Are You Approved As God's Workman?
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
In order for one to be approved as God's workman he must be diligent to study His word and to exert himself to extract the truth and to convey that truth to others, not just the spoken word, but the revealed word given by the inspiration of Holy Spirit.
The word approved or"Dokimos" in the above mentioned text is an ancient term given to the money changers who were honest and truthful in their business practices. Men of integrity who could be trusted and would not accept counterfeit money nor would they weigh unjustly. To be approved by God as a workman in His word one must always speak truth and never compromise under any situation and although tempted must always stand his ground.
The world is corrupt today because of preachers who compromise and whitewash the word of God. Sin is not dealt with nor is the church judged for fear of running off the rich and offending the affluent members. No word, no conviction, no repentance, no new birth leaves a dry and dusty tomb filled with the dead, destined for an eternal awakening in hell!
No one carries their Bible anymore, even to church because it is not fashionable and might upset someone. It is not only not carried, it is not read or meditated upon and has become just another dead book on the shelf with the rest of the self-help gurus! Inspired by God Himself, His word is like a sharp two edged sword that cuts the heart of man and brings about a godly sorrow that produces true repentance leading to salvation.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:16,17
RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. II Timothy 4:1,2
Rightly dividing the word of truth means to cut straight, to walk a straight path or to set a straight course, in other words one who is a straight shooter. The man of God will preach and teach the truth whether it is fashionable or not, whether it offends, convicts or even upsets the religious world, he will not compromise.
Imagine if Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, or any one of the old testament prophets walked into one of our modern day consumer driven services, not to mention John the Baptist, what would they think or say? I would think, run for cover! They would let the hammer down and start rebuking the entire assembly of it's all about me sleepy seekers bringing the fear of God down on them all! More than likely the whole bunch would scatter like rabbits.
Until there is a plumb-line you cannot tell how far off the building is and we have forgotten the truth of the word of God, our blueprint and plan for all spiritual life. The late David Wilkerson, founder of Teen Challenge, World Challenge and Pastor of Times Square Church in New York called the modern day preachers:"Pillow prophets," soft on sin and never willing to tell the truth about the word of God. Pastor David preached the truth throughout his life even though many didn't like it, or him and he always tried to please God rather than men.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. II Timothy 4:3,4
Jesus said, "The truth would make you free!" No truth, no freedom, no word, no heart change, no heart change, no salvation! Without the preaching of God's word there can be no true conviction brought upon the heart of the sinner and without conviction there cannot be true conversion. Millions have prayed the "sinner's prayer," although it is not mentioned in the Bible, but was developed from Romans 10:8-10 where Paul was quoting Deuteronomy 30:14-20, and they are not converted because they were not convicted of sin, only co-hearsed into walking an isle and mouthing a worthless oath.
No-where in scripture are we commanded to make decisions by lifting a hand or walking an isle, but we are commanded to make disciples, men and women who will lay down all, take up their cross, die to independent living and become like Jesus! Jesus said, "Follow Me!" He didn't say believe in Me, He said, follow Me and I will make you fishers of men, the commission given to all disciples.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus only had 120 followers in the midst of all the miracles signs and wonders that He did in the presence of thousands of people? The commitment that He required of them to become disciples was too hard and they wouldn't lay down their life to become one. It's no different today, if the true gospel of the Lord Jesus was preached most would reject its call and instead just attend a nice little comfortable service on Sunday and call themselves Christian. Why even Satan would qualify for that!
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. I Timothy 4:1
DO THE WORK!
But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. II Timothy 4:5
Thirty years ago just after my salvation experience I met a man who was a true evangelist. He lived and breathed the word of God and was not afraid to share his faith with anyone. Although a successful lawyer and the youngest District Attorney ever in Oklahoma, he left it all to follow Jesus into the prisons, Africa and throughout the US. At one time he had the largest prison ministry in Oklahoma.
I have never met anyone like him that was so dedicated to the ministry of Jesus and truly concerned for people's salvation. He must have passed out a million tracts in his lifetime and there is no telling how many gave their lives to Jesus through his preaching. When we would go to a restaurant he would not sit down until every person received a tract, even the kitchen workers and cooks and there was more than one time I thought we were going to be thrown out.
Tommy Shaw was a true man of God, abnormal to most but to God as normal a Christian as they come. Dedicated, fearless, sold out for the cause of Christ, and truly laid down his life for the Lord. He passed away twelve years ago at an early age but his legacy lives on in the lives of the people he reached for Jesus. The church of Jesus Christ lost a true treasure although they never accepted him or his ministry of evangelism, may God raise up more like him.
Everyone in the body of Christ is called to share their faith and preach the word of God to a lost and dying world. If you are born again the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead resides within you and will always lead you to do the works of Christ's body and that is to go and make disciples! The world is in desperate need of a Savior and if you know Him, that Savior lives in you, let Him loose to do His work for a time such as this!
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. II Timothy 1:8-10