2 Tim. 4:6-8

By David Riggs & John Cripps

   A. It appears that the book of 2 Timothy is the last one that Paul
      1. When he wrote it, he indicated that he had already stood
         before Caesar once - cf. Vs. 16-17.
      2. Also, as he was writing it, probably just before he was to
         face Caesar a second time, he anticipated his death. 2 Tim.
   B. As Paul faces death, he displays his great confidence in the   
      fact that he would receive the crown of life. 2 Tim. 4:7-8
      1. He had the confidence for he knew his heart and how he had
   C. A study of Paul's life as is described in 2 Tim. 4:6-8 will
      encourage us to so live that we, too, can have the same

   A. The "good fight" is the fight of faith. 1 Tim. 6:12
      1. This fight involves:
         a. A defense of the gospel. Jude 3
            (1) Opposing false teachers. 1 John 4:1; Rom. 16:17-
         b. Avoiding temptation to sin. 1 Cor. 9:27; 10:12-13
            (1) Doing battle against Satan and the world. 1 Pet.
                5:8; James 4:7
      2. To gain the victory as did Paul, we need:
         a. The proper equipment. Eph. 6:10-17
            (1) The soldiers of Desert Storm did not go into battle
                with bows and arrows, or with sling shots. They
                were well-equipped with the weapons of their
         b. The proper commitment to the cause. 2 Tim. 2:3-4
         c. Complete obedience to our commander-in-chief. Heb.
            2:10; 5:9
   B. In this battle of faith, we need, first of all, to be sure we  
      are fighting in the Lord's army. Matt. 12:30
      1. The Lord's army is comprised of volunteers. It is not a
         forced or mandatory service.
         a. Those inducted into the Lord's army have certain
            requirements which must be met.
         b. H + B + R + C + B = Salvation. John 6:45-46; Acts
   C. There are many who are not fighting the "good fight."
      1. Some just talk about the fight, but are not really doing it.
      2. Some have deserted over to the enemies ranks.
      3. Some have surrendered to the opposing forces.
      4. Some have departed the faith for things of the world.
      5. Some no longer have interest in spiritual things.
      6. Some have become delinquent in the service.
      7. Some have stopped the faith because of: age, infirmities,
         indifference, discouragement, persecutions. Matt. 24:12-13;
         Mark 13:13
   D. We must remember that we are in a fight for our soul's         
      salvation.(See Chart #1 below)

   A. The Christian life is a race. Heb. 12:1
      1. Remember those who have gone before us.
      2. Lay aside every hindrance.
      3. Overcome habitual sins, sinful habits.
      4. Run with patience, endurance.
      5. Keep our eyes focused on the Lord.
   B. It is a divinely marked course. 2 Tim. 2:5
      1. The course is laid out by God. Man has no right to re-route
         or change the course as he sees fit.
      2. The reward will be to those who respect the Lord and run
         according to His rules.
   C. We cannot finish the race if we have not done some preparation.
      1. Preparation starts with having a good and honest heart. Luke
      2. Becoming a child of God qualifies us for the race. Acts     
   D. We cannot finish the race without diligence. The reward is to
      those who finish the race.
      1. It will not be to those who have good intentions, but don't
         faithfully run.
      2. It will not be to those who constantly break the rules.
      3. It will not be to those who start well, but never finish.   
         Gal. 5:7
   E. Let us faithfully continue to run the race that is set before  
      us. (Chart #2)

   A. Paul kept his faith in God. He knew God would keep his promises
      in rewarding the faithful. Heb. 10:23; 1 Pet. 4:19
      1. He suffered many things for the cause of Christ. 2 Cor.
      2. He suffered these things because he knew God would reward
         him in the end. 2 Tim. 1:12
   B. The Lord will only reward those who:
      1. Obey the faith. Acts 6:7; Rom. 1:5
      2. Hold to faith. 1 Tim. 1:19
      3. Stand fast in the faith. 1 Cor. 16:13
      4. Continue in the faith. Acts 14:22
      5. Strive together for the faith of the gospel. Phil. 1:27
      6. Defend the faith against its enemies. Acts 13:8
   C. We need to examine ourselves whether we are in the faith. 2    
      Cor. 13:5
      1. We need to be diligent in keeping the faith, as did Paul.
      2. Jesus said   Rev. 2:10. (Chart #3)

   A. At the close of his life, Paul concluded that he had gained the
      eternal resting place with the righteous who had gone on       
      before. Vs. 8
      1. Paul realized that the outward body must first die to reap  
         the benefits of the spiritual life. 2 Cor. 4:16
         a. We do not have much to look forward to so far as our
            physical bodies are concerned.
         b. However, there is a far better, greater happiness than
            anything in this world can hold.
   B. Let us consider briefly some of the characteristics of this    
      final resting place.
      1. It is an eternal place. Rev. 22:5; 1 Pet. 1:4
         a. It is interesting to note that man once again will have
            access to the tree of life. Gen. 3:22; Rev. 22:2-3,14
      2. It is a place of righteousness. Rev. 21:27
         a. There is a lot of sin and corruption in this world, but  
            in heaven we will be without all this.
         b. In heaven there will be no law-making bodies legalizing
            various sins.
         c. There will be no threat of war, no fight, squabbles,
            character assassinations, etc.
      3. It is a beautiful place. Rev. 21:10-11
         a. It is sad that some people trade all this for the handful
            of tinsel that Satan has to offer during this short life 
            here on earth.
      4. It is happy place. Rev. 21:4
      5. It is a place of rest. Heb. 4:9-11; Rev. 14:13
         a. In that place we will never be tired, worn out, or
      6. Finally, it is a place of pleasant associations. 2 Tim. 4:8
         a. We will be with the righteous who have gone on before.
            Matt. 8:11-12; 2 Sam. 12:23
         b. Rev. 21:1-22:5 emphasizes that they will be with God
            the Father and the Lamb who will provide all their
            needs. (Chart #4)

   A. Let us strive to go to that beautiful place, the heavenly home,
      built by the Living God.
   B. The faithful of old, those like our beloved brother Paul, have 
      gone on before us. They can never come to us again, but we can 
      go to them.
      1. Let us follow their example, as they followed Christ. 1 Cor.
   C. Paul said - 2 Tim. 4:7-8

Chart #1
"I Have Fought The Good Fight"

Need To Have Proper Equipment
Need To Have Proper Training and Self-Discipline
Need To Have Complete Obedience to the Commander-In-Chief
Need To Be In The Lord's Army
Need To Fight With All Our Might For our Souls Are At Stake

Chart #2
"I Have Finished The Race"

Remember Those Who Have Run Before Us
We Are To Lay Aside Every Weight
We Are To Lay Aside Every Sin
We Are To Run With Patience
We Are To Keep Our Eyes Focused On The Lord

Chart #3
"I Have Kept The Faith"

We Must Realize That We Are To Guard and Defend The Faith
We Must Realize That There Is Only One Faith
We Must Realize That We Must Obey The One Faith
We Must Realize That We Must Hold To The One Faith
We Must Realize That This is Done By Examination and Discipline of

Chart #4
"Finally, There Is Laid Up For Me The Crown of Righteousness"

Heaven Is An Eternal Place
Heaven Is A Place of Righteousness
Heaven Is A Beautiful Place
Heaven Is A Happy Place
Heaven Is A Place Of Rest
Heaven Is a Place Of Pleasant Associations