Safely Home: 2 Timothy 4:16-18
“16) At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. 17) But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion’s mouth. 18) The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭4:16-18‬
People might let you down, but God never will. That was Pauls personal story. At his first defense, all deserted him. Yet he was not alone because the Lord stood with him and strengthened him. He was given supernatural grace and strength to stand and proclaim the gospel so all the Gentiles could hear the message.
Some believe he may have been placed in a Roman colosseum and given freedom to preach to the crowd in the stadium while a hungry lion was released to devour him and cut his message short. But like Daniel in the lions den, the lion stayed at bay while Paul preached the Gospel at length to the crowd. It is a theory that cannot be confirmed by history or other Bible commentary.
Paul took courage from his many deliverances, and concluded that heaven ruled over the evil intentions of men. He recognized that God would deliver him from every evil deed leveled against him until Gods plan and purpose for him was fully fulfilled. He concluded that God’s Sovereignty alone governed the timing and means of his heavenly promotion.
According to 2 Corinthians 11:22-33, he suffered unimaginable hardship and persecution for the sake of the gospel, and yet God was Sovereign over His external circumstances.
Our brothers and sisters in Christ in the persecuted church share these same stories of supernatural deliverance and final promotions. They live courageously under the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God. They set their eyes and focus on the promise of the heavenly kingdom.
“Safely Home” to them means “keeping the faith until death” and not merely avoiding suffering or affliction. They view the Western churches phenomenon of retirement with a life of ease as very risky.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global