2Ti 4:1 When Christ Jesus comes as king, he will be the judge of everyone, whether they are living or dead. So with God and Christ as witnesses, I command you
Adjure thee–“I most solemnly urge upon you.” Paul’s dying charge to Timothy was that he should be diligent and zealous in preaching the Word of God. – No man can really preach the good tidings intelligently who does not believe also that the Son has been appointed by the father to judge the world in the appointed Millennial day.
The living — The living nations first. The fallen angels, who have never fallen into death, but are restrained in chains of darkness. Jude 1;6; 2 Peter 2:4
And the dead — The race of mankind, all of whom are under the sentence of death.
At his appearing — Greek, epiphania, bright shining or manifestation. During his manifestation, at his second advent. It is evident, then, that the Kingdom promised is future, that its work of blessing all humanity is future.
The Church hopes to share with him in those future glories and grand opportunities.
The command as we will see in the next verse is to “preach the Word” until the Epiphania of Christ’s second coming.
Do you know what the word Epiphania signifies?
Are you still preaching the “Word”?
What is the message you preach?
2Ti 4:2 to preach God’s message. Do it willingly, even if it isn’t the popular thing to do. You must correct people and point out their sins. But also cheer them up, and when you instruct them, always be patient.
Some other versions have a better translation.
(ERV) Tell everyone God’s message. Be ready at all times to do whatever is needed. Tell people what they need to do, tell them when they are doing wrong, and encourage them. Do this with great patience and careful teaching.
(Weymouth) proclaim God’s message, be zealous in season and out of season; convince, rebuke, encourage, with the utmost patience as a teacher.
Preach the Word — Teacher and hearer should see to it that it is not man’s wisdom that is proclaimed. As long as there are hungry hearts to receive the message–until the Church is complete. All the Lord’s people are teachers–it is the chief business of their life.
Before we begin to preach, we should be acquainted with the Word, and have a clear, definite understanding of its “good tidings.” We find Paul exhorting Timothy to preach the word without fear of man. R552:2
The word of truth and faith, the Gospel of salvation, the word of righteousness, peace, and reconciliation by Christ; which is to be preached, or published, in like manner as heralds proclaim the will of their princes; openly, publicly, and with a loud voice, without adding to it, or taking from speaking out the whole, and keeping back no part of it; and that with all courage and boldness.
Be constant and industrious in the work of the ministry; be always and wholly in it, either preparing for it, or performing it; or doing those things which are connected with it, or follow upon it; redeem time, and take every opportunity of dispensing the mysteries of grace, as a faithful steward of them; not only make use of the common and stated seasons for the ministration of the word and ordinances, but embrace every other that offers; make use not only of those seasons which may seem commodious and advantageous both to preacher and hearer, and promise usefulness and success, but even such as may seem uncomfortable and disadvantageous to flesh and blood; such as times of persecution and opposition; but none of these things should deter and move from the preaching of the Gospel.
Reprove, rebuke — It is safe to caution all the Lord’s people against a too liberal use of reproving and rebuking.
Our reproving and rebuking, of teachings and teachers, should be done from a Scriptural standpoint–with brotherly patience, without bitterness, harshness or unkindness, and without arrogance.
In order to reprove properly, the heart should be very full of love and sympathy; else the reproofs and rebukes might be sharp and possibly do more harm than good. We can judge only by men’s words of profession and their course of action; we must leave the rest to be revealed by the great judge.
Experience has proved that some of the Lord’s people are in need of words of warning in order that they be not deceived.
Exhort — Exhortation is the form of service which quite evidently can best be used by the majority of the Lord’s people, but even this should be characterized by patience, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness.
Never degenerate into mere coaxing without sound reason or doctrine. Exhortation without sound reasoning and the strong support of the inspired Word is weak and is not lasting in its effects.
Does this verse describe how you live your life?
What changes can you make to get your life more in tune with how we should be living?
Do you take this verse as a “reproof” and “rebuke” or an “exhortation” or “encouragement”?
2Ti 4:3 The time is coming when people won’t listen to good teaching. Instead, they will look for teachers who will please them by telling them only what they are itching to hear.
This is a reason of the solemn charge above given: the time referred to was future, when the apostle wrote, but quickly came on; and the characters of it have appeared more or less in all ages since; and in none more than in ours.
Foretells a future day. Particularly in the latter part of the harvest of the Gospel age, as illustrated by the closing days of John the Baptist.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith.” (1Ti_4:1)
Will not endure sound doctrine — Wholesome teaching. (MacKnight’s translation) They will not endure preachers who ignore their creeds. The reason would be an unsatisfactory condition of heart in the Church, a lack of faith in the Lord’s supervision.
but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers; not being content with the ministry of one man only, or of a few, though of their own sort; but must follow many, and have heaps of them; which seems to express not only the number of false teachers which they accumulate to themselves, but the confused and indiscreet choice they make of them; and that after their own lusts; choosing to hear such as either indulge them in their sinful lusts and pleasures; or are agreeable to their private corrupt sentiments, in opposition to the generally received doctrine of faith. It is a blessing to have pastors and teachers after God’s heart, and who preach according to the word of God; these feed men with knowledge and understanding, Jer_3:15 but it is a curse upon a people, when they are left to choose teachers after their hearts’ lusts:
“Be not many teachers.” (James_3:1)
Having itching ears — Desiring something new and different from teachers after their own liking. Teachers that would tickle their ears. For worldly praise or applause. Who would turn their ears away from truth to fables–more pleased with style and oratory than truth.
Faithful servants will not seek to please the ear with soft words, nor to lull the drowsy, but will proclaim the unvarnished truth, exposing hypocrisy and deception.
Does this verse describe you?
Do you see this attitude in your fellowship?
If you see this attitude in your fellowship, are you willing to practice verse 2 (and preach the Word, reprove, rebuke, exhort with patience and love)?
If you are not willing, does that make you the same as those described in this verse?
2Ti 4:4 They will turn from the truth and eagerly listen to senseless stories.
(TLV) And they will turn away from hearing the truth and wander off to myths.
(BBE) And shutting their ears to what is true, will be turned away to belief in foolish stories.
Turned unto fables — Congregations moving from the hopes and methods set before us in the gospel to hopes and methods of their own misconceptions and unbelief. Turned from the study of God’s Word to the doing of penances and vain repetitions of prayer; from faith in the precious blood of Christ, to the “mass” and its oft-repeated sacrifices for sins. Fables respecting sacred relics and wonderful cures wrought by nails from the cross, pieces of the cross, bones of saints, etc. Evolution theories and higher criticism unbelief. Such as monkey progenitors millions of years ago. Anecdotes, essays on science, politics, social uplift, etc.
Things idle, trifling, useless, and, unprofitable; and which are no better than old wives’ fables; some respect may be had either to Jewish fables, or to the miraculous mythologies of the Gentiles, or of the Gnostics, and others: but in general, it includes everything that is vain, empty, and senseless; and this is to be considered as a just judgment upon them; that since they like not to retain the knowledge of the truth, but turn away their ears from it, God gives them up to a reprobate mind, a mind void of sense and judgment, to attend to things idle and fabulous.
Which are you more “eager” to listen to?
Is the prosperity Gospel an example of this turning away?
Have you ever gotten a message that says, “If you say this prayer, you will get a blessing”? Have you ever done it? Have you passed it on?
2Ti 4:5 But you must stay calm and be willing to suffer. You must work hard to tell the good news and to do your job well.
(Williams) But you, on your part, must always keep your head cool, suffer hardship, do your work as a herald of the good news, and so fill your ministry to the brim.
(WNT) But as for you, you must exercise habitual self-control, and not live a self-indulgent life, but do the duty of an evangelist and fully discharge the obligations of your office.
A teacher and expounder of the Gospel and not of human tradition. Make full proof — Demonstrate what you have professed and what you know to be the truth, that you are a servant of God and not of man, that you are a loyal ambassador in delivering the message He sends. Be vigilant against error and against sin, and faithful in the performance of duty.
endure afflictions (In KJV); the Alexandrian copy adds, “as a good soldier of Jesus Christ”, as in 2Ti_2:3 meaning reproaches and persecutions for the sake of the Gospel, from without, and all trials and exercises from within, through the infirmities and ill conduct of the saints themselves; all which are to be endured patiently, cheerfully, and courageously; so as not to be moved by them to desist from the work of the ministry:
Do the work of an evangelist – That is: Preach Christ crucified for the sins of the whole world; for this, and this alone, is doing the work of an evangelist, or preacher of the glad tidings of peace and salvation by Christ. An angel from God was first sent to do the work of an evangelist, and how did he do it? Behold, said he, I bring you good tidings of great joy. Behold, I evangelize unto you great joy, which shall be to all people; to you is born a Savior. Those who do not proclaim Christ as having tasted death for every man, and who do not implicitly show that every human may be saved (by the Ransom sacrifice), do not perform the work of evangelists. Yet, as far as they preach the truth in sincerity, so far God acknowledges and blesses them and their labors; they do a part of the work, but not the whole.
make full proof of thy ministry (in the KJV): Push all thy principles to their utmost power of activity; carry them on to all their consequences; and try what God will do for thee, and by thee. Neglect no part of thy sacred function; perform faithfully all the duties of which it is composed; and do God’s work in his own way and in his own spirit.
If you are an elder or teacher—what is your message?
If you are just a brother or sister in Christ with no office in the fellowship—what is your message?
Do you only want to hear or preach one topic—like prophecy or Chronology, or the Tabernacle or the like?
Are you “working hard to tell the Good News”?
What is the “Good News”? Is it the “kingdom on earth”, or “the high calling”?
2Ti 4:6 Now the time has come for me to die. My life is like a drink offering being poured out on the altar.
(ISV) I am already being poured out as an offering, and the time for my departure has come.
(Weymouth) I for my part am like a drink-offering which is already being poured out; and the time for my departure is now close at hand.
These words form a part of the last charge of the great Apostle to his son Timothy.
Poured out, as a libation, or a drink offering; or as the blood was poured out at the bottom of the altar; which is expressive of martyrdom, and shows that the apostle knew what death he should die. This was an offering acceptable unto God, in whose sight the death of His saints is precious; as the wine in the drink offering is said to cheer God, that is, to be acceptable to Him:
The Syriac version renders it, “the time in which I shall be dissolved”; and the Vulgate Latin version, “the time of my resolution”. Death analyzes men, and reduces them to their first original earth; it is a removing of persons from one place and state to another; from an house of clay, from this earthly house of our tabernacle, to an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, to everlasting habitations, and mansions in Christ’s Father’s house. This phrase, “a departure”, is an easy representation of death, and supposes an existence after it; See Gill on Php_1:23. Now there is a “time” for this; saints are not to continue here always; this is a state of pilgrimage, and a time of sojourning, and which is fixed and settled; the time for going out of this world, as well as for coming into it, is determined by God. The apostle knew partly from his age, and partly from his situation, being in bonds at Rome, and it may be by divine revelation, that his time of removing out of this world was very near; and which he mentions, to stir up Timothy to diligence, since he would not have him long with him, to give him counsel and advice, to admonish him, or set him an example.
If your entire life like an offering to God?
Do you give God your “all” or just Sundays?
Do you fear death? Why?
2Ti 4:7 I have fought well. I have finished the race, and I have been faithful.
(BBE) I have made a good fight, I have come to the end of my journey, I have kept the faith:
(GNB) I have done my best in the race, I have run the full distance, and I have kept the faith.
I have fought a good fight — Paul had fought in defense of the Lord’s testimony to the end of his course to the best of his ability. He did not boast of his knowledge, nor of his abilities, nor of his accomplishments, nor of his sufferings. Paul wrote, not egotistically, but for Timothy’s encouragement. We must fight against selfishness in its every phase, especially in ourselves. Not with carnal weapons.
Finished my course — Paul wrote these words shortly before he was executed. He was spared from crucifixion by reason of being a Roman citizen; instead he was beheaded, says tradition.
Kept the faith — The true faith once delivered unto the saints. (Jud_1:3) Faith in the Redeemer’s sacrifice; in its application on our behalf; in our justification; in the promises of God’s Word; in the Lord and in the brethren.
Which God through his Word had inspired, the faith which Paul had received, and was given to all of the Lord’s people. He had kept it obediently, faithfully; had not denied it for any consideration, nor bartered it for earthly advantage. Courageously, at the cost of self-denial, of self-sacrifice, hardships and persecutions. A grand testimony, at the conclusion of a grand life, nobly sacrificed. This is not merely keeping the faith in us, but in the sense of faithfully declaring it; for whoever does not declare the good tidings to others will soon lose the faith himself.
How important is knowledge and a correct faith?
How are you doing in your “race”? Are you running? Walking? Or laying down?
If you are not “running”, are you being faithful?
2Ti 4:8 So a crown will be given to me for pleasing the Lord. He judges fairly, and on the day of judgment he will give a crown to me and to everyone else who wants him to appear with power.
(BBE) From now on, the crown of righteousness is made ready for me, which the Lord, the upright judge, Will give to me at that day: and not only to me, but to all those who have had love for his revelation.
(Weymouth) From this time onward there is reserved 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 love the thought of His Appearing.
There is laid up — In reservation, in waiting. Awaiting him, not at death, but at his resurrection. He did not claim to possess his crown at the time, except by faith.
For me a crown — Representing a position in the glorified little flock. Glory, honor, immortality; association with Christ in his Millennial Kingdom. Paul had absolute confidence in the Lord and in the promise he had received from him. The secret of Paul’s labor was the divine approval, to be manifested in granting him a share in the first resurrection. Paul esteemed that crown because it would afford him untold opportunity of blessing his fellowman during the Millennium. That crown would also be the mark of divine appreciation and love for him.
Of righteousness — “The crown of life which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” (Jam_1:12) “Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Rev_2:10) “When the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1Pe_5:4)
Only those who are approved of God as righteous will thus be rewarded and glorified.
The righteous judge — The Church, the Lord’s body, is being judged now.
At that day — The day of the Lord. The day of his appearing and Kingdom. There is no kingdom until the King comes. Paul pointed to the second coming of Christ. In the first resurrection at the close of the Gospel age.
Unto all them also — The church. All of the faithful ones of this Gospel age. Paul did not expect to go to heaven, but to await the Lord’s return when he and all the faithful would be rewarded by having part in the “first resurrection.”
Love his appearing — Greek, epiphania, bright shining or manifestation. None but this class will receive the crown.
Some prefer that he delay his appearing so they may accumulate the wealth they covet.
Paul again uses the term, “epiphania” for coming or appearing—what does it mean?
Are you confident like the Apostle Paul that you have given your “all” to the Lord and you are “running the race” that the Lord put before you?
If you determine that you have been slacking –will you renew your consecration to the Lord and start running?
2Ti 4:9 Come to see me as soon as you can.
As soon as possible. Timothy had been Paul’s traveling companion, and was his intimate friend. The apostle was now nearly forsaken, and was about to pass through severe trials. It is not certainly known for what purpose he wished him to come to him (from Ephesus to Rome), but perhaps he desired to give him some parting counsels; perhaps he wished him to be near him when he died.
Paul was a man of God but he was not superhuman. He needed and wanted companionship. Paul was lonely.
Even those amongst us who seem to have everything together and are on fire for the Lord need our emotional and spiritual support.
Are you aware of the needs of the brethren in your fellowship?
2Ti 4:10 Demas loves the things of this world so much that he left me and went to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus has gone to Dalmatia.
For Demas has forsaken me: Paul remembers those who have forsaken him. Some (like Demas) left him because they had loved this present world (literally, “the now age”). Others left him out of necessity (like Crescens and Titus). Some other left because Paul sent them (like Tychicus).
Demas was mentioned in Paul’s earlier letters as a fellow worker but later he went astray (Col_4:14 and Phm_1:24). His previous faithfulness made it all more painful for Paul.
Demas] Very likely a shortened form of Demetrius; two persons of the name occur in N.T., Act_19:24, the silversmith of Ephesus, and, 3Jn_1:12, the bearer possibly of that letter, one to whose character all bore testimony, which St John himself ratified. The Demetrius or Demas here seems to occupy a middle place; a Christian believer and follower, who however had lost ‘his first love,’ and forsook the Apostle in his hour of trial, to attend to the business of the world. He had been with him in the first imprisonment, Col_4:14.
Forsook, so in 2Ti_4:16. The same strong compound verb and tense occur Mat_27:46, where the rendering ‘why hast thou forsaken me?’ is more correct, because the tense of the verb is used there of what is just happening, cf. Php_2:28, Gal_6:11.
having loved] ‘Because he loved’; this verb is chosen in half-conscious irony of contrast to 2Ti_4:8 and the love set on the future appearing of the Lord.
this present world] Lit. ‘age’; cf. note on 1Ti_6:17. The other world, the world of eternity, is under the Eternal God the King of the ages, 1Ti_1:17. Cf. Luk_20:35; Luk_18:30. ‘The Apostles speak of themselves and their generation as living on the frontier of two æons, the Gospel transferring them across the border. The distinction of time between the two becomes lost in the moral and spiritual conception.’ Bp Lightfoot on Gal_1:4.
unto Thessalonica] Why, is not known, except so far as this place suggests either home or business.
Which do we love more “the present world” or “the world to come”—To be with our Lord?
Are we there when our brethren need us? Or are we too busy with our own lives?
2Ti 4:11 Only Luke has stayed with me. Mark can be very helpful to me, so please find him and bring him with you.
Only Luke is with me,…. The beloved physician, who wrote the Gospel that bears his name, and “the Acts of the Apostles”, and was a constant companion of Paul’s in his travels and sufferings. It is supposed continued with him even to his martyrdom.
take Mark, and bring him with thee; who might be at Ephesus, or somewhere in Timothy’s way as he came to Rome. This seems to be the same with John Mark of Jerusalem, the son of Mary, the sister of Barnabas, and who was with Paul and Barnabas in their travels, and who parted from them at Pamphylia; on whose account, and for that reason, there was so great a difference between Paul and Barnabas, as to separate upon it; but now the apostle had entertained a better opinion of him, and was reconciled unto him, and was very desirous of his company and assistance; and which he had, Col_4:10.
For he is profitable to me for the ministry; For service; that is, he would be very useful to the apostle, to minister to him in his present close confinement. Some think that the apostle means his preaching the Gospel; but at this time, I should suppose, there was very little, if any, public preaching at Rome.
Have you failed to stand with your brethren in the past because of fear of man?
Will you continue in that fear that keeps your light hidden, or will you be a Mark and once again be a faithful minister? It’s not too late!
2Ti 4:12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
Tychicus – See Act_20:4. In Eph_6:21, Paul calls him “a beloved brother, and faithful minister in the Lord.” But it may be asked why he did not retain him with him, or why should he have sent him away, and then call Timothy to him? The probability is, that he had sent him before he had seen reason to apprehend that he would be put to death; and now, feeling the need of a friend to be with him, he sent to Timothy, rather than to him, because Tychicus had been employed to perform some service which he could not well leave, and because Paul wished to give some special instructions to Timothy before he died. Or he could have sent Tychicus to supply the place of Timothy, while he came to Rome, and continued there with him.
Are you willing to go where the Lord sends you, when He sends you?
Do you take advantages of the opportunities the Lord puts before you?
Do you allow others to take your place for a while, or share in your work?
2Ti 4:13 When you come, bring the coat I left at Troas with Carpus. Don’t forget to bring the scrolls, especially the ones made of leather.
The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus,…. About the word here rendered a “cloak”, interpreters are not agreed: some take it for a garment, and about this they differ; some would have it to be a dignified robe, such as the Roman consuls and senators of Rome wore; which is not likely, this being not suitable to the apostle’s character, state, and circumstances. Others take it to be a courser and meaner garment, wore in cold and rainy weather, to preserve from the inclementencies of it; and winter now coming on, 2Ti_4:21 the apostle sends for it; which he perhaps had left at Troas in the summer season, as he came: but others take it to be a kind of desk or scrutoire, to put papers in, or a chest for books, a book press; and so the Syriac version renders it; and which agrees with what follows. Jerom understands it of a book itself, of the Hebrew volume of the Pentateuch (g). Troas, where this cloak, or book press, or book was, was a city in Asia Minor, that stood upon, or near the same place where old Troy stood, and from whence it seems to have had its name, and lay in Timothy’s way from Ephesus to Rome (It was not on the most direct route from Ephesus to Rome, but was a route frequently taken.); See Gill on Act_16:8, Act_20:7 and as for Carpus, he was Paul’s host when he was at Troas. Some make him to be first bishop (Elder) of Laodicea, and then of Crete; he is reckoned among the seventy disciples, and is said to be bishop (elder) of Berytus in Thrace; See Gill on Luk_10:1.
Most translations have some variation of cloak or coat, but here is an interesting one.
(Murdock) And when thou comest, bring the bookcase, which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, but especially the roll of parchments.
and the books; that were in it, or were there, besides the Hebrew Pentateuch: the apostle was a great reader of books, of various sorts, both Gentile and Jewish, as appears by his citations out of the Heathen poets, and his acquaintance with Jewish records, Act_17:28. And though he was now grown old, and near his exit, yet was mindful and careful of his books, and desirous of having them to read; and herein set an example to Timothy and others, and enforced the exhortation he gave him, 1Ti_4:13.
But especially the parchments: which might contain his own writings he had a mind to revise before his death, and commit into the hands of proper persons; or some observations which he had made in his travels, concerning persons and things; though it is most likely that these were the books of the Old Testament, which were written on parchments, and rolled up together; and hence they are called the volume of the book; and these the apostle had a special regard for, that whatever was neglected, he desired that these might not, but be carefully brought unto him.
What would you call for if you knew your life was about to be taken?
What unfinished business would you have, or do you have? (Jesus made provision for his mom, Paul for the scriptures and books he had) what is it you need to take care of before it is too late?
2Ti 4:14 Alexander, the metalworker (coppersmith), has hurt me in many ways. But the Lord will pay him back for what he has done.
Alexander the coppersmith,…. This seems to be the same person that was at Ephesus in the tumult, when the apostle was there, Act_20:33 and whom he afterwards delivered to Satan, along with Hymenaeus, for blasphemy, 1Ti_1:20. It was very likely he had lately been at Rome, though now returned to Ephesus. His business is mentioned, to distinguish him from any other of that name. We are not to understand this of any tradesman, but of some rabbin; for it was not unusual for the Jews to apply the name of some trade as an epithet to their rabbins and literary men.
Did me much evil – This Alexander is the same person as that mentioned in 1Ti_1:20 as “a blasphemer,” which agrees exactly with what is here said of him, “he greatly withstood our words” (comp. Act_13:45, “contradicted the things which were spoken by Paul, and blasphemed”).
It is probable that it was not evil to Paul personally, so much as embarrassment to the cause of religion which he advocated; compare 2Ti_2:17-18.
He will reward, is the reading of the very best MSS., several of the versions, and some of the chief Greek fathers. This makes the sentence declaratory: The Lord Will reward him according to his works. This reading is most like the spirit and temper of this heavenly man. See 2Ti_4:16.
What is your attitude toward those who cause problems in the Church?
2Ti 4:15 Alexander opposes what we preach. You had better watch out for him.
Of whom be thou ware also – It would seem from this that Alexander was still a public teacher, and that his discourses were plausible and artful. The best and the wisest of men need to be on their guard against the efforts of the advocates of error.
It seems that this rabbin traveled about from place to place for the purpose of opposing the Gospel, the Jews putting him forward, as it is said, Act_19:33.
For he hath greatly withstood our words – Margin, “preachings.” The Greek is, “words;” but the reference is doubtless to the public teachings of Paul. This verse makes it clear that it was no private wrong that Paul referred to, but the injury which he was doing to the cause of truth as a professed public teacher.
Has been a constant opposer of the Christian doctrines.
What does it mean “watch out for him”?
Are you able to identify those who oppose the Truth? What is your reaction to them?
2Ti 4:16 When I was first put on trial, no one helped me. In fact, everyone deserted me. I hope it won’t be held against them.
At my first answer no man stood with me (in the KJV),…. Meaning, that when he made his first defense against the charges laid unto him in one of the courts of judgement in Rome, no man appeared in his cause, to speak to his character, to be a witness for him, or plead his cause:
but all men forsook me; all his friends, all that came with him from Judea, or from Asia; see 2Ti_1:15 being timorous of coming into danger, and of the loss of their lives; as the disciples of Christ were, when he was apprehended, who all at that time forsook him and fled. Some who did have confidence in him had lost their confidence, and in the heat of trial had deserted him.
This was the situation in Rome at the time: “It is generally allowed that, when St. Paul had been taken this second time by the Romans, he was examined immediately, and required to account for his conduct; and that, so odious was Christianity through the tyranny of Nero, he could procure no person to plead for him. Nero, who had himself set fire to Rome, charged it on the Christians, and they were in consequence persecuted in the most cruel manner; he caused them to be wrapped up in pitched clothes, and then, chaining them to a stake, he ordered them to be set on fire to give light in the streets after night!”
I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge; that this sin may not be imputed to them, or they be punished for it, but that it might be pardoned; so differently does he express himself on the account of these, than on the account of the coppersmith; he sinning through malice, willfully and obstinately, these through surprise, temptation, and weakness.
Do you pray for your weaker brethren?
Are you one of the weaker brethren?
Are you praying to overcome?
Are you putting yourself out there in the little matters of each day, to build strength of character when the bigger challenges come?
2Ti 4:17 But the Lord stood beside me. He gave me the strength to tell his full message, so that all Gentiles would hear it. And I was kept safe from hungry lions.
The Lord stood with me – When all human help failed, God, in a more remarkable manner, interposed; and thus the excellency plainly appeared to be of God, and not of man.
That by me the preaching might be fully known – When called on to make his defense he took occasion to preach the Gospel, and to show that the great God of heaven and earth had designed to illuminate the Gentile world with the rays of his light and glory. This must have endeared him to some, while others might consider him an opposer of their gods, and be the more incensed against him.
I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion – I escaped the imminent danger at that time. Probably he was seized in a tumultuous manner, and expected to be torn to pieces. The words to be rescued from the mouth or jaws of the lion, are a proverbial form of speech for deliverance from the most imminent danger. Several writers think Nero to be intended by the lion, because of his rage and oppressive cruelty. But Helius Caesarinus was at this time prefect of the city; Nero being in Greece. He was a bloody tyrant, and Nero had given him the power of life and death in his absence. The apostle may mean him, if the words be not proverbial.
Are you emboldened by the Lord’s strength?
Do you trust and feel His strength?
2Ti 4:18 The Lord will always keep me from being harmed by evil, and he will bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. Praise him forever and ever! Amen.
(DRB) The Lord hath delivered me from every evil work and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom. To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
(Murdock) And my Lord will rescue me from every evil work; and will give me life in his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Weymouth) The Lord will deliver me from every cruel attack and will keep me safe in preparation for His heavenly Kingdom. To Him be the glory until the Ages of the Ages! Amen.
None of the evil designs formed against me to make me unfaithful or unsteady, to cause me to save my life at the expense of faith and a good conscience, shall succeed; my life may go, but he will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom. A continuance on earth the apostle expects not; but he has glory full in view, and therefore he gives God glory for what he had done, and for what he had promised to do.
and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom, It is a heavenly kingdom not because of its locality, but because of its nature. “Heavenly” simply means spiritual. Notice Paul did not believe he would be immediately taken into the kingdom (because that would mean the resurrection was past), but in the End Times when the resurrection takes place, Paul was confident of his place in it.
the apostle believed he should be preserved, as all the saints will be, notwithstanding the persecutions of the world, the temptations of Satan, and their own corruptions; for they are in an everlasting covenant, and in the hands of Christ; and have not only angels to encamp about them, and salvation, as walls and bulwarks to them, but God himself is a wall of fire around them, and they are kept by His power unto salvation: and besides, this heavenly kingdom is prepared for them, and given to them; they are chosen to be heirs and possessors of it; they are called unto it, and Christ is gone to receive it in their name, to prepare it for them, and will come again and introduce them into it:
To whom be glory forever and ever – Paul was accustomed to introduce a doxology in his writings when his heart was full (compare Rom_9:5), and in no place could it be more appropriate than here, when he had the fullest confidence that he was soon finish his course receive of his reward. If man is ever disposed to ascribe glory to God, it is on such an occasion.
Do you have the confidence of Paul?
What is your hope?
Do you praise God? How do you do it?
2Ti 4:19 Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila and to the family of Onesiphorus.
Prisca, or Priscilla, was the wife of Aquila, though her name is sometimes mentioned first. In regard to their history, see the notes at Rom_16:3. They were at Rome when Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans, but afterward went into Asia Minor, which was the native place of Aquila Act_18:2, and where they probably died.
Some copies, read here; who were of the same occupation with the apostle, and with whom he wrought at Corinth, and whom he left at Ephesus.
And the household of Onesiphorus: who also lived at Ephesus, and whose kindness to the apostle, when he was at Rome, is before mentioned, 2Ti_1:16. Onesiphorus was probably at this time dead: his family still remained at Ephesus.
A notable story of Aquila and Priscilla is with Apollos (Acts 18:24-18)
They recognized Apollos as a Christian brother. They took him home and instructed him, so that he went away better equipped for the work. Aquila and Priscilla were able to instruct a public preacher. Had Aquila and Priscilla not been students of the truth, what an opportunity they would have lost. Each doing with his might what his hand finds to do, using whatever talents he possesses, helping to understand the word of God more perfectly.
What lessons can we learn from the lives of Priscilla, Aquila and Onesiphorus?
Do we have the courage and love to help a brother overcome some wrong views?
Have we studied enough (Do we know our scriptures) to be able to do this?
Do we trust the Lord to guide our words to suit the situation?
2Ti 1:16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: 17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
Are you refreshing to the brethren?
Are you not afraid to be associated with brethren who are suffering for righteousness?
Do you diligently look for opportunities to serve and comfort our brethren?
2Ti 4:20 Erastus stayed at Corinth. Trophimus was sick when I left him at Miletus.
Erastus abode at Corinth,…. He was chamberlain or treasurer of that city, Rom_16:23 who being sent along with Timothy into Macedonia, Act_19:22 very probably went from thence into Achaia, to Corinth, his native place, where he stayed. It would seem that when Paul went to Rome, there was some expectation that he would accompany him, but that reasons had occurred for his remaining in Corinth. His doing so is referred to without blame.
But Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick. Trophimus was from Asia Minor, of the city of Ephesus, the same that is spoken of in Act_20:4. Some say he suffered martyrdom the same day the Apostle Paul did; but others say, that after that time he was bishop of Arles in France. This man went with the apostle into Asia, and from thence to Jerusalem, and came along with him in his voyage to Rome, but falling sick by the way, was left at Miletum.
Do you remember your brethren who are unable to be there for us for one reason or another?
Do you remember your brethren who are sick and infirmed?
Do you send word to them one way or another to let them know that you love them, are praying for them and are thinking of them?
2Ti 4:21 Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, and Claudia send you their greetings, and so do the rest of the Lord’s followers.
When travelling would not be so safe and comfortable: the apostle consults Timothy’s good, as well as his own advantage.
Eubulus, … – These names are of common occurrence in the works of the classic writers, but of the persons here referred to we know nothing.
Pudens, Linus – Of these we have traditions and legends, but nothing certain.
Claudia – Supposed to be the wife of Pudens.
And all the brethren: that is, of the church of Rome, these all sent greeting to Timothy.
The brethren listed here are unknown to us, but known to the Apostle Paul.
Have you ever sent a note of love to a brother or sister that you don’t personally known?
Have you ever gotten a note of love from a brother or sister that you don’t personally know?
Don’t forget to hold up the less prominent brethren before the Lord, they need the prayers and love just as much.
2Ti 4:22 I pray that the Lord will bless your life and will be kind to you.
The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit,…. To counsel and advise in every difficult matter; to comfort under every distress; to supply with all grace in every time of need; and to strengthen and fit for every part and branch of duty.
Grace be with you, Amen: which is the apostle’s common salutation in all epistles. The Syriac version renders it, “grace be with thee”; but the Greek copies read in the plural, “with you”; which shows that the epistle was designed for the use of the whole church, as well as of Timothy.
That the epistle was written from Rome, about the year 65 or 66, and a little before St. Paul’s martyrdom, is the general opinion of learned men.
The reader has already been apprized that this is most probably the last epistle the apostle ever wrote; and it is impossible to see him in a more advantageous point of view than he now appears, standing on the verge of eternity, full of God, and strongly anticipating an eternity of glory.
When you feel you have done all that you can do and are attempting to stand—are you remembering in prayer those that have not yet reached that point in their lives?
Most of the comments for this study come from: John Gill, Charles Russell, Albert Barnes, Adam Clarke and others.