I can't impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule,
so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don't ever quit. Just keep it simple.
You're going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food - catchy opinions that tickle their fancy.
They'll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages.
But you - keep your eye on what you're doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God's servant.
You take over. I'm about to die, my life an offering on God's altar.
This is the only race worth running. I've run hard right to the finish, believed all the way.
All that's left now is the shouting - God's applause! Depend on it, he's an honest judge. He'll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)