The veil was torn. Christ had made the way. Death was defeated. The disciples had been sent. The Church was born. Life could be had for all who would call upon His Name and follow Him as Lord.
Christianity was spreading like wildfire, and the one who had persecuted the Church had become one of the most famous of preachers after meeting the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus.
He had written what is now much of the New Testament, and travelled far and wide planting churches.
His life read like an Indiana Jones movie—travel, shipwrecks, and snakes—but it was all true. What a life Paul had lived for the cause of Christ!
But now Rome had burned, and rumor was that Emperor Nero had set the fire himself to rebuild Rome to his liking.
To squelch this, Nero quickly blamed the Christians and moved to arrest those who led them.
Paul finds himself in a cold, dirty Roman prison.
Unlike his former house arrest, Paul now sat chained in the lowest level of the Mamertine Prison surrounded by the deepest of darkness, human misery and the stench of human waste. Somehow, Luke had managed to be with him.
Though Paul, himself, was a Roman citizen, he knew he would likely be executed for his faith like his friend, and fellow preacher, Peter, who had recently been crucified upside down.
Upside down. Surely the thought of just how he would die crossed the old man’s mind.
Yet, Paul had such hope. He longed for heaven, he knew his pain would end there… but he didn’t want to leave without giving some final words of instruction to his son in the faith, Timothy.
Oh he longed to see him, face to face. And Mark. And how he wished they might somehow bring his cloak to warm his old bones in that cold, dark dungeon.
Yet, not knowing if this meeting would occur before he would breathe his last, he picked up his pen and wrote this final letter.
His last words.
Because of Paul’s love for Christ and desire to encourage others and spur them on, even as he faced death, we get to read his powerful last words.
Oh friend, let’s lean in. These words are timely. These words were meant for our souls. Let’s don’t miss them. Let’s soak them up.
Let’s read Second Timothy!
Are you ready?
I’d so appreciate your prayers as I study and write.