“Come Before Winter” or Paul’s Final Words -- By: W. Ross Rainey
EmJ 8:2 (Win 99) p. 217
“Come Before Winter” or Paul’s Final Words
Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. 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. 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. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his
EmJ 8:2 (Win 99) p. 218
heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick. Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren. The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen (2 Timothy 4:9–22).
From thoughts of the Lord’s return, the Judgment Seat of Christ, ultimate reward for faithfulness in loving his Lord’s appearing, and a glorious future, the Apostle Paul quickly returns to planet earth. Here, indeed, are the final words of the great apostle and they are filled with personal human touches, as well as vivid insights and practical instruction.
The first thing we want to consider among Paul’s last words is:
His List of Personalities (4:9-13, 14, 19-21)
D. Edmond Hiebert, a Mennonite Brethren Church scholar, wrote a splendid book entitled Personalities Around Paul. This would be a good title for these closing verses wherein the apostle writes of those who in one way or another shared in his ministry. Some receive the highest praise, while others he only mentions, and two he recalls with much disappointment.
Paul had a wide circle of friends and fellow laborers. There are at least one hundred different men and women named in Acts and in his letters. He could never have done what he did on his own, any more than you and I can do the job of faithfu...
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