February 1, 1991 Issue
by Bobby Pepper

"Don't Be Ashamed" is a good title for the first chapter of Second Timothy. Three times Paul mentions that we should not be ashamed. The first time he told Timothy not to be ashamed. The second time he said he was not ashamed. The third time he said that Onesiphorus was not ashamed. So don't be ashamed.


In the eighth verse Paul spoke of being ashamed to Timothy. He said, "Be not ashamed therefore of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but suffer hardship with the gospel according to the power of God; who saved us"... Timothy--don't be ashamed. Don't be ashamed of the Lord. Don't be ashamed of the gospel. Don't be ashamed of the preacher. Remember, Jesus saved you. He saved you by the gospel. You don't have anything to be ashamed of. Don't be ashamed. This admonition is needed by many.

For one thing, Paul impressed upon Timothy that he should not be ashamed when he reminded him in the third verse that he had been praying for him night and day. That gives us some insight to the prayer life of Paul. He did not pray for only a minute like most of us do before going to bed at night. He prayed for Timothy day and night. Don't be ashamed. He also mentioned his family. He must not let them down. He owned much to Grandma Lois and to his mother Eunice. They had taught him the Word since he was a young child. He was reminded of how fortunate Timothy had been. If your father was a preacher, or an elder, or a deacon, or if having no particular office he was a faithful Christian, you are a most fortunate person. You have an obligation to the human race that others do not have. Remember your heritage. Don't be ashamed.

In the seventh verse Paul reminded Timothy that God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and discipline. We don't have anything to be ashamed of. We are not to be fearful, but bold in our faith and presentation of the gospel. Paul told Timothy that he would suffer hardship with the gospel according to the power of God.

Be prepared to take your "lumps". It will cost you to be bold and fearless in your stand for the Lord and His Word, but don't be ashamed. After telling Timothy not to be ashamed then Paul impresses upon him that he is not ashamed.


In the twelfth verse Paul tells Timothy, "I suffer all these things; yet I am not ashamed..." Paul says, "I am not ashamed." He had good reason to be ashamed from the worldly viewpoint. He was a political prisoner this time. The first time he had been taken to Rome as a prisoner it was because of his stand on the gospel in relation to the Jews. This time, in all probability, it was because of the burning of Rome by Nero. Nero had blamed the Christians for the burning of Rome and there was a general persecution of all Christians. Paul was a ring leader of the Christians. He was no doubt regarded by the general public as the man who burned down the whole city of Rome. That would be quite a charge. Suppose you had been accused of burning down your home town. This was no small crime. Paul said "I am not ashamed". He had done things as bad or worse when he persecuted the Church of Christ and murdered many Christians, but for this he had been forgiven and served as an apostle. He was not ashamed. Notice he did not say I know what I have believed, but I know in whom I have believed. Then, there are others who are on the other extreme. They don't know much about the terms of pardon, they trust in feeling. They don't know in whom they have believed. They just feel good. You can teach a parrot to call you daddy. "Awk daddy! Awk daddy!" But, he can call you daddy all day long and you are not his daddy. There is more to it than just being able to parrot the terms of pardon.

Paul said Jesus was able to guard that which he had committed unto him against that day. What have you put on deposit with the Lord? He will keep it against that day. You need to commit to him your time, commit to him your treasure, commit to him your talent, commit to him your soul, whatever you commit to him he will keep it against that day.

In the tenth verse, Paul says that Jesus has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Because of this he could say that he was not ashamed, so Timothy, "hold the pattern of sound words which thou has heard from me in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." In Second Timothy the fourth chapter, we find the last words of the apostle Paul to Timothy--I charge thee--Preach the Word. What else is there to preach? In the previous chapter, he had told him that all scripture is inspired of God and is profitable--that the man of God might be completely furnished unto every good work. The scriptures hold everything that needs to be preached. All else is beyond the range of the preacher's obligation. Preach the Word. And be not ashamed. If the preacher is to preach the Word it must be with what Paul called sound doctrine. He said that the time would come when men would not endure sound doctrine, but having itching ears would heap unto themselves teachers after their own lust and turn aside their ears from the truth unto fables.

People are not "itching" to hear sound doctrine today. It was said that two ladies were talking in a store. One of them said her son had the itch three times in one summer and he enjoyed it all three times. All I have to say about that is her son evidently loved to scratch. But think about it, there are a great many Christians who have the itch. They are just itching for a gospel preacher to say:  "Now, the Bible teaches that we are to be immersed for the remission of sins and we should do it. However, it is optional. Those who haven't done this have just as much hope of going to heaven as those who have." They are itching for me or some other preacher to say that. I will not scratch. Some are itching to hear: "Now, the Lord's Supper should be observed every Lord's Day, but if you don't want to do it, that is just as good." They are itching for faithful gospel preachers to say "It makes no difference how many cups (drinking vessels) you have on the Lord's table each Lord's Day for communion." I will not scratch. The Lord drew attention to one cup when he instituted his supper, and we are not ashamed to observe it the way he had commanded for his followers. That is upon the first day of the week as Acts 20:7 teaches, Matt 26:26-29; Mk 14:22-25; Lk 22:19-20; I Cor. 11:-23-25. And to those who have itching ears to hear that this is not essential, I will not scratch. The Bible teaches that when the church is called together (I Cor 14:23-26) they are to stay together in one assembly, and women are not to take public part in teaching (I Cor 14:33-35). And those who are itching to hear preachers say this is not essential. I will not scratch. There are some who are itching for me to say that it really doesn't make any difference what you believe, just as long as you are sincere. We are all going to the same place in difference directions. They are itching for me to say that. I will not scratch.

One of the areas that needs emphasis today is in the area of the church leadership. In the latter part of this chapter Paul mentions some of his comrades in arms as well as some of his enemies. If a new version of the scriptures had been written by the women's lib movement, Paul's words would read like this:

"Give diligence to come shortly unto me for Dorothy hath forsaken me having loved this present world and went to Thessalonica. Catherine to Galatia, Tillie to Dalmatia. Only Linda is with me. Take Mary and bring her with thee for she is profitable to me for ministering. But Thelma I sent to Ephesus. The cloak that I left at Troas with Cecellia, bring with thee when thou comest and the books, especially the parchments. Connie the coppersmith did me much evil; the Lord will render to her according to her works" Sound doctrine needs to be preached in the area of the place of women in the Lord's church. One thing for sure it is not in the pulpit or the eldership.

Paul told Timothy, fulfill thy ministry. He said, "1 have fought a good fight, I have finished the course. I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge shall gave to me at that day; and not to me only but to all them that have loved his appearing."

He fought the fight and finished the course. There were some who did not finish the course. There was Demas who loved the present world and went to Thessalonica. There was Mark who quit for awhile and came back. Paul said he was profitable for ministering.

I have kept the faith. May it be so with us all. If you believe in the New Testament church--never be satisfied with anything else. Keep the faith. If you believe in the New Testament plan of salvation--never be satisfied with anything less. Keep the faith. If you believe in the Lord's Supper on the Lord's day and every Lord's day-- never be satisfied with anything less. Keep the faith. If you believe in wearing the name that is above every name and that you don't need a denominational name to wear with it or in place of it--never be satisfied with anything less. Keep the faith. This should be the goal of all of us in the ministry of the Lord and His church. To be able to say also I have fought a good fight, have finished the course. have kept the faith. Be not ashamed. Preach the Word!!

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