2 Timothy 4

2 Timothy 4: Preach the Gospel

                Paul writes to Timothy and explains that he needs to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove [to disapprove of someone], rebuke [criticize], exhort [urge] with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:1) Paul tells Timothy sharply that he must be quick to preach and if necessary tell someone he is teaching that they are wrong, criticize their thinking and urge them to change their thinking using sound doctrine. At first thought one might think Paul is encouraging Timothy to go around and bash others beliefs and force the teachings of Jesus Christ on others. HOWEVER, I believe that Paul wrote to Timothy in this way to encourage him to work hard to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because Paul explains; “…the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itchy ears; And they shall turn away from the truth, and shall be turned into fables [A story that teaches a lesson or a false account].” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

What is Paul trying to say? He is telling Timothy to hurry and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because soon the people will not listen to the TRUE doctrine, because they will consume themselves in their own lusts and find teachers to tell them that what they are doing is ok.

In March of 1839, while in the jail at Liberty, Missouri; Joseph Smith received revelation which the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints know as the 123rd Section of the  Doctrine and Covenants, verses 12-13 read;

“For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it – Therefore, that we should waster and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven.” (Doctrine and Covenants 123: 12-13) For this reason Paul urged Timothy to work hard to convince his fellow brother and sister of the truth!

Paul explains that he “…is now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

1 Timothy 1

1 Timothy 1: Teach ONLY the Doctrine

                Paul writes a letter to his son Timothy, and asks him to command that local church leaders in Ephesus and Macedonia (among others) to “…teach no other doctrine.” (1 Timothy 1:3) During this time it was probably common practice for local leaders to stray slightly from the real doctrine and perhaps teach their own views, or tell stories that are more tradition than fact. Paul encourages his son to not “…give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith…” (1 Timothy 1:4) Essentially Paul is explaining that it is not important to know every detail about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because often times this intense studying of the gospel only leads to questions that may or may not edify someone in the faith of Jesus Christ.

Paul goes on to explain that all we need to know/have (as followers of Christ) is charity and a pure heart. Paul explains that many, who desire to be teachers of the law (and gospel); teach things that are not necessarily correct or true. Because of this, they do not understand; “…what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” (1 Timothy 1:7)

                Paul teaches us that no one is perfect, and for this purpose; “…Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (1 Timothy 1:15) However, we need to strive to be perfect and strive to be like Jesus; “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.” (1 Timothy 1:19) In other words, we are not perfect. However, we should strive to be perfect and hold our faith so that we aren’t led away by the devil.