Paul Looks At His Life's End
- SCRIPTURE READING: II
Timothy 4:6-8 = "For I am now ready to be
offered, and the time for 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."
- PAULS SITUATION AT THIS TIME:
- He is a Roman prisoner, possible in a dark
dungeon, and forsaken by his friends. II
Timothy 1:15 = "This thou knowest, that
all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom
are Phygellus and hermongenes." (II
Timothy 4:10) = "For Demas hath forsaken
me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto
Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia."
- He is treated as a malefactor, or an evil
Timothy 2:9 = "Wherein I suffer trouble,
as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not
- He is lost in obscurity, that is, as one
hidden away, not readily accessible. NOTE: It was only
after Onesiphorus had diligently sought for him that he found
Timothy 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."
- Pauls trial was over and fearing
immediate death was certain, charges Timothy to continue the
preaching he had taught him. II
Timothy 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."
- PAUL LOOKS AT HIS LIFE FROM A THREE FOLD
PROSPECTIVE: PRESENT, PAST AND FUTURE.
- DISCUSSION: (II
- THE PRESENT:
- Although a prisoner he is calm and at ease.
- He is not like those that spend their lives
living in sin.
- His condition is presented by two figures:
- An offering. "For I am now
ready to be offered" (II
- He was alluding to the drink offering
of wine, which accompanied the sacrifices of the Jews
- His life with all its interests was
being poured out like water never to be gathered up again.
Samuel 14:14 = "For we must needs die,
and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be
gathered up again;
- A departing ship. "
time of my departure is at hand" ( II
- He was about to weigh anchor and sail
- He was about to sever all connections
with the harbor of life in this world.
- THE PAST: LOOKING BACK OVER HIS LIFE IN THREE
- As a fight. "I have fought a good
fight" ( II
- He had fought a continuous battle ever
since Christ had spoken to him on the Damascus Road (Acts
9) that was unceasing.
- His body was mutilated with battle scares
and yet his spirit was unyielding
- He was Stoned at Antioch and was taken
out of the city, supposing he had been
- His body bear the marks of: "
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 shipwrecked, a night and a day I have been
in the deep;
- He wrote in Galatians
6:17 = "From henceforth let no man
trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord
- As a race: "I have finished
my course" ( II
- That which had been a driving force,
purpose was now accomplished. 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."
- The Lords work had carried him
away from his home, his country, and his kin; now to face
prison and death, yet never one time did he look back. Philippians
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."
- As a trusted steward: "I have
kept the faith" (II
NOTE: This is a twofold
- A Christian trusts the Lord . II
Timothy 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
- The Lord trusts the Christian. Matthew
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."
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:"
- THE FUTURE:
NOTE: Paul had
reached the brink of the river of death. He pauses reviewing
the course of his Christian service and looked to the other
shore which beckoned him there. Through the eyes of faith he
- The glorious reward. "The crown
of righteousness" (II
- A garland of victory.
- A symbol of royalty Paul was a
child of the king.
- A personal reward. "There is
laid up for me" (II
- The rewarder. "Which the Lord,
the righteous judge, shall give me at that day"
- Paul had heard the verdict of death from
the unrighteous judge.
- Now he awaits the verdict of life from
the righteous supreme heavenly judge.
- The rewarding day: "In that
Timothy 4:8). Every thing is specific to Paul:
- The crown.
- It will be his crown.
- The judge.
- The day.
- The reward is for all of Christs
people: "And not to me only, but unto all them
also that love his appearing." (II
- The rewarder is impartial, bestowing the
same great favor on all them "that love his appearing."
- WE MAY NOT BE FACING IMMEDIATE DEATH. BUT
LET EACH OF US CONSTANTLY REVIEW OUR CHRISTIAN SERVICE FROM
THESE THREE PROSPECTS AS DID PAUL:
- The past in regards to what has
- The present in regards of where
we stand now.
- The future as to whether or not
God will be beckoning us to his eternal home.
- THE PRIMARY CONCERN SHOULD BE AM I
TRULY A CHILD OF THE KING?
I John 3:1-3 = "Behold, what manner of love
the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the
sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it
knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth
not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall
appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself,
even as he is pure.
John 3:9-10 =Whosoever is born of God doth not
commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin,
because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest,
and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness
is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother."
- IF YOU ARE NOT A CHILD OF GOD, DO SOMETHING
ABOUT IT TODAY.
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