Hold on Mission!
2 Timothy 4:1-8 (Pastor Jack Tan)
A Final Charge to Timothy
1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Nice to meet you. We are family in Christ. It’s the first time to meet you, but I’m happy to go home after meeting others.
I will share a Scripture from Paul. This is the last letter of Paul. And also it’s very important – what Paul said to others. It is Paul’s response to God’s calling to finish his mission.
The purpose of this letter: to ask Timothy whatever the situation is, you have to hold onto the mission.
Do not be affected by the situation. He hopes that Timothy will also experience God like Paul has experienced him.
This time, I will share what Paul writes.
Today’s topic is “Hold on Mission” – this is the mission that EVERY Christian should have.
I think this letter is not only sent to Timothy, but also to all Christians. I’m privileged to come here to see your church – it’s a missionary church. It’s really doing the “Mission” – Thank God.
The Mission must continue. There are many pastors who do God’s mission. They have the mission and testimony. This should be continued.
So, how to “Hold on Mission”?
1: Keep the Faith
Paul says, 4:7
“7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
This is Paul’s experience. He doesn’t only do it, but at first he was chosen by God and he will continue to the end until death. Why can he continue on this, God’s mission? Because it is God’s mission.
He said this when he was about to die, he already finished the mission. If we hold onto what we believe (about God) we can finish the mission.
To fight for God, God’s Word is the best weapon. Through it, we can stand firm during the test. We will not waver in uncertain circumstances.
Why it is important to keep God’s Word? Because we easily go the wrong way in a spiritual path if not. At first, Paul obeyed God’s Word, but then he didn’t listen to God’s Word – so it is very important to listen to God’s Word and take it seriously. We must hold onto God’s Word as a Mission and hold onto that Mission. Then we can finish God’s will in our lives and communities.
Only if we keep God’s Word can we continue God’s Will and not go the wrong way. If we go the wrong way, everything is in vain. The Bible says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the laborers labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches the city, the guardsmen guard it in vain.”
When you do everything, in the end, what is the price you will pay? Should you continue? Not on your own strength. So, we can see it is very important to hold onto God’s Word, and God’s Mission.
If we want to fight the good fight, we must obey God’s Word. So, let us learn from Paul.
2: Through the Power of the Holy Spirit
Acts 1:8 “8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.””
This word comes from after Jesus appeared to the disciples 3 times. At that time, Jesus appeared to Peter and the other disciples. They went back to fish – they had already given up their mission.
So Peter’s witness is a powerful witness. Before, he was a man who was frightened, scared of death, disowned Jesus 3 times. But after Peter was touched by the HS, he stood again, even to be killed for Christ. Where does that bravery, faith, strength come from? It’s from the HS.
So, today, we have no excuse.
With the HS, we can hold on to the Mission. Thank God.
We can see your church’s background is touched by the HS.
Depending on the HS, our lives can be changed.
I will give my testimony to you.
I became a Christian from 1978. At that time, I was caught and put in jail. At that time, I turned to God from 1979 to today. I thank God. The HS works in me. So I encourage those who have a similar background as me. My life was totally changed. This is because I have the will to repent. I had been addicted to drugs. But, from 1979 until now, I never used drugs again. God gave me the chance to experience the HS.
Because of the drugs I had been caught. So, thank God for this difference. Because I received Christ as my Savior and the power of the HS, today there are many testimonies like this.
There are many like this in Singapore and also Malaysia. It is very important to receive the HS.
Peter was afraid of being caught at first, but after he received the HS, he was afraid of nothing – even death for Christ.
This is because Jesus said, “You will receive power when the HS comes on you.” And then, they were to share the Mission with the Gentiles.
At that time, Peter responded to God’s mission again. And we can see how powerfully Peter was used by God. He overcame his weakness by the power of the HS.
We can see from his mission – 3,000 people believed in God, in Jerusalem, on a single day, from his testimony. They asked Peter what they should do to respond to God and Peter said, “You must repent and be baptized.” At that meeting, 3,000 people believed in Christ (in the same city that crucified him I believe.)
“You are no longer controlled by the sinful nature, but by the HS.”
We can see this in the early Antioch Church. Thank God your church’s name is ALSO Antioch Church. You are worthy to have this name. Give a hand to God. Your church is a missionary church.
The missionary church is what God wants.
At that time, Antioch Church sought God.
Acts 13:1-2 “1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.””
At that time, they had to do mission work. The HS told them to send Paul and Barnabas to evangelize. So, after they fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
We can see the power of Antioch Church – touched by the HS. Today, the power of the church is touched by the HS.
After Jesus finished his work and ascended into heaven, he sits (now) at the right hand of God the Father. At that time, he sent the disciples. And we know that the HS still works in our church today. He helps us finish the mission, and helps us to love Jesus and love God, and he prepares for the Last Day when Jesus will come. So, this Age is the Work of the HS.
Now, we believe in the same God as today.
- The heavenly Father is the same God as the one who did Creation.
- Jesus is Salvation.
- And through 3 years, he trained the disciples to do God’s work – to continue his own work.
We ask God to work in our hearts and lives. We want to do God’s work – if we want to see God’s reward, we must ask for the power of the HS.
Mission work (and the power to do it) is given by the HS. So, it is very important to respond to the calling of the HS.
Many churches were given the HS – and Paul visited many churches and many believers who loved God. This is very important. Respond to the HS.
Now, we are in the spiritual world. This spiritual world cannot fight with the physical world.
Let us see 2 Corinthians 10:4 “4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
At that time, many people became Christians. Peter and John were called by God. Because of P&J, many people trusted God. So, they were caught – later set free on the condition that they don’t share the gospel. But they went back to church and reported all that the Chief Priest and elders had done. At this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God.
Acts 4:22-30 They preached with great boldness. At first, they could not share the gospel at that time, but with the power of the HS, they were able to. So, we can see that the best weapon of spiritual warfare is the Word of God.
Acts 4:31 “31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
We can see that spiritual warfare is a serious business. Continuing in chapter 4, we can see the heart of the early church:
4:32-37 “32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.”
So, we can see that we need the power of the HS to teach us the right way to behave, how to love one another.
In Malaysia, I opened one church, and one brother was a tutor there. Evil took control of him at one time, and he couldn’t teach any longer. He was originally a very handsome fellow, like Pastor Heo, but when evil took hold of him, when we had a service, we tried to cast out the evil, but could not. Afterward, we prayed “In Jesus Name” and when we did that, he fell prostate – laid down. This is spiritual war.
We can see, if we fight by the power of the HS, evil cannot resist – it will flee.
So, we must fight by the power of the HS.
Many things may threaten us, so let us ask for help from God. We need to hold on to the mission, and trust what we believe. And in the power of the HS, he will help us overcome our weakness, and fight.
If we do this, we can fight the good fight for God. At this, we can work hard for God. So, thank God.
I hope everyone can learn from this sermon.
At this time, we have many needs. I hope and pray that we will all hold to the mission and do missionary work from this generation to the next and next and next generation.
Thanks everyone for giving me the opportunity to preach this sermon.
- Say to yourself, “I’m a missionary.”
- Beat your heart and say it, “I’m a missionary.”
Today’s sermon title is very suitable. “Hold on Mission.” (Catch, possess, continually, without stop).
Actually, if you “Hold on Mission”, you are a missionary before God in this world. Missionary = “Mission holder” – so we are all missionaries in this world.
Let’s give a hand and praise to God.