Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.2 Timothy 2:8-9
What great encouragement we can get today from these words the Apostle Paul wrote to the young pastor, Timothy, his ‘son in the Lord’.
Perhaps Timothy was feeling very discouraged that the surrounding culture at Ephesus was so resistant and not conducive to the Gospel of Truth that his evangelistic efforts were falling on deaf ears; that he was ‘sowing seed’ ineffectively along a ‘hard, trodden path’, or on ‘rocky ground’ (cf Matthew 13:3-6) – very much like our situation today! Later in this same letter, Paul would instruct him to “PREACH THE WORD; be prepared in season AND OUT OF SEASON; correct, rebuke and encourage – with GREAT PATIENCE and careful instruction” (4:2).
So, why did the wise Apostle say it was worth making all this effort when it seemed to be such a FRUITLESS waste of time? For two very good reasons:
1) ‘Jesus Christ [was] raised from the dead’; and 2) ‘God’s Word is NOT chained’. Our present culture is doing all it possibly can to stop the ‘whole counsel of God’ in Scripture from being proclaimed. There are those with a determined, active agenda to CHANGE our culture, because they DO NOT WANT TO HEAR what God has revealed clearly about JESUS being the ONLY Saviour and the ONLY source of eternal life, or about binary sexuality, marriage, the value of human life in the womb, etc, etc. And while these ‘culture-shapers’ are using the education system to indoctrinate our children and grandchildren with views that are contrary to God’s truth, they are also making sure that Biblical values are prevented from being taught by Mum and Dad in the home! Is it any wonder that the Prophet Isaiah warned: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.” (Isaiah 5:20), and the Apostle Paul wrote of a time when exactly what IS happening today WOULD happen (Romans 1:18-31)?
In the light of all this, I am very encouraged to know that ‘GOD’S WORD IS NOT CHAINED’. As Martin Luther said, “The Word of God is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it, open the cage and let it defend itself.” Like Paul himself, we could soon be in the position of ‘being chained like a criminal’ for saying these things (some legislation is already in place!) – ‘BUT GOD’S WORD IS NOT CHAINED’, and Jesus, the rightful KING, is ALIVE (and RULING)! – and, as he reminded the Ephesians: “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills everything in every way.” (Ephesians 1:18-23)!