Help Is Here (2 Timothy 4:9-18) by Bro John Lao


 “Do your best to come to me soon. For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

— 2 TIMOTHY 4:9-18



“You can count on me like on, two, three

I’ll be there…”

Bruno Mars release the song Count On Me in 2010, which basically talks about BEING THERE for the person and that they could DEPEND upon him.


      • If they are lost, he’ll find them and guide them.

      • If they couldn’t sleep, he’ll sing a song.

      • Should they forget how they mattered, he’ll remind them.


    Believers are called to be a present help to fellow brethren, but an even Greater comfort is found in our EVER-PRESENT HELP


        • That even in the toughest of times, we can confidently say “HELP IS HERE”.



      We’ve learned so far that Paul wrote this letter TO STIR UP TIMOTHY TO REMAIN FAITHFUL in the ministry as he experiences great difficulties both WITHIN and OUTSIDE the church.


          • He’s dealing with false teachers that are still spreading their lies and ungodly men who are disqualified regarding the faith.

          • Not only that, Christians at that time are being persecuted.

        Considering the challenges and not to mention the TIMID NATURE of Timothy’s character, he might have been DISHEARTENED and TEMPTED to give up, and that is why he ENCOURAGED him by:


            • Reminding him of the SUFFICIENT RESOURCE he has.

            • To willingly suffer and bear shame for the sake of the gospel.

            • And remember Jesus Christ and what He has accomplished for sinners.

          Though opposition against the gospel message and the messenger will always be there,


              • He urged him to continue with what he believed:


                    • UPHOLDING the Scriptures and trusting its SUFFICIENCY to hone and prepare him for every good work.

                    • He charged him before the presence of God to PREACH THE WORD as a faithful evangelist – fulfilling his ministry.

              He turns from Timothy to himself and gave the reason why he should faithfully carry out his charge and it’s because HE’S ABOUT TO BE EXECUTED.


                  • Looking at his situation, he knew that this is it.

                  • He has finished the race and have kept the faith.

                  • There’s the certainty of the heavenly reward for him and for everyone in Christ.


                        • He’s now passing the baton to Timothy to continue the gospel cause.

                  At this point, if Paul would jump to Verse 22 and end his letter, that would be completely fine and understandable for us. Being in a terrible condition inside a cold, dark, and filthy dungeon – putting yourself in the situation of the Apostle Paul, one would wish to just simply die.


                      • But no!

                      • We see a person who’s been true to his word that “If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me.” (Philippians 1:22)


                            • We see what occupies the heart and mind of Paul even if things are not going his way.


                      Paul’s intention here was to simply SEEK THE SUPPORT OF TIMOTHY.


                          • But going beyond that, Paul is also showing the kind of commitment required of the man of God.

                          • And since it is highly possible that Timothy may suffer the same fate as Paul, he should know that THE LORD IS HIS EVER PRESENT HELP AND STRENGTH.


                        “God’s people prevails over hardship by His gracious help.”

                        Sufferings, may it be light, moderate or severe, are INEVITABLE.


                            • But friends, our comfort is the fact that God is sovereign over our trials and at times allows such by His providence to sanctify and conform us to Christ.

                            • Not only that, through these trials, we are also led to greatly experience His comforting and strengthening grace that helps us through it.

                          In what way do we experience His grace? That will be my 2 points:


                              1. Faithful Friends (fellow believers, companions, and co-laborers in the Lord)

                            1. Gracious God (The Lord Jesus Himself)


                            I. Faithful Friends

                            Note: Paul sought Timothy’s presence and support.

                            Paul already expressed his yearning to see Timothy.


                                • In 1:4, Paul expressed his longing to see Timothy so that he’ll be filled with joy. Timothy was so dear to the Apostle Paul that he desired to see him again.

                                • Here in Verse 9, he formalizes his request and asked Timothy…

                              Verse 9 – Do your best to come to me soon.

                              “Make EVERY effort” as rendered in other translations. Paul is really stressing the urgency that Timothy should come IMMEDIATELY.


                                  • For one, is because HE’LL BE EXECUTED SOON and he wants to see Timothy.


                                        • His presence would surely be comforting to Paul.

                                    • Second, WINTER is coming and he wouldn’t be able to travel by then because of the weather condition. Lest by the time that he’ll be able to travel, it would be too late.

                                    • Both are certainly true, but see specifically gave the reason from Verses 10…


                                          • HIS COMPANIONS HAVE LEFT! Only Luke the physician is with him.

                                          • They left for various reasons…


                                        1. Demas


                                          • Paul’s fellow worker.

                                          • He says that he was deserted or WILLFULLY ABANDONED by him and has gone to Thessalonica.

                                          • He gives the reason: he was “in love with this present world.”


                                                • He preferred the enticements and comforts of the world than bearing the reproach of Christ and fulfilling the great commission.


                                              1. What about Crescens and Titus?


                                                • We have no information about Crescens

                                                • Titus is a trusted fellow worker of Paul, and was previously tasked to set in order the Church in Crete.


                                                      • Considering that Paul planted churches in both locations, they may have left to minister and strengthen the church in those cities.

                                                But Paul wasn’t just longing for mere companionship, here is a man who is so consumed to finish his ministry down to his last breath!


                                                    • Death is near, but he’s thinking about the support he needed in order to advance the gospel!

                                                    • But of course, he couldn’t do this alone.


                                                          • He needed Mark, whom he considers as very useful to him for ministry.

                                                          • He needed Timothy to come alongside as well. (and if he’s concerned who’ll take over in his absence, he sent Tychicus)

                                                    Point: The companion of faithful saints encourages us amid our sufferings for the gospel.

                                                    Since the Christian life is accompanied by a lot of difficulties, God has been gracious to bring us into His body along with fellow brethren so we can carry one another’s burden.


                                                        • If we’re going to be honest, no one can essentially say that he/she doesn’t need help! We all need help!

                                                      The presence and support of our brother and sisters are indeed uplifting when trials are weighing down heavily upon us.


                                                          • The Apostle Paul needed it and we certainly need it in the ministry because embarking upon the Lord’s work CAN BE DISCOURAGING.

                                                          • We just can’t do it all by ourselves.

                                                        *Tumuloy dahil sinamahan sa isang event


                                                            • In the same way, we are encouraged to endure when we have the presence and support of our faithful friends.

                                                          These encouragements could also be:


                                                              • Practical needs.

                                                              • Material provisions

                                                              • Support for the ministry.

                                                              • In the case of Paul, that’s exactly what he asked for:


                                                                    • He sought Mark so he could help in the ministry because he’s very useful.

                                                                    • He needed his cloak because winter is coming.

                                                                    • He needed his books and above all the parchments – perhaps to continue writing.

                                                              Since the spread of the gospel is a STEWARDSHIP that was given to the church:


                                                                  • We must responsibly invest our time, talents, and treasures upon efforts that advances it, whether in this church or to our fellow faithful local churches.

                                                                Dear church, as you do so, BE ENCOURAGED AS WELL by looking to the one who was faithful to provide and have secured our GREATEST NEED, which is salvation from sin, who died on the cross as a substitute for sinners – that is none other than Jesus Christ.


                                                                    • Through His work, forgiveness from sin is freely offered to those who would come to Him.

                                                                  If you are not in Christ, before you seek any other assistance, this is the help you need!


                                                                      • The Bible tells us that “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of eternal life is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

                                                                      • We cannot deceive ourself into thinking that we do not need help because if you do not repent of your sins and place your faith in Jesus Christ, God will punish you for your sins and you’ll then be eternally HELPLESS.


                                                                            • As it stands, come to Jesus Christ!

                                                                      As for my fellow brothers and sisters, on the basis of the gracious example of Jesus Christ and as you have received the greatest help from Him…

                                                                      Challenge: Continue making every effort to minister to one another.

                                                                      Brethren you don’t need to have an official position in the church to serve your brothers and sisters.


                                                                          • As covenant members, we bear that responsibility to love and serve one another.

                                                                        Problem is if we grew APATHETIC.


                                                                            • Malala pa doon ay may “theological ground” pa tayo na…


                                                                                  • “Oh, God will provide.”

                                                                                  • “Si Lord bahala sa lahat.”

                                                                                  • THESE ARE TRUE!


                                                                                        • But He also uses His people to faithfully support His cause.

                                                                              If we are convinced that the gospel is SO IMPORTANT:


                                                                                  • Are we so consumed by it that we long to see it bear fruit in the lives of our fellow members?

                                                                                  • Do we make ourselves available to minister to those who are suffering? Discouraged? Those who are struggling with sin?

                                                                                  • Or are you a hindrance?


                                                                                        • Are we like Demas?

                                                                                        • Are we like Alexander?

                                                                                    • How about our efforts to spread the gospel further?

                                                                                  We praise God that He has given us opportunities to do missions! You may have expressed your excitement and encouragement.


                                                                                      • But know that there are needs to be met!

                                                                                    How about the others?


                                                                                        • Our street preachers?

                                                                                        • Kids and Junior Sabbath school teachers?

                                                                                        • Our Elder and Deacons?

                                                                                        • Future elders and deacons?


                                                                                              • They all need support.

                                                                                              • We as a church must be ready to support in order to facilitate it.

                                                                                        Dr. RC Sproul founded Ligonier Ministries in 1971.


                                                                                            • Their cause was not to replace the church but to support the church so that people would know the HOLINESS OF GOD and to know why they believe what they believe.


                                                                                                  • I believe a lot of us through their ministry have benefitted from it.

                                                                                            We have a responsibility on a local level, but we must desire and be open to support other faithful efforts!

                                                                                            TRANSITION: It’s already a great blessing to have one another but there’s also the GREATER HELP.

                                                                                            II. Gracious God

                                                                                            Note: Paul found strength and confidence in the Lord.

                                                                                            It would be an understatement to say that trials are nothing new to the Apostle Paul.


                                                                                                • If you could sum up his life, you may call it a life “Well lived and suffered for Christ.”

                                                                                                • In the midst of all the trials he has experienced, his strength and his confidence was in the Lord.

                                                                                              This is what we see in Verses 14-18 – STILL SUFFERING for the gospel, the situation may be DIFFERENT, but Paul had the same GROUND of SECURITY.


                                                                                                  • He told us that “Alexander the coppersmith did him great harm…”


                                                                                                        • He gives this warning to Timothy so that he could avoid him as he journeys to Troas.


                                                                                                              • It may or may not be the same Alexander he mentioned in 1 Tim 1:20 whom he handed over to Satan that [he] may learn not to blaspheme.

                                                                                                              • But his great opposition against the gospel did much harm against Paul and his ministry.


                                                                                                                    • It may be possible that he also caused Paul’s second imprisonment.

                                                                                                      Beginning Verse 16, he talk about his first defense, which is the preliminary hearing of the Roman justice system. And he said:

                                                                                                      …NO ONE CAME TO STAND BY ME, but all DESERTED me…


                                                                                                          • We don’t know who these people were.

                                                                                                          • The people who were supposed to appear with him in that hearing WITHDREW.


                                                                                                                • Likely because of fear and perhaps the same reason as the Demas, who LOVED THE PRESENT world.

                                                                                                                • It is also possible that it is through this trial that Paul knew that he’s already at the face of death.

                                                                                                          With all these DISCOURAGING and DISHEARTENING challenges, the Lord was with Him! He committed himself to Him!


                                                                                                              • He knew that the Lord would repay Alexander for his deeds.

                                                                                                              • Just as Christ has been gracious toward those who crucified him, Paul hoped that it wouldn’t be counted against those who abandoned him.


                                                                                                                    • In both difficulty and possibility of death, he found sufficiency in the Lord’s presence and strength.

                                                                                                              Point: Christians are ultimately safe in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ.

                                                                                                              That doesn’t mean that if you’re a Christian you should no longer experience hardships. In His sovereignty and providence, God may deliver us or He may be pleased to subject us to trials.


                                                                                                                  • But bear in mind, brothers and sisters, that we can be comforted in the truth that the OMNIPOTENT AND OMNIPRESENT GOD is faithful to stand and strengthen His people amid all circumstances.

                                                                                                                The Holy Spirit through His Word TODAY reminds us the Lord is the CONSTANT help of His people.


                                                                                                                    • Friends, family, colleagues, co-workers, co-laborers, acquaintances though may try their very best to best to render help and be present for us – at the end of the day, it would be “subject to their availability.”

                                                                                                                    • But that is not the case with the Lord Jesus Christ for His people.


                                                                                                                          • He promised that He’ll never leave us nor forsake us.

                                                                                                                          • When He gave His great commission to the church, what did He promise?

                                                                                                                    …I am with you ALWAYS, to the end of the age.

                                                                                                                    *Corridor talks


                                                                                                                        • I don’t like them!


                                                                                                                          • Until a memo is released, nothing is official.

                                                                                                                          • But we can absolutely trust that we are safe in the hands of Christ.


                                                                                                                                • Because of who He is, He is God.


                                                                                                                                      • If He is God, He cannot lie.

                                                                                                                                      • If He is God, He doesn’t change.

                                                                                                                                      • If He is God, He is faithful.

                                                                                                                            When the enemies of the gospel would seek not only to write-off our message, but also harm us through their evil deeds:


                                                                                                                                • BE ASSURED that these do not escape the PERFECT JUSTICE AND HOLINESS OF OUR GREAT GOD and would render to man according to their deeds.

                                                                                                                                • Know also, that if they would consider taking our lives, which is the best in what they could do…


                                                                                                                                      • Remember Jesus Christ, through His death and resurrection, death has been rendered powerless!

                                                                                                                                      • If Christ took the place of sinners as a substitute (and He did!) and if God has accepted the PERFECT WORK OF CHRIST (and He did!), then God is also just to receive us in Himself!

                                                                                                                                As Paul said in Romans 8:38-39 (from our Scripture reading)

                                                                                                                                For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

                                                                                                                                (Share the gospel again)


                                                                                                                                    • But again, if you are not in Christ, you have all the reason to fear. For death ushers you to the justice of God!

                                                                                                                                  As for your, dear brother and sister…

                                                                                                                                  Challenge: Hold on to God’s promise to be with His people even at the face of death.


                                                                                                                                      • In times of great NEED, the Lord stands with His people.

                                                                                                                                      • In times of great TRIALS, the Lord is gracious to strengthen His people.

                                                                                                                                      • When we are called to MAKE A DEFENSE of the faith, the Lord empowers His people.

                                                                                                                                      • At the face of death, those who are in Christ, He brings to His heavenly kingdom.


                                                                                                                                            • That is why it is only through God’s help that the church prevails over hardships we face.

                                                                                                                                      Problem is if we place our hope and confidence upon the wrong things.


                                                                                                                                          • Your riches?

                                                                                                                                          • Your abilities?

                                                                                                                                        One of the common causes of this is the willful neglect of the means of grace.


                                                                                                                                            • Why? Kasi dito natin naririnig yung mga promises ng gospel.

                                                                                                                                            • Or granted you avail of it, do you pray and ask God to bring all that you’ve heard from the head to your heart? Or okay ka nang alam mo lang?


                                                                                                                                                  • This calls us to search our hearts, brethren.

                                                                                                                                            When the gospel and the promises that are contained in it consumes us, like in the case of Stephen:


                                                                                                                                                • Who was falsely accused.

                                                                                                                                                • Beaten and stoned to death by an angry mob because he preached Christ.


                                                                                                                                                      • We can have full confidence that we are absolutely safe in Christ from every evil deed.

                                                                                                                                                So place not your hope on false objects of assurance. Rather, store all the promises contained in the gospel of Jesus Christ.


                                                                                                                                                    • That we may endure times of hardships.


                                                                                                                                                  In every season, we can rest on the truth that Christ Himself sustains, strengthens, and stands by His people for He is the Risen Lord. Because of that, we are graciously helped by God to faithfully live the Christian life and suffer for His sake.

                                                                                                                                                  Remember, then, that HELP IS HERE.


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