Sunday, July 1, 2012

But the Lord stood with me……….

”…… you should keep a clear mind in every situation.  Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.

 As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.   And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.

 Timothy, please come as soon as you can.  Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica.  Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus has gone to Dalmatia.   Only Luke is with me. Bring Mark with you when you come, for he will be helpful to me in my ministry.  I sent Tychicus to Ephesus.   When you come, be sure to bring the coat I left with Carpus at Troas. Also bring my books, and especially my papers.

 Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm, but the Lord will judge him for what he has done.   Be careful of him, for he fought against everything we said.

 The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me.  Everyone abandoned me.  May it not be counted against them.   But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear.  And he rescued me from certain death.    Yes and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom.  All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.”   2 Tim. 4:5-18 NLT

We need to be aware and remember that if we battle false doctrine, people will forsake us.    In 2 Timothy 4:10 Paul writes of a man by the name of Demas who “loved the present world.”  He loved the world more than he loved God.  He loved the world more than he loved the truth.  And because of that, he forsook Paul and Christianity.

All forsook Christ when He was crucified.  How many people were standing in front of Jesus saying, “If you crucify Him, then you’ll also have to crucify me”?  Absolutely no one!

We will have people who forsake us if we stand for the truth and battle false doctrine.  Jesus said in Matthew 10:22, “You will be hated by all for My name’s sake.  But he who endures to the end will be saved.”  He did not say, “He who endures three-fourths of his life will be saved,” but “he who endures to the end will be saved.”

One of the worst things that people could say about us is that we have zero enemies. To say that is not a compli­ment.  I’m not saying that we should go out looking for enemies.  But Jesus had many ene­mies.  If we stand for the truth, then we, too, may be hated. There will people who will for­sake us.

In Matthew 10:34-39 Jesus said that even our own families would forsake us at times. There might be times when standing for the truth will mean that there will be a division among our own family members or closest friends.  We must be aware that people will forsake us if we are faithful.  

But we cannot let that keep us from fighting the good fight of faith.

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