"AND IN THIS CORNER,...A CONTENDER OF THE FAITH!"
II Timothy 4:7- I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
In II Timothy chapter 4 we find the Apostle Paul's "swan song" before his graduation to Glory.
This chapter could be effortlessly outlined like this:
I. Christ Is Coming. (verse 1)
II. Apostasy Is Coming. (verses 2-5)
III. Departure Is Coming. (verses 6-8)
IV. Help Is Coming. (verses 9-22)
It is while the Apostle Paul is dealing (under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit) with "Departure Is Coming" that a person sees that he was a champion for the Christian faith.
Evangelist Oliver B. Greene once wrote about our text, "Listening for the sound of approaching Roman soldiers who would lead him into the courtyard to be executed, this man in the dungeon could say "I have been a good soldier; I have fought a good fight."
Mark it down: Since the Fundamental ministry isn't a snow globe it would be best if snowflakes not apply.
Friend, you and I need to be contenders for God and good in this hour!
There are 3 things that every contender keenly understands: (All found in II Timothy chapter 4)
I. HIS REFEREE.
A thing that every contender keenly understands is his referee. (verse 1) The Apostle Paul understood that his first and final Judge was King Jesus. The difference between a "contender of the faith" and a hot tempered spiritual M.M.A. fighter is one knows there's a "referee" watching and the other knows but doesn't seem to care. Hey preacher, it will be a liberating day in your ministry when you stop trying to please a crowd or a clique and learn to please the Christ who called you! (Acts 10:42) His Referee!
II . HIS RING.
A thing that every contender keenly understands is his ring. (verse 2) The Apostle Paul understood that some matches you win, and some matches you lose, but you still must BATTLE ON, "be instant in season and out of season"! Each time the preacher steps to a pulpit, it is truly a life and death struggle. (Numbers 16:48) His Ring!
III. HIS REWARD.
A thing that every contender keenly understands is his reward. (verse 8) The Apostle Paul understood that the ministry is not about a champions belt but a contender's crown. Those who should be so blessed to experience this event won't sport it in eternity, but make sure it is sent back to the Saviour! (Rev. 19:12) His Reward!