By James Merritt
II Timothy 4:6-8
1. If you knew that you were about to die, what do you think you would say? The last words of dying people have always fascinated me. They are so revealing of a person's heart and soul. Here are just a few famous last words:
2. John Wilkes Booth who assassinated President Lincoln said only two words: "Useless-useless."
George Washington said: "Doctor, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go."
Benjamin Franklin said: "A dying man can do nothing easy."
Thomas Jefferson said: "Is it the Fourth?"
John Adams said: "Thomas Jefferson still lives."
John Quincy Adams said: "This is the last of earth! I am content."1
P. T. Barnham, the famous circus showman said: "How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?"
Grover Cleveland said: "I have tried so hard to do the right."
John F. Kennedy said: "My God, I've been hit."
Stonewall Jackson said: "Let us cross over the river and rest under the trees."
Edgar Allan Poe, the famous author, said: "Lord, help my poor soul."2
3. But I believe the greatest words ever uttered by a mortal man about to die came from the lips of the Apostle Paul. The year was AD 68. Paul was in what is known as the Mammertine Prison in Rome. I have been there. It is a dark, dank, damp hole carved out of rock underground. In Paul's day it would have been filled with sewage, sweat, vermin, and rats. It would make today's prisons look like a town house on Park Avenue.
4. Paul is penning his last words to a young preacher named Timothy, and he makes the greatest life-ending statement in human history: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (v.7) I hope that I can say that at the end of my life, whenever, wherever, however that may be.
5. You see, the real test of your religion, your faith, your belief, your creed, is not just can you live by it. Now that Paul has come to the end of life's journey he takes three last looks. He looks around at his present, he looks back at his past, and he looks forward to his future. Here is what he sees:
I. A Pending Departure
1. "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand." (v.6) Very soon the school bell of life will ring a final time, and Paul's class will be over forever. Yet, there is no consternation, just anticipation.
2. He knows that his days are now numbered by the hours, and his hours perhaps by the minutes. But he is not ashamed and he is not afraid. There is no fear of the shadow of death, just faith in the Shepherd of life.
3. After all, Paul's heart is in heaven. Paul said, "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." (Col. 3:2) Paul's home is in heaven. He said, "For our citizenship is in heaven..." (Phil. 3:20a) Paul's hope was in heaven. ...
There are 17982 characters in the full content. This excerpt only shows a 3000 character sample of the full content.
Price:$4.99 or 1 credit
Sign up for a Free Trial with SermonSearch.com and download this sermon free today!
SermonSearch.com is an online resource for sermon outlines and preaching ideas. We offer 30,000+ sermon outlines and 10,000+ free sermon illustrations from top Christian pastors and communicators. You'll write powerful and fresh sermons every week with our sermon preparation tools on a number of sermon topics, including expository preaching.