2 Timothy 1:18
The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered to me at Ephesus…
I. THAT THERE IS A DAY COMING, IN WHICH TO FIND MERCY OF THE LORD, WILL BE OUR ONLY CONSOLATION AND SECURITY.
1. The day here meant is the day so frequently mentioned in Scripture; and in which we are all most deeply concerned. It is described by many different names, as "the Day of Judgment," "the Day of the Lord," "the Last Day," "the Day of Wrath," "the Day in which God will judge the world." In that day, then, what will be our only consolation and security? The text reminds us, "To find mercy of the Lord." Mercy is another word for grace. It is an act of free and unmerited favour. Men sometimes say that such a person deserves to have mercy shown to him! But this is a very incorrect and careless way of speaking. A man can never deserve mercy. There may be some circumstances in his case, which may make him more particularly an object of compassion. When a criminal by his offence has forfeited his life, and is condemned to die; the king, from pity to the offender, or from some other consideration best known to himself, may grant a pardon and remit the sentence. Here is mercy, an act of free, unmerited grace to the undeserving and the guilty. But to say that there could be anything in the criminal which gave him a claim to mercy, would be to talk absurdly. The very idea, then, of mercy naturally shuts out all idea of merit. These two things are totally contrary to each other, and can never exist together. It is to be feared that many, when they talk of hoping to find mercy, mean in fact to say that they hope to find justice in that day; and that their hopes of being favourably received then are built not on God's free mercy, but on their own merits, and on their secret claims to reward.
II. THAT THERE WILL BE SOME WHO IN THAT DAY WILL NOT FIND MERCY OF THE LORD. St. Paul, when he prays that Onesiphorus may find mercy in that day, clearly intimates it to be possible that he may not find it. And if it were not certain that Onesiphorus would find it, it is not certain that others will find it. Indeed, the Scriptures plainly tell us that all will not find it. We are expressly told that in that day some will say, "Lord, Lord, open to us"; to whom He will say, "Verily, I know you not." Let us see what the Scriptures teach us concerning those who will find mercy of the Lord in that day.
1. They are now seeking mercy, and seeking it in that one way, in which alone God has promised to bestow it.
2. They are duly affected and properly influenced by the views and hopes which they have of the rich mercy of God in Christ. There is a sad propensity in man to abuse the Divine mercy, and to take occasion, from this most glorious perfection of the Almighty, to run the farther and continue the longer in sin. How differently did a sense of God's mercy work on the pious David! Hear what he says, "O Lord, there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared." He felt that the goodness of God led him to repentance. The rich mercy of the Lord, far from hardening his heart, softened and overcame it.
Parallel VersesKJV: The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.