Paul Looks At The End The Of His Life

  1. INTRODUCTION:
    1. SCRIPTURE READING:
      2 Tim 4:1-8 = "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
    2. BACKGROUND INFORMATION AT THE TIME OF THIS WRITING:
      1. He was a Roman prisoner and forsaken by friends.
        2 Tim 1:15 = "This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes."
        2 Tim 4:10 = "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia."
      2. He was being treated as a "malefactor" -- that is an "evil doer" or "one who has committed an offense against the law".
        2 Tim 2:9 = "Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound."
      3. He was in an obscure place -- a place not easily found, as it took Onesiphorus some diligent seeking to find him.
        2 Tim 1:16-17 = "The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me."
      4. Concerning the crime Paul was charged with:
        1. The trial had already taken place, or was about to.
        2. The verdict he felt would was certain to be guilty.
        3. Paul thought that immediate death was very close at hand.
        4. Paul write to Timothy to continue the work he had started and states the ungency of doing so.
          2 Tim 4:1-5 = "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."
    3. VERSES 4-8, OF OUR TEXT PAUL PRESENTS A VIEW OF --
      II Tim. 4:6-8 = " For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. [7] I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: [8] Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
      1. What a Christian's physical life should be at the end.
      2. This is viewed from three aspects:
        1. The present.
        2. The past.
        3. The future.
  2. DISCUSSION:
    1. THE PRESENT:
      1. His spiritual condition:
        1. He was calm and at complete ease.
        2. He was not restless as those who had spent their lives in sin.
        3. He wants to leave with Timothy and others to see that death was not a dismal event, but a passing from this worldly body into a heavenly body.
          2 Cor 5:8 = "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
      2. Paul presents his condition in two ways:
        1. First -- "I am now ready to be offered." [v.6]
          1. Paul speaks of his life being poured out as a drink offering in connection with the sacrifices of the Old Testament [See Numbers 15:1-10, 28:7; and Gen. 28:18.]
          2. This was done as a sweet savor to the Lord.
        2. Secondly -- "…The time of my departure is at hand." [v.6]
          Phil 1:23 = "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:"
          1. His time of departure from physical life was upon him
          2. The view is one of a departing ship.
          3. His departure presented the need of someone else to continue the work.
    2. THE PAST:
      Comment: Paul looks back over his Christian service in three ways -- II Tim. 4:7 = " I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:"

      1. As a fight -- "I have fought a good fight" –
        1. His enlistment in the service of the Lord on the Damascus road until now, he fought am unceasing battle against sin.
        2. His body was battered and scared, but his spirit was unyielding.
          Gal 6:17 = "From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus."
          2 Cor 11:23-27 = "Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness."
      2. As a race -- "…I have finished my course, …" --
        1. That which Paul had set out to accomplish, he had done.
          Acts 20:22-24 = "And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."
        2. Paul's Christian service had carried him --
          1. From his home; His country; and his relatives.
          2. To be among foes (enemies); Prison; and now death.
        3. Not a single time did he look back –
          Phil 3:13-14 = "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
      3. As a trusted faithful servant -- "…I have kept the faith:"
        Comment: This trust is twofold --
        1. The Christian life is one that involves the trust of the Christian in the Lord.
          2 Tim 1:12 = "For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
        2. Secondly the Lord trusts the Christian.
          Matt 25:14 = "For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods."
          Acts 26:16-19 = "But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:"
    3. THE FUTURE:
      II Tim. 4:8 = "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
      1. Paul has reached the shore of the river of (or brink of) death, where he pauses --
        1. He reviews the course of his Christian service.
        2. He looks over to the other side which is beckoning him.
      2. The view is only one that is possible through the eye of faith --
        2 Cor 5:7 = "(For we walk by faith, not by sightJ"
        1. The glorious reward -- "…A crown of righteousness,…"
          1. The crowning garland of victory -- this was the "crown of life" [Rev. 2:10].
          2. The symbol of royalty -- as Paul was a child of the King.
        2. A personal reward -- "…Laid up for me…, which the Lord, … shall give me…"
          1. Paul had been laying up, or making investments for this reward.
          2. This reward was now about to be enjoyed.
            Matt 6:19-21 = "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
        3. The rewarder -- "…The Lord, the righteous judge, …"
          1. The unrighteous worldly judge's verdict would be physical death.
          2. The righteous judge would render a verdict of eternal life.
        4. The rewarding day -- "…At that day …"
          1. Everything is specified in the mind of Paul the prisoner:
            1. The crown.
            2. For me.
            3. The judge.
            4. That day.
          2. Everything is certain and definite for the Christian.
            1. There will be a day of judgement. [Heb. 9:27]
            2. The judge will be Christ [John 14:6]
            3. The judgment will be individual [Rom. 14:12]
        5. A reward for all of Christ's people -- "…And not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
          1. The rewarder is impartial.
          2. The judgment is just.
  3. CONCLUSION:
    1. BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE WE TOO SHOULD TAKE A LOOK AT OUR LIVES.
    2. WHAT DO YOU SEE?
    3. WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM THE FAITHFUL AND TRUE JUDGE AT JUDGMENT?
    4. IF THE VIEW IS NOT PLEASANT -- DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT NOW!

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