Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 4:1-8

“Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” (2 Tim 1:13-14)

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” (2 Tim 4:1-2)

We ought to be grateful for the mighty servants of God around us in this age. They may be the local ministers, elders, men on the forefront of evangelism, missions and many more. Through these mighty men who fear the Lord in humility, God has continually heralded His Word, shepherded His sheep and fostered an ever-growing church, becoming united in the body and becoming more like Christ her head.

However, what will happen to our generation when the generation of these mighty servants of God pass away? What will happen when those who have boldly proclaimed the truth of Easter this weekend have all returned home, finishing the race and receiving the crowns that await them in our Master’s dwelling? There must be those who will continue proclaiming the truth of Christ on earth. There must be those who continually herald the glory of Christ on the cross to this lost world. 

As Paul exhorts Timothy, there must be young men who rise to preach the Word. There must be young men who hold tightly to the sound teaching of our forefathers. Who are those who will continue to guard the good deposit? The future church not only needs preachers and missionaries and evangelists, but it also needs godly laymen who fear the Lord deeply and who accomplish their calling to be a light of truth in our society of darkness. The truth must continually be witnessed in politics, economy, medicine, science, arts & culture and the rest of society. 

And for young women, though some might be called to the forefront of ministry and actively witness out there in the world, there is a specific and glorious calling for all young women to which all young women must take special heed. 

For the continuation of the truth into the next generation, there must be young women who understand their special calling as women; their calling to be a helper for their future husbands and support them wherever God calls them to serve. And also, to young women, there must be young women prepared for godly motherhood to prepare and raise the following generation once again in the truth of God’s Word. So few understand this glorious calling in today’s world. Yet, for those who fear the Lord, such calling will prove to be most glorious as marriages reflect the glory of Christ and His church and God’s truth will continue to be witnessed. 

The future church needs a congregation of young men and women who whole-heartedly fear the Lord. Only then will God’s truth continue to be heralded and proclaimed in this world. However, most importantly, we must humble ourselves before God and know that we cannot continue the race with eloquent words, a strong charisma, and dedicated willpower. Such glimpses of heaven where you and I may live out God’s harmonious callings on earth are God’s gift to us sinners. Our sinful nature is to reject God and His ways. So often, we ruin God’s plan and heave destruction upon our own heads. 

Who ultimately will hold the future church? It is only by the Holy Spirit that we may guard the good deposits. Above all, we must become beggars before God, who cling and trust in Him alone. In humility, let us pray and continue to ask God for His mercy and grace upon us. We don’t deserve a life of joy in God’s plan. We deserve wrath and a cursed life because of our sins. Pray that God alone may hold His church. Pray that God Himself will continue to herald His word, shepherd His sheep and grow the body of Christ in unity into the head, which is Christ. Only if He works, His glory will be revealed, and His kingdom continues to be expanded. 

From one generation to another, the baton of God’s kingdom is passed on, edging ever closer to our Lord’s return. Are we ready when the baton is passed to us? 

Lord, to You, we raise the future generation. Shape in us the fear of the Lord as You have shaped our forerunners. We pray that You alone may continue to work to preserve Your church in the times to come. When the generation of our elders pass, and it is our time, Lord, who will keep the church standing if it is not You alone? We pray that we may grow in Your Truth. Please continue to hold us and hold Your church as You work out Your master plan of salvation from age to age. We surrender all in Jesus’ name, amen.