Summary: This sermon deals with the need to do what needs to be done before it's too late!
Come Before Winter
1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:
2Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
4and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
5But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
6For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Finally, 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.
9 Be diligent to come to me quickly;
10for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica--Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.
11Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.
12And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.
13Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come--and the books, especially the parchments.
14Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works.
15You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words.
16At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them.
17But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
18And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!
19Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.
20Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick.
21Do your utmost to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, as well as Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren.
22The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.
A man and his wife were cleaning out the attic
when he came across a claim ticket from the shoe repair shop.
The date stamped on the ticket showed it was over 11 years old.
The man asked his wife,
"Do you think the shoes will still be in the shop?"
"Not likely," his wife said. "But it's worth a try."
The man drove to the shoe repair shop
and handed the ticket to the man behind the counter.
The man looked at the ticket and said,
"Just a minute. I'll have to go look for these."
He disappeared to the back of the shop.
Two minutes later, the man called out, "Here they are!"
"No kidding?" the man called back. "That's terrific!
Who would have thought they'd still be here after all this time."
The man came back to the counter and said,
"They'll be ready on Thursday."
That shoe repairman had been putting off working on those shoes.
Today we are looking at
the final recorded words of the Apostle Paul.
The Bible doesn't tell us what happened next,
but it's likely that he was beheaded by Roman emperor Nero.
So what was on Paul's mind at the end of his life?
His last recorded words are mostly about people.
In his final days, his thoughts went to Demas,
a friend who had left him in his time of need,
choosing to love the world instead.
He thought of other good friends Crescens, Titus, and Tychicus
who were serving the Lord in other places.
He is grateful that Luke has remained in Rome
to give him comfort while in prison.
He mentions a man named Alexander,
the metalworker who opposed him
and did all he could to stop the preaching of the gospel.
He sends greetings to Timothy from friends in Rome.
He gives thanks to God for standing by him in his trial
when it seemed that all had forsaken him.
He has complete confidence
that he will one day enter the kingdom of heaven.
Above everything else,
Paul wanted Timothy to come see him in prison before he died.
Timothy is probably in Ephesus, hundreds of miles away.
It would take several months for him to travel to Rome.