"Guard The Heritage"
This was not only the last sermon from the book of 1 Timothy, but was the last sermon preached from the pulpit of Christ Evangel Church (CEC). [CEC has since merged with FBC Bagdad]. This Epistle was also to be one of Paul's last letters to Timothy. After this, there was only the short letter to Titus, and then 2 Timothy, before Paul's death around 68 AD. Paul writes, not as the young Saul of Tarsus fresh off the road to Damascus, but now, as Paul the aged, the soon to die, who had already written the majority of the New Testament by this time. He had planted the many churches we read about, warned them many times over, and is now nearing the full discharge of his apostolic office and thus awaiting that crown of righteousness that has been laid up for him. His last duty in service now is to strengthen, encourage, and galvanize his closest and best lieutenants to carry on the work. So this is a bit of finality to Paul's ministry to Timothy. Not only to Timothy, but it represents the coming passing of the Apostle Paul from first century Christianity. The church is about to enter into a Christianity without Paul's ongoing missionary work and mentorship. Now it will fall to the Timothy's, the Titus', and all those left to carry the torch of The Gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ.