventory. When a product quantity is low, procurement of additional inventory keeps happy customers from going to other stores to purchase what one should have on the shelf. Have you considered whether or not you are “low” with regard to something spiritual? It will surely be a wise thing to consider. Pray vigorously (1 Thessalonians 5:17). A faithful Christian prays often because of Him who is the author of life. One not only prays because of Him who is the author, but to Him also. A man may have great ability and navigate the course of life with much success, but with all the success he may muster – what then? In closing, a Christian knows before whom he will stand, and because he knows this he seeks to evangelize with each breath. RT