Paul Looks At His Life's End


  1. INTRODUCTION:
    1. 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."
    2. PAUL’S SITUATION AT THIS TIME:
      1. 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."
      2. He is treated as a malefactor, or an evil doer. II Timothy 2:9 = "Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound."
      3. 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 Paul. II 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."
      4. Paul’s 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."
    3. PAUL LOOKS AT HIS LIFE FROM A THREE FOLD PROSPECTIVE: PRESENT, PAST AND FUTURE.
  2. DISCUSSION: (II Timothy 4:6-8)
    1. THE PRESENT:
      1. Although a prisoner he is calm and at ease.
      2. He is not like those that spend their lives living in sin.
      3. His condition is presented by two figures:
        1. An offering. "For I am now ready to be offered" (II Timothy 4:6).
          1. He was alluding to the drink offering of wine, which accompanied the sacrifices of the Jews (Genesis 28:18; Numbers 28:7).
          2. His life with all its interests was being poured out like water never to be gathered up again.
            II Samuel 14:14
            = "For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; …"
        2. A departing ship. "…The time of my departure is at hand" ( II Timothy 4:6).
          1. He was about to weigh anchor and sail off.
          2. He was about to sever all connections with the harbor of life in this world.
    2. THE PAST: LOOKING BACK OVER HIS LIFE IN THREE WAYS:
      1. As a fight. "I have fought a good fight" ( II Timothy 4:7).
        1. He had fought a continuous battle ever since Christ had spoken to him on the Damascus Road (Acts 9) that was unceasing.
        2. His body was mutilated with battle scares and yet his spirit was unyielding
          1. He was Stoned at Antioch and was taken "…out of the city, supposing he had been dead" (Acts 14:19).
          2. His body bear the marks of: "…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 shipwrecked, a night and a day I have been in the deep; …" (II Corinthians 11:23-25).
          3. He wrote in Galatians 6:17 = "From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus."
      2. As a race: "I have finished my course" ( II Timothy 4:7).
        1. 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."
        2. The Lord’s 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."
      3. As a trusted steward: "I have kept the faith" (II Timothy 4:7).
      4. NOTE: This is a twofold trust.

        1. 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 that day."
        2. 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." 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:
    4. 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 saw:

      1. The glorious reward. "The crown of righteousness" (II Timothy 4:8).
        1. A garland of victory.
        2. A symbol of royalty – Paul was a child of the king.
      2. A personal reward. "There is laid up for me" (II Timothy 4:8).
      3. The rewarder. "Which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day
        (II Timothy 4:6).
        1. Paul had heard the verdict of death from the unrighteous judge.
        2. Now he awaits the verdict of life from the righteous supreme heavenly judge.
      4. The rewarding day: "In that day" (II Timothy 4:8). Every thing is specific to Paul:
        1. The crown.
        2. It will be his crown.
        3. The judge.
        4. The day.
      5. The reward is for all of Christ’s people: "And not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (II Timothy 4:8).
      6. The rewarder is impartial, bestowing the same great favor on all them "that love his appearing."
  3. CONCLUSION:
    1. WE MAY NOT BE FACING IMMEDIATE DEATH. BUT LET EACH OF US CONSTANTLY REVIEW OUR CHRISTIAN SERVICE FROM THESE THREE PROSPECTS AS DID PAUL:
      1. The past in regards to what has been done.
      2. The present in regards of where we stand now.
      3. The future as to whether or not God will be beckoning us to his eternal home.
    2. 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. …
      I 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."
    3. IF YOU ARE NOT A CHILD OF GOD, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT TODAY.

Back to the Top