Summary: Encouraging the believer to keep on keepin’ on
KEEP THE FAITH by George Crumbly
Humphrey UMC 03/04/2007AM
Turn to II Timothy 4
What a week it has been. The first part of the week I was watching the news and saw where they say they have found the bones of Jesus and the bones of his wife!! How about that? Here I am a member of the family and I was not notified before they announced it.
(I heard an evangelist the other day say that since we are in the Easter season the world is attacking our faith)
Paul Harvey said Hollywood is looking at movie ideas that Theologians are not buying into. I love Paul’s final testimony on this earth as he stood and spoke to Timothy here in the text.
II TIMOTHY 4: verses 6-8
6For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
I was watching the news Thursday and saw where a tornado hits the High School in Enterprise Alabama. We pastored 5 years at the First Church of the Nazarene in Ozark Alabama. We had folks in our church from Enterprise. Enterprise is on the other side of Ft. Rucker from where we lived.
(We had a young man and his family from Enterprise in our church. He had built a 2 seated helicopter from a kit and he would fly his helicopter to church about once a month on Sunday morning. That was COOL to have someone come to church in a helicopter)
My wife’s niece lives in Enterprise and her oldest son goes to the school the tornado hit. I called to check on her and she had left work and was headed to school having no information regarding her son. He was in the hallway with the 8 students that were killed.
Friday I saw several vehicles in Cabot with the words “keep the faith” written across the back glass of their vehicles. Paul was faced with many challenges, many adversities, yet here he knows that his time is drawing near, I like the way the KJV puts it:
6For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
FAITH: “A belief in or confident attitude toward God, involving commitment to his will for one’s life.”
• Fought a good fight- It was a spiritual battle not just flesh & blood but spiritual. The world was against him and everything he stood for….yet he fought a good fight.
• Finished his course- He didn’t deviate or drift or wander, he FINISHED the course God had set for him. Are we on course?
(We live in a world today where preachers & people of the church are throwing in the towel & quitting. They are going & finding something else to do…..)
To me this morning the most important thing Paul did here in the text? HE KEPT THE FAITH!! In the New Testament Faith covers our personal commitment to Christ.
The world doesn’t care whether we go to church or profess to be a Christian, what the world is doing is watering down the Deity of Christ. Another words Jesus was just a prophet, a good old boy.
These bones of Jesus supposedly found are telling us that Jesus might have been born from a “virgin birth”, that he might have walked the earth 33 years, that he was beaten and crucified and buried…..but it stops here. NO RESSURECTION!!!
Faith is part of our Christian life from the beginning to the end. I can’t imagine going through some of the things these folks went through and not KEEPING THE FAITH. Faith is not a “mere intellectual agreement to a truth.”
JAMES 2:19 “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devil also believe, and tremble.”
Genuine faith is a personal attachment to Christ that is best described in two ideas: 1) Reliance on Christ, 2) Commitment to Him.. Paul not only relied on Christ but he was also committed to Him. The thing I constantly see in the church today is a lack of commitment!!
The only way you & I can even think about making it in this world as we go thru it is to be TOTALLY committed to Christ!! We must be able to say today as Paul did: “I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH.”