Delivered Safely into God’s Heavenly Kingdom
Updated: Jan 9, 2022
Luke Yagelski preached a great message this morning on finishing well. He mentioned a verse that is becoming one of my favorites. The Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to his pupil Timothy, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:18). Luke had pointed out how often God doesn’t deliver us from trials, but rather through trials. At the end of service my wife also pointed out how God does this so that we can minister to others through trials. Both were excellent insights!
One thing that caught my attention, though, is that earlier in the letter Paul tells Timothy, “I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:6-7). Paul is sensing his death is near. Sources say that he was beheaded for his faith. But wait?! Didn’t Paul say that he felt confident God would deliver him ”safely” into his heavenly Kingdom? Then he was beheaded? Boy was Paul wrong! Or was he??
Can you imagine waking up in heaven with no more suffering or pain, not even any emotional or psychological scars. No PTSD. Just victory! You’ve reached the finish line!
My dad passed in 2017. Now I’m not sure if he finished well or not as he wasn’t in his right mind. He unfortunately lived the last year of his life with dementia. Dad had suffered for years with cancer. It’s a pain I hope I never have to endure. However, I know my dad has been delivered “safely” in to God’s heavenly Kingdom! Yep I said safely. Paul said safely. They’re unscathed. Of course they are still awaiting their resurrection bodies, but they are now at peace with Jesus, never to experience the effects of brokenness or sin again.
That’s encouragement for me to keep running the race and fighting the good fight of faith. It’s encouragement to not give up no matter how tough it gets. Not even the ultimate enemy, death, can keep me from God’s heavenly Kingdom! Paul says, “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing (2 Timothy 4:8). Did you hear that? “All” who have loved His appearing! Don’t give up! Keep looking to Jesus and looking forward to that glorious day when His Kingdom fully comes and His will is fully done on earth as it is in heaven. That’s our assured hope! And trust Jesus that no matter what life throws at you, He will deliver you “safely” into His heavenly, eternal Kingdom.