II Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
For the child of God, trials are designed to help them grow closer to the Lord. How the child of God approaches the trials will make a difference. God was directing Paul to write this letter to help Timothy face the trials in his life. As we mentioned before, this letter is written to a pastor. Every Christian can learn from this letter. All of God’s Word is profitable for the child of God. Those that God calls into leadership positions need to learn how to be godly leaders. Those who are not called into leadership positions need to know how to pray for their leaders and how to encourage them in their role.
As we study this book, it is important to remember that there needs to be godly compassion for one another. Timothy’s trials were real. We are not given details on them, but they were real. God directed Paul to write this letter to help any Christian know how to deal with trials. We can look at a trial as something that is overwhelming, or we can look at God in the midst of the trial as being greater than any trial we will face. It is not a matter of ignoring the trial, but a matter of keeping the trial in perspective.
God gave us this letter to help us to understand our own frailty and how we can be strong in the midst of those trials if we draw our strength from the Lord. God knows what His children need to make them more effective servants of His. The trials that His children face are not the result of a cruel God. They are the result of a loving God Who has a good plan for His children and He wants them to know that blessing.
In verse 10, Paul talked of his attitude to the trouble he was facing. He had learned to approach trials from a different perspective. He knew that if he would grumble and complain about things in his life, he would not have a good testimony. He would not be able to help anyone else. He could not help Timothy, and in this verse he could not help the elect.
The use of the word “elect” has one of two meanings in the Bible. It is often used to refer to the nation of Israel. God chose Abram and He changed his name to Abraham. God blessed Abraham with one son, Isaac. Through Isaac God continued to fulfil his promise to Abraham and the nation of Israel continued to develop and grow. It is obvious from the Bible that the elect, in reference to Israel, were not all saved. In fact God speaks of a remnant. A remnant is the left-overs. A small number of the nation of Israel would actually be saved. The majority in the past have perished and the same holds true for the majority of this time. The Bible tells us that at the end of the Tribulation, all Israel will be saved. That is in reference to the Jews who will be alive at that time. The Jews that have survived to the end of the Tribulation will humble themselves and acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah and they will enter the Millennium as saved individuals.
The other use of the word “elect” is in reference to those who are saved and become a part of the body of Christ in the New Testament era. They are elect in that they are called to serve God. Every born again Christian is saved to do good works. Ephesians 2:10:
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
In the context of our text, Paul is referring to the nation of Israel. He was suffering due to the lost Jews who wanted to kill him. They wanted to stop him from preaching in Jesus’ name. They hated Jesus Christ and wanted any mention of Him removed from anyone’s talk. Sadly, there is still a hostility toward true Christianity in Israel today. That will change by the end of the Tribulation. The few Jews who will survive that awful time in history, will finally recognize that it is God’s hand that protected them and they will also see their need to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal Saviour.
In verse 10 Paul continued by desiring to see the “elect” know the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. We see here that it is not a guaranteed fact that the “elect” will be saved. Many Jews have rejected Jesus Christ as God and as Saviour and Lord. Jews have paid dearly for their rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ. At Jesus’ crucifixion they foolishly stated:
Matthew 27:25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
They did not understand the gravity of that statement. Sadly, they still do not understand that. Paul desired to see more Jews saved. He also desired to see Gentiles saved as well. However, in the context of what he was writing here, it was of the Jews.
In verse 11 Paul pointed out the importance of the true child of God dying to self and living for Christ. Salvation requires a turning to God in repentance and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation. Salvation is life. Ephesians 2:1:
Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Every child is born spiritually dead. Those who are saved come to God desiring life. They come because they are being drawn by God. God is drawing all people to come to Him, but most reject that drawing. Those who submit to His drawing are given life, eternal life. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for our sins. He shed His blood on that cross as the only means of providing salvation for us. Biblical baptism pictures the lost sinner dying to self and being raised to newness of life by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who are saved, do not work to be saved. They simply die to self. They quit fighting against God and turn to Him for salvation. They live in Him through the life that they receive in Jesus Christ. No person can do this in the flesh. God works to save the person and He works in the saved person’s life to perfect him.
In verse 12 we see that if we are saved, we can expect to suffer with Christ. It is wrong to teach and believe that I can be a true Christian and cruise through life without suffering for Christ. New Evangelicalism says that is possible, but that is a lie. The Bible is clear that true Christians will suffer for identifying with Jesus Christ. The devil will use that fact to keep people from turning to the Lord. One of the things the Bible makes clear is that lost people are in love with themselves. That love is a very self-serving love. It is not the Biblical love that God has for man. It is a love that wants to protect ourselves from suffering. Interestingly many lost people put themselves through much suffering by the choices they make in life.
I read an article recently about the detrimental effects of marijuana on the mind. We are hearing of an increase in mental health issues of late. It is not that many years ago that our P.M. legalized the use of marijuana. He denies any connection to mental health issues and marijuana. Many in the medical profession agree with him. That does not change the facts. This is just one example of many ways that lost people cause themselves pain and sorrow, yet they refuse to be saved because they see that suffering as unreasonable. That is how the devil takes God’s truth and twists it for those who want to believe it.
No one will be able to blame God or the devil when they stand at the great white throne judgment. They will be there because they rejected God’s truth and chose to believe a lie.
In verse 12 we see that there is a reward for those who suffer with Him. There are many rewards, but here we are told we will reign with Him.
The Bible tells us that James and John came to Jesus and asked that they could sit one on His right and and the other on His left hand in His kingdom. They wanted to reign with Him. The Bible tells us that the saints will reign with Him, but the placement of those who reign will be revealed at the appropriate time.
In verse 13, Paul reminded Timothy that a person’s belief in Jesus Christ or his disbelief in Jesus Christ does not change the facts. Jesus Christ is faithful. He cannot go against His Word and His character. No amount of pressure or resistance will ever change Him. That is good to know. We have a faithful Saviour. We can be faithful to Him because He is faithful. As we noted earlier, those who are saved draw their strength from Him. Physically, we all get tired. Spiritually we do not need to grow weary in well doing. We can be refreshed by walking humbly and faithfully with the Lord.