There are certain things we must do to prepare. We need our baggage packed, our tickets in hand, and reservations at our destination. If we stand at the departure gate, and any one of these is left undone, we take a great risk when we step through. Who knows what we will find at the end of our journey?
In 2 Timothy 4:6-8 Paul gives us three steps that portray the perfect example of someone who is at the departure gate of life, yet who has the assurance that he is completely prepared.
Preparation Step #1: Paul’s baggage is packed.
In a Jewish religious offering, the priest pours out a drink offering on the main offering. It is symbolic of the lessor offering being poured out on the more important one. It also provides a sweet aroma when the offering is burned, symbolic of providing food for God.
Paul tells us he is ready to be offered to the Lord. He considers himself the least of the saints, a drink offering to be added to the sacrifice of the Lord upon the cross.
Preparation Step #2: Paul’s ticket is in hand.
All tickets require a purchase price. Jesus paid for Paul’s sins, but Paul tells us he also contributed in three ways.
First, he says he fought a good fight. He battled continually against sin, and he was confident in his victory.
Second, he tells us he has finished his course. He has completed what God sent him to do.
Third, he has kept the faith. He never wavered from the truth he received from the Lord.
Preparation Step #3: Paul has reservations at his destination.
Paul knows what he will find on the other side of death’s door. He will stand at the judgment seat of Christ, and a crown of righteousness will be placed on his head.
Paul also offers us the encouragement that If we look forward to the appearance of Christ at the Second Coming, our baggage is packed and our ticket is in hand. God already has our reservation in place, and we can join him in full confidence at the departure gate.
We can have the assurance that we are completely prepared to journey into God’s eternal presence.
When we reach the end of our earthly travels, and we stand at death’s door, we can have the confidence that we know that we know that we know.
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