Come Before Winter

The Importance of Christian fellowship

2 Timothy 4:9-21

DATE: 6 May, 2001   PM          PLACE: BBC Blarney


I.         Introduction (Mt 18:20; Heb 10:25)


A.      Paul is in prison in Rome. And he is lonely. The Christian life can be very lonely sometimes.

B.       But to combat that loneliness, God supplied that need with something called, “Christian fellowship” - commitment of Christians to each other in a church

C.       Paul writes two letters to Timothy 1000 miles away, and asks him two times (2Tim 4:9, 21) to COME to him.

D.      We need each other. And we need each other sooner than later!

E.       Don’t neglect your church, and the people in this church!


II.       Message – Come Before Winter


A.      Christian People (4:9-12)


1.        There are four kinds of people that call themselves “Christians”


a.       Front-liners – those who go right to the battle


1)       To the mission-field

2)       Behind a pulpit and teach the Bible, and preach righteousness

3)       To their family and friends

4)       These are the busy folks, who are busy in the vineyard of God


b.       Forsakers – Note Heb 10:25


1)       They don’t have to forsake Jesus to actually be forsakers

2)       Just forsake Christians – don’t be a part of the team, called the local New Testament church – don’t be there on Sundays all day, or on Wed evening, or at prayer meeting on Saturday evening

3)       To forsake means to abandon

4)       Talking about forsaking the assembly


a)       The putting of us all together into a team

b)       The place we meet

c)       The people we all meet with


5)       When you only think of yourself, you are going by nature to forsake, abandon others

6)       It is not only a sin to fail God, it is also a sin to fail each other!


c.       Few  Labourers (Mt 9:37)


2.        That’s all we got – without Christian fellowship, where would we be?


a.       There are some spiritual giants in the midst of these

b.       But there are some dooseys as well

c.       Christ said love them, and never forsake them

d.       That’s why Paul east humble pie here, and calls for john mark to be brought – he really was profitable after-all (Paul learned this)

e.       No one can do the work of God alone!


B.       Needed Provisions (4:13)


1.        It is coming up to winter where Paul was

2.        He had some needs – God supplies all our needs – Amen! Used ravens. But He uses other people to supply them most of the time. Don’t leave it to just the ravens.


3.        Paul needed only three things:


a.       Cloke – a thick over-coat

b.       Books (1Tim 4:12,13) – the value of reading – forget the TV

c.       Especially the parchments – most expensive type of paper – reserved for the Bible – he needed the Bible


4.        Don’t forget, these things are what the New Testament Church is all about


a.       Supply personal needs

b.       Obtaining and promoting helpful books

c.       Preaching, teaching, and giving away BIBLES!


C.       Potent Enemies (4:14-16)


1.        There are three very powerful enemies that every Christian faces


a.       People enemies – they attack you, and contradict you, and persecute you

b.       Religious enemies – religion is against the liberation of the people from their darkness (the Jews AND the pagans wanted to be left alone, and would KILL anyone that interfered)

c.       Fear itself (4:16) – can totally hinder us


2.        Christians can encourage, and help us face these enemies


D.      God’s Preservation (4:17,18)


1.        God takes care of His people, even when others don’t – AMEN

2.        But He takes good care of us when we are doing his work

3.        Do you think God’s will is worth the risk? Preaching the GOSPEL?!

4.        Paul was delivered from the coliseum with the lions – Wow!

5.        Paul was eternally secure

6.        But it sure is wonderful to share that security with someone else – as Adam wished for in the garden of Eden.


E.       Precious Hope (4:19-21)


1.        The hope that Paul always had, because of the promises of God’s word


a.       Over-rides any distance – loved, and looked forward to seeing Priscilla and Aquilla (good friends) again (here, there, or in the air). Paul was in prison in Rome, and they were in Ephesus (1000 miles)

b.       Over-rides any disappointment


1)       Erastus was supposed to be there with Paul, but had other plans

2)       So, someone else needed to take his place – Timothy was coming


c.       Over-rides Decay


1)       Paul was not only losing friends

2)       Paul was losing his apostolic powers

3)       But Paul knew the Lord was still on the throne, and even when things aren’t going great with us, they probably are going good for someone else (Philp 1:12-18)


2.        Those promises work themselves out through CHRISTIANS who are faithful to the Lord, to His church, and to his people!!!