Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Two Things for which God Rescues Us - 2 Timothy 4:9-18

Paul was at Rome in prison for the second time, likely awaiting his execution. Demas had abandoned Paul due to a love for the things of the world. Paul sent other friends away to minister and only Luke was with him. Paul was alone, facing winter’s onset with no coat, striving to minister without his dear Scriptures, and was likely suffering physically since Alexander the coppersmith “did great harm” to him. In this seemingly hopeless situation, Paul identified two things for which God rescued/will rescue him.
The first rescue followed Paul’s first hearing in court. All of Paul’s friends deserted him, but God stood near to him. God strengthened him to speak the message of Christ fully to the Gentiles present in court, and God rescued him from certain death (“from the mouth of a lion”) so that he could continue ministering from prison. Paul’s intent to make full use of this rescue from immediate execution is made clear by his request for Timothy to bring his scrolls and parchments. These “books” were likely the Scriptures that Paul would need in ministry. Every rescue by God from death is for the purpose of making Christ known.
Paul anticipated his second rescue (v. 18) which was deliverance from this life and entrance into heavenly life. The second reason God rescues us is to take us home to be with Him.
To be rescued from death is to make Christ known to all. To be rescued by death is to be present with Christ in heaven. We must use the life God has given us to make Christ known. If not, whom will we have to present mature in Christ when we are rescued from this world by Christ.


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