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One Preacher Advises Another

An older preacher was giving some advice and counsel to a younger one. His own preaching work had been marred by several incidents where folks had rejected his teaching, opposed him publicly, and caused him a fair amount of grief and hardship. Still, though, he continued to proclaim the truth, and he encouraged his young friend to do the same.

He warned the young man that there would be times when his preaching would not be well received. People would not like to hear "hard" preaching. They would prefer to listen to things that were more pleasant and less demanding. Teachers that played to their whims and fancies would be more popular. More "positive" and less "negative" preaching would be their wish, and they would insist that it be so.

But despite all this, the older preacher urged the younger one to press on with his work. It wouldn't always be easy, but it was ultimately important.

Who were these two preachers? Where and when was this advice given from the older to the younger? It could have been almost anywhere and anytime, but we have reference to the encouragement penned by the apostle Paul to the evangelist Timothy. Some of the final words Paul ever wrote were these:

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry." II Timothy 4:2-5