2 Timothy 4:6-21
INTRO: Paul knew he was about to die and these are his last words. He gives us some snapshots or minibiographies of some of the people he labored with that might be instructive to us.
DEMAS – NO ONE OF US EVER GETS BEYOND WORLDLINESS.
Worldliness is an attitude or philosophy of wanting to blend in with the world- to lose your identity as a Christian.
Demas is mentioned three times in the bible. First, as “my fellow servant” in Philemon 24, then just as “Demas” in Col. 4:13 to this passage in II Tim. 4:10 “ forsaken me, having loved this present world.”
Demas went to Thessalonica to blend in–not to forsake the Lord– his heart just got cold and you can lose yourself in a large place. He just forsook Paul. For a long time Demas had been loving the world but has now made a choice. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Demas must have done a lot of good things in his life, having been a servant with Paul but he was branded by his final act.
Paul contrasts himself with Demas in verse 7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.”. It’s not how fast you run, it’s whether you FINISH THE COURSE.
I. LUKE – NO ONE OF US EVER GETS BEYOND USEFULNESS
Dr. Luke is the only one who is still with Paul. In v. 11 he says, “only Luke is with me”.
In Cot. :14 he is called the “beloved physician.”
Luke wrote the book of Acts and the Gospel of Luke. He was an educated historian, diligent researcher and theologian, using the finest Greek in the New Testament.
He joined with Paul at Tarsus for missionary journeys, spending most of his life in the background and was the human instrument God used to prop Paul up. Who needed a physician more than Paul with the beatings, stoning, shipwrecks and imprisonments.
II. MARK – NO ONE OF US EVER GETS BEYOND FORGIVENESS.
He was the son of Mary. He grew up in the home where the church met- a spiritual atmosphere.
He was the nephew of Barnabus and went with Paul and Barnabus on their first missionary journey.
Mark left Paul and Barnabus to go home and there was strife between Paul and Barnabus about taking John Mark on another journey. So, Paul took Silas and Mark went with Barnabus.
Now, 30 years later, Paul is telling Timothy to go out of the way to pick up Mark and bring him to Paul because” . .he is profitable to me in the ministry.”
Our failure does not have to be FATAL NOR FINAL.
III. PAUL – NO ONE OF US EVER GETS BEYOND HUMANNESS.
Paul is in a Roman prison facing death. He asks Timothy to”. . .make every effort to come to me soon.” v. 9 and to “…make every effort to come before winter.” v. 21.
He also asks Timothy to”. . .bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments.” v. 13.
He is COLD, LONELY and BORED. When a person becomes a Christian, grace does not de-humanize them.
Paul finds no inconsistency in loving the appearing of the Lord and the appearing of Timothy. God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.”. Jesus knew what it was to be lonely and he wept.
God knows our frame that we are but dust. I have a divine treasure dwelling in me but I am a CLAY POT.
We need to be reminded that we are human. It makes us trust in the Lord more. Live the life as a human but IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT.
©Ron Dunn, LifeStyle Ministries, 2003