Stick to the Plan, Christian!

Posted on July 21, 2020


By David Ettinger

Distracting Days
These are distracting days for Christians. What with a Presidential Election in a few months, rioting, the turning upside-down of society, there’s a lot to take our focus off the most important thing of all.

The most important thing of all, of course, is to be about our Father’s business. Yes, we should keep up with what’s going on in the world and be engaged in it, but in a way dictated by God’s Word, not the world.

I question Christians who fill their social media pages with political content and conspiracy theories but post not a whit about the Gospel. Even if all their political views are correct and the conspiracy theories turn out true, these will inevitably – as is everything associated with mortality – perish in the fire. So, Christian, you were right on every count, but did nothing to nudge a single unbeliever heavenward, what did you accomplish?

Jesus tells us: “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you” (John 6:27). It’s okay for Christians to concern themselves with current events, but it needs to be seasoned with the Gospel. Sharing the Gospel, plain and simple, should be the “plan” of every Christian.

Crucial Counsel
This was something of which the apostle Paul had to remind his son in the faith, Timothy. The timid young man had his hands full as the leader of the church of Ephesus. The going was not easy for him – as it never is for any pastor – and Paul was well aware of this.

Ruins of ancient Ephesus

Paul knew Timothy faced many distractions ­­– bad doctrine being taught, church factions, congregants disrespecting him because of his youth – but that he must stay focused, unyielding, and adamant. He was to stick to the plan, to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Paul counseled Timothy in the way he was to conduct himself, counsel which reaches across the centuries to believers today. Though Paul addressed Timothy specifically as a pastor, he speaks to us generally as those given a ministry from God (Ephesians 2:10).

“Cherry picking” – selecting specific content from a broader context – is generally not a good practice however, I think for the sake of focusing the Christian heart and mind during these startling times, it has great value. Therefore, let’s pull a nugget out of 2 Timothy 4:1-5, apply it to Christians today, and see if it can’t help us focus on God’s true call on our lives.

The Plan
What did Paul counsel Timothy that so appropriately applies to today? What is the plan Paul wanted Timothy – and by extension you and me – to stick to? Let’s cherry-pick it down to verses 2 and 4: “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season … keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”

Notice Paul didn’t counsel Timothy to consume himself with Roman politics, but to preach the Word. Paul didn’t encourage Timothy to support a particular leader, but to “do the work of an evangelist.” Paul didn’t instruct Timothy to demonize those who disagreed with him, but to “discharge all the duties of your ministry.”

How does this strike you? Is it not something believers should be doing more often? I’ll repeat it, in its cherry-picked form: “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season … keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”

I don’t mind delving into politics and conspiracy theories at times, but to do so without preaching the Word and doing the work of an evangelist is to trounce upon the responsibility the Lord has bestowed upon us.

Come on, Christian, I know these are distracting times, but let’s ask God to give us the fortitude and fervency we need to stick to the plan!