2 Timothy, 4
1: I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2: Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4: And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5: But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 6: For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 9: Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: 10: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. 11: Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. 12: And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. 13: The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. 14: Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: 15: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. 16: At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. 17: Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18: And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 19: Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20: Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick. 21: Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren. 22: The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.
Again Paul gives this solemn commandment before the Lord to Timothy. He emphasises its dignity by saying that it is before God and The Lord Jesus Christ who will be the judge of those who are alive and those he will raise from the dead at his appearing and before his kingdom. So is this solemn duty? Just one thing. Preach the word. And says Paul you are to do this whether it is welcome or not. You are to convict of errors, rebuke sharply, bring comfort with patience and teaching. Paul says there will come a time when men will not be able to cope with healthful teaching but gather a pile of teachers who will tickle their ears. They will turn their backs on the weighty truth because they prefer light stories. So look out for this and endure the flak that you will receive. Do the work of an evangelist (a missionary) and fully prove your ministry. Timothy, says Paul, l am ready to be sacrificed and the time of my ‘exit’ (The word is to set sail) is coming near. I have fought the good fight. I have finished my race. I have kept ‘the faith’. A wreath of righteousness is waiting for me which the Lord Jesus the righteous umpire will give me on the day when l met him. And not just to me but all those who long for his appearing. Try to come to see me Timothy as soon as possible. Because Demus has left me in the lurch (He fell in love with this old world) and he has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke the faithful doctor is with me. Then we have a touched remark, Paul says, Take hold of Mark, and bring him with you: for he is useful to me for the ministry. This dear young man who had accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey and who left Paul and Barnabas when things got tough, and who was the cause of the separation of Paul and Barnabas. Tychicus had been sent on an errand to Ephesus. Paul asks Timothy to bring the cloak which he left behind at Troas with Carpus, bring it he says with the books (Written on papyrus) and the parchments (Written on Velum – calf skin or sheep or goat skins) It may be true that the word ‘cloak’ would be better translated as ‘container’ or a truck which contained these precious writings. No Jew would let go of his written ancestry. Of course we have no means of knowing what they contained. Paul warns Timothy by saying that Alexander the coppersmith did much harm to Paul and that God will set matters right between them. He says be very wary of him, because he opposed me publically. Then Paul tells Timothy of his first hearing. He says at my first defence l stood alone, nobody stood with me (may God have mercy on them) However the Lord stood with him making his presence known. And the Lord strengthened me so that my doctrine was fully explained and for all the Gentiles to hear and l did not receive a sentence of immediate death from my opponent. (Paul uses the word lion for his opponent, he might have been thinking of Satan or Nero or his chief Jewish accuser) And he says the Lord did deliver me from every evil thing against me and he says l am confident that he will preserve me unto the kingdom of Heaven (The Messianic Kingdom) And then Christ will have all the glory for ever and ever - Amen. Lastly Paul gives a number of greetings asking Timothy to come to him before winter. Then he closes with the blessing - The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.