A lot of people you know are going around with a bleached gospel today that’s not saving anybody. What we need is a gospel that is blood red. We need the gospel—the only gospel—that finds its saving power in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the one who died for our sins upon the cross, rose again, and who is coming to judge the quick and the dead. May God give you grace to hold that gospel up before a world that desperately needs it. May God bless your efforts according to his own wisdom, and his own perfect plan, and his grace through Jesus Christ.

As Paul reflects on his situation, expecting to die soon, and also thinks about his service of the Lord in the past, he offers this assessment of his life and ministry: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (vv. 7-8).

Given the demanding nature of this charge that Paul gives to Timothy, we come now to the incentives Paul lists. Paul, no doubt, knows that Timothy needs these encouragements to help him do all these things in and out of season in order to faithfully carry out his ministry.

The second point is how Timothy is to preach the Word. Paul tells him to be prepared in season and out of season. By this, Paul means that Timothy is to be urgent about this business at all times. We, like him, are to give ourselves wholeheartedly to it. We are told to correct, rebuke and encourage. We are to be relevant in what we do, because all of those words relate to people. People need correction, rebuke, and encouraging, too, depending on the situation. 

Most of us do not experience a commissioning service very often. Typically, they are done for a new minister or for a missionary who is about to leave for the field, whether at home or abroad. The person or persons are commended to God’s care, and the blessing of God is invoked for their ministry. The last words of Paul to Timothy would be entirely appropriate for such a service. Second Timothy is the letter in which Paul the seasoned missionary imparts his wisdom and prayers for Timothy, who was to follow him in caring for the churches.