II Timothy 4:1-11 “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 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.”
Text II Timothy 2:4 “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
As Timothy’s mentor, Paul delivered a challenge to Timothy to remain faithful and fit for the service of God. This is important because while people notice how you start, you’re remembered for how you finish! Within the text, Paul emphasized to Timothy how other servants were remembered. In verse 10, one was remembered for his retreat, “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.” Having become consumed with the pleasures of this world, Demas forsook God’s service and deserted God’s servant to satisfy the appetites of the old man. I know that Demas must have accomplished some good things; however he will not be remembered for them. In verse 11, one is remembered for his return, “Take Mark, and bring him with thee.” John Mark had accompanied Paul on a missionary journey, but he retreated and “departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work” (Acts 15:38). Having returned, Mark ministered to Paul as well as Peter. History said that he was instrumental in starting a church in Egypt, but that’s not what he’s remembered for; he’s the one that returned. In verse 11, one is remembered for his remaining, “Luke is with me.” Luke proved to be steadfast and unmovable as a servant of the Lord, but other than the book that bears his name, what works are attributed to him? There is one more example, the one that is remembered for his reward, “there is laid up for me a crown” (vs.8). Paul left Timothy with examples of the good, the better, and the best; it would be Timothy’s choice as to how he would be remembered!