Paul's Dungeon Experience
II Timothy 4:6-22
ILLUSTRATION: Several years ago, my wife and I had the privilege of taking a 6-country trip to Europe with my brother, Les and his wife, Priscilla. The trip was with Bob Jones University and was designed as a "Church History Tour."
Our trip began in Rome. Rome is a city with a long history of Christian persecution. Down through the centuries, in this place, thousands of believers gave their lives for Christ. One of the first things that catches your attention when you drive into the city is the Coliseum. This is where Christians were tortured and martyred and fed to the lions.
Then, there are the Catacombs, a maze of sand-stone tunnels that run for miles under the city where believers fled for refuge and buried their dead.
I suppose if there was one thing that moved me as much as anything else; it would have been my visit to the Mamretine Prison where Paul spent his last hours.
As we sit here this morning, we need to be thankful for the saints of God who stood fast in the face of opposition and death. I am reminded of the words in Rev. 12:11, "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death."
INTRODUCTION: II Timothy is Paul's last letter. Having written nearly half of the New Testament, these would be his last words. He is writing to the saints at Rome. He is facing a capital charge of being a trouble maker and an insurrectionist. The wicked Emperor Nero is the one who was to judge him. Two trials were necessary: the preliminary trial or examination where the charges were laid out, and then the trial itself, where the defendant was either found guilty or not guilty. Paul had already faced the preliminary trial, and it is this trial to which he refers. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. He said, "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand."
This morn ...
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