and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:10 ESV).
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (Romans 15:26 ESV).
The second epistle of Paul to Timothy contains some of the last words of the apostle. Eusebius tells us that Paul was martyred for Christ during the reign of Nero (Ecclesiastical History). That makes this letter a farewell address. This letter contains Paul’s thoughts and advice as the day of execution looms in front of him.
In this farewell letter, Paul describes the wonderful work of God in Christ Jesus. He is facing death, but the apostle is confident in the One in whom he has put his faith (2 Tim. 1:12). He urges his young protégé, Timothy, to endure the suffering that comes from serving the Lord (2 Tim. 1:8; 2:3; 4:5) and reminds him that Jesus has “abolished death” (2 Tim. 1:10). Paul does not consider the sentence of death which he faces to be a defeat for the Gospel. Death is not an enemy any longer; it cannot destroy the apostle. Nor can it end his mission.
The Gospel is greater than any persecution; Jesus is victorious and the war is already won – no matter how the battlefield looks right now. Thus, Paul can write, “guard the good deposit entrusted to you” (2 Tim 1:14), “share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2:3), “present yourself to God as one approved” (3:15), and “preach the word” (4:2). Farewell and Carry On!
Don’t let the battle get you down. The war is already won. Jesus has “abolished death and brought life and immortality to life.” So get up and get going. Endure the hardship and guard the good deposit entrusted into your care. You have a mission. Carry on!