Sunday Morning | 9+10:45am
In what is widely considered Paul¹s final letter, the apostle Paul writes to Timothy speaking of how we are to live in faith, how we are to pass the torch to the next generations, and most importantly what we are to be consumed by.
We have an interesting take on suffering. We pray with great earnest for it to go away, yet many will say that it was the suffering that changed their life. I can’t imagine to want to suffer, yet Paul invites Timothy to join him in his suffering. Should we embrace suffering more? How should we pray during these times?
There was a lot of suffering going on when this letter was written. Paul penned this letter to Timothy while he was in prison in Rome. Around that time Rome burns in July of A.D. 64. Nero blamed the Christians for this catastrophe and Christianity was made an illegal religion. Peter was martyred in A.D. 64, which must have caused even more fear among the believers. Paul mentions that several have abandoned him in this difficult time, and several others are away on duties (1:15; 4:9–12). In such a time Paul’s recollection of the sincerity and devotion of Timothy is especially poignant (1:3–5). Because Paul anticipates death soon (4:6–8) he writes a final exhortation to Timothy to urge him to stand firm and to ask him to come for one final visit before Paul is executed.
Even in the midst of this scenario history tells us that the church grew rapidly over the next period of time. In AD 100 there was an estimate of about 25,000 believers. By AD 310 there were about 20,000,000. (The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch)
Is there something in this letter to Timothy that was a part of this growth?
I think so.
In preparation for this Sunday
Review the message from Pastor Andrew last Sunday. (If you missed it you can view it here)
What action steps did you take in response to II Timothy 1?
Read II Timothy 2.
What do you see in this chapter that would cause such great growth in the church?