2 Timothy 4:21 “Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren.”
I’d like to draw your attention to the phrase, “and all the brethren.” In Paul’s concluding comments to Timothy he sends the young preacher salutation from a specific crowd of believers. To Timothy these were common names and close friends. This was Timothy’s crowd.
I remember as a teenager in the youth group how I hated the ice-breaking exercises that came with combined youth activities with other churches. We would have to do some kind of game or other activity at the start of the program that would requires us to join with someone not from our church and whom we didn’t know. This made me uncomfortable I was happy with the people I knew. I was comfortable with them. I was with my crowd. I am not preaching against such activities for youth programs at all, in fact, they are probably good and healthy to get young people out their “shell.” I am just stating a point that even early in life and in all areas of life people are prone to pick a crowd and gravitate toward certain people to partner with!
I once heard a famous radio personality; Paul Harvey tell a story of an indecisive Civil War soldier. The man couldn’t decide if wanted to fight for the North or if he would fight for the South. To solve his problem the soldier decided to adorn a blue jacket and at the same time wear grey pants. He ventured cautiously onto the battlefield and was shot from both directions!
For the Timothy of today to stay clear of detrimental yokes they must define their crowd from the start. Now, be sure not to misinterpret the meaning of this point. I am not misinterpreting the meaning of this point. I am not advocating selling one’s soul to a man-centered camp. I believe it’s safe to say that I am in the Jesus crowd, the God crowd, the Bible crowd, but at the same time let me add that not all those who name the name of Christ are part of or promoting the right crowd! Not every church is in the right crowd, not every Christian school is in the right crowd, and definitely not every denomination is in the right crow. The best way, the only way to find your crowd and to be sure it is the right crowd is to choose your crowd based according to Bible truth. It must be the Word of God and not family ties, local customs, popular opinion, private interpretation, or retirement plans that place the preacher in his party! If at any point you see things in a denomination, school, or religious group that flows contrary to the current of Scripture you can unapologetically mark them as the “wrong crowd.”
It’s from using this method of measuring every mark of a group against the Bible’s message that made me and keeps me an independent Baptist. I am not an independent Baptist for applause, convenience, or any other motive. I cam to the conclusion, based on the Bible, that if I was going to be a Christian and be true to every bit of the Word of God, then without question I would be an independent, fundamental Baptist!
There are three things that should be a must for every Timothy when defining their crowd:
- Authoritative Text
The King James Bible is the only Bible I use and endorse. I believe it is the inspired, preserved Word of God. Therefore, naturally “my” crowd (and prayerfully yours as well) is the King James Bible Crowd!
- Attitude of Triumph
Find a group that believes God is alive and well, still on the throne, still saving sinners, and still sending revival!
- Astounding Track Record
Get in a group with a blessed history and a bright future. A soul-winning, separated, spirit-filled, Scriptural crowd. An astounding track record!
Define YOUR crowd!
Evangelist| Dr. Justin Cooper
Clays Mill Baptist Church