of 2 Timothy
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The requirements in 2 Timothy are (a) that Paul had recently been at Troas, at
Corinth, and at Miletus, each of which he mentions (2Ti 4:13,20); (b) that
when he wrote the epistles he was in Rome (2Ti 1:17); (c) that he was a
prisoner for the cause of the gospel (2Ti 1:8; 2:9), and had once already
appeared before the emperor's supreme court (2Ti 4:16-17); (d) that he had
then escaped condemnation, but that he had reason to believe that on the
next hearing of his case the verdict would be given against him, and that he
expected it could not be long till execution took place (2Ti 4:6); (e) that he
hoped that Timothy would be able to come from Ephesus to see him at Rome
before the end (2Ti 4:9,21). These requirements cannot be made to agree or
coincide with the first Roman captivity, but they do agree perfectly with the
facts of the apostle's release and his subsequent second imprisonment in that
|The Epistle of Paul
... hold fast the form of sound words ...
|I Know Whom I Believed
A Workman Approved
Perilous Times Are Coming
|PREACH THE WORD
|Purpose of writing II Timothy:
The mile relay is the last race of a junior high, high school, and college level track meet. Each
runner runs a quarter mile and hands the baton to the next runner to continue the race. The
apostle Paul viewed our lives as a race with a great prize at stake (1 Corinthians 9:24).
The book of 2 Timothy depicts the apostle Paul as a runner who has finished his leg of the relay
and is ready to pass on the baton to the next runner. Timothy is the next runner in line that would
receive the handoff from Paul. Paul's race; however, was not against the clock. Paul, as an
evangelist of Jesus Christ, raced against false teachers (1 Timothy 6:3), worldliness (1 Timothy
6:9), and deluded brethren (2 Timothy 3:1-8). 2 Timothy outlines the work of an evangelist and the
consequences that come with such work. Each generation must produce men who are willing to
take up the mantle of an evangelist.
A battle for the souls of men was taking place and Paul was not one to give up (2 Timothy
2:16-18). Paul was one who pressed forward in this life no matter what the outcome (see Phil.
3:12ff). During his race men considered him a mad man (2 Corinthians 5:13), an idiot (2
Corinthians 11:5), and a coward (2 Corinthians 10:10). His leg of the race; however, was winding
down. Paul knew that these were his final days (2 Timothy 4:6). Paul said, "I have fought the good
fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me the crown
of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day; and not to me
only, but also to all them that have loved his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Paul's days of warfare
would come to an end with his death. He gave the race his all! No more would he suffer at the
hands of wicked men as he exposed their error (2 Corinthians 11:22ff). No longer would he be
looked upon as a "spectacle among men... a fool... weak... suffering hunger, thirst, nakedness,
and no place to sleep... defamed and counted as the filth of the world" (1 Corinthians 4:9-13). He
had remained faithful to the Lord through all his trials. That which awaited the faithful man of God
was the glorious and eternal crown of righteousness.
Paul was now ready to pass the baton to Timothy. Timothy would have to take up the mantle of
waging war against the ungodly and false teachers of his day. Timothy was called upon to do the
work of an evangelist (2 Timothy 4:1-5). Paul explains to Timothy that there would be grievous
days ahead of him as he did this most important work (see 2 Timothy 3:1ff). Paul knew that erring
brethren, of the not too distant future, would not endure the sound doctrine of Jesus Christ.
Timothy was nonetheless charged to "preach the word" (see 2 Timothy 4:1-3). Evil men would
bring suffering to Timothy's life as he did the work of an evangelist (2 Timothy 1:8). Evil men
would spread their error as a gangrene infectious disease (2 Timothy 2:16-17). Evil men would
comfort those in error (2 Timothy 3:6). Evil men would wax worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13).
Timothy was to be a walking contrast to the wicked in that he would "hold and guard the pattern of
sound words..." as a gospel preacher (2 Timothy 1:12-14).
Paul admonishes Timothy to never be ashamed of the gospel message (2 Timothy 1:8). No
matter how much suffering he would have to endure he must remain faithful because the souls
of men are at stake (see 2 Timothy 1:8; 2:3; 3:12; 4:4). Paul reminds Timothy that it matters not
that the wicked reject, twist, and pervert the scriptures the word of God with its promises will
always remain (see 2 Timothy 2:9, 13, 19).
2 Timothy is a book that illustrates the passing of the torch, baton, or evangelical responsibilities.
The importance and urgency of this work cannot be underestimated. Paul calls upon Timothy to
"stir up the gift of God which is in thee" (2 Timothy 1:6). Timothy was to "Strengthen" himself in the
grace of God (2 Timothy 2:1). Paul tells his beloved Timothy that the Lord had delivered him from
the ungodly and He will do the same for Timothy as he does such a great work (see 2 Timothy
3:10ff). Preachers today ought not to be upset with the suffering that comes with waging war
against the ungodly but rather recognize that it comes with the work. Like the old saying, "If not
you then who? If not now, when?" Let uspray that faithful men would enter the work of preaching
and do so without fear or favor of any.