WARNINGS FROM THE EDGE OF ETERNITY
As for me, the hour has come for me to be sacrificed; the time is here for me to leave this life. I have done my best in the race, I have run the full distance, and I have kept the faith. And now there is waiting for me the victory prize of being put right with God, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that Day—and not only to me, but to all those who wait with love for him to appear.
Sometimes, things appear differently to us when we are facing the end of our lives. That is how it was for Paul as he wrote his last letter, his second letter to his spiritual son Timothy. Paul was about to be executed in Rome. As he thought about his death, it seemed like he was gazing out into eternity. Some of the things he said to Timothy in this letter speak loud and clear to us as we face the end of the age.
What kinds of things did Paul warn Timothy about in this critical time? First, he warned him of people that had an outward form of religion, you might call it a veneer, but they reject the real power of God. He also warned Timothy of people who would be treacherous, treasonous people even within the church that Timothy pastored in Ephesus. He also cautioned Timothy to be aware of false teachers that would use Christianity for their own selfish purposes rather than advancing God’s kingdom. These characteristics have come full bloom in the modern church world.
How was Timothy to stay true to the Lord in those difficult times? Paul reminded Timothy of the first time he had prayed for him and how the Spirit had fallen upon him. “Stir up the gift”, Paul admonishd Timothy. Paul also encouraged Timothy to soak in the scriptures he had been taught from his childhood. These were the “God breathed words of life”, Timothy was to live in them and he was to preach them.
Today, we are all standing on the edge of eternity. These are the “difficult times” Paul spoke of that would come at the end of the age. We must pay close attention to what Paul told Timothy. Beware of “ministries” that have a form of godliness without His power, stir up the gift of the Holy Spirit in your life, and immerse yourself daily in God’s Word. As we see the great day of the Lord drawing near, we must not allow ourselves to fall under pressure to live like everyone else. The Lord is returning and there is a crown reserved for those who love His appearing. As we see the end of the age approaching, if you take another look, you might find yourself gazing into eternity like Paul.