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October 16, 2021 4:00 am
The planning for the future can be clouded with uncertainty. Decisions about colleges what to major in finding the right job to knowing when to retire and where life holds no guarantees, but you can know what to expect after death, and it can be secured now. Here's Alistair Begged to tell us more.
Today on Truth for Life weekend. I turned again into two Timothy four words that are increasingly familiar to SMOs.
I think of almost learn these inverses off by heart by now wouldn't be a bad thing. Two Timothy four and verse one I 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 preach the word be ready in season and out of season prove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching for the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober minded endure suffering do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry from already being poured out as a drink offering in the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day. I not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. Thanks be to God for his word. While our text is verse eight, and I want you to notice that this opening word which is here in the ESV henceforth should not be overlooked.
The reason I say that is because when you read verse six and verse seven, it may appear that verse seven would be a far more suitable landing. After all, Paul has already identified the flag that he is about to die.
In verse six. Then in verse seven he tells Timothy that he has completed his assignment as we saw last time it was mission accomplished. I might expect then that end of verse seven there just be a big. A.
Or perhaps a big! The fight, I have fought the race, I have run the faith I have! Finish but no, it actually says henceforth.
In other words, he wants and Timothy and all of us to know that there is more that is still to come. When JB Phillips paraphrases as seven into 80 puts it like this. The glorious fight that God gave me. I have fought the course that I was sent. I have finished and I have kept the faith. The future for me, the future for you. I thought you said you were dying you when you were dying and you still have a future. Oh yes, of course, easy unless ripping a tangible just skip over something like that.
The last days of my life of crime. He says, but there is a future for me. Incidentally, remember we said last Sunday about taking out little pieces of foundational truth and finding that the that the superstructure will eventually collapse. If you think about it in these terms, just as it occurs to me as I'm speaking to you now the death of Jesus as an atonement for sin ends in a Palestinian tomb. Unless you have the resurrection by the resurrection, by itself, a risen Christ, who hasn't died and atoning death means nothing either by itself and the finder Jesus rose if he is not ascended means that were missing a piece and the fact that he is ascended means that it is from there that he will return and all of this we get from the Bible and were studying the Bible and were studying the Bible and the New Testament, in particular in the awareness of the fight that I know this is the most elaborate fabrication of the world is ever seen. Or it actually is true that either of these people have cobbled this together because they wanted to stab the story or these things unfolded as they did for myself. I have concluded long ago that there is not one page of the New Testament that was ever written. Apart from the conviction that all these pieces hold together that Jesus was the incarnate God.
Jesus died and atoning death that Jesus was raised for our justification that Jesus is ascended to the right hand of God when he intercedes for us and from there he will come as Paul has said twice now in these eight verses that have been our focus understands, of course, in direct contrast to many of the clichés that are part and parcel of our everyday life.
The late George Carlin who was a cynical comedian and I don't think a guard theater is credited with the line. Life is tough and then you die. And every so often you hear people say just that, as if somehow or another.
That's the end of the story. But in actual fact, Paul would be prepared to say life is tough and then you die. Henceforth there is still more to come now, you see, this is very important for us to reckon with. Because who was in charge of Paul's error-free circumstances would be. I think justifiably regarded as an unrighteous judge. He had pronounced the guilty sentence on Paul unjustifiably and he had ordered Paul's execution. And here now. Paul, in the prospect of his execution is writing to Timothy to say you know there is a higher throne and there is another judge and he is adjusting the righteous judge and although Nero may be the one who condemns me to death. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge will grant to me on that day. I not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. In other words, he's essentially saying that his execution was the pathway to his graduation. Or we could see his consummation or his vindication. So the idea is that although his death was going to come and incidentally the chronology here when he says that day towards the end of the verse that David a D is not a reference to the day of his death, but is a reference to the day of the return of Jesus Christ.
He's always been looking forward to the day, the day will bring it to light. Remember, he says a man's ministry will maybe word hay and stubble and maybe precious stones and gold and silver but the day will bring it to light what day the day when Jesus Christ the righteous judge brings everything to a consummation, and Paul's readers were very familiar with the crowns and the wreaths that were given out as a result of athletic prowess, but it was in physical combat weather was in the running of a race. They were familiar with the fact that somebody would reach the finish line or be victorious in the competition and he would be awarded they would be crowned on that day, and everybody would be aware of the fight that he had completed their journey.
Now I want you notice just two things in relationship to this. First of all, that this crown of righteousness is an emblem of victory. It is an emblem of victory. I take it that when Paul uses this terminology is referring to the moment when having been faithful unto death. He is then given the crown of life. That's the quote Revelation chapter 2 and verse 10. He uses this terminology all the way through his letters in EE into spaces where the moment in the graduation ceremony where you move a tassel on your mortar board from one side to the other is always a big question that these graduations that the students are always asking when to remove the tassel are what side of the castle supposed to be on of all the things to be concerned about. But I know they are.
I watch them the other weekend when I was there someone were very particular after the shook hands received the plum and then often render whatever side was forced to go is not as if they got their grade by moving a tassel or they move the tassel and that graduated the meringue into the toilet. Just move the tassel but it did say to themselves and to those watching. I have completed my course, I have achieved my results, and this is an indication of all that has been awarded to me and that's the language of Paul here is a symbol of success. A confirmation of his completed course while answer somebody as it is easy, what is he saying here that he that he is being awarded something on account of his own good efforts.
While yes, but isn't he actually saying that his award is an undeserved award will yes will become your mind will know why not. Because both are true.
Remembering rights to the Philippians, and he says them. I want you to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, in other words, you do what you're supposed to do and what is immediately say, for it is God who is at work in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. For some people's perspective of the Christian life is that you don't do anything. The key to success is you do nothing you just sit back and let God do everything so apparently you don't run the race.
He does you don't fight the fight he fights it.
You don't keep the faith.
He keeps it for you. Nothing could be more ridiculous then there's another group of people who are just perspiring horribly trying to do everything on on I got like this fighter run this race athletic keep this faith and the answer is that we work out what he works in. So you looks forward to a crown that will be given to him and he knows that any race that he's run any fight that he support any victory that is is is ultimately solely a result of the grace of God to him in him and through him.
That's why the crown is an emblem of victory. Second thing to notice is that he uses in describing it.
What we might refer to as the language of certainty the language of certainty.
Your Bible is open, you will notice is the way in which he puts it, henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteous notes which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day is laid out for him if you like it has his name on it.
It has his size is not just he's not just going to have have God look around and say eight find a crown that with everyone there that you can wear. I said I have your crown either crown for you ready size for you it's it's it's been For you really, really, I remember when I came here first and that I was introduced to a strange place. They told me to go to pick up tickets and told me, but will call support this regard will call us and I have to slow that down what you say who is will call though they said no it's will call so why did you say that then I would've understood and then I got it okay so there's a place you go and if you Don hey it's me, then they'll give you what is, therefore, you which is distinct from another thing that I discovered which is called layaway which was which was a JCPenney where you could lay stuff away you put a little down payment and you had a little bit more and eventually if you played enough cash away to get what you later way then you finally get at the end of the long journey. Something was Christian life is again a layaway thing is trying to layaway a little bit of this a little bit of merit little bit of church attendance will bit of good works will bit of self effort, and when they finally get enough and maybe they'll get up there and get a crown one is not layaway is will call in the and and it is the best. Will call visit for a Scotsman is when you say that a fellow what do I need when I get there and he says you need nothing.
It's all paid for just given your name all what a feeling this is what a feeling this human all I have to do is say my name and they handed over.
That's exactly right always going to stand before the bar of God's judgment. He's going to say I was one Saul of Tarsus. I am Paul I believe you The Year for Me in the Righteous Judge Will Say I Have It Exactly 40 and Paul Is Saying This Is Not Unique to Me.
He Says I'm in a Large Graduating Class and Those Other Graduates Will Mention in a Moment or Two, You See Paul's Confidence Lay in the Fact That God Had Begun the Work in His Life, God Was Sustaining the Work in His Life and God Was Going to Bring to Completion the Work in His Life. That's What He Said When He Wrote to the Philippians for Their Encouragement. He Says I Am Convinced of This Earth Being Confident of This, That God Who Has Begun a Good Work and You Will Bring It to Completion at the Day of Jesus Christ Is That Same Notion, Which Runs through All of Paul's Letters When He Writes to the Galatian Believers. At One Point He Says to Them, for through the Spirit. That's Why the Enabling of God through the Spirit by Faith We Ourselves Eagerly Wait for the Whole of Righteousness Is Not Same.
We Went There for the Possibility of It, but the Certainty on for the As We Discover so Many Times Hope Is Used in That Way of Something That Is Not yet Realized, but Is Absolutely Guaranteed When I Want to Go up to Will Call and Say and They're Going to Go All Know We Don't Have Anything Here for You Know It Is Actually There. And We Eagerly Await the Hope of Righteousness Because When You Think about It. The Work of God's Spirit Is Not Perfected in Us until We Are Actually Raised from the Dead.
The Work of God within Us Is Not Perfected and Is Not Brought to Completion until Were Raised from the Dead. That's Why We Teach Our Children Is Not Every Teach One Another There Three Tenses of Salvation so That We Are Able to Put It Very Straightforwardly That in Jesus We Have Been Saved, past Tense from Sin's Penalty. We Are Being Saved Present Tense from Sin's Power and One Day We Will Be Saved, Future Tense from Sin's Presence. But in the Meantime, in Christ Were Still Sinners Were Still Sinful and There's Not a Day Goes by without the Fight That We Are Aware of That and the Evil One Comes to Accusers in Several You Know If You Really Wear a Proper Believing Person Surely You Would've Thought That Shirley Would've Said That I Thought You Would've Done That You've Left It on Don, What Is the Answer to That. Will the Answer Is That We Have Been Saved from the Penalty of Sin and One Day We Will Be Saved from the Presence of Sin. But in the Meantime We Are Wrestling with the Power of Said Is Not a Question about Ultimate Victory, but It Is a Question about the Ongoing Battle Let's Why Paul Elsewhere Says Were Not Wrestling against Flesh and Blood, but against Spiritual Wickedness in the Heavenly Places. That's Why He Says for the Ephesian Church to Go to Make Sure They Have a Whole Armor of God That Their Head Is Secure by the Helmet of Salvation That the Breastplate of Righteousness Is Protecting Them from the Attacks of the Evil One. There's Nothing for Your Back Is All for the Front the Belt of Truth and the Sword of the Spirit in Prayer and so on.
All of That Is Necessary Not Calling into Question the Crown That Is There, but It Is Acknowledging the Reality of What It's like to Get There. Now Let Me Come Back to This George Carlin Thing. If I May. Life Is Tough and Then You Die. She Said in a Way That's That Sort of Defines Life in That Way You Know You Die and There's Nothing More to Be Concerned about. You Know Oblivion. What the Bible Says and This Is What Is so Striking Is That It Is Appointed unto Man Once to Die, and after This Comes Judgment Comes Judgment. We See This Is How Paul Has Framed This Exhortation to Timothy You Notice What He Says I Charge in the Presence of God and of Christ Jesus Is the Next Phrase. Who Is to Judge the Living and the Dad the Reason He Says It so Important Timothy That You Tell People This Good News Is Because There Is a Judgment Is Going to Come. Jesus Himself Said That He Will Separate the Sheep from the Goats.
We Didn't Invent This. This Is the Words of the Loving Shepherd the Warning That Is Inherent in It. The Loving Wooing and Urgency That Is Inherent in It Is Because of the Reality of That That the Charge That Is Given to Timothy and to All Contemporary Timothy's Is so Urgent. And Now He Comes Back to It. He's Back Again at the Righteous Judge.
Note to Talk like This Is to Make Oneself Immediately Vulnerable. And Whether You're in the Pool.
But As I Am Now Kind of One All.
Whether You're Talking to Somebody on the Bus on the Train or Whatever Else It Is As Great As a Great Temptation Is There Just a Drawback Just to Just a Pull out a Couple of the Little Blocks Just Not to Just Not to Say It All Because It's Very Unappealing to People, and Especially to Our Intelligent Friends.
They Want You to Be As Intelligent As They Are and They Decided That If You're Going to Be As Intelligent As They Are. You Have To Give up on Some of the Silly Stuff. I Know You Do. Why Don't You Take a Couple of Those Breaks out Well Because You Can't When Paul, Who Wasn't Exactly a Dunce Was Invited to Address the Intelligentsia in Athens Even Pull Any Punches Is Very Skillfully Was Gracious. Remember What He Did Ask Chapter 17. You Can Read It for Yourself. He Said to Them Well I Am Delighted the Opportunity to Speak to You, and I Was Wandering around the Place.
This Afternoon I Noticed That You Are a Very Religious Group of People and That You Have Various Altars and Shrines and Statues to All Kinds of Gods and Goddesses, and I Noticed That You Have One That You Actually Made to Cover Your Bases to the Unknown God Is Pretty Clever. Don't Want to Miss out and Said I'm Glad You Have That One Because It Gives Me an Introduction to My Talk the God That You Don't Know. I Want to Tell You about. I Want to Tell You about the Unknown God. You Can Imagine Their Ears Going up.
They Thought They Knew Everything Will Turn to Tell Us about the Unknown God Never Does He Do. He Starts with the Doctrine of Creation, the God Who Made the World and Everything in so We Are Created by God. Yes, and You Are Accountable to God. He's Not Accountable to You. He's in Charge of Geography Establishing the Parameters of the World.
He's Sovereignly in Charge of History and As He Moves Towards His Conclusion, Quoting the Poet Sends Drawing Them in.
He Finally Ends in This Way I Can Just Imagine Pausing, Taking a Breath and Sank, so I May Just Wrap This up by Pointing out Quote God Commands All People Everywhere to Repent. How Comprehensive Is That Exactly God Commands All People Everywhere to Repent. And I'll Tell You Why He Says Because He Has Fixed a Day When He Will Judge the World in Righteousness by a Man He Has Appointed Other Words, He Doesn't Backoff from the Reality of This Because He Realizes That a World That Does Not Ultimately Reckon with the Execution of Justice Is a Meaningless World When Things Are Broken, They Need to Be Fixed and to Get Them Fixed. Somebody Has To Pay the Do Not Get Fixed without Payment Coming from Somewhere, and Our Broken World Is Not Going to Be Repaired Apart from a Payment, the Execution of That Which Is Necessary in Order to Restore That Which Is Broken Which Is Dysfunctional, Which Is What and so He Says He Is Established This Day and It Is This Day That He's Referring to Here the Day When He Appears in Verse Eight of Chapter 4 and This Writer's Charge Will Judge the Living and the Dead. Verse One Listing Alister Bid First Particle Message Titled the Crown of Righteousness. This Is True for Life Weekend.
Alister Will Continue This Topic Next Week. If You Been Enjoying the Study in Second Timothy, Perhaps You Liked on the Entire Series Is Called Guard the Truth. You'll Find All Four Volumes. Let's 38 Messages on One USB Look Forward When You Visit Truth for Life.org/Store.
All throughout This Weekend Series We Been Learning from the Apostle Paul As He Passes the Baton of Leadership to a Young Man Named Timothy One Things Become Increasingly Clear Leadership Isn't Easy.
It Wasn't Back Then and It Certainly Isn't Today. So Here's a Book Suggestion That Will Encourage Your Pastor and Show Him How Grateful You Are for His Commitment to the Gospel. It's a Brand-New Book Titled Faithful Leaders and the Things That Matter Most Threatened by Alister's Friend and Fellow Pastor Rico Tice.
Rico Pulls from Scripture and from Personal Experience to Look at What It Takes to Leave the Ministry and Also with a Life That Pleases God. He Teaches That It's Not All about Talent and Giftedness. It's about Faithfulness to the Calling You Can Find out More about the Book Faithful Leaders of the Things That Matter Most. By Visiting Our Website Truth for Life.Bob Lapine Hope You'll Join Us Again Next Weekend When Alister Considers the Crown That Were Promised in Light of the Crown.
Jesus Once for Why Does His Crown Matter. What Is It Mean for Us. Join Us Next the Bible Teaching of Alistair Begg Furnished by Truth for Life with the Learning is for Living