Famous last words

2 Timothy 2

Paul, the apostle is writing to Timothy to tell him to watch out for the things that can weaken him spiritually. This is Paul’s last letter before his death.  Paul is being guarded around the clock by Roman soldiers and he is telling every one of these soldiers about Jesus.  These are the last words of Paul. Everyone wants to hear a famous persons last words.

Pancho Villa said on his deathbed:

“Don’t let it end like this, tell them I said something.”

Well lets hear what Paul has to say – what he considers the important issues of life that he wants to pass on to Timothy – his “son in the faith”

2And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

We had a saying a few years ago that said: “each one – teach one”.  All it meant was that each one of us was to pass on what we had learned.  Sometimes it is known as the “work yourself out of a job philosophy”  The more you train others to do what you have done, the more likely it is that that information or skill you alone have right now will be inherited by your trainees.

Paul is telling Timothy to pass on the gospel to faithful men.  Jesus also tells us we are to tell others.  The great commandment is:

To Love God with all your heart, soul, and strength, the second is to love others as yourself.  How do I show love to myself? Selah

Do I show love to(for) others as I love myself?

Then there is the great commission: Mat 28:19

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

3Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

To be a Christian is like being a soldier, Paul says.

We sing “Onward Christian Soldiers – marching as to war – With the cross of Jesus going on before.

Jesus is our captain. We are his soldiers. Good soldiers obey what the captain tells them to do.

What are some of the things from The Bible that Jesus has told you as children to do?

Ex 20:

12Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

De 5:

16Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Eph 6:1-3 

1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise) 3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Does this mean children are to do anything and everything their parents tell them to do?

Yes, unless you can prove what they are trying to get you to do is against the law of God or the law of man. God’s law is higher.

How do you know if what your parents tell you to do is lawful or not?

5And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

What in the world does that mean?????

Here is how it is stated in the NKJV:

5And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

Paul has switched from comparing a Christian to a soldier and is now comparing a Christian to an Olympic athlete.

He says you can compete in any event, but unless you play by the rules you are not going to get a gold medal.

No cheating allowed.  You can’t take steroids – its against the rules.

In order to play by the rules you have to know what the rules are.

This is just another way he is teaching Timothy and us that there is only one rule book when it comes to being a Christian.

Paul gives Timothy one more piece of advice:

6The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.

Let us look again at that from the new king james

6The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops.. nkjv

Notice! Labor is translated as hardworking.

The actual word in the old greek language is:

G2872

κοπιáω

kopiaoô

kop-ee-ah’-o

From a derivative of G2873; to feel fatigue; by implication to work hard:-(bestow) labour, toil, be wearied.

Basically it means to work from sun up to sun down and be exhausted.

He has already told him once to teach others, and told him twice to be obedient.  So whats with the farmer working like a slave to enjoy the work (fruit) of his labor?

Could he be saying its not going to be easy, but the rewards are worth it?

1Cor 2:9

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

7Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

Paul has been writing to Timothy, and he knows that Timothy is living and following Jesus, and in this last verse (verse 7) he tells him that the Holy Spirit will guide him.

Let us look at this in the light of 1 cor 2:14

14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

This is a hard saying if you are not a Christian because it plainly states that The Bible, what Christians refer to as “The Word of God” is a book of foolishness to the unbeliever.  This is the core, the real heart of the matter.  Christians believe that The Bible is the Holy Word of God and it is more than just an inspired and inspiring body of words.  Having been an unbeliever for 49 years I know this is true. I also know that no argument that I or Paul presents will make you change your mind. Only God can change you, but you have to ask Him.

8Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:

Paul was in prison and he was expected to be executed in the near future. We said this book is his last words before his death to Timothy. Paul is passing along encouragement and hard learned lessons to Timothy. Some one once said there are too many mistakes for you to make them all, we need to learn from the mistakes that others have made. My sons think I am always trying to ruin their fun because I advise (nag) them to do certain things and not do others. As parents we often focus on the negative and not nearly as much on the positive things our children do.

We will nag and complain about the music you listen to. We will question your friends like they are murders, robbers, and baby snatchers. We will want to know where you are, where you are going and when you will be back and who you will be with.

Why?

Because we care about you and want to protect you from the evil and bad things in this world.

Do you think maybe Paul wanted to do this for Timothy?

8Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:

If you remember Paul described Christians by comparing them to three different types of people or occupations.

Soldier – obey your Captain – teach the troops.
Gold Medal Athlete – Play by the rules – no cheating allowed.
Farmer – work hard because the rewards will far outweigh the effort you put in.

So what is Paul telling Timothy and us in verse 8?

Is it not that all of the Old Testament pointed to the coming of Jesus who was to be the “Son of David” and the messiah, and he did come and according to the prophesies died upon a cross and was raised from the dead.

Gospel – what does this word mean?  Good News! Why is this good news?

Jesus died taking my sin to the grave and rose to let us know that God has power to raise us from the dead too.  We will live eternally (forever and ever) with God and the redeemed in heaven.

Does anyone know what a centerpiece is?

You know that corney copia with all the fruit spilling out of it that shows up around Thanksgiving every year.  Well, it is there to remind us of the bounteous blessing bestowed upon us.

The resurrection of Jesus is the centerpiece of the gospel.

9Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.

Paul repeats that we are sinners, and that he is under bonds (in prison) and he likens his chains to the bonds of sin, but there is nothing that can hold back the power of God’s good news.  Not every country has freedom of religion, freedom of worship, freedom to possess The Bible.  The US is a Christian nation, founded upon Christian principles by men who wanted to live in a land dedicated to the principles of Jesus.  You won’t be taught that today in our schools, but prior to 1963 it was taught.  Prior to 1963 many lessons were taught using the Bible and Biblical principles as teaching tools.  We have strayed from our Christian roots and are veering farther and farther off course.  Remember to pray for our World leaders.  Yes, the tyrant terrorist of the week and the President, Governor, Mayor, Police, Pastor, Sunday School teacher, teacher, parents in your sphere of influence.

10Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

We have already said there is no way you can give more to God or for God than He is going to provide for you.  You may never see it here on Earth, but there will be an everlasting and eternal glory that you will receive and you have no idea in your wildest imagination what heaven is going to be like.

11It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:

Paul is quoting Paul from the book of Romans chapter six.

Now he has said it several times.

He tells us :

Give your life to God and become dead to what the world tells you, because the world will tell you: this is what you need.

  • Money, fame, power, success in terms of worldly goods.
  • All the stuff that the advertisers on TV tell you – you just gotta have it:
  • “New”
  • “Improved”
  • ” New and Improved”
  • House, bigger house,
  • Bank account , credit cards
  • Cadillac, Lexus,
  • winning the lottery,

when you see that all that stuff – realize it is kindling – it will burn and won’t pass the test of fire.

God judged the world by flood once, but will judge it by fire next time.

1 cor 3:

18Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.

Only the things you do for the Kingdom of God will last.

Timothy, (and me and you) become dead to the world, but alive to God.

John 16:33

12If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

John 14:

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

There are a lot of people today on “Christian Television” that are telling you that if you are a child of the King you will have riches and health and if you don’t have health and wealth then you don’t have enough faith.  What does the Word of God say?

John 16:33

In the world ye shall have tribulation:

Who said this?

Jesus said this.

The TV people are trying to replace the truth of God’s word.  Why?  for their own profit.

1 pet 5:

8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

We will be tempted.

We will be tested.

Look at Job.

Satan will try to get us to lose sight of eternal glory, but God has made us a promise

He will never leave you or forsake you, none shall pluck you from his hand.

We shall also reign with him!

Rev 20:6

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

That’s what it says.  Gods word is true.  I don’t understand it all, but I believe it all.

if we deny him, he also will deny us:

Didn’t Peter deny Him 3 times?  So isn’t this saying that if we have a temporary failure we get booted out of the kingdom.  No, this is saying that a person who has been given the good news time and time again and has rejected it like Pharaoh rejected it to the point where God hardened his heart to the point where he could not accept and receive salvation.

13If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

This verse says three things.

The first is to unbelievers.  If you don’t or won’t believe then Jesus will faithfully judge you with a true and perfect judgment.  He won’t deny himself as savior to believers and judge to unbelievers.

The second thing is says it says to believers: If you believe and there is no belief without obedience. The saying goes “Belief obeys” .So you who believe and obey will be saved.

He is faithful to save according to the gospel message and its centerpiece.

14Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

Don’t argue with false teachers.  The best way to know when some one is trying to feed you a line is to be knowledgeable.  Have you ever been lied to?  Yeah, me too.  It’s a funny thing about a lie.  It always comes back to haunt the person who told it.  Usually this will cause the person to either fess up or tell another lie and get deeper and deeper into a tangled web of lies.  The best way to keep from being lied to about the Bible is to be a faithful daily reader of God’s word.  Then, when someone tries to tell you that the Bible says that God helps those who help themselves you can point them to the truth.

15Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

16But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

1Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

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About tnman

I was born, then I was born again.
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