Have you fought the good fight of faith?
According to Matthew Henry’s commentary on II Timothy 4, the Apostle Paul said,”I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course…He did not fear death because he had the testimony of his conscience that by the grace of God he had in some measure answered the ends of living. As a Christian, as a minister, he had fought a good fight. He had done the service, gone through the difficulties of his warfare, and had been instrumental in carrying on the glorious victories of the exalted Redeemer over the powers of darkness. ”
Below is an outline of a recent sermon on II Timothy 4 preached by Paul Daugherty.
Pour it all out
In II Timothy chapter 4, the Apostle Paul was writing to Timothy before he died. Paul knew his departure from this earth was near. The emperor Nero was torturing and killing Christians and Paul knew Nero was coming for him.
And so, Paul was taking the time to speak into Timothy’s life for the last time just as we would want to speak into our children’s lives if we were nearing the end of our days.
Paul was reminding Timothy that death does not discriminate against anyone.
vs 1 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;
In the presence of God who will judge the living and the dead…
Paul is saying to Timothy, “How you treated people, how you lived, how you gave, how you forgave, how you responded to God’s promptings, all of it will be laid at the feet of Jesus.”
Therefore, I charge you, preach the word, Be prepared in season and out of season.
Don’t take this time on this earth lightly. Compared to eternity, our life on this earth is but a vapor.
No one at the time of their death wishes they had spent more time in the office. No one wishes they had spent more time watching Netflix. They wish they would have spent more time with family; they wish they would have prayed more; they wish they would have had a bigger impact on eternity.
Linger in God’s Presence
Paul said, “Be prepared in season and out of season.”
How long can you sit in the presence of God?
Don’t be in such a hurry to get out of God’s presence because one day we will stand before him as Judge.
Were you prepared in season and out of season?
When we stand before the Throne, the Heavenly Father will ask, “Did you obey what I asked you to do? How did you treat people who could do nothing for you?
When you had the chance to give, did you give? When you had the chance to encourage, were you an encourager? When you needed to forgive someone, did you let it go?”
Paul was telling Timothy, eternity is coming.
Preach the word of God...Correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and careful instruction.
For the time will come when people 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.
Don’t let the itching of the ears distract you from the truth of God’s word. Be faithful. We have to remember truth sounds like hate to those that hate the truth. So, stay in the word of God. Have an ear for the spirit of God and the truth of God’s Word. Stay tuned into the Holy Spirit.
Keep your head in all situations. Keep your soul. Keep a watch over your mind over your heart. Don’t compromise. Don’t recant your faith. You have to be committed even until death to follow Jesus.
So, keep your head in all situations.
Discharge all of the duties of your ministry.
Discharge all the duties of your ministry, In other words, Paul was saying, “don’t save anything for the next life. Spend it all. Give it all you’ve got. Pour all your sweat, your blood, your tears into this ministry because one day you will step into eternity and your time will be up.”
Discharge every part of you.
Paul was saying to Timothy, My life is already poured out as a drink offering to God. I have spent every part of me. I have been given it all to Jesus. Now, Timothy, pour out your life. Discharge every part of you, Pour out every gift, every talent, every resource, every idea; save nothing for the next life.
This is it. There are no dress rehearsals,
If you have a book inside of you, get it out. If you play the piano, don’t stop playing. If you sing, don’t stop singing. Don’t neglect your gift of guitar playing and songwriting. Pour it all out.
Pour every part of your life, every ounce, every gift, every talent; you don’t want to live with regrets.
Love your kids, love your wife, love your husband, forgive anyone you’ve been holding grudges against. Write notes of encouragement. Hug every person you see. Be a friend to everyone you know. Pour it all out!
Stop saving stuff as if you’ve got hundreds of years to live, give it all you got.
Paul was telling Timothy, this is it. I’m leaving. This is my final chapter, Timothy. And I’m spending it all on you.
If you had one last sermon to preach, who would you preach it to?
Pour it out, pour it all out. Give every person an opportunity to get right with God. Give every person an opportunity to surrender to God because they’re not promised tomorrow.
In vs 7, Paul said, I fought the good fight. I finished my race. I have kept the faith.
I fought. I finished. I kept the faith.
Now there is in store for me a crown of righteousness.
The crown that Paul was talking about was a crown that would later be mentioned in Revelations 3 and 4, the crowns were supposed to be thrown back at the feet of Jesus. The crown says I lived my life for Jesus. It’s worth it. I have fought the good fight of faith.
Finish the race strong.
Timothy, come to me quickly because Demas has forsaken me. He fell in love with the world more than he has fallen in love with Jesus. Demas left thinking he would find something else out there. Don’t forsake your calling, Timothy. Stay faithful. The race is worth it.
Declare. I’m going to finish my race. God is coming out of the grandstands and he’s helping me finish the race. We have so great a cloud of witnesses. There is a father that is going to help me finish strong. If you are discouraged or weary.
It’s going to be worth it. It’s going to be worth it all