In recent visits we’ve considered the audience Paul describes in 2nd Timothy 4. Jesus Christ is watching and listening to what we do and say, and we are accountable to Him. There is the religious audience that is often interested in what will tickle their fancy. And there is the unbelieving world.
In addition, there are true believers in our audience. They too are watching and listening. They need Christian leaders they can trust to lead them in the way of truth. Some of these might disappoint you as Demas, one of Paul’s associates, did, who “loved this world.” Others might just need encouragement in the face of severe opposition. We truly do need each other.
One final member of the audience is you, yourself. Knowing that we are accountable to Jesus Christ we should check ourselves. Are we walking the talk, and talking the truth? I remember while at Moody an older student from Jamaica challenging me with these words I’ve never forgotten: “Never preach to others what you’ve not first preached to yourself.”
I’ve also remembered when pointing my finger at the audience while preaching there are three fingers pointing back at me and a thumb that’s pointing up to God. I believe this was why Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 9:26-27: “I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
The audience, watching and listening, is the answer to the “Why?” question related to what Paul wrote in 2nd Timothy 4.