II Timothy 4

It concerns the witnesses of Christ seriously to consider the account they must give the Lord Jesus Christ of the trust reposed upon them as His representatives. Against the last days when there shall be widespread rejection of the doctrines of Christ, men grown weary of the plain Gospel and hankering for philosophies, let us faithfully preach the pure Word of God, apart from any merely human fancies, making full proof of our ministry and loving the truth of His return for His own.

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.

¶ The second epistle unto Timotheus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians, was written from Rome, when Paul was brought before Nero the second time.

2 Timothy 4:1-12 – ​The Victor’s Final Charge

   To the end Paul held to the appearing of Jesus, though he might not live to see it; and it was to precede and usher in the coming of the Kingdom. The world of that time was sad and sick, and Paul’s sole panacea was the preaching of the gospel. Verse 2, do not only take opportunities, but make them. Verse 3, make haste; such opportunities are closing in. Note that striking phrase of the itching ears, which turn in every direction where they may obtain momentary relief. Verse 5, be on the alert!
   With what pathetic words Paul refers to his approaching death! He regarded his life-blood as about to be poured out as a libation (v. 6). The time had come for him to go on board the good ship which was waiting in the offing to sail at sunset for its port of glory. He was a veteran who had fought valiantly and successfully – keeping the faith as in the old Roman story the heroes kept the bridge. But he was soon to be relieved. The crown at the end of the course was already in sight. He was lonely – only Luke is with me. He needed to be ministered unto – take Mark. But his courage was unabated. Demas might forsake, but Christ failed not. (Meyer)

II Timothy 4:1—The Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing.

​   Professor Rendel Harris reminds us that an early piece of Christian literature, called the Second Epistle of Clement, opens with these words: “Brethren, we ought to think of Jesus Christ as God, as the Judge of quick and dead. And we ought not to think meanly of our salvation; for when we think meanly of Him, meanly also do we expect to receive.” In the view of this holy soul there was a very deep and necessary connection between creed and character. Those who esteem Him most worthily will derive most from Him.
   Large thoughts of Christ are necessary to holiness. — Unless we think of Christ as the Ideal Man, in whom there was no flaw or stain, how can we make Him the model of our daily life? Unless we think of Him as the Son of God, able to subdue all things to Himself, how can we dare to hope to become like Him? “I should die, O my Lord,” cried a saint in a moment of religious ecstasy, “if I thought that I should fail of loving Thee with all my heart.”
   Large thoughts of Christ are necessary to prayer. — He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is the Rewarder. Bethink thee well before thou openest thy lips in the first entreaty, who He is whom thou addressest, and forthwith great and far-reaching petitions will naturally form themselves within thine heart.
   Large thoughts of Christ are necessary for Christian work. — The solid belief that Christ has redeemed our race, and that the Father has given Him the kingdom over all the world, is absolutely necessary before there can be any enthusiastic effort on our part to make Him King and secure for Him actually the kingdom, the power, and the glory. (Meyer)

2 Timothy 4:3

   “The time will come,” said the Apostle Paul to his young protegé, Timothy, “when they will not endure sound doctrine.”
   That time has now come. The church is full of false doctrine. The reason for unsound doctrine is a failure to ground ideas in the truth of Scripture.
   The Greek word that is translated as sound in the phrase “sound doctrine” is hugiano (υγιαινω), from which we get the English word hygienic. The implication in the apostle’s letter is that there is something unhygienic and unhealthy in doctrines which are not derived from Scripture.
   “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?” the Psalmist asks rhetorically (Psalm 119:9). “By taking heed thereto according to thy word.” Purity is evaluated by comparing it against what Scripture says. Therefore, the Scripture is a preventative medicine for tackling the issue of unhygienic doctrine.
   Those who live in unhygienic conditions get ill. Our spiritual health depends on clean doctrine from God’s word.

2 Timothy 4:3 – ​Well-bred people now do not talk about “the world, the flesh, and the devil”; they speak of “environment, heredity, and circumstances.” (Moody)

2 Timothy 4:7 – ​In early times in America when writing for a minister to go out west the message was “Send us one who can swim.” The question was asked what was meant by such a request as that. The reply came, “The last man we had, in order to keep an appointment, had to cross a fierce, rushing stream, and he was drowned in the attempt. Send us a man who can swim.” (Talmage)

2 Timothy 4:13-22 – ​”The Lord Stood with Me.”

   The winter was approaching, and the Apostle would be glad of his cloak amid the damp of the Mamertine prison. Evidently his arrest under Nero’s orders had been so sudden and peremptory that he was not allowed to go into his lodgings for this and other possessions, such as the books mentioned in v. 13.
   He had made his first appearance before Nero, and was expecting a further appearance to receive his sentence. But the Lord was with him, and his comfort was that he had proclaimed the gospel to the highest audience in the world of his time. His one thought always was that the gospel should be heard by men, whether they would hear or forbear. If that were secured, he did not count the cost to himself. The lion may stand for Nero or Satan (Luke 22:31; 1 Peter 5:8). From v. 20 we gather that miraculous gifts of healing, of which Paul was possessed, may not be used merely for friendship’s sake, but only where the progress of the gospel requires them. (Meyer)