2Ti 4:3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,
2Ti 4:4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
2Ti 4:5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
In this message to Timothy from Paul, we as Christians are urged to do many things. We are a generation that has decided that the moral issues we face are not absolute and each person is responsible to decide for himself what is right in his own eyes. Drug usage and alcohol abuse is rampant amongst young people, the family unit is eroding, and the fight against pornography and sexual immorality doesn't seem to be getting any better in spite of all of our efforts. The sad story is that this is in the Christian community as much as it is in the world.
Paul teaches us that there is going to be a time when men and women of God will turn away from the truth. They will not only turn away from the truth and wander off into myths, but they will begin to worship the creation rather than the Creator. They will be given up to the lusts of their hearts and to impurity to the point of dishonoring their bodies. They will exchange the truth of God for a lie. (rom 1:23-25)
I certainly believe we are in that time. I was listening to a celebrity the other day who claims to be a Christian. I was curious about what they truly believed because the life they live on and off the big screen doesn't really match up to what I have come to know a follower of Christ to live like. As I did a little research I discovered that this person believes that Christ was a good moral person and that He is a person to model after because of His charity and good deeds to the poor. Being God himself isn't part of the picture because this person doesn't believe that Christ is God.
Paul addresses this very issue to Timothy and gives him instruction as how to live so he doesn't become like one of them. 2 Timothy 4:5 tells us to be sober minded. The King James version says to watch thou in all things. Translated: Be on alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. (1Cor 16:13) Paul tells us to be watchful of sinful desires that come down our path and to be strong enough in Christ to flee from these temptations. When we flee from temptation we are able to fulfill the ministry that God has given to us.
Too many times men and women of God allow their lives to be taken over by their fleshly desires, sexual temptations, and lust. When this happens the ministry that God has called them to suffers and those who trusted them are crushed and their faith is shaken. As well as being watchful of sin in our lives we are told that we will need to endure suffering and do the work of an evangelist. There are many hardships that come our way as we decide to walk in faith and do the work of God. Some of those could be financial, others personal, and some may just be character issues that God is working on to make us more like Christ. Whatever the hardship, we are to go through it and see God's hand working in it.
This message to Timothy isn't only to pastors and elders, but I believe it can apply to all of us who are followers of Christ. We all have people around us that we are able to influence and lead toward the Gospel. (evangelism) This includes our own children, other loved ones, and neighbors and friends. So whatever your position is in Christ I urge you today to look at the message from Paul to Timothy and follow through with the instruction given so you will be able to fulfill the ministry God has given you.