Strive Lawfully, 2 Tim 2:5

Strive Lawfully 2 Tim. 2:5 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

You and I must strive lawfully if we hope to be crowned at the judgment seat of Christ [2 Tim 2:5].  One of the crowns available is the incorruptible crown [1 Cor 9:25].  To be crowned with that one, we must keep our bodies in subjection [1 Cor 9:26-27].

You and I are supposed to be kings and priests to the Lord during Christ’s millennial reign [Rev 1:5-6, 5:9-10].  However, our reign is conditional [2 Tim 2:10-13].  We must suffer with Jesus [Rom 8:17] to inherit with him.

A great picture of what is involved here is found in the Old Testament.  During Christ’s millennial reign, the priests of Israel who minister to the Lord in Jerusalem will be the sons of Zadok [Ezek 44:15-16] because only Zadok strove lawfully.  Both Zadok and Abiathar supported David when Absalom usurped his throne [2 Sam 15:24-37] but only Zadok remained with David when Adonijah attempted to usurp the throne from Solomon [1 Ki 1:5-8].  Abiathar didn’t strive lawfully.  Interestingly, Abiathar was a descendant of Eli.  Eli and his descendants were castaway out of the ministry because of the things they did [1 Sam 2:31-34; 1 Ki 2:26-27].  Therefore, like Zadok, we must strive lawfully and keep our bodies in subjection against the things that tripped up Eli and his descendants, if we will be crowned with the Lord.

Note: In 1 Chr 24:3, Zadok is of the sons of Eleazar and Ahimelech is of the sons of Ithamar [see also 1 Chr 6:4-8].  Ahimelech, a.k.a. Ahiah [1 Sam 14:3], is the son of Ahitub [1 Sam 22:11], who is Ichabod’s brother and also the son of Phinehas, who is the son of Eli [1 Sam 14:3].  Abiathar is a son of Ahimelech [1 Sam 22:20].  Thus Abiathar suffers the prophecy against Eli.

We must strive lawfully:

Against laziness – 1 Sam 1:9 – Eli was sitting on a seat by a post of the temple.  Among the furniture in the temple there was no seat or stool.  The priests weren’t to be sitting idle in their duty.  Likewise, we cannot sit around now in our duty of offering acceptable spiritual sacrifices to the Lord [1 Pet 2:5; Heb 13:15-16] if we hope to be kings and priests with the Lord later.

Against covetousness – 1 Sam 2:12-17 – the sons of Eli disobeyed the Lord concerning the sacrifices [Lev 7:29-34].  They took more than their portion and they took the fat, which is the Lord’s [Lev 3:16].  These men were in the ministry for what they could get out of the ministry.  And besides that, they didn’t even know the Lord [1 Sam 2:12].  How many men and women are in the ministry today that are lost and don’t know the Lord?  They won’t be kings and priests with Jesus in the millennium with Jesus, much less raised with him, when he returns.  They’ll be in hell.  How many of them are simply in the ministry to make themselves rich?

Against adultery – 1 Sam 2:22-25 – the sons of Eli lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle.  Those were evil dealings.  Fornicators and adulterers forfeit their inheritance in the kingdom of God [1 Cor 6:9-10].  How many minsters did not strive lawfully when presented with such an opportunity?  God only knows.

Against unrighteousness – 1 Sam 3:13 – Eli wouldn’t restrain his sons when they made themselves vile.  Likewise, when we see wickedness entering our churches and homes, we must maintain separation [2 Cor 6:14-18].  We cannot make agreements with unrighteousness.  You may not be able to make your children stop their wickedness any more than you can make church members stop theirs, but you can surely separate yourself from it [1 Cor 5:1-7].  You don’t strive lawfully when you permit wickedness in your church and home.

Against dishonoring God – 1 Sam 2:29-30 – when you honor men contrary to the word of God, you, thereby, despise God.  So many Christians today allow things in their lives that are not right with God [lawful] because they honor the men who have taught them to do those things more than God who told them not to.  How many Roman Catholics honor their priest above God’s words, for example?  How likely is a saved Catholic to reign with Christ as a priest in the future, when he won’t follow Christ’s words today because he honors his priest above God?

Look what Abiathar, Ahimelch’s son, did when Solomon, a type of Christ, was ascending to the throne and Adonijah, a type of the antichrist, was trying to usurp his throne.  Abiathar followed Adonijah [1 Ki 1:5-8] even though he had stayed with David when David was in exile from Absalom.  He despised the Lord by honoring Adonijah.  Thus, he was castaway from the priesthood [1 Ki 2:26-27] just like the rest of Eli’s offspring were.  We must strive lawfully by never honoring a man above God.

Conclusion: 1 Sam 3:35 we must be faithful priests to the Lord now.  We must faithfully do that which is in God’s heart and in his mind.  You will find what those things are in his words.  Do them faithfully and strive lawfully.