4:1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ,
who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His
4:2 preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season;
reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching.
4:3 For the time will come when they will not listen to the sound
but, having itching ears, will heap up for themselves teachers
their own lusts;
4:4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside
4:5 But you
be sober in all things,
do the work of an evangelist,
and fulfill your ministry.
Paul's Hope in Death
4:6 For I am already being offered, and the time of my departure has
4:7 I have fought the good fight.
I have finished the course.
I have kept the faith.
4:8 From now on, there is stored up for me the crown of
which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on
and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved his
Paul's Situation in Prison
4:9 Be diligent to come to me soon,
4:10 for Demas left me, having loved this present world, and
Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.
4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with you,
for he is useful to me for ministering.
4:12 But I sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
4:13 Bring the cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus when you
and the books, especially the parchments.
4:14 Alexander, the coppersmith, did much evil to me.
The Lord will repay him according to his works,
4:15 of whom you also must beware; for he greatly opposed our
4:16 At my first defense, no one came to help me, but all left
May it not be held against them.
4:17 But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me,
that through me the message might be fully proclaimed,
and that all the Gentiles might hear;
and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
4:18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and
preserve me for his heavenly kingdom; to whom be the glory
Paul's Closing Greetings
4:19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the house of Onesiphorus.
4:20 Erastus remained at Corinth, but I left Trophimus at Miletus
4:21 Be diligent to come before winter. Eubulus salutes you,
as do Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers.
4:22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
vs 1,2 What perspective motivates you to preach the Word?
Do you feel you have the responsibility to preach the Word?
What hinders you from preaching the Word?
When is the Word "out of season"?
Notice the parallel between 2Tim 4:2 with 2Tim 3:16
Preach the Word
vs 3,4 What kinds of things do people want to hear?
Are there examples of such teachings today?
Are there TV programs that promote such myths and false
vs 5 "keep your head" = be watchful and aware
What is your ministry?
How might you efficiently discharge the duties of your ministry?
vs 7 What was Paul fighting? What was his race? (1Cor 9:24; Heb
vs 8 If the crown of righteousness is reward for service rendered,
isn't this salvation by works? (1Cor 9:25 Contrary to Roman 4:4) Or
the crown of righteousness an extra thing added to salvation? (1Cor
vs 9,10 What kinds of things draw Christians away from service?
vs 11 Notice the change in Mark and Paul's change of attitude
"And Barnabas determined to take with them John,
surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with
departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the
vs 14 Alexander - probably an idolmaker. This group was especially
hostile to Paul as his message affected their bottom line (Acts
vs 19 Onesiphorus (xref 2Tim 1:16)
2Tim 4:1,2 In the presence of God and
Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view
his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the
be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and
with great patience and careful instruction.
This command apparently Paul reckoned so serious above others he's
given that he was provoked to introduce it as he did, invoking God's
presence and the judgement to come along with the kingdom, so as to
the fear of God in Timothy with regards to this command.
And that's the thing. Christians don't tend take the preaching of
Word seriously enough. The reason is probably the same reason Paul
it necessary to put the fear of God in Timothy with regards to this
command, namely due to the fear of persecution.
"Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the
is kept safe." Pr 29:25
"In Season and Out of Season"
There are those even in the Christian community who treat the
of the Word to be limited to particular seasons, like Christmas and
Easter, or limited to certain environments, like an institutional
church environment, or event there only in the pulpit. Or they
only certain topics or passages should be allowed, and others
overlooked because they make people feel uncomfortable. The Word
always in season, and there should be no restriction on its
Much as the focus of this command is to those given the duty to
what is implied is that there is to be an audience willing to learn,
thus respect the preacher as an instructor. Yet it may take great
patience to win such a hearing and develop such a reputation as
of an instructor. And it takes great patience to study the word, and
learn how to be an effective teacher. And it takes great patience
longsuffering in dealing the immature Christians and non-Christians
bring them to a place of conviction and maturity in their faith and
understanding, going on to apply the Word to their lifestyle.
2Tim 4:3,4 For the time will come when
men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their
desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers
what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears
from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Notice that previously Paul had focused on false teachers. But
teaches largely have an audience because there are people who want
listen to them because they offer an alternative view that seems
pleasant to them. So here the audience is at fault. Those who look
on history for wolves among the sheep often neglect to realize that
wolves are not simply the false teachers. They are also those who
follow them. For those who follow false teachers are also
others to follow.
As for the time coming, it has been a common phenomenon throughout
history to this day. If alleged "Christians" don't like what the
says all they need do is find a church that either neglects to let
Bible speak to those issues, or one which reads into the Bible
interpretations that are palatable, watering down or twisting its
Jehoshaphat asked, "Is there
not a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?" The king
Israel answered Jehoshaphat, "There is still one man through
can inquire of the LORD, but I hate him because he never
anything good about me, but always bad." 2Chr 18:6,7
Consider yourself. Are there interpretations of passages in the
that you have opted for simply because they suit your desire, or did
you come to your conclusions based on an inductive study of the Word
free from preconceived notions?
2Tim 4:5,6 But you, keep your head in
situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist,
all the duties of your ministry. For I am already being poured out
a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.
Jesus was sent on a mission. Paul was send on a mission. Timothy was
sent on a mission. And you also are sent on a mission. Set gear up.
There is work to be done. Here Paul passes the torch to the next
generation whom he has prepared to continue the mission. And each
generation must prepared the next. "The
you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to
reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others." 2Tim
"keep your head in all situations"
is to say "sober" - to be calm and collected in spirit. This in
contrast to the reaction of many of Paul's former companions with
regards to his circumstances, who even abandoned him. And if you're
involved in the Lord's work there will be hardship, but don't worry
about it. Even those working in secular jobs knows that hardship and
unanticipated things just happen from time to time. Work is hard.
think working for the Lord is any easier than it is work in a
job. (I should know because I do both.)
Develop a sense of duty with regards to your mission in life for the
Lord. Don't serve the Lord simply because you feel like doing it.
won't get you through the tough times. Do it because it is the right
thing to do, given what Christ has done for us.
2Tim 4:7,8 I have fought the good
have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in
for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous
will award to me on that day— and not only to me, but also to all
have longed for his appearing.
Likewise Jesus said, "I have glorified You on
the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.
now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory
I had with You before the world was. John 17:4,5 By
end of your life are you prepared to pray, "I have finished the
work which You have given Me to do."
Paul anticipates receiving a crown of righteousness, as should all
have loved Christ's appearing and acted on it. Jas 1:12 "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial,
because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of
that God has promised to those who love him." And Jesus
says, "Be faithful, even to the point of
death, and I will
give you the crown of life." Rev 2:10b And in
anticipation of that event he says, "I am
soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your
Thus your love for Christ will be reflected in your endurance of
and by walking in that faith to the death.
2Tim 4:9,10 Do your best to come
me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted
has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus
Demas was mentioned in a couple of other of Paul's epistles as a
worker, such as Phm 1:24 "Mark,
Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers." Crescens
only mentioned here, but was likely an associate of Paul as Demas
been. And Titus, of course, we're all familiar with as he had a
epistle devoted to him.
These three, along with others, deserted Paul with regards to this
particular incident. Not to say that they abandoned the faith, but
rather with regards to this event they fled. Much as some who say
was just referring to Demas here, yet if one simply puts aside
perceived notions and reads the text, one is led to assume he's
referring to all three leaving him for illegitimate reasons. John
writes, "Do not love the world or anything in
the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is
him." 1John 2:15 This is not to say that Demas does
categorically have the Fathers love in him. For John used the
tense, which in Greek alludes to one's lifestyle and not to
events in time. While Paul used the Aorist tense both for "deserted"
and "loved" limiting his comment to that particular event. (People
confuse the aorist and present tense when interpreting the Bible
end up misconstruing its meaning)
2Tim 4:11,12 Only Luke is with me. Get
Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my
ministry. I sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
That is of his original ministry team only Luke was left. But he had
others, such as those mentioned in verse 21. Luke was a faithful
companion, and being a physician one would imagine Luke having a
particular sense of empathy considering Paul's current state.
Mark is a very interesting case. It was Mark, the cousin of
that Paul and Barnabus brought along on their first missionary
But when they started to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, Mark
abandoned them. This was likely due to Mark, who originally was
involved with the Jerusalem church, being prejudice of Gentiles, an
attitude common among those from the Church of Jerusalem, including
among the apostles there. In Acts 15 we learn of Paul having to put
down a cult growing in the church at Jerusalem which the apostles
neglected to deal with but which had started to spread their heresy
the Gentile churches. So, considering Paul's tone in writing the
epistle to the Galatians you can imagine Paul's attitude when
shortly thereafter suggested they take Mark along for their next
missionary journey. He was outraged. This caused a split between him
and Barnabus who then took Mark to train him himself.
But here we see Paul didn't hold a grudge. For apparently Mark had
become useful to Paul in his ministry to the Gentiles, as he had
mentioned him in Philemon as a fellowworker. And I take it likewise
that as the years past the apostles got over their prejudice of
Tychicus is mentioned a number of times. Paul used him as a
Note the rhetoric here "I sent" compared to the rhetoric in verse 10
others who departed from him. Unlike the others Tychicus hadn't
abandoned him, but was sent on a mission. He's sending him to
and in fact he's mentioned in Ephesians 6:21 "But that you also may know my affairs and how I
doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the
will make all things known to you"
2Tim 4:13-15 When you come, bring the
cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially
parchments. Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm.
Lord will repay him for what he has done. You too should be on
guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.
Verse 13 seems good for not much more than as a Bible trivia
There's even uncertainty as to what exactly he referred to here.
even view the term for "cloak" actually referring to a book. The
scrolls and parchments were either Old Testament scripture, or
of his own writings, or just materials to write on. But what we
gather is that despite the circumstances and his possible impending
death, he continued to study the Bible and write letters. Jesus
said, "If you abide in My word,
you are My
If the genuineness of your faith is reflected by you zeal to study
apply the Bible, how would you measure up?
Though the name "Alexander" is used a few times in the New
it is unclear whether any of them is this "Alexander". Perhaps for
reason Paul specified this was the Alexander who was the metal
though while it doesn't help us to distinguish whether he is one of
"Alexanders" of the NT, Timothy would understand the reference. One
possibility is that, being a metal worker, he may have been an idol
maker much as the circumstance which we read of a situation in
where a riot broke out, having its inception in this: "A silversmith named Demetrius, who
made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for
craftsmen. He called them together, along with the workmen in
trades, and said: "Men, you know we receive a good income from
And so they incensed the crowds to a riot.
Another possibility is Alexander was an apostate, having left the
much as those mentioned in 1John
For the greatest deal of harm is in the realm of ideas and the fact
that there is no comparison between the basis of other religions at
time such as polytheism with its idolatry and Christianity being
validated by the in the historic fact of Jesus miracles and his
resurrection from the dead. And Paul had previously mentioned of the
danger of apostates in this letter. "Their teaching will spread like
wary of apostates.
2Tim 4:16At my first defense, no one came to
support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against
Just as Christ experienced being deserted at some crucial point, so
also such is not an uncommon experience among those who follow in
Here "deserted" is in the aorist tense in Greek, referring not to a
characteristic lifestyle but rather to a particular event. I made
point previously in commenting on Demas deserting him in verse 10.
time to time, particularly under duress, even those born of God will
fail at some point, even though such failure be uncharacteristic of
their lifestyle. When those born of God fail you, don't be too
by it, for they will find they can't stay there. Their conscience
convicts them and they will be restored.
Very significantly here is that Paul
essentially forgave these Christians for deserting him, prior to
even repenting! This somewhat reminds of what Jesus said on
cross, "Forgive them for they
what they do." Luke 23:34
How might you apply this principle in your own life?
The Lord Stands at Our Side
2Tim 4:17,18 But the Lord stood at my side and
me strength, so that through me the message might be fully
and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the
mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will
safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever.
Reminds one of Acts 7:55 in which after testifying before
the Jews, Stephen saw the Lord standing in heaven.
If you were to go through an experience as a consequence of walking
with Christ of being deserted by other Christians, I want to
you. For not only is it a privilege to fellowship in Christ's
sufferings, but also this kind of thing strengthens one's resolve,
increasing one's fortitude with regards to their convictions, and
regards to one's confidence in the Lord to bring us safely through
trials of life. Recall Jesus' own experience during his time of
trial. "Then an angel appeared
to Him from
heaven, strengthening Him."Luke
Used to be when building one of those old sailing ships, they would
find a tree on top of a hill and cut al the trees around it such
it would be subject to the stress of the winds alone, which would
strengthened its fibers. Some time later, after it's matured, they
would cut it down and use it as the main mast of the sailing ship to
have the fortitude against the storms of life.
2Tim 4:19-22 Greet Priscilla and
Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus stayed in
Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. Do your best to get
here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus,
Claudia and all the brothers. The Lord be with your spirit. Grace
be with you.
Priscilla and Aquila are mentioned seven times. Four times in Acts and three
times in the epistles. They, like Paul, traveled a bit doing
ministry. But one epistle its mentioned they had house in which the
church would meet. Paul mentioned Onesiphorus earlier in this
letter, saying, "May the Lord show mercy to
the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and
was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in
Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. May the Lord
grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know
very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus" 2Tim
Erastus was also mentioned a few times in the New Testament as a
fellow worker. And Trophimus as well. He apparently accompanied Paul
to Jerusalem just before the riot in which Paul was arrested. In
fact the unbelieving Jews used Trophimus in Acts 21:29 as
an excuse to try and kill Paul.
"The Lord be with your spirit" is
actually a prayer, though not a phrase commonly used today. It does
remind us of another prayer. "May God
himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May
your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ" 1Th 5:23 I would
conjecture that the one's spirit is seat of the conscience and
intuition. It is that which is behind one's attitude.