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“Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (2 Timothy 4:2-5).
When I read these scriptures, I thought of going visiting from our church with this old Baptist deacon. Sometimes we would visit someone that wasn’t even interested in Jesus Christ or what we had to say.
This deacon would say, “You know, most people now just want to have their ears tickled a little.”
In other words, they really don’t want to hear the truth, but are living in hope, hoping the salvation they have works out for them and will get them into heaven.
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but how much more in the absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
What Paul is telling us, is to work out our salvation in fear and pleasing to God.
As we look at the Pharisees, working out their salvation in Matthew 23: 23-24, “Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.”
In Matthew 23:33, Jesus also said to them: “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”
As we look at Jesus writing about the Pharisees working out their salvation, we see they left out the most important thing. They failed to please God and only pleased themselves.
Now, just take a look at this sinful world we live in. If we go with the ﬂow, there is no way we will make it into heaven. Always remember, Jesus expects more from us. He expects us to be a light to the worldly people – well, really, a guiding light – and if other people follow us, it will be no doubt they will make it to heaven.
One question: Are you living that kind of life?