Paul to Timothy in his second epistle ch.4 v.13; The cloke I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
The more things change in this world the more the important things stay the same for the true man of God. While so many of the churches have changes in some ways for good but in many ways for the bad. In terms of the good, we have more ways to spread the Gospel in a quicker way. Missionaries are able to arrive to the place whereto God has called them, Saints are able to communicate with other saints in a a matter of seconds as can prayer needs. These are just some of the good changes we have experienced in the current age.
In terms of the bad we have seen the growth of the mega church which has ceased to see Christ’s sheep being tended to properly and intimately. The growth of the local church has taken on “job #1” priority to the point that sound doctrine has taken the back seat if it has been forsaken altogether. The sovereignty of God, repentance, faith as a gift from God, the doctrine of perseverance, the doctrine of sin and the law are almost forgotten, the practice of calling people to the faith openly is unheard of, instead they are offered anonymity as they raise their hand while every eye is closed and every head is bowed and no one looking around. Where does one find that in Scripture?
While some changes are good and some changes are bad the heart of the faithful man of God remains unchanged.
If you re-read Paul’s directions to Timothy you find Paul to be a practical man. He first asks Timothy to bring his cloke as the weather would soon be requiring it. Then he further request his books and especially the parchments.
One can ask most faithful men of God what their great needs are for the ministry and they will tell you after their Bible other books. another need they have is the need to teach that which they are learning and this is symbolized by parchment. Jeremiah speaking of this need to teach and to speak for God called it a fire in his bones. The disciples told God’s enemies that they can not help but to speak of what they have seen and heard.
The man of God not only has a need to speak God’s truths to the church on Sundays but to show the love of God always.
With that being said, if you are a preacher, pastor, evangelist, missionary, Sunday school teacher, etc and these need and traits are not true of you there is a big problem. one problem could be you are out of sorts or out of sink with God but you probably already know that. Another problem could be that God never called you to serve Him in this capacity and that is not to say He hasn’t called you to some ministry but not this one. We have seen many serving God in the pulpit and it was painfully obvious they were in the wrong ministry. Spiritual authority, spiritual power, moral authority, preaching authority should all be present as well as liberty in the Word.
A word on books. A Bible teacher should have a desire to read and should have a well rounded library. By well rounded I do not mean limiting your selections to those of like minded thought. While those of like minded thoughts should have a place they must not be the only ones. Those of like minded should be used as fellowship. but those that think differently than you should be present and used to expand your knowledge of other thinking. You may even find that you have been incorrect in some of your beliefs. God knows this is true of the present writer. We can always tell the close minded because they are all the same. They will have opinions on other writers without ever reading these other authors. Any discussion you may have with them is the same discussion you has with others like them. However, to come a cross one who has had their mind opened it is an exciting event and one that will be remembered.
One word in closing re: books. The books written by other men should never take the place of the (66) sixty-six books inspired by the Holy Ghost….never allow this to happen. One other suggestion- limit books to those that have already departed this life. This is not a hard rule but one to keep in mind as there are those living that are (as of right now) safe.