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Scripture Reading:  2 Timothy 4:1-5

Faithful Gospel Preaching



1.  That which is distinctive stands out:  it is identifiable, discernable and clearly different from others of a similar class. – cf. Jesus, Matt. 7:28-29

2.  Gospel preaching is serious, sobering and soul saving1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Tim. 4:1 (solemn affirmation, testimony before God and Christ).

3.  2 Tim. 4:1-5 – Faithful gospel preaching is distinctive in message, in its moment and in its manner.


I.  THE MESSAGE – 2 Tim. 4:2.

    A.  Preach the Word 4:2 (1 Tim. 4:6).

        1.  Inspired truth – 3:16.

        2.  Thoroughly equips us to serve God and others – 3:17.

        3.  Sound doctrine – cf. 1 Tim. 6:3-5; 2 Tim. 1:13; Tit. 2:1.

    B.  Do Not Preach:

        1.  Any other doctrine – 1 Tim. 1:3, 10-11 (Gal. 1:6-7).

        2.  Human wisdom – 1 Cor. 2:1-5.

            -Col. 2:8; cf. Modernism, liberal theology, philosophies, etc.

        3.  Fiction, fables, speculations – 1 Tim. 1:4; 4:7; Titus 1:14.


II.  THE MOMENT – 2 Tim. 4:2.

    A.  With Readiness 4:2 (at a moment’s notice) – cf. 4:5 (watchful).

        1.  Instant (kjv); urgent (asv) – Minutemen of the gospel!

        2.  With needed, pertinent and practical applications – 1 Tim. 1:3-4.

        3.  Get specific when necessary!

    B.  Some Traits of Readiness.

        1.  Boldness 2 Tim. 1:7.  (Firm, resolved, unwavering)

            a.  Without fear – cf. Ezek. 2:6-7.

            b.  With certainty, not doubt – cf. 2 Cor. 1:17-20.

            c.  Bold to identify error and those who teach it – Matt. 15:1-3; Rom. 16:17.

            d.  Bold to identify faithful ones – Phil. 3:17.

        2.   Fervor – cf. 2 Tim. 4:5; cf. 1 Tim. 4:16

            -Motivated by knowing the fear of the Lord - 2 Cor. 5:11.

        3.   Clarity 1 Cor. 14:9 (not vagueness or uncertainty).  Leave your audience knowing what you said!  (cf. Ezek. 2:5)

        4.   All authority - 1 Tim. 4:11; 5:7; Titus 2:15.

    -IllusFoy E. Wallace on gospel preaching.


III.  THE MANNER – 2 Tim. 4:2.

    A.  In Season and Out of Season 4:2.  (Timely, pertinent, practical)

        1.   When it is easy (opportune) and when it is difficultBe relevant!

        2.   When it is needed and when it is known, yet helpfulActs 20:20; Phil. 3:1 (2 Pet. 1:12).

        3.   “Preach it when they like it and preach it when they don’t.”

        4.   “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

    B.  Elements of Faithful Gospel Preaching – 4:2.

        1.   Reprove (elegcho):  “To reprehend severely, chide, admonish, to call to account, show one his fault, to convict” (Thayer, 202-203).

        2.   Rebuke (epitimao):  “To tax with fault…chide…censure severely, to restrain, to admonish or charge sharply” (Thayer, 245)

        3.   Exhort (parakaleo):  “To call to one’s side, call for, summon…to beg, entreat, to strive to appease by entreaty, to comfort” (Thayer, 482-483).

    C.  With All Longsuffering and Teaching (doctrine) – 2 Tim. 2:23-26.

        1.   Do not be drawn into foolish, ignorant wranglings…strife.

        2.   Do not be quarrelsome – Let the gospel do its work!

        3.   Be a servant of the Lord, gentle, patient, humble, persistent.


IV.  THE REACTION 2 Tim. 4:3-4.

    A.  Many Will Not Endure Sound Doctrine – 4:3.

        1.   Begins with dissatisfaction over the preaching – cf. Isa. 30:9-11.

        2.   Continues with disgruntled complaints – cf. 1 Kgs. 18:17; 22:8; cf. “idle talk” of 1 Tim. 1:6-7

        3.   Leads to disagreement, dispute over and denial of God’s word - Gal. 4:19.

    B.  Many Will Follow Personal Agendas 4:3.

        1.   Lusts…itching ears – cf. Ezek. 33:30-32.

        2.   Heap up satisfying teachers – cf. Ahab, 1 Kgs. 22:6.

    C.  Many Will Turn Away from the Truth to Fables – 4:4.

        1.   To the commands of men – Titus 1:14.

        2.   Faithless, factious, false – 1 Tim. 1:3-4.

    D.  Faithful Preacher:  Do Not Be Discouraged! – 4:5

        1.   Watchful (sober, “to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect”).

        2.   Endure troubles that come from preaching the word.

        3.   Do your work!

        4.   Accomplish your service (carry out of the Lord’s command).



1.  The world needs preachers who will do this work!

2.  And, we must have “ears to hear “ the gospel preaching, the sound doctrine, the truth they preach! – Lk. 8:8


-(Basic outline by Connie Adams)



Foy E. Wallace on gospel preaching: 


“I was brought up under the preaching of men in Texas well known to many of you, who baptized many more people than are being baptized today; men who debated; men who “called names,” whether in the polemics of debate or preaching in the pulpit.  They were men of fervor and faith.  We should not forget their crusading spirit.  I want to see their spirit revived.  Like the spirit of Elijah in John the Baptist, and the spirit of Huss in Luther, I want to see the spirit of the early gospel preachers revived in the young men of today.  They put power in their preaching.  They moved men.  They did not preach sermonettes; they were not preacherettes.


 “A young man once came to A. J. McCarty, and asked him how to go about making a preacher.  Jack McCarty said, in all bluntness that characterized him, “Young man, get brimful and running over with the word of God and it will come out”!  And it will come out.  It may be spontaneous combustion, but it will “bust” everything it hits.  That is the preaching needed today, rather than this “go away around by the Joneses” sort of a preaching; this speak softly, tread lightly, step careful, kind of preaching.  I do not believe in croaking out insults against people, but I do believe in the kind of preaching that draws the issue, and draws the blood when the occasion requires it.  The purpose of this meeting has simply been to call us back to these old principles.”


(Foy E. Wallace, Bulwarks of the Faith, 245-246)