My dear son,
I realize you will be serving Christ in a world far different than the one where I was trained and first released into ministry. Your methods, your dress, your vocabulary, the technologies you use and even the problems you face may have little in common with the world I knew, or even the world in which we both minister today. You will be a faithful servant of Christ not because you mimic my words or imitate my ministry style, but because you live out the timeless values we share – values that come to us from the Word of God and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
So while I still have the opportunity, I want to take a few minutes to summarize in writing the values and life lessons I have attempted to live out before you and most want to pass on to you…
I trust together God has taught us to humbly proclaim His truth while at the same time unashamedly declaring the testimony of Jesus Christ. I trust that you have seen in me a genuine commitment to the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ but at the same time a love for those with whom I disagree. Remember, it’s not enough to just speak the truth but we must speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). People do matter to God (Luke).
We have been entrusted with a holy calling, a treasure, according to the grace of Jesus. So, remain steadfast in the One whom you have believed knowing that no matter what circumstances arise He will keep you.
Pass these teaching of Jesus on to the next generation (faithful men), so they might pass them on as well. So, the testimony of Jesus will be propagated until His appearing. This won’t always be easy! There will be many who will seek to oppose you from both within and without. There will be times of suffering and hardship. But endure; God has called you to preach his truth so His elect might hear.
My son, a time is coming and in many ways I think it has arrived that these truths will not be popular… not even in the church. I’m not talking about methodology… I’m talking about the message. So, be relevant but maintain your commitment to the teachings of Jesus. Don’t get caught up in the fray of idle conversation and arguments over the non-essentials.
I leave with you these four things: Love God, Love His Word, Love His Church, and Love the Lost.