The Berean Expositor
Volume 48 - Page 146 of 181
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his congregation. He dare not proclaim all he knows of God's truth for fear of losing his
job. Quite a lot of opposition to the witness given through Paul has this as its basis if
only the critics would be honest and state the real reason.
The result is clearly given by the Apostle: "they . . . . . will heap to themselves
teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside
unto fables" (verses 3, 4 R.V.). In chapter 1: 15 Paul declared that all in Asia had turned
away from him. If people turn away from the human channel through which the risen
Christ is speaking, there can be only one consequence, they will turn away from the truth.
And that is precisely what we see all around us today. Modern Christendom has largely
turned away from the revelation of Christ given through the Apostle of the Gentiles, and
the result is confusion, declension and the reception of myth in the place of the `good
deposit'. If truth is rejected, something must take its place and that can only be error.
Much of today's opposition comes from what is described as `science', but it is
anything but scientific, being merely speculation. Yet how many eagerly cling to this
rather than submit to the authority of the Word of God, which only indicates where their
hearts and true inclinations lie!
The Apostle's thoughts turn back to Timothy:
"As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil
your ministry" (4: 5, R.S.V.).
The Greek su is emphatic, which the R.S.V. rightly indicates by translating it, `as for
you'. Timothy must always be on the alert and be ready at all times to "rough it" for
Christ's sake. It is surprising to find that, with the frequent stress upon evangelizing or
preaching the gospel, the word evangelist only occurs three times in the New Testament
(Acts 21: 8; Eph. 4: 11 and here).  After the foundation ministry of apostles and
prophets, before the N.T. was completed, there followed the evangelist, pastor, and the
teacher (Eph. 4: 11). We are to expect no more apostles and prophets, for their work
finished after laying the foundation. They are succeeded by a lower yet necessary order
of ministry, namely the three referred to above.
To be an evangelist in those early days meant doing rough pioneering work that is
often foreign to modern evangelization. One has only to compare the conditions in
Paul's day with ours.  Thus Timothy is exhorted to finish the work that had been
entrusted to him, no matter how difficult the conditions. This was the same message that
the Apostle gave to Archippus in Col. 4: 17.
We have many discouragements and results seem very small, but let us never forget
that we are in the safe keeping of One Who, having started us on the heavenly race, can
bring us safely to the goal as we appropriate Him continually by faith.