Even though Timothy had been left Ephesus in 62 AD with the command to stop the false teachers and he has constantly been warned to avoid the godless chatter in the Ephesian church in 67AD here in Second Timothy, Paul still tells Timothy that things will get worse in the church concerning the content of the message that is taught.
“The time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” – Second Timothy 4:3
Paul sets Timothy up as an example and charges him “in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus” (who is the judge and the king of the eternal kingdom, 2 Tim.4:1) to “Preach the Word.” The word “preach” is the word keryxon and means “proclaim,” “to be a herald,” and, it is in the imperative. This imperative command to “proclaim the Word” which is followed by a series of abrupt imperatives (“be prepared!,” “rebuke!,” “correct!,” “encourage!”) indicates the seriousness of the crisis that Paul saw the Ephesian church was in.
These imperatives of preaching, rebuking, correcting, and encouraging are to be done with consistent (“patience”) through “careful instruction.” “Careful instruction” is from the Greek word didache which is the “act of teaching.”
Timothy is to continue to do this “in season and out of season” which refers in the Greek to either:
- Timothy should always “preach the word” with “careful instruction or teaching” independent if it is convenient for him or not. He is a teacher, so he must teach when it is easy and when it is hard. When people listen and when people don’t. Timothy is to preach and teach the Word of Truth at all times.
- The people should always hear Timothy “preach the word” with “careful instruction or teaching” whether it is convenient for them or not. The believers need to Word of Truth, so the people must hear the preaching of the word when it is easy and when it is hard; when they want to listen and when they do not. The people are to hear preaching and teaching of the Word of Truth at all times.