Messages from Pastor Raddatz

October 9, 2022 – Mount Olive, Houston TX, Other texts: Ruth 1:1-19a & Luke 17:11-19


Grace, mercy and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and savior Jesus Christ,

Dear People of God,

            It can happen to the most secure Christian; BURNOUT.  You can get tired of caring and of bearing burdens.  You can only give so much before you feel like you’re going to break.  We must remember that the Christian walk is NOT A SPRINT, BUT A LONG-DISTANCE RACE.

            While Paul is in prison; not just house arrest, but chained in a dungeon, he writes a letter to Timothy. The purpose of this letter is that Timothy be strengthened and remember to endure.


Jesus once said: "He who endures to the end shall be saved," Matthew 24:13. In the context of this passage one finds Jesus speaking about false Christs, wars and rumors of wars, strife among nations, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, persecution, hatred of Christians, people falling away from Christ because of being offended, false prophets, lawlessness, love growing cold. Sin brought endless trouble into the world. And the flesh is so weak. Jesus often reminded His children not to grow weary. For example. look at Luke 18:1-8.

St. Paul often spoke about not growing weary. Look at 2 Corinthians 4:1-18. The Epistle to the Hebrews warns against growing weary, 12:12-13. Scripture constantly warns us about not growing weary. Scripture always directs our attention to Jesus, the Author and Completer of our faith. And it focuses our eyes on eternal life. -Bul’s Notes



Paul wrote our text as he was sitting in prison in Rome. His words found Timothy in Ephesus. Evidently Timothy was growing weary and needed encouragement. Every pastor learns quickly that human beings, like children, grow weary so easily. He must encourage and prod them with the Gospel and the sure prospect of everlasting life.

In the present text we have another such passage. Verses 1-13 are called an early Christian hymn. It must be granted that these passages have a poetic ring to them. 

Verse 4 and following reminds us:


  • be a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  Don’t get entangled in affairs that are not yours to deal with.  
  • The athlete is not crowned a winner unless he competes according to the rules.  
  • The farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.  In other words, receive strength so you can give strength.



This verse begins with a present imperative, “Remember Jesus Christ…” which means "constantly keep in mind." Commentators point out that here alone in the first Epistle to Timothy Paul says "Jesus Christ' and not "Christ Jesus." Some think that this stresses Jesus' humanity.  He too needed time alone with his heavenly Father.

Paul is reminding Timothy of two facts with reference to Jesus Christ:

  • He was permanently raised from the dead, and
  • He is true man, born of the seed of David.

In other words, Paul is reminding Timothy of the two natures in Christ who fulfilled all the Old Testament promises and His greatest and final work was His resurrection from the dead. Paul says this in a context in which he speaks both about the suffering of Timothy, verse 3, and his own suffering, verse 9. Sooner or later all Christians are called on to suffer. They cannot suffer as they ought unless they look steadfastly to Jesus. See Hebrews 12:1b-3, “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” NIV

Guthrie: For Paul, the resurrection of Christ is the most prominent Christian truth, containing as it does the guarantee of all other aspects of the work of Christ.

PAUL IS CHAINED, But God's word is not chained.  It will accomplish what it should.  This is a very sobering thought.  All we are asked to be is “faithful.”

Kretzmann: Paul did not grow weary in enduring if he could but continue to serve the Gospel . . .. He had the satisfaction of knowing that he was but following in the footsteps of his Master.

Christian leaders may hamper the progress of the gospel, but it cannot imprison the Word of God nor prevent its spread.

Kretzmann: Paul's enemies could not stop the preaching of righteousness through the blood of Christ . . . The Lord was able to continue His work through the agency of other people.  GOD WANTS ALL PEOPLE TO BE SAVED.  HE WILL SEEK AND SAVE THE LOST -my emphasis.


This gripping scene is from the 2008 film “Taken”. In that movie, retired CIA agent Bryan Mills, played by Liam Neeson, has only 96 hours to find his daughter, who has been kidnapped. Early in the movie we learn that Mills’ relationship with his daughter hasn’t always been great, due in large part to his work. But he decides to change his career path in order to try and gain back some of the time and trust he lost with his only daughter.

So Mills relentlessly pursues his daughter, overcoming all kinds of obstacles along the way. When he finally finds her on the yacht of a rich Arab businessman, where she had been sold into slavery, and saves her, she collapses into the arms of her bloodied and beaten father and says, “Daddy you came for me.” To which Mills replies quietly “I told you I would.”

Nothing can stop the progress of the Word which will continue until the end of time.   "Eternal glory" accompanies the salvation in Christ Jesus.


FINAL WARNING – CURRENT GOAL, “If we have died, we will also live…”

Note that in this verse and also in 12-13 we have a series of four fact conditions. 

The commentators are agreed that in verse 11 Paul is speaking about baptism. "If we have died" refers to what is said in Romans 6:8: "If we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him." This is said in a context of baptism. In baptism we died to sin, its guilt and power. Because of this we are now alive with Christ and shall live forever. This is a strong incentive for what follows in verses 12-13. It is paradoxical that life comes through death. It was so with Christ, and it is so with us. -Bul’s Notes

Lenski: His death and his enduring were expiatory, for us, ours are only confessional. . .  

Lenski: These mighty promises have a reverse: 'if we shall deny Him,' disown, as Peter once denied: 'I do not know the man.' Paul is almost quoting Jesus in Matthew 10:33. Permanent denial is referred to, --Peter repented of his denial. . .. 

Kretzmann: He who, in work or deed, is ashamed of Christ will find that the Lord will also be ashamed of him on the great Day of Judgment. Matthew 7:23; 10:33; 25:12.

Guthrie: Christ's constancy to His own promises provides the believe with his greatest security.

God is not fickle as are sinful human beings. Here we have wonderful consolation for the frightened conscience.

If often happens in the life of a Christian that he is worried over the possibility of God giving up on him. But God never goes back on His promises

God is true and faithful both to His promises in Christ and to His threats against the impenitent sinner. -Bul’s Notes

Other helpful hints to endure:

  • Sing hymns and praise to God
  • Give thanks (one Leper returned to thank Jesus, but ten were healed, Luke 17:11-19)
  • Continue to worship Him 
  • Listen to his word: the Bible


"If we are faithless." That means "If we prove unfaithful." Christ, however, remains faithful. 

May we repent of depending on our own strength and lean on Christ for endurance, Amen,

Pastor John Raddatz

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