II Timothy 1:8 ” So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me His prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the Gospel…”

Elsewhere in II Timothy, Paul exhorts the young Pastor to, “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” (II Timothy 2:3) Paul just had to glance around him to see Roman soldiers in the prison where he was confined. Now the Roman army was the most disciplined and efficient killing machine that the ancient world had ever known…the men were well trained and equipped, and operated in strict formation on the battlefield. Their focus was on military service and nothing else. So when Paul likened Timothy’s service to the Lord as that of a soldier, he was telling all of us that the world wants us to conform to its standards…thus shirking our duties. But as a soldier of Christ, we have to be willing to suffer persecution and hardship, and not to be ashamed of the Gospel. For Jesus said in Mark 8:38, “If anyone is ashamed of Me and My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

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