How to End Well
2 Timothy 4:6-8
9-25-20, Pastor Charles Stanley -- Many people think about the last years of life as an opportunity to just relax. But this does not align with God's purpose for us; He wants us to serve Him all the days of our lives. Let's look at the Apostle Paul's journey exploring what it means to finish well. He spent time pouring into others until the very end of his life. Consider the letters he wrote to Timothy from a prison cell prior to being executed. In every season of life, God calls us to serve others.
Notice how, when writing about his life, Paul chose words descriptive of a battle. He understood the human struggle against sin as well as the challenges of pain and persecution in the trials we all face--even in doing kingdom work like preaching Christ to a fiercely resistant society.
This godly servant's life was also marked by surrender. His mindset is obvious in these words: "present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship" (Rom. 12:1). He was not afraid of Nero, nor was he struggling to stay alive. Paul trusted God to determine everything about his life, including where he would go, what he would do, and when he would die.
Death did not scare him, because he knew he would dwell with Jesus forever.
God doesn't require our lives to be perfect in order to finish strong. We can live life fully and be ready to meet our Maker by surrendering, walking victoriously with Christ, and serving others. If Jesus called you home today, would you--like Paul--be confident that you lived well until the end? [Note: Tradition says his martyrdom and death was by beheading.] Source
Paul said: “Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:20-21
The Martyrdom of Apostle Paul
Apostle Paul is believed to have been martyred in this first wave of Roman persecution around age 66, but his death is not as well documented in early writings as Peter’s. One thing seems certain: Paul was not crucified because he was a Roman citizen, tradition says his martyrdom was by beheading.
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