Summary: This sermon deals the need to live out the Christian life with effectiveness.
Scripture: 2 Timothy 4:1 – 8
Title: “Finishing Well”
Introduction: Popeye says, “I fight to the finish cause I eat my spinach, I’m Popeye the sailor man.”
We might as well get used to it, our WALK as a Christian is going to be a “Fight to the Finish.”
Paul in writing to young Timothy is very straightforward in what he has to say. His words seem to be filled with encouragement and assurance that he can finish the course.
2:1 “Be Strong” - 2. 2:3 “Endure Hardness” - 3. 2:5 “Strive” - 4. 2:10 “Endure all things”
The finish line is just ahead and we are going down the stretch. We have made many sacrifices and faced many battles. Everything that we have done up till now will all be in vain if we don’t finish the race.
It is important to start right, but it is imperative to end well.
The Greeks has a race in their Olympic games that was unique. The winner was not the runner who finished first. It was the runner who finished with his torch still lit. I want to run all the way with the flame of my torch still lit for Jesus!
Matthew 24:13 “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
Hebrews 11:27 “Moses endured as seeing him who is invisible.”
Hebrews 12:2 “Christ. . . endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down on the right hand of the throne of God”
James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation . . . for he shall receive the crown of life.”
We need to lift up our heads and with spiritual vision see the FINISH LINE. (Do you know where you are going?)
The words of this Scripture give us a beautiful picture of Paul the prisoner so near the end of his life. His is calm as he waits during his last hours in a dark cell. His words refer to the past, present and future. “I have fought a good fight, the time of my departure is at hand, henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.”
There are not many places in the Bible where we are instructed to LOOK BACK. As a matter of fact, there are more WARNINGS about looking back than there are to look back.
But there are times when we need to look back to reflect and review.
I. AS WE LOOK BACK.
a. Paul made it clear that he didn’t reach the “Finish Line” without OPPOSITION.
b. ALL of hell OPPOSED him.
c. DEMONS and EVIL SPIRITS came against him.
d. The WORLD pulled at him.
e. The FLESH tormented him.
f. LIFE is a STRUGGLE.
g. We are RUNNING a RACE that requires EFFORT!
h. We must CONTINOUSLY advance in ONE DIRECTION.
i. We run this race while fighting against POWERS – RULERS of DARKNESS, and SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS.
j. Paul told Timothy that he had fought a GOOD FIGHT.
k. It will be a “Fight to the Finish!”
Illustration: In 1968, Tanzania chose John Stephen Akhwari to represent them in the Mexico City Olympics. Along the way as he ran, he stumbled and fell, severely injuring both his knee and ankle. It was 7 PM and a runner from Ethiopia
had won the race. Everyone else had finished and there were only a few thou-