We Must Endure 2 Tim 4: 3 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
We have to endure some things as Christians. Not all these things we’re going to talk about tonight will come upon you. But if they do, you must endure them. How? By charity. “Charity… endureth all things. Charity never faileth,” [1 Cor 13:7-8]. Jesus endured the cross and the contradiction of sinners against himself, for us [Heb 12:2-3]. Paul endured all things for the elect’s sakes [2 Tim 2:9-13]. In both cases, their motive was charity.
Likewise, we must endure:
Sound doctrine – 2 Tim 4:3 – we are in the age when men can’t endure sound doctrine anymore. Sound doctrine can be hard to take because it is often delivered through rebuke and reproof. Don’t ever grow weary of learning and living by sound doctrine. You endure it by loving God and God’s words [Jn 14:23].
Chastening – Heb 12:5-7 – the Lord chastens us because he loves us. When we love him, we endure his chastening so that he can produce in us the peaceable fruit of righteousness, so that we can be partakers of his holiness [Heb 12:10-11].
Hardness – 2 Tim 2:3 – being a good soldier is hard. When men serve in the Green Berets or Navy Seals or Rangers, they have endured more hardness than most other soldiers can endure. When one of their team is injured, his greatest desire during recovery is to return to the team. There is a bond that develops among the members of the team that makes them willing to endure anything for the sake of their fellow soldiers. We must be the same way in the Lord’s army out of love for our commander and fellow soldiers.
Temptation – Jas 1:12 – everyone has besetting sins. They beat you down like no other sin. The Lord promises the crown of life to you for enduring temptation, because he knows how hard it can be to fight off certain temptations. The crown of life is also given to the tribulation martyrs [Rev 2:10]. The best reason to endure those temptations is that you love the Lord.
Afflictions – 2 Tim 4:5 – afflictions include many causes of suffering. In this case, we’ll deal with health related afflictions. Endure afflictions and keep going for the Lord out of love for his people to whom you minister. Our good friend, Pastor Hank Thompson, endured afflictions with his health his entire ministry due to the burns that he suffered as a child. In his latter years, these afflictions became severe. Nevertheless, he didn’t quit. They said of him, at his funeral, “He preached hard, but he loved hard.” Don’t throw a pity party; endure.
Suffering – 2 Cor 1:5-7 – Paul was intimately acquainted with suffering. He endured it because he loved the Lord and because he loved the people to whom he ministered. He knew that he could console others who were suffering by enduring his own suffering.
Persecutions – 2 Thes 1:3-4 – The Thessalonians endured great persecutions and sufferings as a result of their faith in Christ. But they also abounded in charity. And thus they could endure.
Grief – 1 Pet 2:19 – we haven’t suffered wrongfully in our country. But the day may come that we will. Remember to love those who wrongfully punish you. Remember how Eric Liddell endured the grief of Japanese interment while he was in China as a missionary during WWII. Because he endured his grief by loving his enemies, a young man named Stephen Metcalf, who was interred with him, surrendered to be a missionary. Metcalf served 40 years as a missionary to Japan.
Conclusion: If you are currently suffering under the burden of any of these things, you can endure them through charity. Love the Lord and love others, as he commanded us, so that when these things come upon you, you will endure.