1 Timothy 1: The Seriousness of the Gospel
Mentors are important, and as we enter 1 Timothy 1, Paul advises Timothy as to the seriousness of the battle that every Christian must face.
1Ti 1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;
1Ti 1:19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
I know that the term culture war comes with some ideological baggage, but I don’t know how to describe this situation any better. After all, it is obviously the imagery that Paul is communicating to Timothy.
There is something serious about the way that the Christian needs to relate to the world. In a war, it is not simply a game of pickup basketball where it really doesn’t matter who comes out on top. If the Christian worldview is accurate, then decisions we make here on earth have eternal significance. The stakes are remarkably high. Denying Jesus on earth will result in an eternal separation from Him. Accepting Jesus will result in an eternity with Him.
As a result, this is not something that we ought to take lightly. I think that is what Paul is trying to tell Timothy. He needs to be bold in following Jesus Christ because if he does not, he will have made a terrible mistake or shipwreck as Paul says.
Therefore, I’m not saying that we need to pick up our weapons and go out and fight. Paul did not do that himself, so it would not make sense whatsoever for him to be advising Timothy to do that. Do not misconstrue what I am saying. However, we do need to have that kind of attitude. We need to understand the seriousness of a belief in Christ. As Paul wrote earlier, if Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, then all of this is foolishness. By implication however, if Jesus did rise from the dead, then we need to take that seriously, and we need to do whatever we can to communicate that truth to the world around us.