Summary: A farewell sermon for my church - encouraging them to hold on to the Gospel they have
SERMON: HOLD ON
How do you hold on to a legacy?
1. Hold on to the One you know
a. Your Family (Broaddus, Broadus, Dagg)
b. Your Spirit (Power and Self-Control)
2. Hold on to what you already know
a. Your Suffering
b. Your Testimony
c. Your Bible
3. Hold on by the power of the one who knows you
Title: Hold On
Text: 2 Tim 1:5-14
MP: You have something worth holding on to because you are held by the One who gave you everything you really needed.
Intro – Barron Hilton
1. Hold on to who you have
b. A Spirit of Power and Self-Control
2. Hold on to what you know
3. Hold on to the One who gave you these things in the first place.
Poor Paris Hilton. This week the big news concerned her fortune and the fact that she probably won’t see much of it. You see, her legacy – the $2.3 billion Hilton Hotel fortune she was expecting from her grandfather Barron Hilton isn’t going to her – it’s going to going to charity. What she thought she could hold on to won’t be hers. At most she might only see a pitiful $5 million.
But you know, this could be a blessing in disguise. The Chinese have a saying: foo loong sang gai - “Wealth never makes it to the third generation.” It’s a common story – when choosing between a fortune and a legacy, it’s easy to choose the fortune at the cost of a legacy, and in the end have neither.
It’s ironic, really, because Barron Hilton was once expecting his father’s vast estate too. Conrad Hilton had made a fortune establishing the Hotel Chain, but shortly before his death, Conrad decided to donate all his money to charity. It was only a well-timed lawsuit in which Barron proved that he had been an instrumental part in gathering that fortune that enabled him to invalidate much of the gift. By being forced to acquire the fire to make money – the fire being the real legacy – Barron Hilton made sure he would have both.
Yes, Barron Hilton has followed in a long line of fathers, from Andrew Carnegie to Bill Gates, who understood that a legacy was in fact a fortune far greater than wealth. To encourage your children to hold on just to money is to sentence them to a life where they will not make it. Better instead to hold on to a cherished history, a name that will not crumble. Who knows, maybe even Paris could yet succeed.
In our text this morning, Paul is making out his last will and testament too. I think it’s safe to say that Paul didn’t have the vast sums of money that the Hiltons have – but that didn’t mean he didn’t have a powerful legacy that he hoped to pass on. Paul was sitting in a jail in Rome, knowing that at just about any moment, Nero was going to take his head.
This is Paul’s last letter, and it wastes no time in encouraging Timothy to hold on to what is most important. But the question – the same question I have for you as we enter this our last look at this powerful legacy together – is how do we do that?
I want to suggest that holding onto a powerful legacy is the greatest fortune you’ll ever have. But in order to do that, we need to keep in mind three things:
4. Hold on to who you have (1. Family / 2. A Spirit)
5. Hold on to what you know (1. Suffering / 2. Testimony / 3. Scripture)
6. Hold on to the One who gave you these things in the first place.
-Hold on to who you have-
Let’s start by looking at verses 5 – 7, where we see Paul bringing to mind the legacy that his young protégé Timothy had – the real fortune Timothy may not have even realized – and that was the fortunate circumstance of growing up in a family of faith. His grandmother Lois, his mother Eunice – they understood the gifts of God. They were a touchstone that Timothy would always return to.
Here at Long Branch, you too have a history. We’ve talked about William Broaddus on many occasions – a young pastor who came to a dying church – but he reminded that church what their Christ had given them. The Spirit of Sunday School and Missions that other churches were rejecting was precisely the reason for this church getting kicked out of a dying Baptist Association. You don’t hear much about Ketotcin anymore, because they ceased to exist more than 150 years ago. But in getting kicked out, Broaddus started an association that is today North Star. Broaddus himself went on to found Southern Seminary – a very important school. His nephew John Broadus is still today considered the father of homiletics.