Reach for the Crown

I. The sound preaching will not soon be tolerated (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

A. They will not endure sound doctrine.

1. Acts 20:20 -- And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,

2. Acts 20:27 -- For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

3. 2 Corinthians 4:2 -- But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

B. They will heap teachers to themselves with itching ears.

1. 1 Timothy 4:1-2 -- Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

2. Isaiah 5:20-23 -- Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!  Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!

C. They will turn away from Truth and turn to Fables.

1. Matthew 23:13 -- But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

2. Matthew 23:23 -- Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

3. Matthew 23:27 -- Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

4. Luke 6:25 -- Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.

5. Luke 6:26 -- Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

II. The responsibility of those who preach must be met in spite of disinterest.

A. We are to “watch” in all things (2 Timothy 4:5)

1. The Greek word is nepho = to be sober, to be calm, to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect.

2. 1 Peter 1:13 -- Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

3. 1 Peter 4:7 -- But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober [in your right mind], and watch unto prayer.

4. 1 Peter 5:8 -- Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour

B. We must endure afflictions.

1. The Greek word is kakopatheo = endure evils, hardships, troubles.

2. 2 Timothy 2:3 -- Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

3. 2 Timothy 2:9 -- Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.

4. James 5:10 -- Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.

5. James 5:13 -- Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

C. We must do the work of an evangelist.

1. The Greek phrase is ergon euaggelistes = labor at announcing the message.

2. Luke 2:10 -- And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

3. Acts 8:4 -- Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.

4. Galatians 1:9 -- As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

5. 1 Corinthians 15:58 -- Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

D. We must make full proof of our ministry.

1. The Greek phrase is plerophoreo diakonia = be fully persuaded of your service.

2. Romans 4:21 -- And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

3. Romans 14:5 -- One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

4. 2 Timothy 4:17 -- 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.

5. Ephesians 4:11-12 -- And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

6. Revelation 2:18-19 -- And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

III. The completed ministry is sweetest with the knowledge of a full ministry.

A. We are to be ready to be offered (2 Timothy 4:6).

1. Philippians 2:17 -- Yea, and if I be offered [spent; poured out] upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.

2. Genesis 35:14 -- And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon.

3. Joel 2:12-14 -- Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.  Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?

B. We are to be ready to depart.

1. The Greek word is analusis = to be loosed; unloosed; dissolved

2. The word picture is an attempt to explain what happens to the Twice-Born at death.

3. Philippians 1:23 -- For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better

IV. The reward for a well-fought ministry is based on our faithful ministry.

A. We are expected to have fought a good fight (2 Timothy 4:7).

1. The Greek verb is agonizomai = to contend with adversaries, fight; to struggle, with difficulties and dangers; to endeavor with strenuous zeal, strive

2. Luke 13:24 -- Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

3. Colossians 1:29 -- Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

4. Colossians 2:1 -- For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea,

5. 1 Timothy 6:12 -- Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

B. We are expected to finish the course.

1. The Greek phrase is teleo dromos = to bring to a close, to end; to have passed; to perform, execute, complete, fulfil, -- the course of life or of office.

2. John 19:28, 30 -- After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

3. Galatians 5:16 -- This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

4. James 2:8 -- If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

5. Revelation 20:5 -- But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.

C. We are expected to keep the faith.

1. That unique set of truths that are revealed biblical information.

2. Acts 14:22 -- Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith

3. Acts 16:5 -- And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

4. Acts 24:24 -- And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.

5. Romans 1:5 -- By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

6. 1 Corinthians 16:13 -- Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

7. 2 Corinthians 13:5 -- Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.

8. Ephesians 3:12 -- In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

9. Colossians 2:7 -- Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

V. The reward for a well-fought ministry is generous beyond imagining (2 Timothy 4:8).

A. We have a Crown of Righteousness reserved for us.

1. The Greek is sephanos = a chaplet, wreath or garland—the badge of victory in the games of civic worth, of military valor, of nuptial joy, of festive gladness"

2. 1 Corinthians 9:25 -- And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown but we an incorruptible.

3. Philippians 4:1 -- Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown

4. Revelation 3:11 -- Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

5. 2 John 1:8 -- Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

B. We have a common love for the Lord’s appearing.

1. 1 Timothy 6:14 -- That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

2. 2 Timothy 1:10 -- But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ

3. Titus 2:13 -- Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ

4. Colossians 3:4 -- When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

5. Acts 1:11 -- This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

2 Timothy


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