Summary: As Paul neared life’s end he wrote to Timothy a message of NO REGRETS. If your life was nearing the end today, could you say the same?
From the Desk of Pastor Toby Powers
Truth Baptist Church
Have No Regrets
Intro: The Apostle Paul writes to young Timothy as he looks out at the chopping block where the Roman guards will soon chop off his head and he says these words in this passage. As much as anything Paul was saying to Timothy as he neared the end, “I HAVE NO REGRETS.” There was much that Paul had regretted about his past:
1. His Persecution of the Church: He stood consenting to Stephen’s death, and the stoning mob cast their garments in tribute to him at his feet. It appears that he may have well been the primary one who stirred up the people against Stephen (Acts 7:58). Acts 8:3 “As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.” Acts 9:1 “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord.” Acts 22:4 “And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.” I Tim 1:13 “(I) was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious.”
2. His Pride in Himself: Philippians 3:5-9. Paul declared in v. 5-6 that he was, “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” But Paul could not rejoice in that. He regretted that he had ever taken pride in himself and the religious works of his flesh (7-9) “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”
3. His Power With the Government: Acts 9:1-2 “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.” Paul said himself in Acts 22:5 “As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.” When standing before the court of King Agrippa Paul told about this and his regret over it, “many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities... I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests.” Acts 26:10-12