Preach the Word#5. “In season and out of season” (2Tim.4:2).

Preach the Word#5. “In season and out of season” (2Tim.4:2).

All-occasion-preaching…? This is a big ask!

Admittedly, the preaching “in season” part sounds good. When a church is growing in spirit and in number it is not only attractive to outsiders, it is also a popular place to preach.

Who doesn’t want to preach for a church that doing well? It is a place of Faith, Hope and Love.

However, the dream of church work as being a series of Sunday picnics, though a delightful thought, is far from reality. The worst things that may descend upon a picnic are ants and rain. But the worst things that may descend upon a church are, well…too many to count.

Those ‘worst things,’ although many, do fall into the standard sin categories of “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the boastful pride of life.” Or if you prefer: “Lust, greed and pride.”

The times when such sins are prevalent constitute the “out of season” that Paul calls Timothy to be ready to preach in. A season that will hit you hardest if you have allowed yourself to be slack during the good times of the “in season.”

Verse one holds the key to preparedness in preaching for all seasons:

Firstly, Paul’s charge for Timothy to preach the Word is done “in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus.” The gospel immediately loses its relevance away from the presence of God and our Saviour. The saving gospel then becomes meaningless; warped into a mere social commentary.

Secondly, Paul places the preaching of the Word in the context of its final outcome. Jesus is the one “who will judge the living and the dead.” The gospel quickens—makes alive! Those thus quickened in baptism will be judged as righteous. Those who reject the preaching of the gospel will be judged and suffer the second death.

Finally, Paul’s charge to preach the Word is “in view of his [Jesus’] appearing and his kingdom.” Preaching is dead outside of the vision of Christ’s return and the work of the church.

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

John Staiger


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