“As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering,
do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry”
(2 Timothy 4.5).
The apostle Paul wrote these words to Timothy at the end of his life, and many people have said that the view of life at death becomes really clear—like 6K high definition clear. I have sat with people before they take their last earthly breath. What do you think is at the center of the conversation? Politics? The weather? Breakfast?
They talk about their faith, family and friends. Paul was no different. Life becomes very clear when you are about to die, and Paul cut through the earthly garbage to the eternal glory. He pushed Timothy to preach and preach and preach some more because people’s passions are sinful.
What is more, Paul told Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” Does Paul have the right or authority to tell Timothy to do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry? Was Paul only an armchair evangelist? Did Paul hold massive conferences on five easy steps to do evangelism? Not hardly.
A cursory glance through the book of Acts will highlight Paul’s evangelistic work. Paul evangelized in Iconium. Luke wrote, “…and there they continued to preach the gospel” (Acts 14.7). Paul preached the gospel of Jesus Christ in his storefront shop in Thessalonica, at Mars Hill in Athens, and he was “reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus” (Acts 19.9). Paul did the work of an evangelist and he fulfilled his ministry.
But did you notice how Paul said to Timothy and his readers “As for you”? You? YOU! Paul puts his finger in the middle of Timothy’s chest and says, “As for YOU!” Is this just tough guy Paul yelling at Timothy? Oh, how we wish it was only for Timothy.
Right before Jesus launched back into heaven in Acts 1, the disciples asked, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1.6)? And how did Jesus respond to them? He said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1.8). Which word did Jesus use three times? YOU!
Why should we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as possible? First, Jesus commanded it. Second, if you really do have a vibrant and real relationship with Jesus Christ, then you can’t help but want to tell others about him.
What is the one thing we will not do in the new heavens and new earth with Jesus Christ? We will not be able to evangelize the lost. “As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4.5).