TEXT: 2 TIMOTHY 4:6-8
TITLE: GOING OUT A WINNER
Tony LaRussa announces that he is retiring as the Manager of the World Champion St Louis Cardinals. He is going out a winner. That is what every Christian should strive to do as well. In 2Timothy 4:6-8 the Apostle Paul tells us that was how he went out a winner.
The Apostle Paul tells us in those verses in 2Timothy 4, that for a Christian to go out a winner they must have really done one thing really well, and that is they must have:
#1. FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT
Being a Good Warrior topped his list of accomplishments. There would of been no other accomplishments if he had not Fought a Good Fight. His life would of been a miserable failure. There were continual foes at work trying to Keep him from FINISHING HIS COURSE, and fighting to DESTROY THE FAITH he was called to Declare and Defend. These Foes are described in Scripture as
(1) The ENEMIES of ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS (Acts 13:10)
We have those in our land that are trying to dethrone Right and enthrone Evil. These Enemies of Righteousness must be withstood. For evil to triumph all that has to be done is for good men to do nothing. Be a Paul and stand up and fight a Good Fight.
(2) Paul faced those who were the “THE ENEMIES OF THE CROSS of CHRIST” (Philippians 3:18)
Today in America there are many who fighting to Remove Crosses from the view of the public. They are trying to destroy the Message of the Cross as sure as a False Prophet that stands in a Pulpit and preaches a Perverted Gospel. The Apostle Paul would be on the Front Line in this battle opposing these enemies, let each that calls themselves a Christian, join him.
(3) Strangely enough, the Apostle Paul’s greatest foe may no doubt have been HIS OWN OLD EVIL NATURE (Romans 7:15-25)
These verses in Romans 7 describe the struggle that Paul had with self-discipline when it came to the War With Temptation against either the Sins of Commission or the Sins of Ommission. There is no doubt that those who have failed to go out a winner have been those who have been their own worst enemy. We each must learn as did Paul, to walk in the Fullness of the Holy Spirit if we are not to fulfill the lusts of the Flesh.
In these days that the battles are raging on every side it would do us well to use the Apostle Paul’s life as a pattern by which we may examine our own life and how it will end. We all must realize that we are either heading for Praise from the Lord or to Experiencing Shame as we stand before Him when our Course has also came to an end. What course are you on?
Let me close with the words of two former warriors for the Faith.
*THE CONFESSION OF A YOUNG CHRISTIAN MARTYR FROM AFRICA:
“I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed, the die has been cast, I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, worldly talking, cheap giving and dwarfed goals. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear.
I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till everyone knows, work till He stops me and when He comes for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me because my banner will have been clear!!”
*MARTIN LUTHER’S CLARION CALL TO JOIN the BATTLE:
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the Devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” ~ MARTIN LUTHER
1Corinthians 2:2; 2Corinthians 4:5