A person holds a Bible

The Word That Crosses Every Barrier

Finding the Hope — August 1, 2023

The second letter to Timothy is believed to be Paul’s last communication to the church.

There are moments of sadness in this letter, but the overall tone is one of triumph — the triumph of faithfulness to the gospel and the triumph of light over darkness.

According to tradition the apostle was beheaded not long after he composed this letter. Aware that the end was near he wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

With these three statements, Paul sums up the way of Christ’s disciples — they fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith.

In an earlier letter addressed to the Ephesians he wrote about a real battle, but not one against flesh and blood. In this fight we are exhorted to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power and to stand firm in the word of God. This is how Paul fought the good fight.

In 2 Timothy he comes back to this point with more words of encouragement: be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, endure hardship like a good soldier of the Lord and do not be entangled in the affairs of this world — three more statements that we should ponder often.

Do you hear the language of faithfulness in Paul’s words? This is of great significance for us today as we face a world that is increasingly hostile towards Christians and the Christian worldview.

One of Paul’s great concerns in his second letter to Timothy is that the gospel message be communicated to others continually. In fact, this is the church’s way of responding to the Lord’s instruction to spread the gospel and make disciples everywhere.

Recently I came across the following comment by a late churchman reflecting on his view of the gospel prior to his conversion. “Even as a skeptic, I had to admit that this Christian gospel had tremendous strength. It became a movement and crossed every barrier. It crossed the oceans, the deserts, and the mountains. It leaped from one country to another. It spread around the world, and today it is being preached in more than a thousand different languages and dialects.”

Only God could do this in a world that’s always been in the grip of profound social and political tensions.

The continual proclamation of the gospel is essential. A message of first importance is always treated this way. It is communicated and repeated again and again until the greatest number of people possible have been reached.

EHC has been providing strategies and resources for the telling and retelling of the gospel for more than 75 years. The results are astonishing. The good news of Jesus has been taken to over 2.4 billion homes in nearly 200 nations. Over 250 million people have asked to know more about Christ and have received follow-up.

This telling and retelling has good days and difficult days. However, suffering and rejection do not determine whether the mission can or cannot go on, as we discover in Paul’s writing.

Among his final recorded words we read, “I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.” (2 Timothy 2:9)

Paul was not ashamed of the way he was treated because of his faithfulness to the gospel, neither was he embarrassed by people’s low opinion of the gospel. It was clear to him that this message about Jesus would always be the power of God for the salvation of anyone who believes.

Yet, in the eyes of the authorities, Paul was a dangerous criminal, kept bound and in isolation. The clinking sound of his iron chains repeated it to him with every move. Nevertheless God’s word could not be chained.

What a powerful reminder that the gospel is never restricted by human restrictions. It has a life of its own. Nothing can hold it back. No one can silence its gentle voice. It does not come to people simply with words, but also with power and the Holy Spirit. This message of salvation is not the word of men, but the word of God and is at work in those who believe. (1 Thessalonians 1:5; 2:13)

We must wholeheartedly believe this as we continue to plant the precious gospel seed in this world.We must believe that it can penetrate deep into the heart to topple one kingdom and establish another, break chains that no one can see and set free people who are held captive by arguments and pretensions set up against the knowledge of God. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Bringing the gospel to the lost has always placed the church in difficulty, but it also snatches people out of the devil’s gripping lies every day.

No matter what comes in this life, let’s be encouraged in our mission knowing that the word of God is not chained, and believing that our faithfulness to the gospel will not be in vain.

More Finding the Hope

Good News Messengers in Action

The Christmas Finding the Hope outreach touched thousands of Canadians with the help of hundreds of Christians across Canada. They were creative in their approach and passed along many thousands gospel messages with a Christmas wish. Read more...

Finding the Hope — January 27, 2021

Finding The Hope: The Process is working!

EHC Canada is committed to the process of evangelism and through the Finding the Hope outreach we encourage churches to think that way. We encourage pastors and congregations to reach their communities intentionally and with focus. It’s a multi-faceted and necessary process that includes prayer, every home gospel message saturation, cultivation, gathering of the harvest,… Read More…

Finding the Hope — July 5, 2019