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                    "THE SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY"

                  Why Paul Died A Happy Man (4:6-8,18)


1. The Bible is silent regarding the death of the apostle Paul...
   a. "The tradition is...that Paul, as a Roman citizen, was beheaded on
      the Ostian Road just outside of Rome." - ISBE
   b. "We have the concurrent testimony of ecclesiastical antiquity,
      that he was beheaded at Rome, by Nero, in the great persecutions
      of the Christians, by that emperor, A.D. 67 or 68." - Smith

2. The Bible does reveal Paul's anticipation of death...
   a. He knew when it was imminent - 2Ti 4:6
   b. He expressed a strong confidence concerning his demise - 2Ti 4:

[In view of his closing words to Timothy, we can say that Paul died a
happy man.  How was Paul able to approach death with such serenity and
joy concerning the future?  Consider first...]


      1. "I am already being poured out as a drink offering" - 2Ti 4:6
         a. 'poured out' may allude to his anticipation of shedding
            blood (via beheading)
         b. 'as a drink offering' - "when an animal was about to be
            slain in sacrifice, wine was poured on it as a solemn act of
            devoting it to God; cf. Num 15:5; 28:7,14" - Barnes
      2. His death was just another way to offer himself as a sacrifice
         to God
         a. He encouraged all to offer themselves as spiritual
            sacrifices - Ro 12:12
         b. Thus he sought to magnify Christ, even in the manner of
            death - Php 1:20
      3. Have we thought of "how we die" as a way to magnify Christ?
         a. We may not die a martyr's death, as did Paul
         b. But we can demonstrate the death of a believer with hope

      1. "the time of my departure is at hand" - 2Ti 4:6
         a. 'departure' (analusis) - "a metaphor drawn from loosing from
            moorings preparatory to setting sail" - Thayer
         b. "The true idea of death is that of loosening the bands that
            confine us to the present world; of setting us free, and
            permitting the soul to go forth, as with expanded sails, on
            its eternal voyage. With such a view of death, why should a
            Christian fear to die?" - Barnes
      2. Like Peter, who also did not view death as ceasing to exist
         a. Peter viewed his death as 'exit' (exodos) - 2Pe 1:15
         b. An "allusion to the Israelites going out of Egypt, and
            marching for Canaan's land; this world being, like Egypt, a
            place of wickedness, misery, and bondage; as heaven, like
            Canaan, a place and state of rest and happiness." - Gill
      3. Paul looked forward to departing to be with Jesus - Php 1:23
         a. To be with Christ is 'far better' - cf. 2Co 5:6-8
         b. Jesus would have the promise to be with Him to be a comfort
            to us - Jn 14:1-3
      4. Do we view death as the beginning of a journey?
         a. A journey long anticipated?
         b. A journey for which preparation has been made?

[One's view of death will determine one's attitude toward it.  Paul's
view of it as an offering and a departure helped him approach dying with
a joyful anticipation.  He was also comforted by...]


      1. "I have fought the good fight" - 2Ti 4:7
         a. The Christian life is often described as a conflict or a war
            - cf. Ep 6:10-17
         b. "That noble conflict with sin, the world, the flesh, and the
            devil, Paul now says he had been able to maintain." - Barnes
      2. Paul could look back over his life with satisfaction
         a. Not that he was sinless, but he had found mercy - 1Ti 1:
         b. Not that he was perfect, but he always tried to do better
            - Php 3:12-14
      3. Will we at life's end be able to look back at a fight well
         a. Having received the mercy Jesus offers for our sins?
         b. Having fought the good fight of faith, laying hold on
            eternal life? - 1Ti 6:12

      1. "I have finished the race" - 2Ti 4:7
         a. Paul compared the Christian life to running a race - cf.
            1Co 9:24-26
         b. An endurance race, not a sprint - cf. He 12:1-2
      2. Paul could look back over his life with contentment
         a. He had run the race to win, with certainty
         b. He had not given up, but pressed on to the goal - Php 3:13-14
      3. Will we at life's end be able to look back at a race well run?
         a. Completing the race of faith set before us?
         b. Or letting the sin of unbelief to easily ensnare us? - He

      1. "I have kept the faith" - 2Ti 4:7
         a. Either "I have steadfastly maintained the faith of the
            gospel" - Barnes
         b. Or "I have lived a life of fidelity to my Master" - ibid.
      2. Paul could look back over his life with happiness
         a. He had kept and guarded the faith (gospel) entrusted to him
            - 1Ti 1:11
         b. He had maintained faithfulness to Jesus, despite great
            suffering - 2Ti 1:12
      3. Will we at life's end be able to look back on a faith that has
         been kept?
         a. Holding fast to the words of eternal life in the gospel of
            Jesus Christ?
         b. Remaining strong in our faith in Jesus as our Lord and

[Paul could die a happy man because of his precious memories.  Looking
back, he could see take comfort in knowing he had fought hard, run well,
and kept the faith.  Looking forward, he was able to die a happy man
because of...]


      1. "there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness" - 2Ti 4:8
         a. Crown (stephanos) - "the wreath or garland which was given
            as a prize to victors in public games" - Thayer, cf. 1Co 9:
         b. "metaphorically the eternal blessedness which will be given
            as a prize to the genuine servants of God and Christ: the
            crown (wreath) which is the reward of the righteousness"
            - Thayer
         c. "a crown won in the cause of righteousness" - Barnes
         d. Also described as the "crown of life" - cf. Jm 1:12; Re 2:10
      2. "which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that
         Day" - 2Ti 4:8
         a. Jesus has been appointed to judge the world one Day - cf. Ac
         b. He will judge the living and the dead - 2Ti 4:1; cf. 2 Co
         c. For some, a day of condemnation; for others, a day to be
            glorified - 2Th 1:7-12
      3. "not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing"
         - 2Ti 4:8
         a. The same hope, the same reward, is available to others
         b. Provided they likewise desire His coming - e.g., Re 22:20
        c. "Greek, 'have loved, and do love'; habitual love and desire
            for Christ's appearing, which presupposes faith (cf. He
            9:28)" - JFB
         d. Thus we are to set our hope on the grace that is to be
            revealed - cf. 1Pe 1:13
      4. Are we looking forward to same reward that Paul had?
         a. To be received on the Day of Judgment?
         b. Such that we love and eagerly look forward to His appearing?

      1. "the Lord will deliver me from every evil work" - 2Ti 4:18
         a. Deliverance from the efforts of evil men and Satan to
            destroy him
         b. "he expected afflictions as long as he was in the world, but
            he knew that God would support him under them; and in his
            own time and way deliver out of them;" - Gill
      2, Not deliverance from death per se
         a. He knew his martyrdom was near - cf. 2Ti 4:6
         b. But in the Lord, even death can be a deliverance from evil
            - cf. Isa 57:1
      3. Do we have the same confidence for victory that Paul had?
         a. Knowing that the Lord will always be with us?
         b. Trusting that the Lord will deliver us through any hardship?

      1. "and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom" - 2Ti 4:18
         a. Paul looked forward to future manifestation of the kingdom
         b. The same "everlasting kingdom" of which Peter wrote - cf.
            2Pe 1:11
         c. The same "kingdom" Jesus promised to those on His right hand
            - cf. Mt 25:34
      2. Paul had confidence in the preserving power of the Lord
         a. Knowing that God could finish what He started - cf. Php 1:6
         b. Knowing that He would provide a way of escape in every
            temptation - cf. 1Co 10:13
         c. Thus praying for the preservation of others - 1Th 5:23
      3. Do we have the same trust in the preservation of the Lord that
         Paul had?
         a. Knowing that the Lord will likewise keep us for the kingdom?
         b. Knowing that we are 'kept by the power of God through
            faith'? - cf. 1Pe 1:5


1. Paul was able to die a happy man, because of...
   a. His view of dying
   b. His precious memories
   c. His glorious hope
   -- For such reasons one can truly say, "Blessed are the dead who die
      in the Lord from now on..." - Re 14:13

2. If we also approach death...
   a. As an opportunity to praise God and the beginning of a journey
   b. Having fought the good fight, having finished the race, and having
      kept the faith
   c. Looking forward to the crown of righteousness, knowing he will
      deliver us from evil, and will
      preserve us for his heavenly kingdom
   -- Then we too will say concerning the Lord, "To Him be glory forever
      and ever. Amen!" - 2Ti 4:18

May our anticipation of death one day mirror that of the apostle Paul...
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