The Berean Expositor
Volume 48 - Page 148 of 181
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and faithful servant. "If we patiently endure, we shall also reign with Him" (IITim.ii.12)
and we have already pointed out the vital difference between salvation, membership of
the Body of Christ by grace and living with Him, contrasted with the added prize, reward
or crown. This will give the unspeakable privilege of not only living with Christ, but of
sharing His throne and the administration of the universe in the glory to come, all being
contingent on loyal and unselfish service for the Lord right to the end.
The Lord is the righteous Judge or Umpire, Who will justly award to each member of
the Body his due. We can certainly leave all to His impartial assessment. The opinions
of others concerning our lives will not intrude there and we can safely disregard them
here. One is our Master, even Christ, and all service must be rendered as to Him and not
to men.
The R.V. correctly translates the perfect tense, "have loved His appearing", not "love
His appearing" (A.V.). A sudden love for any phase of the Second Advent at the end of
our lives will not win a crown; it must be the consistent love all along, influencing our
life and witness. The N.T. speaks of various "crowns": (1) an incorruptible crown
(ICor.ix.25); (2) a crown of life (James 1: 12; Rev. 2: 10); (3) a crown of rejoicing
(IThess.ii.19); (4) a crown of glory (I Pet. 5: 4). All these give us various aspects of the
added prize a believer in each calling of Scripture may obtain. With Paul it was a crown
associated with righteousness; righteousness being at the very heart of his ministry,
commencing with Galatians and Romans, "the just (righteous) shall live by faith".
The concluding section of this epistle (4: 9-22) now follows, commencing with some
personal requests. He urges Timothy once more to do his utmost to come to him as
quickly as possible lest the difficulties of traveling should prevent him from doing so, and
it was all the more urgent because of the defection of Demas. His forsaking the Apostle
is attributed to his love of the present age instead of loving the Lord's appearing. How
we need to beware of the insidious pull of present things around us rather than the `things
above where Christ sitteth' (Col. 3: 1, 2). In contrast to disloyal Demas, we find Luke,
the beloved physician, faithful to Paul right to the end. The Lord was merciful in not
only granting him the precious boon of a faithful friend, amidst so many who deserted
him in his time of need, but one who could care for his health.
John Mark, in contrast to Demas, though once unfaithful, causing the dissension
between Paul and Barnabas, is now `profitable (or useful) for the ministry' (i.e. Christian
service of any kind). Timothy is to pick him up en route and bring him along. Of
Crescens we know nothing, but tradition links him with the churches of Vienna and
Mayence in Gaul. The dispatch of Titus to Dalmatia seems to indicate that his work in
Crete had finished. His new sphere was on the eastern shore of the Adriatic sea which is
now Yugo-Slavia.
Tychicus was one of Paul's reliable associates. He was the bearer of the epistles to
both Colossians and Ephesians and it is possible that he was to relieve Timothy at
Ephesus during the latter's absence while visiting Paul in Rome.