Summary: I used this sermon for a memorial roll service...where we remember those from our congregation who have passed away. Using Paul’s "the time has come for my departure" and comparing that to flying in a plane.

Larry Brincefield

Sunday Morning, January 19, 2003

Memorial Roll Sermon

Title: Departures and Arrivals

Text: 2 Timothy 4:6-8


1. Have you ever been to the airport?

A. At the airport, one of the first things you might notice...

B. throughout terminal, there are banks of TV screens.

C. Some of them are for arriving flights....

D. others are for departing flights.

2. If you are at the airport to catch a flight to somewhere,

A. you will look at the departures...

B. find your airline and flight time....

C. and find out where your gate is so that you can be at the right place to catch your plane.

3. The apostle Paul, in writing to Timothy,

A. realizes that he is coming to the end of his life.

B. and he uses language that is similar to what we might use when we are going to catch a plane.

4. Read text: 2 Timothy 4:6-8

5. When Paul says, "the time has come for my departure" 2 Tim 4:6 (NIV)

A. He is using a word that takes its meaning from the idea of a ship sitting in the harbor...

B. and the time has come to cut loose the ropes that hold the ship in the harbor...

C. so it can set sail for parts unknown.

D. Of course, we don’t frequently use ships for transportation today....

E. like they did in Bible times.

F. Today, airplanes are just ships in the sky.

G. And Paul is saying, "The time has come for me to catch my plane"!

H. He uses the same word in Philippians 1:23, but let me back up to verse 21 to give you the context,

I. "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far" Phil 1:21-23 (NIV)

6. Paul’s attitude....

A. seems almost like an excitement to die....

B. because he knows that he will go to be with Christ!

7. Last week, Jason (my 6 year old son) was playing in my office;

A. when out of the blue, he said, "Daddy, I want to die"...

B. It kind of caught me off guard!

C. I asked him why he wanted to die...

D. he said, "so I can go to heaven".

E. I told him that I was glad he wanted to go to heaven...

F. but that he wouldn’t die and go to heaven until God was ready,

G. and until then, we would just enjoy being here.

8. That attitude is completely foreign to people in the world.

A. People who don’t know Christ seem to have this great fear of death.

B. And while death is somewhat unknown for the Christian...

C. it is different for us.

D. For us it is like a departure...

E. we are cutting loose from this life...

F. and setting sail for the next!

G. An exciting journey!

9. In our text, it explains why Paul was able to have such an excitement catch his plane!


1. First of all, Paul says, "I have fought the good fight". 2 Tim 4:7 (NIV)

A. Paul uses language that basically means "to contend for a prize, struggle"—NASB Greek-Hebrew Dictionary

B. Paul indicates that life has been a real struggle at times...

i. And you know exactly what he means...

ii. life can be a real struggle.

iii. Raymond Hawkins and Allen Luttrell knew that life can be a struggle.

C. Not only life itself...but the end of life can be a struggle...

i. spending time in hospitals or nursing homes is never easy....

ii. struggling with health problems at the end of life is a real battle.

D. Paul’s life was a real struggle at times,

i. He tells us that "I have worked much harder,

ii. been in prison more frequently,

iii. been flogged more severely,

iv. and been exposed to death again and again.

v. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.

vi. Three times I was beaten with rods,

vii. once I was stoned,

viii. three times I was shipwrecked,

ix. I have been constantly on the move.

x. I have been in danger from rivers,

xi. in danger from bandits,

xii. in danger from my own countrymen,

xiii. in danger from Gentiles;

xiv. in danger in the city,

xv. in danger in the country,

xvi. in danger at sea;

xvii. and in danger from false brothers.

xviii. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep;

xix. I have known hunger and thirst

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