“Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse…but continue thou” (II Tim.3:13,14).
These were among the last words of the great Apostle Paul, written in view of his approaching martyrdom, to Timothy, his beloved son in the faith.
Circumstances, outwardly, were anything but encouraging. It seemed that the last days of the dispensation of grace were indeed at hand. The apostle had borne many “persecutions” and “afflictions” and now “suffered trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds”. There were those who, like Jannes and Jambres, had “resisted the truth” (Verse 8). “Alexander the coppersmith” had done him “much evil” and had “greatly withstood his words” (4:14,15). “Evil men and seducers” had risen on every hand and were to “wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (IITim.3:13).
There was even defection among his own brethren in the faith, so that now, from his Roman prison, he had to report: “All they which are in Asia have turned away from me…Demas hath forsaken me…only Luke is with me” (IITim.1:15; 4:10,11).
And what, now, is his parting advice to young Timothy? Does he say: “Perhaps I have been too intense. My methods have made many enemies. I advise you to be more diplomatic and tolerant than I have been”. Hardly, for the records show Paul to have been of all men most tactful and considerate. His sufferings were not the result of a contentious spirit, but of his faithfulness in proclaiming that message which so embarrasses and enrages “our adversary, the devil”, that message which is God’s gracious response to man’s need and His answer to Satan’s slander — “the gospel of the grace of God”.
Thus it is that the Apostle urges Timothy: “Continue thou…be not ashamed…be strong”. He well knew that in this sin-cursed world the only hope for the individual is to be found in God’s offer of salvation through faith in the redemption wrought by Christ at Calvary.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.