Read 2 Timothy 1:8-18.
Our society is proud of lifestyles that the Bible calls sinful, that God says will lead to death. Our nation broadcasts its sinful choices on television and holds parades to celebrate its rebellion. Even some who call themselves Christians have become ashamed of Biblical morality. Every day we are tempted to make excuses and explain away the parts of Scripture that run against the currents of our culture, to water down the Truth of God's Word to make it more palatable.
On the cross, Jesus put fear back in its place.
I believe with all my heart that if the apostle Paul were alive and preaching today, he would say, "Please do not be ashamed of Biblical Truth. Please do not be ashamed of Biblical morality." When he wrote to Timothy, he was in chains for the Gospel—and he was not ashamed. But Paul knew the temptation, so he urged Timothy not to give up on God's Word and to never be ashamed of the Truth.
It's difficult to swim against the tides of culture. But what is at the heart of this struggle? It all comes down to fear. We're afraid of missing out, afraid of being mocked, afraid of suffering for the name of Jesus. But God's Word tells us that suffering is a natural result of being faithful to God, who is always faithful to us. If you ever find yourself ashamed of the Gospel—ashamed of Biblical Truth—it is most likely because of fear. But on the cross, Jesus put fear back in its place. He defeated death—and without death, what is there for the believer to be afraid of?
Tradition tells us that shortly after Paul penned this letter to Timothy, he was led away in chains and beheaded. He died for his obedience to Jesus Christ, and he wasn't afraid. Not many of us are going to be beheaded for our faith, but some of us may lose friends because we refuse to compromise the Truth. Some of us may be passed over for a promotion because we stand up for Biblical morality. Some of us may lose out on important business deals because of what we believe. But in the end, the Truth of God's Word is far more important and precious.
We know the end of the story. Because Jesus has defeated death on the cross, our victory is sure. Our God is faithful, and glory is coming.
Prayer: Lord, I know Your promises are sure. You have defeated death, and I have nothing to fear. May this Truth ignite my heart in service to You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 1:13).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Don't Ever Give Up, Part 2: LISTEN NOW