Central Baptist Church
Sunday, January 24, 2021

Morning Worship Sermon

 
PAUL’S LAST WORDS
 
II Timothy 4:9-18
 
 
 
II Timothy 4:9-18 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: 10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. 12 And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. 13 The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: 15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. 16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. 17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
 
 
          There are those times when every believer needs help.
 
          Even the Apostle Paul faced a time when he desperately needed the help of other believers.  Paul was in prison awaiting trial on the charges of being an insurrectionist or trouble-maker.
 
 
          The burden of imprisonment must have weighed heavily on Paul as we see a glimpse of his heart as he faced such a terrible trial.
 
          We see the kind of help Paul needed and how his needs were to be met.
          The thing we all need to learn here is this, “There are times when we all need help!”  When those times come, we should not hesitate to ask for help, nor should we hesitate to reach out and help others who are crying out for help.
 
 
II Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord  Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
 
 
          As I have pastored here at Central Baptist Church for the past twenty (20) years, I like Paul have needed and have received help in every area of the ministry in this Church.  Every time there has been a need God has provided someone to fill that need.
 
          Paul asks Timothy to do everything he can to come and visit him.  Paul needed Timothy’s presence and encouragement in his final hours.  In this time Paul needed and wanted the company of his dear friend.
 
 
          Paul informs Timothy of the status of those who had been with him, let’s look at them :
 
 
LUKE
 
 
          There was one who was still with Paul, Dr. Luke.  Let’s look at him briefly and what he gave to the man of God.  He gave :
 
 
1.  His medical experience
          You see folks, medical missions is nothing new, for Dr. Luke was involved in it in the first century as he traveled with the man of God, meeting the physical needs Paul had.
 
 
 
2.  He gave his literary experience.
          As he recorded for us the books of Luke and in Acts of the Apostles.
 
3.  He also gave his personal gifts.
          Which are demonstrated in his manner and personality.
 
          All Dr. Luke had and was, was given to Christ!
          It has been a blessing over these years to witness so many give all they have been gifted with to the Lord.
          Folks who have given of their time, talent, and money, what a blessing they have been to the Church and to myself.
          Then Paul mentions :
 
 
DEMAS
 
 
          Demas was mentioned three 3 times in the New Testament :
 
 
Philemon 24 “Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.”
 
 
          Demas, my fellow laborer!  What a wonderful way to be mentioned in the Word of God!
 
 
          If my name were to be mentioned in the Word, I wonder how it would be remembered?
 
 
          If your name were mentioned in the Word, how would you be remembered?
 
 
          Demas, my fellow laborer, but then when he is mentioned again, he is simply mentioned as Demas :
 
 
Colossians 4:14 “Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.”
 
 
 
          From a fellow laborer to just Demas, then it went to Demas hath forsaken me.
 
 
II Timothy 4:10 “ For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica;”
 
          Demas had been a faithful believer and a fellow laborer with Paul.  He had even been in Rome with Paul for some time.  He had served with Paul in some of his most trying moments.
          What happened?
 
 
          Perhaps Paul was beginning to suspect Demas.  Maybe he could see worldliness creeping into his life.
 
         
 
1.  Folks, a worldly spirit will manifest itself in many ways :
 
 
          Possessions -      A lust to get
                                             A policy to grab
          How many believers have been ruined this way?
          Now money in and of itself is not wrong, but the love of money is sin.
 
 
 
          May I give you a prime example of this - the Benson Family.  Mr. Benson set up a 400 million dollar irrevocable trust for his daughter and grandchildren.  400 million was not enough, they want it all! 
 
 
I Timothy 6:10 "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
 
 
 
          Could it be that this what was happening to Demas? 
          Was the world getting into his eyes and heart?
 
          Maybe Demas had come to the place where he was putting money ahead of God.
          Then worldliness will manifest itself in the form of :
 
          Pleasure - Relaxation and enjoyment
 
                    Both are good for the health of both your physical and spiritual being, but oh, how ruinous it can become.
 
          Our pleasure must be of the right kind, time, and proportion.
 
          Demas began to love the life of this world more than the promise of life in heaven.
 
          Worldliness will manifest itself through possessions, through pleasure, and it will manifest itself through :
 
            Popularity -  Had he begun to fear that he might also be persecuted because he, too, professed Christ.  Could he have feared that he might be arrested or imprisoned because of his association with Paul?
         
          How many have sold out by doing wrong things and leaving right things undone in order to avoid persecution or to be popular.
 
         
          Worldliness manifests itself through possessions, pleasure, popularity and it will manifest itself through :        
 
          Pride -  Pride is so ugly in a believer, but a worldly spirit will grasp for it.
          And finally worldliness will manifest itself in the worship of :
 
          Present Life -  Just living for today and not looking ahead.
 
 
2.  A worldly spirit in Demas was accompanied by a cowardly spirit.
 
 
 
          He departed!
 
 
 
II Timothy 4:10 “ For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica;”
 
 
          Why?
          Persecution was in the air and to stay is to identify with Paul, and to stay is to court trouble!
 
          So instead of standing up for what’s right, he ran away!
 
 
          Folks, a half-hearted Christian will always be uncomfortable!  No matter where he is!
 

          Ill. -  Like a man with a headache
                -   He don’t want to lose his head
                -   But it hurts to keep it
                -   Now the half-hearted Christian don’t want to lose his religion
                -   But it hurts to keep it!
 
          Demas was a man of wavering impulse who surrendered the passion of sacrifice and sank into the swirling waters of the world.
          He is a true reflection of the thought that where our love is, there we finally are.
 
 
          Then Paul mentions :
 
 
CRESCENS OF GALATIA
 
 
          Who was this man?
          Never heard of him!
 
          Just an ordinary and unknown servant of God.  Folks, how much of God’s cause is advanced by unknown, ordinary people.
 
          One of the joys of Pastoring Central Baptist Church has been that it is made up of "Ordinary Home Folks!"
 
          In my visiting in the community and inviting folks to attend Central, that is the thing I always tell them, "We're just home folks who love the Lord Jesus Christ!"
 
          Crescens had been with Paul but he had returned to his own ministry.  Nothing else is known about him as this is the only time he is mentioned in the Bible.
 
 
          Who was Edward Kimball?
          Most folks don’t know that he was a simple shoe maker who lived in Chicago.  Just an humble Sunday School Teacher who picked up kids and brought them to Sunday School.  Mr. Kimball was the man who picked up D.L. Moody and brought him to Sunday School and led the boy to Christ.
 
          How many unsung heroes are right here in Central Baptist Church.  They’re not in the limelight, but they labor tirelessly for the glory of God.  You hardly ever hear their name mentioned but I'm sure their names ring out in the portals of Heaven!
 
          Then Paul tells us about :
 
 
TITUS
 
 
          Titus was a constant companion of Paul during the last fifteen years of Paul’s ministry, but he had been sent by Paul to Dalmatia or modern day Yugoslavia.
 
          Titus was a leader!
          What the Church and home needs today is men who take the leadership role and set the tone to lead in a nice, clean, healthy, and Godly direction.  Just a word, look, and attitude that points men and women, boys and girls in the right direction.        
 

          The secret to his leadership was that he was led to Christ, for Christ, and by Christ.
          Because he followed so closely, he led so well!
          Dad if you want to lead your children right – just follow Christ!
 
          I thank God for the men, women, and even youth and children here at Central that fit this description so well!
 
         
          Next he tells us of :
 
 
 
MARK
 
 
          Surely not John Mark!
          Not the nephew of Barnabas!
          Not him because of :
 
 
 
1.  His past failure
          At Pamphylia he turned back.
          Now he began enthusiastically, everything went well for a while but when hardship hit, he returned home.
          Yes but look at :
 
 
2.  His present condition
 
          Paul tells Timothy, Mark “is profitable to me.”
 
 
          Aren't you glad that God is the God of the second chance!
          How many of us would be on the outside looking if He were not the God of the second chance!  As I look out I see so many who failed at one time or the other, but God restored them and is mightily using them today!
 
 
3.  His prospective honor
 
          We can never tell what God has in mind for the returning backslider.  For John Mark it was the writing of a Gospel.
 
          You’ll not be called on to write a Gospel, but you will be called on to live one.  You’re writing a Gospel, a chapter a day, by all that you do and say.  Your children are reading what you write, whether faithless or true.
          What is the Gospel according to your life?
 
 
          If you have wandered away from God, and deserted His service, will you like John Mark, come back?
 
 
4.  His perennial lesson
 
          There is always a way back for the backslider.
 
          Jonah -  The renegade and runaway, given the great privilege of delivering the Gospel message to the heathen nation of Ninevah. 
          He allowed prejudice to rule in his life and ran away from God.
          Folks, when a man runs away from God, rest assured, God is on his trail :
 
 
 
Jonah 3:1-2 “And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, 2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.”
 
 
          Peter -  He failed terribly!
          Was this the end?
 
 
Luke 22:62 “And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.”
 
          Then came Pentecost, listen as Peter preaches one of the greatest sermons ever preached!
 
 
Hosea 14:4 “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.”
 
 
          He did it for Mark, Jonah, and Peter, and He’ll do it for you!
 
 
GOD
 
 
          One final thing we need to remember, even when others do not help us, God will be with us.  No greater declaration could be made, “But the Lord stood with me.”
 
 
 
Hebrews 13:5".... be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
 
          Men might not stand with us, but the Lord will.  He will never forsake us no matter how grave or how threatening the situation may become, He will stand by our side!
 
 
 
          There is the assurance of God’s eternal deliverance. 
          Humanly, the situation of Paul seemed bleak.
          He was not guilty.
          Yet he was being condemned to death on false charges.
 
          Paul was doomed to death in the eyes of the world.
          But note this glorious truth – not in the eyes of Paul!
 
 
          It seems that the Church today is losing the battle to Satan and the world, but folks, I've read the last chapter of the Book, "We win because the Lord is with us!!!"
 
         
          In the eyes of Paul he was going to his coronation.
          The Lord Jesus Christ was going to preserve him and transport him into the kingdom of God.
 
 
          Paul has only one final statement about the matter, “To Christ be glory forever and ever!”
 
 
 
          Let me close this message by saying, "Thank God for the past twenty (20) years and thank God for all who have worked so tirelessly during that time, and finally, TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOREVER AND EVER!"