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. 2 Timothy 4:6-7 (KJV)
These are Paul’s ‘exit lines’ before his martyrdom in AD 67. On his deathbed, Napoleon said:
I die before my time and my body will be given back to earth to become the food of worms such is the fate which so soon awaits the great Napoleon.
Charles Darwin said:
I was a young man with unformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time about everything. To my astonishment the ideas took like wild-fire. People made a religion of them.
Sir Michael Faraday (English scientist 1791-1867) said:
I rest upon Jesus Christ who died, and rose again from death.
Paul says, “I am now ready” – powerful, confident words! He was ready because he had trusted Christ as his Saviour.
…I know whom I have believed… 2 Timothy 1:12 (NKJV)
“The time of my departure is at hand.” The Greek word for “departure” means ‘loosening the ropes of a tent’ and refers to temporary pilgrims on this earth awaiting a permanent home in heaven. Paul looks back over thirty years of ministry and describes in three brief expressions in verse 7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” Paul had no regret, no sense of unfulfillment or incompleteness since he has given Christ control of his life.
- “I have fought the good fight.”
- “I have finished my course.”
- “I have kept the faith.”
He was a fighter! He was a finisher! He was faithful! May we be able to say the same.