Keep The Fire Burning by Jerry Vines

11 Tim. 1:1-7
Dr. Vines -- 6/28/87
So far as we know these are the last words that the apostle Paul ever
wrote to the young man, Timothy. They were his farewell words to the young man
he had led to Christ and who was not going to have the responsibility of
carrying on the ministry which God had given to Paul to give to him. There is
an altogether different atmosphere in this particular letter. It is a deeply
personal letter. It is very moving, it is very intimate, it is very warm. Paul
is giving us his last words. You know when we listen to the last words of a
person, they always become very special words to us. When Jesus spoke, for
instance, the last time to the disciples they cherished those words because
they knew they were the last words he would speak to them before he went back
to heaven. We cherish last words because they are special words. There is an
altogether different atmosphere in this letter from the previous letter.
Circumstances have changed a great deal. Paul is now in prison. He had been in
prison before but now he is in prison for the last time. He is incarcerated in
the mamertime prison in Rome. Several years ago I had the opportunity to visit
that prison. It has bare walls. There are no windows in it whatsoever. There
is only a hole in the ceiling where food and water can be brought down.
Underneath the bottom of that prison there is a river which flows and it makes
it very cold and damp in the winter. So, Paul now is in that prison and he
knows that he will never be a free man indeed. The atmosphere in the empire
had changed. That wild man, Nero, is now the emperor of Rome. He has burned
the city of Rome and he has blamed it upon believers. He has blamed Christians
for his own deed. A spirit of animosity and persecution has now broken out
among the believers in the Lord. Paul knows that he will never again get out
of prison. The old soldier is facing the last enemy old death. So, in that
atmos ...

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