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LONE, BUT NOT ALONE. II Timothy 4:6-12. 12/04/2022. #13.
6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 9 Be diligent to come to me quickly; 10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry. 12 And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.
1. The finish line in sight
a. After Paul’s strong admonition to Timothy, he says that he is about to depart (this life)
a1. By tradition, Paul was beheaded by a sword on the Ostian Way outside Rome in
a2. Paul describes his martyrdom as a “drink offering” unto God (praise sacrifice)
a3. Describes death as a departure (from this corporal life to eternal life with the Lord)
b. Paul looked upon his departure as finishing the course laid before him (joy and not despair)
c. Paul’s evaluation of how he ran his race = positive
a1. “fought the good fight” = spiritual warfare in which Paul was a good soldier (Eph. 6)
a2. “finished the race” = kept true to the course of serving the Lord and witnessing/discipling
a3. “kept the faith” = he didn’t back away from faith; not denied Lord; not shirked witness
d. Paul looked forward to eternal reward (motivator)
a1. A crown of righteousness = not a diadem (royal crown), but a stephenous (victor’s crown where he won his spiritual race)
a2. Crown given by Lord Jesus, judge of all
a3. Anyone who runs his spiritual race well will also receive a victor’s crown of righteousness (for holiness)
e. To the world, Paul ran a futile race, but in reality he ran the only race worth running
a1. All the trappings of the rich are left behind
a2. Fame, beauty, and fortune fade away
f. 1 Corinthians 3 The Day = day of Bema Seat judgment for believers, who will receive rewards (and suffer loss)
2. Timothy’s final visit with Paul
a. Paul was jailed in the Mamertine Prison in Rome
a1. He was lonely, cold, and concerned
a2. He felt betrayed and abandoned
b. Paul urgently wants Timothy to come to him from Ephesians
a1. Demas loved the world and had left Paul (a false believer Paul was dismayed by)
a2. Others were sent to minister elsewhere
c. Only Luke was with Paul
d. Paul tells Timothy to bring Mark with him
a1. Mark = useful to Paul in ministry
a2. Paul had earlier rejected Mark after he had departed from the 1st missions journey
e. Paul wants Timothy to bring his cloak, books, and parchments (portions of Scripture)
3. Ending well
a. Paul ended his race well and had no doubt about the rewards that lay before him
a1. We can know the will of God and do it
a2. Paul knew that he had done all that the Lord had called him to do (his focus)
b. A worldly focus brings temporal rewards only
c. Yet, Paul wanted his friends around him at end
a1. Matthew 26 Jesus wanted the comfort of his disciples in his final hours
a2. Psalm 139:1-12 Paul was not alone, even if others had left him, for the Lord was there
d. Paul did not want to winter in prison without his cloak, books, and some company (often we need to stand alone, but God is still with us and always at work (Elijah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel)
Key Verse: Psalm 139:1-12
1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall [d]fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.