2 Timothy 2 shows us some important guidance that Paul gave to Timothy. In particular some of it applies to pastors or ministers or people who are full time focused on the gospel, but part of it applies to any disciple of Yeshua.
1You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. 5Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. 6The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. 7Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
8Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, 9for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. 10For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.
11It is a trustworthy statement:
For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
12If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
13If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
Key points that I draw from Paul:
- Our strength comes from Yeshua.
- We are not trying to make converts to Christianity, but disciples who grow in knowledge and can teach others. Conversion is only the very beginning.
- The analogy to a soldier best fits with a full time focus in ministry. Separate from some of the day to day as a soldier must in order to go fight and win a war. Even those of us who are not fully focused in ministry should seek wisely to separate from many things which are distractions in the normal day to day.
- The athlete analogy highlights that Yeshua has certain guidelines and instructions he wants us to follow. It is about how we live, not just “what we accomplish”.
- Visible disciples of Yeshua may face differing levels of hardship and conflict as the world and Satan will come against them. We are not to avoid it, but rather to endure it.
- Though a person may be imprisoned, the word of YHWH can not be imprisoned. No chains can hold the power of YHWH when he chooses to move.
- We are to live and die with Yeshua. We are to remain faithful in all circumstances.
- If we deny Yeshua, he will also deny us.
Pray and reflect on these points and ask YHWH to help you in your faith and in enduring hardship and living (and dying) with Yeshua.
Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.