On June 25, 1876, Officer George Armstrong Custer found himself surrounded by over
2,000 Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors. Needless to say, this put Custer
in a terrible spot. He was not one to sit and wait but the odds were greatly stacked
against him. The only chance he had to win this battle was to wait for reinforcements.
Brig. Gen. Alfred Terry was on his way to help deliver the surrounded 7th on the Little
Bighorn, but Custer did not want to wait. Due to his lack of patience, he took his “last
stand” along with 210 others.
No one enjoys waiting, but we are told many times in the Bible to do just that. Wait…
Timothy was surrounded by an ever-growing number of false teachers and deceivers.
Unfortunately, we are seeing a multiplication today as well. Entertainers, lecturers,
philosophers, and the prosperity gospel crowd are leading many people away from the
Truth. Do we need to be like Custer and go down fighting? Should we be calling them
out on Twitter? Picketing their churches? Commenting on all of their social media posts
that they are wrong? Is it appropriate for us to sit around and do nothing? Or should we
be like Custer and go down fighting?
Paul tells Timothy to simply wait, remain or as 2 Timothy 3:14 says, “Continue.” As we
see things getting worse and worse around us we must continue in the things we have
learned and believed. He also tells Timothy the “reinforcements” have already been
provided (2 Tim 3:15-16). We have all we need and will ever need in the Word of God.
Sola Scriptura. The Bible contains all the divine Words needed for life and our walk in
godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
It is difficult to just wait or remain when we see people promoting a false gospel or
propagating strange doctrines. We naturally want to take on an attitude like Custer and
march forward with all guns blazing. The problem is, I don’t see that type of behavior
encouraged in this passage. Paul is exhorting Timothy to stand and remain grounded in
the Word of Truth. The greatest weapon we have today to battle apostasy, false
teaching, sin, and corruptness in our church is the Word of God. If our churches are not
burning with the preaching of this Book we should not be surprised when they crash and
To “continue” sounds simple, but how are we to go about it?
“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit
thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
My boys will be running their first cross-country meet of the season in a few days. They
are nervous and feel inadequate and unprepared for the race. What they don’t know is I
have been preparing them for this since they were little. We have spent hours running
on trails and the track. If they saw a toy they wanted in the store they knew they could
run for it. My going rate was one dollar per mile!
I have no worries going into this race. Why? I know I have them ready.
The only way for us to battle the growing opposition is to “recruit and train” other
soldiers. We need to have the next generation ready! Discipleship is necessary for the
health, growth, and success of the future church. If our generation is not teaching the
next then the church is in for a bleak future. John exhorts the young men in 1 John
because of their strength and abilities to “fight the evil one.” Without proper training, a
will to fight will not be enough against a strategic Satan. How can the next generation
“follow the pattern of sound doctrine (1:13) if they have never heard it or seen it
It is time for the older generation to put their arms around the younger and prepare them
This fight is not easy. Taking on the enemy is an arduous task. That is why verses 3-4
say: “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. that “no soldier on active duty
entangles himself with civilian affairs, that he may please the enlisting officer.” Suffering
is inevitable for the soldier, “…but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God”
To “continue” we must be willing to face difficult seasons of training and battle. God can
only make us if He breaks us. Boot camp is not just for military recruits but for the
redeemed as well. We must mentally prepare the next generation for the difficulties of
battle, and be an example as we endure ours.
God has no use for lazy Christians. Continuing in the faith requires hard work. Timothy
was to present himself as one approved before God, as a worker who did not need to
be ashamed. His task was to study and rightly handle the Word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15).
Is it work to continue? Yes. Is it worth the work? YES!
Begin training the next generation of faithful witnesses. Evil is going to get worse and
worse, but through the resources of the Word, we have the means to train and prepare
the next generation to fight the good fight of faith!