Explore The Bible Study: Enduring

8:37 AM

Is the pine cone a seed or a fruit? Actually it is neither. The pine cone's main function is to keep a pine tree’s seeds safe – they remain closed during cold temperatures for protection and then open during warmer weather so the seeds can be released. You will discover in this week's teaching ideas how you could use the pine cone as an illustration as you guide your group through the Explore the Bible Study: Enduring.

In 2 Timothy 3:12-17 and 2 Timothy 4:1-8, Paul leaves Timothy with some closing words related to continuing or enduring until the end. While it is evident, even today, that the conditions for sharing our faith are challenging, we as believers need to continue to be faithful so that the seeds of the gospel may be sown.

Video Illustration
The closing portion of the downloadable teaching ideas suggests a video that could be used to demonstrate how heat causes a pine cone to release the seeds. Often, when believers experience "heat" from a hostile world, the seeds of the gospel are scattered in abundance.

Consider using the video as a part of closing your session.

More Comparisons to a Pine Cone
  • Pine cones can remain on the tree for more than 10 years before dropping to the ground, and the Eastern Pine cone could have as many as 100 seeds encased in each.
  • Like the pine cone, believers can only produce the seeds of the gospel if conditions are right, but we must be ready. 
  • We get ready by continuing to embrace the faith of those who invested in us and by growing in the knowledge of God’s Word -- See 2 Timothy 3:14-17.
May Paul’s final challenge to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:5-8 be one we take to heart as we face a world that is becoming increasingly hostile to the gospel.

But as for you, exercise self-control in everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time for my departure is close. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. There is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:5-8 CSB)

We are vessels that contain the seeds of the gospel. We are expected to produce fruit as  believers. Given the right conditions, just like the pine cone, we have the opportunity to produce fruit. May our prayer be that when it is time for our departure from this world, we, like Paul, can be as at peace regarding all we have done to live faithfully and to scatter the seeds of the gospel.


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