Summary: Chris Berman is an announcer for ESPN. When he gives the highlights of the games he also gives the explanation of the event. When a player gets the ball and runs down the field Berman shouts, "He Could Go All The Way!" The same is true for us in the game
SERMONIC / WORSHIP THEME
Opening Statement: Chris Berman is an announcer for ESPN. When he gives the highlights of the games he also gives the explanation of the event. When a player gets the ball and runs down the field Berman shouts, "He Could Go All The Way!" The same is true for us in the game called life. We can go all the way and score the touchdown but it will not be easy.
Theme: Paul does us a wonderful service when he gives to believers a view from the finish line. He’s just about ready to finish his life’s race, when he decided to write to young Timothy, his protégé, and said, “Tim, let me tell you how I feel right now. Allow me to give you a view of what I’ve got going on inside me as I approach the finish line.”
Title: A View From the Finish Line
Text: 2 Timothy 4:6-8
Recitation: 4:6 For I am already being poured out as an offering, and the time for me to depart is at hand. 4:7 I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith! 4:8 Finally the crown of righteousness is reserved for me. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award it to me in that day—and not to me only, but also to all who have set their affection on his appearing.
Background: Due to persecution, Paul was in prison in Rome, more than likely in the Mamertine Dungeon. There, beside the river, damp and dark and cold, Apostle Paul wrote this last letter to Timothy, his dear son in the faith. Sensing that the end was near, Paul gave his final words of encouragement, challenge, and caution to a young man that he had mentored and discipled in the faith. Paul sent this letter hoping that Timothy, who was in Ephesus (2 Timothy 1:18), would receive it in time to come to him in Rome before anything bad happened or winter set in (2 Timothy 4:9, 21). But if not, then this letter would serve as Paul’s last will and testament and would prepare Timothy to do the work of ministry in Paul’s absence and to ensure that the gospel was extended to the next generation. Even though Paul is lonely, he is fulfilled in what he’s been able to accomplish and he is full of anticipation.
Illustration: Like a coach giving the game plan with only 10 seconds left on the game clock, down my two, Paul is encouraging his young protégé to finish the game of life strong and to stay true to the gospel.
Key Word: If you are going to have the kind of view from your finish line that Paul had from his finish line, then you need a course, a coach, and a crown to motivate you to get the job done.
The Course You Must Run
4:6 For I am already being poured out as a sacrifice, and the time for me to depart is at hand.
Exposition: Paul uses two figurative expressions to indicate that death was near for him. With these figures, I’m sensing resignation on the part of the apostle. He’s ready to go. He knew that this was the Lord’s course for him and he was determined to stay on course in spite of the odds stacked against him at this dark hour. He’s surrendered.
First, he compared himself to a sacrifice. The "sacrifice" is a reference to the drink offering which in the Jewish feasts terminated the great Day of Atonement. At the end of all the offerings, a drink offering, a jug of wine was poured out upon the altar. Paul sees himself in that way.
Second, he compared himself to a traveler who was getting ready to go on a journey. He was at the departure gate, boarding pass at the ready, and bags in hand.
Observation: Each of us has a course that we must run. Like Paul, there will come a time in your life, when you will need to resign yourself to the course that you must run. You’ll have to “pour out some of your plans” like a sacrifice and say “goodbye” like a traveler to some of your wishes in order to run the course that the Lord has for you. And I hasten to add, it’s your course; it’s not someone else’s course. You’re called to run the course that the Lord has for you. Paul told Timothy “…Fulfill your ministry (2 Timothy 4:5).” Don’t worry about trying to be me. You be you. Clear the hurdle of comparison and follow Christ.
You will feel the call of education, and you will need to enroll as a college freshman. It may not be the college of your choice, but it could very well be the educational course that the Lord has planned for you.