2 Timothy 4
2 Timothy 4
Shawn Bumpers / General; Kids
The last words of a notable person are often significant.
At least that’s the sense that we get.
The Bible records the last words of many people.
Judges 16:28 NKJV
Then Samson called to the Lord, saying, “O Lord God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!”
Judges 16:30 NKJV
Then Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life.
1 Samuel 31:4 NLT
Saul groaned to his armor bearer, “Take your sword and kill me before these pagan Philistines come to run me through and taunt and torture me.” But his armor bearer was afraid and would not do it. So Saul took his own sword and fell on it.
1 Kings 2:2–4 NKJV
“I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. And keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; that the Lord may fulfill His word which He spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul,’ He said, ‘you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’
2 Samuel 23:2–5 NKJV
“The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue. The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me: ‘He who rules over men must be just, Ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, A morning without clouds, Like the tender grass springing out of the earth, By clear shining after rain.’ “Although my house is not so with God, Yet He has made with me an everlasting covenant, Ordered in all things and secure. For this is all my salvation and all my desire; Will He not make it increase?
1 Samuel 17:43–44 NKJV
So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”
Acts 12:21–24 NKJV
So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. And the people kept shouting, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died. But the word of God grew and multiplied.
1 Samuel 4:16–18 NKJV
Then the man said to Eli, “I am he who came from the battle. And I fled today from the battle line.” And he said, “What happened, my son?” So the messenger answered and said, “Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has been a great slaughter among the people. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead; and the ark of God has been captured.” Then it happened, when he made mention of the ark of God, that Eli fell off the seat backward by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.
Acts 5:8 NKJV
And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?” She said, “Yes, for so much.”
Acts 7:60 NKJV
Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Luke 23:42–43 NKJV
Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
John 19:30 NKJV
So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
Of all the last words, none is more important or more poignant than, “It is finished.”
It’s a Greek word … tetelestai, an accounting term that means “paid in full.”
It was this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ that Paul committed his own life to proclaiming.
But to do this, Paul wasn’t going to compromise the integrity of God’s Word.
1 Corinthians 15:3–4 NKJV
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
1 Timothy 4:16 NKJV
Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
Proverbs 22:28 NKJV
Do not remove the ancient landmark Which your fathers have set.
We know how important it is because we have been studying Paul’s letters for the past 3 years.
And he concentrates on explaining sound doctrine a whole lot.
For 30 years or more, he had laboured in the work of the gospel.
And now his life is to be poured out as a final offering to his Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Titus 1:9 NKJV
holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
Paul was writing to Timothy at a time when evil men and impostors were seeking to destroy the faith.
As we’ve been very thorough in pointing out some false teachings of our times, I think it’s apparent to us that there are those today who are imposters.
Timothy and all ministers are to carry out their ministry under the very eye of God.
And when Christ returns to this earth to establish His eternal kingdom, and to judge the living and the dead, pastors and all other servants of God will have to give an account.
James 3:1 NKJV
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
It would be good for each one of us to reflect on the fact that one day we will face God and our works will be judged.
And that should cause us to do our work carefully … and faithfully, setting aside the fear of man.
Hebrews 6:10 NKJV
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
The word “preach” in the Greek is κηρύσσω Kēryssō and it means “to preach like a herald.”
Likewise, in Paul’s days, rulers and Emperors had a special herald who made announcements to the people.
It was expected that they plainly and clearly proclaim that message without changing it … that was his charge.
Timothy was to herald God’s Word with the authority of heaven behind him.
Verse 2 also says, “Be ready in season and out of season.”
But what is translated “Be ready” is ἐφίστημι Ephistēmi from Epi meaning “Upon” and Histēmi meaning “To stand.”
2 Timothy 3:16–17 NKJV
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The charge to Timothy … and my charge … and your charge … is to faithfully be God’s herald, standing on His Word.
That is the responsibility before God and the LORD Jesus Christ.
The Greek word for Fables here is μῦθος Mythos, which literally means “A speech story.”
Turned aside is ἐκτρέπω Ektrepō which means “turned away, put out of joint.”
Paul says to Timothy, “Keep your wits about you” … and “endure” meaning “persevere through hardship” … “proclaim the word” … “fulfill whatever God wants you to do.”
Paul was handing down his ministry to his beloved son in the faith, Timothy.
Paul’s life was coming to an end.
He was on trial in Rome and had been through the first hearing (2 Tim. 4:17) which confirmed that he was a Roman citizen.
Philippians 2:17 NKJV
Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
The word departure could be taken in a couple senses.
It one sense it means, “To hoist anchor and set sail.”
But the word also means “To take down a tent.”
2 Corinthians 5:1–8 NKJV
For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
But there is also another sense in which the word can be used.
And that is meaning “Releasing a prisoner.”
Still yet there is another possible meaning to this word.
And that is “The unyoking of an ox.”
In verse 7, Paul turns to athletic imagery.
Is it a wrestler or a boxer that he pictures?
Acts 20:24 NKJV
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
The 3rd image is that of a steward … the word “Kept” is τηρέω Tēreō which speaks of something being guarded.
A Greek or Roman athlete who was a winner was rewarded by the crowds and usually given a laurel wreath or a garland of oak leaves.
The word for “crown” is στέφανος stephanos – the victor’s crown.
Paul desired for Timothy to come to be with him.
He was feeling abandoned and wanted his son in the faith to be by his side.
As Paul did in other places in this letter, he brings up names in order to create a contrast.
He has been talking about being faithful.
Another reason why Paul wanted Timothy in Rome was that his next hearing was coming up and only Luke was with him.
The Lord had promised to stay with Paul, and He had kept His promise.
Hebrews 13:5 NKJV
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
In verse 17 Paul is speaking of his first hearing.
There, as he had at other trials, he had been strengthened by the Lord to share the gospel with kings and judges.
1 Peter 5:8 NKJV
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
But Jesus had strengthened him, thus saving him out of the mouth of the lion.
There are at least 100 different men and women named in Acts and Paul’s letters who were his friends and fellow laborers.
Paul’s work was immense and he could not do the job by himself.
The Bible does not record the final days of Paul.
Tradition tells us that he was found guilty and sentenced to die.