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2 Tim 4:1-8

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Finishing the race

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1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:

2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.

7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;

8 in the future there is laid up 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 loved His appearing.


Maybe you have heard the story of the most lopsided football game ever played, when mighty Georgia Tech beat tiny Cumberland College, 222–0.

I think that was the game where the Cumberland quarterback tossed a short but errant lateral to the halfback. The quarterback yelled, “Pick it up, pick it up!”

But the halfback had other ideas. “You pick it up,” he shouted. “You dropped it.”

There is agony in defeat yes, but also in victory. Muscles ache, sacrifice and training wasn’t easy. a lot goes into winning, Yes Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker make it look easy....even Tim Tebow has to put in practice and effort, even if it looks easy, it’s not.
Paul is writing to Timothy to encourage him, and to let him know, it won’t be easy, but for him to stay the course and finish the race. I remember the first time i ran a 5k, all i wanted to do was finish, and the next time, I wanted to improve my time. We don’t always win every battle, but we will win the war.....we must stay the course and witness with a passion and drive to win the lost.
We have the truth before us, and if we know the truth and believe in Him, we have to preach the Word and win the lost. It means sacrifice, it means training (learning about the Word), and it takes heart.
V1) Charged…an oath to ministry for Timothy. To God and Jesus Christ, and shows His authority to judge everyone, living and dead. His appearing and His Kingdom, refer to the 2nd coming (also point to the Messiah’s life on earth).
V2) Preach the Word....the Word (Truth) of God. See Always be ready…many pastors and lay people will have a sermon ready at all times, if they are called upon to fill a gap. We are called to spread the word, not only in content of the message but also the way it is presented (the purpose). I have known pastors and even lay people that abused the purpose of a message. For example, I am to preach the Word for the purpose God intended it, not for my purpose or agenda. Let’s make sure we are following God’s lead and seeking Him in our purpose.
V3) No one wants to hear that they are sinning according to God’s Word, do you? Let’s just preach all Rainbows and Butterflies. For instance, let’s don’t preach about adultery, homosexuality, and anything else we choose to ignore. But we also don’t want to hear about the “little Stuff” either, just the big things.
V4) more of verse 3. We just don’t want to hear it.
V5) OK, here we go…this isn’t just a message for preachers, it is for us all. we must preach the Word, with our voice, with our life, and in everything we do. we must spread the Word. (Be Sober…Means we should be of “that mind”, fully conscience what we are doing.
V6) A drink offering was to be poured out on the altar, we offer our lives in service as an expression of Worship. Paul’s life was nearing an end and he knew it.
V7&8) I fought the good fight (competitive fighting was a sport of the day) much like boxing is today. maybe today’s reference would be, we stayed in the fight for all 12 rounds.
I have finished the race - it is a marathon, not a sprint to the finish. Paul was referring to the fact that he met opposition and hardships along the way (he was shipwrecked at one point). god gave him a path and he stayed on it until the end (I am sure that he had his moments, like we all do)
I have kept the faith - I stayed in it until the end. I didn’t jump ship. I didn’t give up, You didn’t quit on me, and I didn’t quit on you Lord. (does not refer to loss of salvation here, early Christians would simply get tired and not “keep the faith”).
Crown of Righteousness - our heavenly reward. a reference to the victor’s wreath or crown for a successful competitor.
This promise is for all believers.
casting crowns
Next to losing one’s soul and going to hell, the greatest tragedy of life would be to come to the brink of eternity and discover we had missed God’s will and wasted our lives on fruitless, transient things.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 652). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
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