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Paul's last words 2 Timothy
Paul's last words
2 Timothy

Scripture reading: 2 Timothy 4

Intro

-Written to Timothy who Paul had left in Ephesus to organize the church and put a stop to the false teachers who had infiltrated the church
-Date: Somewhere between A.D 64-67
-Paul in jail with chains on. (not under house arrest as before). Paul in the Mamertine prison. A dungeon for criminals. Now, to be a Christian, it was illegal. Until then Christianity had been allowed because the Romans viewed it as a branch of Judaism. Such was not the case any longer--By Roman law, no new religions were allowed.
-Nero is the Roman emperor. The same Nero who set fire to Rome and then blamed Christians
-This is Paul's final letter. Shortly after writing it he was executed


Some of the Themes in 2 Timothy

1. Faithfulness to Christ/ the abandonment of Christ

In 1 Timothy we traced the thread of Paul's warning to Timothy about those who had abandoned the faith-- and his attendant call to stay strong in his commitment to Christ. 2 Timothy carries on this theme-- intertwining Paul's praise and joy over those who remained true and his sadness over those who did not.

As it regards faithfulness.

Read 1 Timothy 1:3-5 "I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also."

See also 2 Timothy 4:11 "Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry."

To protect our faith we must do as Paul bids "Guard the good deposit"

2 Timothy 1:14 says; "Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you--guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us."

As it regards the abandonment of Christ-- and by extension Paul (who was the servant of Jesus)

Read 1 Timothy 1:15 "You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. "

See also 2 Timothy 2:17-18; 4:9,16

A few comments

-We must purpose to stay faithful to Christ for while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us and took the penalty that we deserve for our sins, that we might have peace with God.

Faithfulness to Jesus entails more than just our holding to our beliefs**. Faithfulness to Jesus also involves an ongoing commitment to love, forgiveness, sexual purity, patience, good works, gentleness, hard work, etc. All things Paul speaks of in this letter.

Our faithfulness must be expressed in our not being ashamed of Christ and Gospel

In 2 Timothy 1:8-9 Paul writes; " So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.

2 Timothy 1:12 says; "That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day."

Romans 1:16 says "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile."

As the Day of the Lord approaches, we are to be found faithful in telling people how to be reconciled to God. As the Father does not want any to perish but all to come to eternal life, so that is to be reflected in the message that we share.

Look and pray for opportunities to talk about Jesus and the way of salvation


Paul's response to his being abandoned and Jesus being abandoned

-He prays for mercy for them 2 Timothy 1:18
-He hopes for their restoration and repentance (There is always an opportunity for those who backslide to come back to Christ)**
-He concludes that the Lord knows those who are his**. 2 Timothy 2:19

Note what Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:16-19 says; "Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his,"and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."

A special note regarding Onesiphorus --2 Timothy 1:16-18

My take is that Onesiphorus had done many wonderful things but that something happened that tripped him up; hence Paul's prayer for mercy for him and his mention of the judgment seat of Christ.


2. Persecution and suffering for the cause of Christ

Last night I was on The voice of the Martyrs website (persecution.com) doing some research on how Christians are being persecuted around the world. In my research I discovered that as of right now that there are 57 countries in the world that are classified as "restricted nations." A restricted nation is defined as "Countries where government policy or practice prevents Christians from obtaining Bibles or other Christian literature. Also included are countries where government-sanctioned circumstances or anti-Christian laws lead to Christians being harassed, imprisoned, killed or deprived of possessions or liberties because of their witness.

In 2 Timothy 3:12-13 it says "Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived."

As we learned, Paul is in a cold, damp, uncomfortable dungeon, chained, and all alone-- awaiting his death.

What was Paul's attitude to the sufferings he endured

-He endured them gladly for the cause of Christ (Colossians 1:24)
-He endured them knowing that in doing so he was being like Christ
-He endured them knowing that such was part of the calling of a Christian
-He endured them, knowing that his faithfulness would encourage others to follow Christ (2 Timothy 2:10)

Remember the words of Christ; John 15:20; "Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also."

Christians are persecuted because the darkness hates the light. We are not to shrink back. Our hearts must be tender towards those who perishing-- though they don't think they are and though, many resent the message of Christ and the call to repentance.

3. The Word of God

One of Timothy's responsibilities while in Ephesus was to silence the false teachers -who were stirring up trouble, causing arguments, introducing legalism, and teaching falsehoods about Jesus. His tool: The Scriptures

Further: Timothy's job was to teach the Word to the church.

Classic text from 2 Timothy on the Word

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage -with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry." 1 Timothy 3:14-5:5


Application:

We to be people of the Word. Reading it. Memorizing it. Doing it. Instructing others in it (train up a child in the way they should go). Changing our thinking to match what it teaches we are to believe.

We need the Word for evangelism and the protection of our faith.

4. This world is not our home

What was it that kept Paul going?

-His remembrance of the grace and mercy of Christ in his life
-The inner working of the Holy Spirit
-His love for Christ
-His passion for the lost and for the development of the church
-His being with Christ and the life to come

In 2 Timothy 4:6-8 Paul writes; "For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day -and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

In 2 Timothy 4:18 Paul also writes; "The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

More passages

Philippians 3:20-21 "Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."

Hebrews 11:13-16 "All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country-a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them."

Paul had his eyes fixed on Jesus and on Heaven. The other saints of God did too. We are to follow suit.


CONCLUSION

Stay faithful and true. Keep in the Word. Guard your heart and mind. Make it your goal to finish well. Keep your eyes fixed on Christ and the life to come.

Closing song; Nearer my God to thee