I charge thee therefore before God - Whose herald thou art; and before the Lord Jesus Christ, whose salvation thou art to proclaim, and who is coming to judge the world - all that shall be found then alive, and all that have died from the foundation of the world.
I charge thee therefore before God - See the notes on 1 Timothy 5:21.
Who shall judge the quick and the dead - That is, the Lord Jesus; for he is to be the judge of men; 2 Corinthians 5:10. The word “quick” means “living” (See the Acts 10:42 note; Ephesians 2:1 note); and the idea is, that he would be alike the judge of all who were alive when he should come, and of all who had died; see the notes on 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. In view of the fact that all, whether preachers or hearers, must give up their account to the final Judge, Paul charges Timothy to be faithful; and what is there which will more conduce to fidelity in the discharge of duty, than the thought that we must soon give up a solemn account of the manner in which we have performed it?
At his appearing - That is, the judgment shall then take place. This must refer to a judgment yet to take place, for the Lord Jesus has not yet “appeared” the second time to men; and, if this be so, then there is to be a resurrection of the dead. On the meaning of the word rendered “appearing,” see the notes on 2 Thessalonians 2:8. It is there rendered “brighteness”; compare 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 1:10; Titus 2:13.
And his kingdom - Or, at the setting up of his kingdom. The idea of his reigning, or setting up his kingdom, is not unfrequently associated with the idea of his cominG; see Matthew 16:28. The meaning is, that, at his second advent, the extent and majesty of his kingdom will be fully displayed. It will be seen that he has control over the elements, over the graves of the dead, and over all the living. It will be seen that the earth and the heavens are under his sway, and that all things there acknowledge him as their sovereign Lord. In order to meet the full force of the language used by Paul here, it is not necessary to suppose that he will set up a visible kingdom on the earth, but only that there will be an illustrious display of himself as a king, and of the extent and majesty of the empire over which he presides: compare the Romans 14:11 note; Philemon 2:10 note.
The apostle warned Timothy against the false teachers who would seek to gain entrance into the church. “This know also,” he declared, “that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy; ... having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” AA 502.1
“Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,” he continued, “deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation.... All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” God has provided abundant means for successful warfare against the evil that is in the world. The Bible is the armory where we may equip for the struggle. Our loins must be girt about with truth. Our breastplate must be righteousness. The shield of faith must be in our hand, the helmet of salvation on our brow; and with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, we are to cut our way through the obstructions and entanglements of sin. AA 502.2
Paul knew that there was before the church a time of great peril. He knew that faithful, earnest work would have to be done by those left in charge of the churches; and he wrote to Timothy, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” AA 502.3Read in context »
That which in the councils of heaven the Father and the Son deemed essential for the salvation of man, was defined from eternity by infinite truths which finite beings cannot fail to comprehend. Revelations have been made for their instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may glorify his own life and the lives of his fellow men, not only by the possession of truth, but by communicating it. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” FE 408.1
Jesus brought into His teaching none of the science of men. His teaching is full of grand, ennobling, saving truth, to which man's highest ambitions and proudest inventions can bear no comparison; and yet things of minor consequence engross the minds of men. The great plan of the redemption of a fallen race was wrought out in the life of Christ in human flesh. This scheme of restoring the moral image of God in debased humanity entered into every purpose of the life and character of Christ. His majesty could not mingle with human science, which will disconnect from the great source of all wisdom in a day. The topic of human science never escaped His hallowed lips. By believing in and doing the words of God, He was severing the human family from Satan's chariot-car. He was alive to the terrible ruin hanging over the human race, and He came to save souls by His own righteousness, bringing to the world definite assurance of hope and complete relief. The knowledge current in the world may be acquired; for all men are God's property, and are worked by God to fulfill His will in certain lines, even when they refuse the man Christ Jesus as their Saviour. The way in which God uses men is not always discerned, but He does use them. God intrusts men with talents and inventive genius, in order that His great work in our world may be accomplished. The inventions of human minds are supposed to spring from humanity, but God is behind all. He has caused that the means of rapid traveling shall have been invented, for the great day of His preparation. FE 408.2
The use which men have made of their capabilities, by misusing and abusing their God-given talents, has brought confusion into the world. They have left the guardianship of Christ for the guardianship of the great rebel, the prince of darkness. Man alone is accountable for the strange fire which has been mingled with the sacred. The accumulation of many things which minister to lust and ambition has brought upon the world the judgment of God. When in difficulty, philosophers and the great men of earth desire to satisfy their minds without appealing to God. They ventilate their philosophy in regard to the heavens and the earth, accounting for plagues, pestilences, epidemics, earthquakes, and famines, by their supposed science. Hundreds of questions relating to creation and providence, they will attempt to solve by saying. This is a law of nature. FE 409.1Read in context »
The minister who is a co-worker with Christ will have a deep sense of the sacredness of his work, and of the toil and sacrifice required to perform it successfully. He does not study his own ease or convenience. He is forgetful of self. In his search for the lost sheep, he does not realize that he himself is weary, cold, and hungry. He has but one object in view,—the saving of the lost. GW 16.1
He who serves under the blood-stained banner of Emmanuel often has that to do which calls for heroic effort and patient endurance. But the soldier of the cross stands unshrinkingly in the forefront of the battle. As the enemy presses the attack against him, he turns to the Stronghold for aid; and as he brings to the Lord the promises of the Word, he is strengthened for the duties of the hour. He realizes his need of strength from above. The victories that he gains do not lead to self-exaltation, but cause him to lean more and more heavily on the Mighty One. Relying upon that power, he is enabled to present the message of salvation so forcibly that it awakens an answering chord in other minds. GW 16.2Read in context »