Page 4 - February 2018 - Truth & Tidings
P. 4

here is something special about   where it speaks of the man of sin), unique
              driving at daybreak. As dawn ap-  to the pastoral epistles. On the other occa-
        Tproaches, the beams of headlights   sions where it is used, it refers generally to
        seem, almost imperceptibly, to grow   the events of Christ’s second advent, from
        fainter, as the sky begins to glow with the   the Rapture to the Manifestation. Here, it
        first traces of day. The countryside, which   refers to His first advent, but the scope is
        has been shrouded in darkness, begins to   similarly broad, encompassing the incarna-
        reveal itself in murky, half-seen shapes,   tion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and
        then, silently and suddenly, the sun rises.   everything in between (cp Titus 2:11; 3:4).
        The car’s lights are reduced to insignifi-  The appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ,
        cant uselessness, and the fields, hills, and   His incarnation, birth, death, and resur-
        hedges that had previously only been   rection, has abolished death, emptying
        guessed at are seen, unveiled by the rays   it of its power and force. It has produced
        of the rising sun.                   a glorious message – the gospel – which
          In 2 Timothy 1, Paul uses imagery   declares life and immortality.
        like this to describe the unveiling of di-  The confidence and clarity of Paul’s
        vine truth. Confined in a Roman prison,   words are thrilling in any context, but
        awaiting  the  flash  of  the  executioner’s   it is difficult to conceive how precious
        sword, Paul rejoices in “our Savior Jesus   they  must  have  seemed  to  the  apostle
        Christ, Who hath abolished death, and   who was “ready to be offered” (2Tim 4:6,
        hath brought life and immortality to   KJV). Death would come; of that he had
        light through the gospel” (1:10, KJV). The   no doubt, but as Paul made his way to
        apostle opened with the statement that his   the place of execution, he went to meet
        service, so marked by loneliness, danger,   a defeated enemy. Paul can hardly have
        and now by approaching death and appar-  relished the thought of their encounter, but
        ent defeat, was “according to [“in keeping   already, he was looking beyond it to the
        with” NIV] the promise of life which is in   crown (2Tim 4:8), the kingdom (2Tim 4:18),
        Christ Jesus” (1:1, KJV). He explains and   and the immortality that awaited him.
        expands upon his confidence. His cer-
        tainty about the future is not based on the   The apostle, whose eyes are so firmly
        few and faint glimmerings about life after   and so characteristically fixed on the
        death provided by the OT. Job’s certainty   future, is also looking back. He recalls
        that “though after my skin worms destroy   Timothy’s tears and the “unfeigned faith”
        this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God”   of Lois and Eunice (vv4-5), as well as his
        (Job 19:26, KJV), and David’s expectation   own service and that of his forefathers
        that though his dead son would not return   (v3). As he considers the wonder of divine
        to him, he would some day go to him   revelation, however, his field of vision ex-
        (2Sam 12:23) are among the passages that   pands far beyond his personal past or the
        indicate that OT saints were not entirely   storied heritage of his Jewish ancestors. His
        in the dark about what lay beyond the   look backward is every bit as grand and
        grave. They had, at best, only scattered and   expansive as his look forward, for he scans
        intermittent bursts of light. Now Christ has   God’s “own purpose and grace, which was
        appeared. “Appearing” (epiphaneia) is a   given us in Christ Jesus before the world
        term that is, with one exception (2Thes 2:8,   began” (2Tim 1:9, KJV).

        36   TRUTH kTidings   February  2018
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