Saturday, May 05, 2007


Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! (2 Timothy 2:8-9)

As Paul is writing this letter, he is sitting in Rome. Within a few years he will be beheaded by the Emperor Nero for his faith. Being bound with chains means that he can no longer minister to the church in the way he loves, and must instead content himself with writing pastoral letters. But he is not depressed or dejected, moping in his cell as if it's the end of the world. On the contrary, he is joyful and energetic. Why? Because he knows the gospel is not about him and his work! He is an agent for the gospel, but the gospel does not rely on him. It continues to spread without him!

The word of God is not bound. The NIV puts it "God's word is not chained." Jesus once told this parable: "The kingdom of heaven [i.e. the gospel] is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough." What does this all mean? God's word is pervasive and unstoppable. All the kingdoms of the earth will try to stop it, to jail the leaders, to persecute the followers, but it will never work, because God desires his word to go forth to all the world. Observe China: it is one of the most heavily persecuted countries for Christians, and thousands of people are becoming Christians every day there. Why would people become Christians when they know they are going to be persecuted for it? Because God's word is unstoppable.

Isn't that amazing? It doesn't matter what people do, God is still in control, and his plan will not be thwarted. What a comforting thought!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Great post, Sam! It is definitely a comfort to know that God is always in control. Sometimes it's easy to forget that in this fast-paced life, so it's great to be reminded.