I was reading 2 Timothy last night and noticed an idea that was repeated several times.
“But the servant of the Lord must not strive, but must be gentle toward all men, apt to teach, suffering the evil, instructing them with meekness that are contrary minded, proving if God at any time will give them repentance, that they may acknowledge the truth, and come to amendment out of that snare of the devil, of whom they are taken prisoners, to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26, Geneva Bible).
“But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of living, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, patience, persecutions, and afflictions which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra, which persecutions I suffered: but from them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution. But the evil men and deceivers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and which are committed unto thee, knowing of whom thou hast learned them: And that thou hast known the holy Scriptures of a child, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through the faith which is in Christ Jesus. For the whole Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable to teach, to convince, to correct, and to instruct in righteousness, that the man of God may be absolute, being made perfect unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:10-17).
“Preach the word: be instant, in season, and out of season: improve, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2).
Suffering the evil. Long suffering. As Paul prepares to leave this world, entrusting the ministry to the next generation of the Church, this is his wisdom. May all of us hear these words and take our stand on scriptural doctrine in the face of the pressure, persecution, and even the evil that true doctrine will stir up.