Finish the Race

2 Timothy 4:6-8

(Apostle Paul’s valedictory address)

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

He had volunteered to serve Christ.  He had separated himself from this world, sacrificing all that he was and had to be a soldier for Christ, a soldier totally committed to the mission of Christ.  He had suffered through the threats, scrapes, and wars launched by the enemies of Christ.  He had fought a good fight…a fight that was worthy,

Is this fight worth giving all you got?

A fight that was honorable, noble, and commendable.  He had done his time…He had stuck to the mission of Christ to the very end.  Therefore Paul could declare…I have fought a good fight.   

Ephesians 6: 12 – For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

1 Timothy 6:12 – Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life…..

Galatians 5:7 – You did well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Philippians 3: 14 – I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

  • Four kinds of runners:
  •  Some never start the race:
  • King Agrippa was almost persuaded to be a Christian. 

Acts 26:28 – Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”  Almost is not good enough.   

  • The Rich Young Ruler went away sorrowful.

Luke 18:22-23 – So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.

  •  Some start running, but then quit. 
  • Demas deserted Paul because he loved this present world. 

2 Timothy 4:10 – for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world.

  • Some have a great start, but get sidetracked.  
  • Although King Solomon was the wisest man on earth, he turned to idols when he was old.  

1 Kings 11:4-6 – For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David.  For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.  Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David.

  • Some are faithful until the end.   

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 – Run in such a way that you may win.  Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.  Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

How are you running?

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