Back in the early 1990’s, a frozen pizza company was trying to figure out an advertising campaign to bring attention to their product. They designed a series of humorous commercials where an individual was about to lose his life in some melodramatic fashion – in front of a firing squad, by being hanged, about to walk the plank, or a teenager who’d had a party while his parents were away for the weekend… In each case, they were asked, “What do you want on your tombstone?” to which the answer was, yes, you guessed it, “pepperoni and cheese” or some other pizza topping. In 1995, Tombstone announced that its product had earned the number one ranking in a year-long Nielsen poll of frozen pizza consumers nationwide. Not bad for a company that was started by two brothers in a tavern in Medford, Wisconsin, located across the street from a cemetery.
As we near the end of “The Story”, we’re looking at the end of the life of the apostle Paul. He’s in a cold and damp cell in Rome and is pretty certain he’s about to be executed. Historians tell us he wasn’t wrong. Emperor Nero was unleashing a reign of terror on Christians and Paul was not spared. But what Paul reveals in his last words to his young protégé Timothy are significant. They show that Paul could look back with thanks for all that God had done through him as well as looking ahead to what God has in store for him.
Paul challenges Timothy, and us, with the really important questions of life. Are you spending your life on the things that really count? Are you confident of what lies ahead of you in the next life? Read chapter 30 in The Story (Acts 20-28; Ephesians 1-6; 2 Timothy 1-4). I’ll be focusing on 2 Tim. 4:1-8, but believe it or not, I will also try to give you an overview of the entire New Testament! We should be done sometime around 2 pm! Just kidding!
I’ll see you Sunday but now it’s time to eat dinner, but we’re not having pizza!
Soon and very soon,