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The Apostle's Last Words

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
March 28, 2021 8:00 am

The Apostle's Last Words

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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March 28, 2021 8:00 am

The Apostle comes to the end of his last letter to Timothyperhaps, the last letter he will ever write. Filled with emotion, Paul records his final words. What will they be? Find out on this episode of The Bible Study Hour with Dr. James Boice.

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The weary apostle pauses as he ponders the conclusion of his final letter to Timothy Paul's heart is filled with emotion as he thinks of his spiritual son and fellow laborer in the gospel and of the greats unfinished work ahead. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. Paul's last letter to Timothy is more than an overflow of emotion. It's the commissioning of the young man who will assume Paul's earthly duties. What will be his charge listened as Dr. Boyce concludes his study of second Timothy Paul's final instructions to his beloved apprentice.

It's entirely appropriate that the first words you should here preach on the following your commissioning service should be the last words of the apostle Paul cause and a suggestive way that fact speaks of what I commissioning service is all about and want in a certain sense. Second Timothy from which this text is taken is all about a commissioning services a service in which those who have gone before.

Pray for the blessing of God upon a new generation and the second Timothy is a letter in which Paul, the pioneer missionary who would gone before imparts his wisdom and prayers for this young man, Timothy, who was to follow him. Second Timothy is so far as we understand correctly, the very last letter that we have of the apostle Paul's written shortly. We presume before his martyrdom. Since this text comes from chapter 4, the last of the chapters of that book. It is literately the last words we have from him. Maybe virtually the last words he ever spoke.

He could have been martyred within hours or days after the completion of the letter that we don't know that at any rate, if last thing we have of his in writing and it's no surprise, therefore, when we turn to it. To find this one who was the great ambassador of the gospel is great.

Pioneer missionary who took the word of salvation through Christ throughout Asia and Greece, and finally on to Rome and perhaps even as far as Spain and back again to Rome find them writing here in the last hours or days, months of his life to Timothy and encouraging him to carry on and do precisely that she had done and going before his emphasis is upon preaching the word. And that's what this passage is about. Let me read the first five verses of this key chapter in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge. Preach the word you prepared in season and out of season correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. I will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. Would you keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

All is already given a number of charges to Timothy in this brief letter is told in the guard the gospel we willing to suffer for the gospel to be patient in carrying out the duties of the gospel ministry, but here in these verses because of him, as it were, a summation, and most important charge of all when he says in the simplest of words. Why charge to you is this. Preach the gospel as a number things to say about it.

He tells him what he should do. He tells of how we should do it and then he gives him some incentives for doing it and what is to do is preach the gospel.

We had a lot more time. I like to talk about that. That's one of those phrases preachers like me love because it has three words each word makes a point and my staff gives me about that because they say no matter what it is to be completed in three words.

Dr. Boyce and preach a sermon about even drink Coca-Cola would lend itself to three points here. Pauses preach the gospel and I'm sure you don't need careful exegesis of that to see that each of the words is important. He says preach the word and the word is the word of the gospel is what he has in mind is that which he had received as he says in the Corinthian letters in which he was faithful to pass on to others in which Timothy is now to pass on after him. We are not talking when we talk about the word of God or the word of the gospel about some new thing out people in every age are always looking for some new things.

Something to titillate the imagination within the Christian faith are not involved with at that which we preach that which were concerned with is the old gospel that which our fathers and our mothers before us breached in which is been preached faithfully and been blessed down through all the centuries of church history, and that is our commission as well were not imparted to do some new thing if I could elaborate which I will not go but if I could I say that word thing is important, preach the gospel is only one gospel. Only one word is not that there's this gospel not gospel two, three, four of them and where to preach one of them. Only one of them sober, faithful will preach that in the final point, of course, as it were, to preach and that is where to verbalize it.

Let people know about it were to do that by our spoken word as well as by our lives ball little is said, you know that you have to be able to live the gospel. If you don't live that your life will discredit what you say but at the best living the gospel is only pre-evangelism prepares a wave evangelism itself involves the communication of the work I was second point is how to do it. I don't think I need to elaborate upon that a great deal either. He says be prepared in season and out of season that is were to be urgent about this business all times were to give ourselves to it, correct, rebuke and encourage that's to say were to be relevant and what we do all of those words relate to people.

People need correction and rebuking and encouraging to so as we preach it were not supposed doing some doctrinaire way where we stand often simply share theological axioms and corollaries with those who listen in a detached fashion, but rather were to apply this to their lives. And Paul says quite clearly were to be patient as we do it because they don't always respond were to do it intelligently because he says with careful instruction. All I wish all who preach the gospel or testified to it. Indeed, I wish that all Christians would be urgent about it. Anxious to share this good news of salvation through Christ in season and out of season as well.

Years ago in England, there was a man named William Haslam the minister and the Church of England. Any preach, so effectively that literally. So far as anybody knew everyone in his parish and become converted he preached literally, day in and day out every day of the week and Sundays as well and when he had been effective as he judged and is other people judged as well in his own parish, which was a small one in Cornwall.

He branched out one of the parishes to the northeast, south and west of the courser was where he got in trouble because he was spreading on the toes of the ministers of the other parishes. They began to commonly complained to their bishop about this man has and was always preaching all the time and it was interfering in their affairs and the Bishop called Amanda. He said why are you doing this all the time. Don't you ever taken a break.

He said the Bishop Bishop. I only preached two seasons of the year. Also the bishop I'm glad to hear that one of the two seasons really set in season and out of season and that's why was effective. So if I would convey the charge of the apostle Paul. You would be along those lines preach the gospel and do it all the time would by the way you live and do it and what you say and do it from the time that you rise up in the morning to the time that you lay down at night. Now that point, I think the incentives a better come in because it is hard to do and I think probably Paul knew that as well. And so, as the rights these verses to Timothy doesn't hesitate to give them some great encouragements there are three worst of all, as he begins.

He reminds them that he is coming when the Lord Jesus Christ is going to judge all men, the living and the dead is going to appear in his kingdom and we are going to stand before he says that's an incentive because as we try as best we can to bear up under the trials and the discouragements that come to us in this password know that the time is coming, eventually not far off when were going to stand before that one was given as the commission back to these commission this is the main reason why we go there other reasons as well. Love for the loss of fact that they are lost. Other such things.

Great need of the world but above all, we go because the Lord Jesus Christ told us to go though the story here several times that RC scroll down comes from his days as a student out in Pittsburgh theological seminary was in a class taught by Dr. John Gerstner Dr. Gerstner Calvinists was going on on the distinctives of Calvinistic theology and he talked about election, then he switched over as he often did in his lectures to a Socratic method of teaching and he began to ask the students questions and he asked them this he said now if, as we have seen from the Scripture that God elects men and women to salvation. Why should you and I bother to evangelize and he started with the student over on the left and he said you know Dr. Gerstner. I've always wondered about that question myself. They went to the next minute he said it beats me, and so on all around the line and finally my friend scroll tells the story was sitting over in the entity is new. That question was going to get to him and it did and Gerstner said to him. Now Mr. sprawl. Nobody else seems know the answer. Suppose you tell us if God elects to salvation. Why should we evangelize this role began his answer with all sorts of apologies he said now Dr. Gerstner.

I know you're looking for a profound answer to what is undoubtedly a deep philosophical and theological problem when it's an answer that I'm not prepared to give at this particular stage of my theological education but nevertheless there is one point that I think we can at least notice and there might be a point at which we could begin our discussion. It is true, is it not the Lord Jesus Christ I but this is an insignificant thing, but it's a point at which we can begin. Is it not true that the Lord Jesus Christ is commanded us to evangelize. Gerstner said to him.

Yes, Mr. sprawl, and what could be more insignificant than that in the Jesus Christ the Lord of the universe. Your Savior and Master's told you to evangelize that he got the point in our so and Paul reminds Timothy as he does here in these verses that the day is coming when all of us stand before the Lord Jesus Christ and the appearing of his kingdom be saying and that they were going to give an accounting that one was told us to go.

I will be answering that day that should be a great encouragements as we go on. It's a short life. We don't have much time to do the things we'd like to do and that we believe God is calling us to do. So let's make the time count as a second, encouragements begins in verse three as part of the verses I read really has to do with the state of the world state of the world. Paul's day, and it's a state of the world in our day as well. He says the time is coming.

It already, I'm sure when men and women would not put up with sound doctrine, but rather wanted to hear things that would tickle their fancy. And please them and commend them and allow them to rest in their sinful ways, saying you know in an age like that you should be particularly vigorous for the gospel as I read this I almost hear Romans one again because what Paul is talking about in Romans one is the general state of humanity and rebellion against God and the one thing he says most clearly in that chapter is that the human races come into the state. It is because men and women do not want the God who is presented in the Scriptures, the God who is 11, got her own imagination and the love of God allows them to continue in their sin. They don't want a holy God of the Bible rightly as their creator and redeemer demands a certain kind of life from them and so they suppress the knowledge of this true God, and they turned other gods in the gray vacuum that comes into their lives because of the rejection of the true God there, all the mythologies and the false gods of the pagan religions as well. As of the cultured sophisticates of our own time is when men and women are like. And women do not want the gospel in a strange way. This is an encouragement DOS because when the rejection is there. It's not a rejection primarily because of our methods are personality, though sometimes our personalities may be objectionable, but it's a rejection of God himself.

They reject the gospel because they reject the Lord Jesus Christ the gospel when it's presented clearly convicts men and women of sin. I sometimes have the opportunity of experiencing something like this in a strange way, you know, I I stand here and preach week after week of many different subjects and knowingly I never directly preach against something that I know was going on in somebody's life. I found that's not terribly effective matter of fact I'm always most on guard. If I know the problem I'm careful not to be too specific, I think maybe that's counterproductive. I'm not sure that's right but that's the way I operate. But from time to time people will come up to me and say and I'm not coming back here anymore. I'm disgusted with that church because your sermon is in such a Sunday you were exposing what I did and I don't like it. Generally, I might say, almost universally, I never know what they were talking about some time ago woman came to see me.

She was very upset with the church of the elders in a number of other things because she said I preached about what she had done. I done openly talking about her and the service I said when was it supposed to years before I have good memory, but not that good and I said what was about to begin, tell me your story should done something that was sinful in her own mind. So I think as she described to me that nobody else who saw it was more the mind and the action. But even a guess that anything was going on but she was so convicted by this when she came to church two weeks after that and heard me say something she thought that I was speaking to her particular sin. Furthermore, she was sure that we talked it over in the session and we decided to make a public example of her. This is what she was concerned about. She left the church about here tonight to see that's the way people operate when the Holy Spirit takes the word of God and applies it to them.

There is an instinctive rejection of those things that's why with joy unspeakable return of the God was able to do the kind of miracle that is needed in the regeneration of the fallen son of Adam to take that one was dead in trespasses and sins by his grace through the ministry of the word bring forth new life bring that one to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, we say finally that there is 1/3 encouragement here. I'm not sure the Paul really intended and is an encouragement but it is one nonetheless guided by the Holy Spirit. It certainly fits the passage of the encouragement of Paul himself see it's possible to say, I suppose. Well yes, there is an encouragement. The fact that one day will stand before Jesus. That's a long way off, and there is an encouragement. I suppose in the fact that the world is it's presently constituted, and that sin desperately needs the gospel.

That's kind of abstract theological and it's easy to forget that you have an example of the comes close to home example of the apostle Paul says of himself here at the end of his ministry in Rome rejected by his friend's house. Nevertheless, he says I have fought the flight I have kept the faith I have finished my course, I persevered to the end and now there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, great contrast in these verses between what we find. Here Paul at the end of his ministry and what we find Paul at certain places of acts when Paul as the Holy Spirit moved the blessing came was someone at the peak of popularity even in acts 19 where you have a riot in Ephesus as a person betrays the pinnacle to which Paula calm because were told when the Riot Took Pl. in Ephesus, and Paul was wanting to go into the great theater there to try to calm the people down the AC arcs. That is, the rulers of Asia, chief man of the province who it says were his friends came to him and said don't go in quiet them down in some other way.

So here even in the midst of Orion.

Paula made friends of all the chief people in Asia.

All you say wow. That's the way it should be this great missionary successful courses should be friends with all these people, but you know it's not many years later, you find Paul here in Rome saying, do your best to come quickly. Dimas left me because he loved this world Russians is gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia only Luke is with Zoe came the pinnacle of success to what we would call the Nader of abandonment and misery and nevertheless all. Even at this point is not discouraged but is rejoicing in the fact that he completed his race.

He finished his course in a crown of righteousness was laid up for him in heaven.

That's way I wanted. I don't care whether I popular in that moment in the eyes of the world, but I want to be able to say when the time comes for me to leave this world and the gold of that world, in the presence of Jesus Christ. I did what you sent me to do. I finish my course I kept the faith. I guarded the gospel that is true regardless of how the world lives, my life will be a success and I pray that might be true of you as well such a tendency to abandon the gospel to watered-down changes colors that we need to hold it up because only that would be the salvation of those to whom we preach Harry inside the preacher of the previous generation tells in his study of these verses, so the train wreck that happened here in the East number of years earlier in his ministry quite a few years ago now the train carrying schoolchildren and others had stopped on a track because of damage to the track ahead and another truck was coming so they sent a flagman back to waive train behind down the man went some distance down the track and waved his flag, but the train the limited was coming up from the south went right through and crashed into the park train in many people were on the train were killed. Engineer had jumped off the train at the last minute.

His life was saved and so had a trial and engineer came to trial and he was being charged with dereliction of his duty.

The question was asked and just see the flagman there was waving the flying to stop the train and the engineer said, I Psalm it was a yellow flag and keep on going and so I kept on going and the flagman said although it wasn't. It was a red flag in the red flag meant to stop and so the facts were established except the color of the flight was obviously the issue is only when they dragged out the flag and was a quick resolution of the problem.

Everyone understood what it happened and been a red flag but had been lying around the sun been bleached yellow on people you know are going around the bleached out gospel today is not saving anybody what we need is a gospel with his blood red with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ that wanted died for our sins upon the cross and rose again is coming to judge the quick and the dead may God give you grace all that gospel up for the world desperately needs. May God bless your efforts according to his own wisdom and his own perfect plan and his grace through Jesus Christ. Let us pray. Father, we thank you for your word and we thank you for the charges for the encouragements that he gives us research our own hearts we know how prone we are to discouragement. We look to the world we see every cause for we look to your word gospel we see it to be the power of God and the salvation of everyone who believes. We look to the Lord Jesus Christ, we see that one was the great physician.

One was able to heal the sick one who called himself the resurrection and the life was able to bring spiritual life of the spiritual death. One was the Lord of his church. The one I will reward those who faithfully serve granted by these means we all each one might be encouraged and challenged launch forthwith the termination upon that course that you have set before us. Granted, when that final day come soon. We stand before the Lord Jesus. Each one to receive the reward of the deeds done in the body we might hear him say well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord because we would so enter. We would so serve for Jesus sake you're listening to the Bible study our featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyce how teacher invites us to make truths. Our guest in today's free CD offer entitled man's doctrine God's doctrine in this important message. Dr. Boyce reminds us that God's unchangeable truth is the best of all guests to have in our homes and in our hearts.

This free CD is our way of saying thanks call us at 1-800-488-1888 will be pleased to send you a copy of man's doctrine God's doctrine that number again is 1-800-488-1888 like Paul's letters to Timothy Dr. Boyce is sound biblical messages live on long after his time on earth has passed, would you help us keep them on the air and on the Internet by making a monthly pledge, or perhaps a one time donation you can call us directly at 1-800-488-1888, or find us online at the Bible study. Our daughter work if you prefer to mail a check. Our postal address is 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601. Thank you.

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When you call or write our email address is contact Pat Bible study our dawdling hi Mark Daniels you know it's a hard fact of life in this world.

Truth is punished and lies are rewarded. Such was the case with the empty tomb, despite their best efforts the religious leaders worst nightmare had come true joint.

Dr. James Boyce next time of the Bible study our as he investigates one of history's greatest coverups alive of the empty tomb.

That's next time one Bible study our you to think and act biblically than

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