(2Ti 4:6) For I am already being poured out, and the time of my release is here.
(2Ti 4:7) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.
(2Ti 4:8) Now there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that Day; and not to me only, but also to all those who love His appearing.
Recently there have been a number of people I knew, knew of, related to or people related to someone I know that have transitioned. For those of you who may not know what I’m talking about. Many Christians no longer use the term died or passed and I believe they are correct in not using those terms. In the book of John we find these words (John 11:25) Jesus said to her, I am the Resurrection and the Life! He who believes in Me, though he die, yet he shall live. (John 11:26) And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? Now this is interesting on the one hand Jesus says that whoever believes in him though they die yet they will live. Then he follows that up by saying whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. This may seem contradictory but it’s not.
When a person who is saved leaves their earthly body to us left in this world for all practical appearances they are very much dead. However their spirit the essence of who they are does not die instead it transitions from this life to life eternal. At the same time scripture lets us know that one day they will be reunited with their earthly bodies. (1Th 4:13) But I would not have you ignorant, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, that you be not grieved, even as others who have no hope.(1Th 4:14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will also bring with Him all those who have fallen asleep through Jesus. (1Th 4:15) For we say this to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall not go before those who are asleep. (1Th 4:16) For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first. (1Th 4:17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall ever be with the Lord. (1Th 4:18) Therefore comfort one another with these words.
As the saints of old used to say there is a Great Day coming a time when we’ll be reunited with loved ones who have gone on before. The great thing about this reunion is that those who have gone on before us will be changed from the worn broken bodies that they had before. (1Co 15:51) Behold, I speak a mystery to you; we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed; (1Co 15:52) in a moment, in a glance of an eye, at the last trumpet. For a trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed. Man that’s good news no more sickness, no more suffering, no more death, and no more pain. What a Great Day that will be. As we look at our text for this writing, the Apostle Paul was sensing that his time on this earth was coming to an end. However it appears that he had no regrets as he stated (2Ti 4:7) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. (2Ti 4:8) Now there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that Day; and not to me only, but also to all those who love His appearing.
Here is someone who had started off persecuting the early church but had evolved into one of the greatest Apostles of all time. The Apostle Paul has been credited with writing over two thirds of the New Testament. So no matter who you are and what you’ve done there is hope for you. As long as you are alive you can make a change. You can rededicate your life for the rest of this life to doing God’s work. For others you may already be working doing the best that you can but often you feel that your work is all in vain. I have a word of encouragement for you a scripture that keeps me going during my darkest and loneliest moments in life. (Gal 6:9) And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Just remember that Payday is coming and after it is all said and done there is a reward waiting for us. Let me once again repeat what the Apostle Paul said (2Ti 4:7) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. (2Ti 4:8) Now there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that Day; and not to me only, but also to all those who love His appearing. Be Encouraged and Blessed Minister Mike.