Summary: An overview of 2 Timothy and Paul’s call to stand up and stand firm for the gospel.

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Stand Up For Jesus

2 Timothy 1:13-14, 2:1-3

Dr. Roger W. Thomas, Preaching Minister

First Christian Church, Vandalia, MO

An old song from our hymnals provides a fitting backdrop for 2 Timothy. Listen to the words written in 1858 by George Duffield, a Presbyterian minister in Philadelphia.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross; Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory His army shall He lead, Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; If while ye sleep He suffers, away with shame and fear;

Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, Charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, each soldier to his post, Close up the broken column, and shout through all the host:

Make good the loss so heavy, in those that still remain, And prove to all around you that death itself is gain.

Duffield penned those verses in tribute to the dying words of a dear friend, Dudley Tyng. The story is worth repeating. Tyng was used of God mightily in one of the great revivals of American history. Tyng was a young assistant preacher whose straightforward style and strong opposition to slavery upset a lot of the more fashionable folk in his father’s church in Philadelphia. The younger Tyng and some followers organized a new church.

In addition to preaching for his new congregation, Tyng also began to hold noonday services at a downtown YMCA. As word spread, crowds of businessmen began to gather to hear the dynamic young preacher during their lunch hour. On Tuesday, March 30, 1858, over 5,000 men gathered for a noon meeting to hear young Tyng preach from Exodus 10:11 - "Go now ye that are men and serve the Lord." Over 1,000 committed their hearts and lives to Christ. That message came to be considered one of the most powerful sermons of that era.

At one point in the sermon Tyng remarked, "I must tell my Master’s errand, and I would rather that this right arm were amputated at the trunk than that I should come short of my duty to you in delivering God’s message." The very next week, Tyng was visiting in the country when he accidentally caught his loose sleeve in the cogs of a mechanical corn sheller. The arm was severely injured. Four days later infection developed. As a result of shock and a loss of blood, Dudley Tyng died on April 19, 1858. At his deathbed, when asked by a group of sorrowful friends and ministers for a final statement, he whispered, "Let us all stand up for Jesus."

On the next Sunday Tyng’s fellow worker, George Duffield preached his morning sermon as a tribute to his friend. He closed it with the poem that became the words to the hymn. Listen to that second verse again.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; If while ye sleep He suffers, away with shame and fear;

Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, Charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout.

2 Timothy was not written in tribute to a departed preacher. Rather, it was penned by a veteran preacher who expected to soon be martyred for Christ. He writes to encourage a young protégé whom he fears might be having some second thoughts about whether serving Christ was worth it or not. 2 Timothy is the last of Paul’s fourteen letters in the New Testament. Twenty-five or so years after his conversion, Paul was arrested in Jerusalem and shipped to Rome for a trial before the Roman government. Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon were written from that Roman prison. That’s where the book of Acts ends. Eventually the authorities acquitted Paul of those charges and released him. 1 Timothy and Titus were written soon after. Sometime after that, Bible scholars generally date it in the mid-60’s AD, Paul was again arrested during the reign of terror under the infamous Roman Emperor Nero. Thousands of Christians were persecuted, tortured, and put to death during that time. Paul was one of them. 2 Timothy was written from a Roman prison while Paul awaited his execution. Tradition says Paul was beheaded in 68 AD.

The fact that this was Paul’s last writing gives added weight to his words. Listen to these words from the final chapter. “For 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” (4:6-8).

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Diane Townsend

commented on Jan 23, 2007

I enjoyed this sermon. It was very helpful. Thank you!

Johnathan Solomon

commented on Apr 22, 2014

Great sermon, thanks for sharing!

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