The King James Version says ” Preach the word, be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” The charge is given to Timothy who indeed is getting guidance from the Apostle Paul as a Pastor of a Church. The letters written to Timothy can also be called the preachers guide book as the instructions for ministers and pastors is well documented in the two books. This particular charge is for young Timothy to simply put do his job. His job is to preach the word of God to not only his Church members as they are eagerly awaiting a word from the LORD (in season) But also to those who may not be ready or willing to receive the word of GOD (out of season).
You have heard the expression preaching to the choir, well what that means is you are speaking or preaching to an audience that is in support of all you say. Most choirs fully support their preachers/pastors or they would not be there. A good example of preaching in season. When people welcome the word of GOD and want to learn and grow they will welcome you as a preacher, those are the times when you feel really confident and want to preach forever or as long as that season lasts.
Out of season is more like the street preacher or the preacher or evangelist who dares to take on a jail ministry, or preach the word of GOD on the playgrounds of the inner cities. That is out of season where more than likely those around are not so much interested in the word of GOD. But as Paul says to Timothy do your job, its a mission and we should all take on that mission. During the good times and the bad times. When we give ourselves to GOD for his service we can’t pick and choose where and when we preach. The HOLY SPIRIT will lead us and we should follow.
In Paul’s instruction to young Timothy he says reprove, rebuke and exhort. What that means is not sugarcoating the word to increase your congregation size. Tell people their faults, tell them the truth about entering into the Kingdom of GOD. Sometimes it takes a firm hand to make someone understand they are on the wrong path, and our job as was Timothy’s is the help them repent from their sins and continue on the right path to salvation.
At the same time exhort them meaning persuade them to stay the course and keep the faith holding out and enduring until the end. Let them know there is a brighter day ahead for all those who follow Christ and believe in Him. And yes all this must be done with patience and long suffering, which will be hard in some cases to sell your point when it comes to suffering most people don’t want to hear it. But the promise from GOD is always worth the suffering we endure here on earth.