The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen, (4:18).
As Paul closes out this letter written to young Timothy, there is no mistaking Paul’s expectation for his future. His execution is certain.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come, (4:6).
Paul had some instructions and requests for his young disciple. But it was not his physical condition with his need for warmth, his mental condition desiring his books and parchments (which were probably copies of the Scriptures), or his emotional condition in light of being deserted and left alone that captured his attention. What was most pressing on the heart and mind of the imprisoned apostle was that his time had come to be brought home. And he was ready.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing, (4:7).
I have heard this sentiment expressed before, by a frail seventy-five-year-old saint who was dying with pancreatic cancer. Her name was Ellie. She was my mom.
I actually wrote about my mom in considering Psalm 91; and it is what I have come to affectionately call, “Ellie’s Psalm,” for it was the Psalm she always requested to be read during her days battling the cancer that consumed her. Her prayer request became only one, “Sande, please pray that God would take me quickly;” and always followed with, “I’m so ready to go home.”
Ellie’s life was far from easy, but she persevered through life’s pain. And her battle with cancer was no exception. She actually took nothing for her pain but over the counter medicine until two days before she died, when hospice finally administered morphine.
Pain was not what drove Ellie’s desire to be taken quickly. What drove that sweet, enfeebled woman’s prayer was this, she was ready to go home. She was ready because she was convinced where her eternal home was. She was ready because she intimately knew Him Who Will Bring Us Safely to His Heavenly Kingdom.
Consider Him Who Will Bring Us Safely to His Heavenly Kingdom
- He Will Bring Us Safely to His Heavenly Kingdom to be with Him in the place He has prepared for us.
- “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also,” (John 14:1-3).
- He Will Bring Us Safely to His Heavenly Kingdom for He is able to guard us until that day.
- For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day, (2 Timothy 1:12).
- He Will Bring Us Safely to His Heavenly Kingdom, the place of His Holy Eternal Presence where there will no longer be any tears, death, mourning, crying or pain.
- Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away,” (Revelation 21:1-4).
How do we respond to Him Who Will Bring Us Safely to His Heavenly Kingdom?
Oh, that we would have the courage of Paul, and modern-day saints like Ellie, that we too would be strengthened to face the trials of life with courage as we walk not by sight, but by faith; and that we too would face the certainty of death quietly convinced that He Will Bring Us Safely to His Heavenly Kingdom.
Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight— 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord, (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).
But until He calls us home, we have been given the same charge to fulfill as young Timothy. Oh, may it truly become our life’s ambition, as long as our home is here on earth, to always be ready to share His God-Breathed Word, that others might also come to know Him Who Will Bring Us Safely to His Heavenly Kingdom.
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction… 5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry, (4:1-2, 5).
Oh, how glorious it will be, if when we finish our days here on earth that we too would be so ready to go home.
Lord, please strengthen us in the fight, to stay on Your course, to keep the faith entrusted to us as we look forward to all that You have in store for those who love You on that day when You Will Bring Us Safely to Your Heavenly Kingdom
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing, (5:7-9).