THIS LETTER, probably Paul’s last, was written shortly before his martyrdom at the hands of the Emperor Nero in Rome, about 68 ad. Although Paul had been released after his first trial (his ‘crime’ was preaching the gospel!), he knew that this time his execution was imminent (4:6).
Paul had ‘fought the good fight’ (4:7) and he urged Timothy to stand fast in the true faith, without fear (1:7; 2:1); not to be ‘ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner’ (1:8). Like Paul himself, he must be ‘a good soldier’ for Jesus Christ (2:3).
Dangers for the followers of Christ would not be confined to the First Century. Great perils would come: false teachers arose within the Christian community in those days, but the ‘last days’ before the return of Christ will also be perilous (3:1–7). We need these warnings more than ever today.
Paul knew that, although we are mortal, God has offered a ‘promise of the life’ (1:1) to all true believers and a ‘crown of righteousness’ (4:8) when Christ returns, if they have remained faithful.
By kind permission of ‘The Christadelphian’
Some interesting links with other parts of the Bible:
- 2 Timothy 2:8—see 2 Samuel 7:12–14;
- 2 Timothy 2:19—see Numbers 16:5–7,
- 2 Timothy 3:1–7—see Romans 1:28–31;
2 Peter 3:3–4.
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the
living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be
ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete
patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound
teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to
suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander
off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of
an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my
departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have
kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which
the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but
also to all who have loved his appearing.
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 defence 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 for ever and ever.
Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus remained
at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus. Do your best to come
before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia
and all the brothers.
The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.”
2 Timothy 4