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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder


2 Tim 2:8-10 Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel: wherein I suffer trouble, as an evildoer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes that they may also obtain the salvation, which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

When the dedicated soldier is in peril, while confronting the enemy; when the labor of the husbandman seems to be in vain, due to poor harvest, when trials and tribulations seem to bring defeat, in every aspect of our lives; when the efforts of a Christian to teach God's gospel message of salvation are jeered, ridiculed, and fall on deaf ears, Paul told Timothy to remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel. No doubt the young preacher, Timothy, had many moments of doubt and discouragement, in spreading the gospel of Christ to a world, filled with self-willed people, given to sin, and lacking in moral character. Christians of all ages have been, and will continue to be, confronted with similar circumstances in teaching the will of God. We are told that rejection will exceed acceptance.

When it occurs, it is disheartening, to say the least. Often we are tempted to give up, and surrender to the power of Satan, and his alluring message of fulfilling sensual desires during life here on earth. The devil's audiences appear to be much larger and more receptive, to the pleasures of the world that are available now, than the voice of a faithful Christian teaching the message of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, that God has made available in the future life to come. Not only was Paul's message to Timothy given as an encouragement, to sustain him during the difficult periods of his Christian mission, but also it is meant to be an encouragement to all Christians.

We too, must remember ...Jesus Christ. Remember that He fled certain death at the hand of King Herod. Remember His early childhood, as He debate among Jewish spiritual leaders. Remember the perils He suffered during His teaching ministry on earth. Remember His betrayal and the "mock" trial He received before the Jewish Sanhedrin. Remember the scourging He received at the hands of the Roman soldiers, the crown of thorns he was made to wear, the humiliating mockery, and the punishment He received, as He was lead out of Jerusalem. Remember the burden of the cross He was forced to bear, and the nails that were driven into His hands and feet to fasten Him to cross. And finally, remember the cruel and agonizing death He willingly endured on the cross of Calvary.

From this remembrance of Jesus Christ, where was Timothy, and all other Christians, to find encouragement in carrying out the will of our Heavenly Father throughout all of our trials and temptations of life? We find it in the reason it was intended. From the beginning of time, the entire birth, life, and death on the cross of Calvary of His Son, Jesus Christ, was God's plan of eternal salvation for mankind - the plan by which all that obey His will, are reconciled to Him, by the sacrificial blood of Jesus, by which our sins are forgiven.

We must remember also that after His death on the cross, and burial in a hillside tomb, He conquered death by arising on the third day, giving us the assurance that we, too, as faithful Christians, will be raised from death, and inherit the hope of eternal salvation in Heaven. Again we ask this question: "How can I cope with the trials and temptations of life, and still live a faithful life on earth serving God, the cause of Christ, and the physical and spiritual needs of others?" The answer is found in this gospel truth that the apostle Paul preached throughout the world: Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead.

Remembering Jesus Christ, and the heavy burden of life that he bore, makes each of us realize that the loads we bear can be easily carried and overcome. By doing so Paul tells us that we are made free from the dread and fear of preaching and teaching the gospel of Christ, and therefore, the word of God is not bound. Although Paul was physically bound in chains, as long as there were preachers such as Timothy, and as long as there are faithful preachers and teachers today, that are willing to continue that which the apostles began on the Day of Pentecost, God's word will never be bound. It has been made free to all that have an open and receptive heart, and are truly searching for eternal life in heaven. Like Paul, we too must endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation, which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.