Preach the Word
4 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up 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 have loved his appearing.
Do your best to come to me soon. For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus. Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers.
The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
2 Timothy 4 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“Be ready in season and out of season. … Fulfill your ministry.”2 Timothy 4:2,5
Many times we don’t perceive we have a ministry. We think it is for clergy or people paid for such a job or task. The reality is all who have come into a relationship with Jesus has one. We each have a story, no matter how awful or tragic it may have been where we once were so lost but have been found. This story is your ministry. Your flock, if you will, is the people God has brought into your life for such a time where your own personal experience will resonate with another on such a search.
The challenge Paul lays before Timothy in his final words is heavy. They are to be open to the things of God, stand strong in the face of those who rise up against him, and never lose sight of His divine calling.
To be ready in season and out means being ready to serve God wherever you may be. There are opportunities before us continually – whether they are just a perceived random conversation or a need that is to be met for someone even if it comes at a time that is inconvenient. These are divine appointments where God has lined you up to be Jesus to another. We must be sensitive to the opportunities God gives.
Obviously, there are many reasons we slip from this train of thought when it comes to a personal ministry now. We can battle fears, our own life schedules, questions from others who look upon. Criticism and discouragement can certainly sidetrack us as well as that one besetting sin we all wrestle with. Each of these things and more can be derailments to the calling God has on our lives NOW – not later. As Paul continued to lay before Timothy the aspect of his working on his personal relationship with Jesus, this is critical. We cannot overlook that. We must be diligent for we will not only grow but hear His voice toward things and people whom He’s drawing to us.
What would happen if we looked at the people in our lives and tasks we face each day as that of a ministry? How many would be changed and transformed if we were so intentional? Your ministry is real and it is Now.
2 Timothy 4 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
I have never really noticed this before, but I am struck by Paul’s confidence in 2 Timothy 4. He writes that he is being poured out as a drink offering. Drawing from the illustration of a drink offering in the book of Numbers, Paul knows his death is imminent. In the next verse, he writes that his departure (literally the loosing of the anchor) is near.
“The apostle’s death was imminent, unavoidable this time, as the second metaphor of departure suggests (compare Php 1:23). Yet his death as his final token of worship was no senseless defeat. Timothy was to draw from this model the motivation to carry on the struggle, to bring his own worship to God.”IPV Commentary
Was he defeated? Absolutely not. He had already written in Philippians that to live is Christ and to die is gain. Paul is fully confident. He has no regrets.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.2 Timothy 4:7 ESV
How many of us could say this? How many of us would have the assurance to be able to say we have done everything that God has asked of us in this life? The conclusion of Paul’s life was not a “happily ever after” ending. He suffered. He was in chains. He had been abandoned by friends. His opponents had damaged his ministry.
But through all this, his testimony is strong. The Lord strengthened him. Paul is urging Timothy to follow his footsteps. His confidence in his own future has never been stronger.
So, let’s put this all together. Paul is close to death. He has struggled through mental, physical, and emotional turmoil. His future, from a worldly perspective, looks hopeless. Yet, spiritually, he has never been stronger!
“It seems that it is when circumstances least warrant hope in God that the conviction and experience of God’s promises to stand near and deliver grow most clear to the righteous. Paul’s hope of salvation was never more certain than when he wrote these final words.”IVP Commentary