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II Timothy Chapter 4


Memory verses for this week:  Psa 123:3  Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.


Introduction:  In chapter 3 we studied about the characteristics of the ‘last days’ which we found definitely point to the soon coming of Jesus Christ.   We closed the chapter reading that all scripture is given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and is profitable for ”doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”  We conclude our study of Timothy this week as Paul gives a charge to young Timothy.


I.  Paul’s Charge to Young Timothy

2 Tim 4:1  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2 Tim 4:2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

We see Paul giving this Charge before God and the Lord Jesus Christ.   Here is another promise that the dead will be judged by Jesus Christ at his appearing and his kingdom.  The saved will be judged at the Judgment-seat of Christ when He comes at His first appearance.

2 Corinthians 5:10   For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

The unsaved will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment.

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. Rev 20:12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Paul’s charge to Timothy was to preach the Word.   He was to speak the word whether it was popular or not.   It is easy to speak when the conditions are favorable, but Paul tells him to preach it all the time... both in season and out of season.   He was to speak out against wrong doing and to rebuke the sinner.

1 Timothy 5:20  Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

He was to encourage and advise with longsuffering and doctrine.

2 Tim 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

Paul told Timothy that the time would come when men would not endure sound doctrine.  And boy does that sound like our day.   We see so many teaching soft things and giving book reports today from the pulpit, but not many preach the whole Word of God.

Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

2 Tim 4:4  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

2 Tim 4:5  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

This is so unfortunate that people would turn from the truth and believe a fable.  Paul tells Timothy that despite men turning from the truth, Timothy was to make full proof of the ministry.

II.   Paul is Ready to Be Offered

2 Tim 4:6  For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

2 Tim 4:7  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

2 Tim 4:8  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Paul had said in prior occasions that he was ready to both preach and to be offered.  We should all live in such a sacrificial manner that we could honestly say we are ready also.   But that takes sacrifice and determination.

Romans 1:14  I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. 15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.  16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 

Paul says he is ready to die, and his departure is at hand.   I think God lets many know ahead of time when they are about to die.   Death had no grip on Paul that caused him to fear.   Paul knew his soul was secure in Jesus Christ.  I hope when I come to the end of my days that I could with confidence say that I have fought a good fight and finished my course.  Paul had done this and had kept the faith in doing so.

Jude 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 

Paul knew that at the judgment seat of Christ that he would receive a crown of righteousness.  This crown will be given to all who love Christ’s appearing.

J. Vernon McGee had a good comment on the crown of righteousness.

“A crown of righteousness” is, I believe, the reward for a righteous life, and Paul will receive that.

“Unto all them also that love his appearing” does not refer to doctrine you hold regarding His appearing. You may be a premillennialist, a postmillennialist, or an amillennialist. I have news for you: there’s no reward for holding any one of those views. The question is: Do you love His appearing? To love His appearing means that you will have to love Him. Oh, my friend, do you have a close relationship with Him? Have you ever told Him that you love Him? (I have a notion that Paul told the Lord every day that he loved Him, because he had hated and persecuted Him before.) There is a crown for those who love His appearing. I would like to have that crown. I believe it will shine brighter than all the others.  [i]


III.  Paul’s Request for Timothy to Come

2 Tim 4:9  Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:

2 Tim 4:10  For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

2 Tim 4:11  Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

2 Tim 4:12  And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.

Paul’s request was for Timothy to come as soon as possible to Rome to see him.  Perhaps he knew that his death was coming soon and knew Timothy would have to come hastily or they would not be able to meet prior to his death.   Demas had loved this present world and had forsaken Paul.   Many others had forsaken Paul, perhaps due to him being imprisoned.  Luke was the only one left with Paul at this time.  It appears in Acts Chapter 16 we have the record of when Luke joined up with Paul.

Acts 16:6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, 7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. 8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him,  saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. 10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.

In this record in Acts, it starts off saying “they” and switches to the word “we” leading us to believe this is when Luke joined with Paul.  John Mark was the young preacher that accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey.

Acts 13:5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.

Acts 13:13   Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

In verse 13, we see that John Mark left them at Perga and returned to Jerusalem.  This caused some hard feelings apparently between Paul and Mark to the point that he and Barnabas did not go together on the second missionary journey.  But after time, Mark and Paul had eliminated the disagreement and Paul know says of Mark: “for he is profitable to me for the ministry.”   God’s Will is that all problems between brethren should be eliminated.

Eph 4:25  Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Eph 4:26  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Eph 4:27  Neither give place to the devil.


2 Tim 4:13  The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

Paul asks Timothy to bring the cloak that he left at Troas with Carpus.   Most likely Paul was very cold, and the cloak would bring him some much needed warmth.   The prison Paul was placed in was a hole in the ground.  Many of these type cells had water leaking into them and there was much dampness.   He also asks for the books and especially the parchments.  The parchments were skins of animals with the Scriptures written on them.   These Scriptures would encourage Paul and give him comfort.  When we are in our toughest predicaments, God’s Word is like a beam of light from a beacon to a lost seaman.

Psa 119:50  This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.


Psa 119:74  They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.

Psa 119:75  I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

IV.  Paul Alone, Yet Not Alone

2 Tim 4:14  Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:

2 Tim 4:15  Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.

Alexander the coppersmith did Paul much evil.  Even though Paul preached to the man and tried to reach him with the truth, it says in verse 15 that he greatly withstood our words.   There are several Alexander’s mentioned in the New Testament, so it is unclear which one Paul was referring to.    It is very possible that it was the same one mentioned in the first letter to Timothy.  Whichever one it is, Paul warns Timothy to be wary of him.

1 Timothy 1:20  Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

2 Tim 4:16  At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

2 Tim 4:17  Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

2 Tim 4:18  And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

When Paul first met with his judges, no one took his position but rather all forsook him.  Paul prays that this would not be held against them which is so commendable.   It sounds like one of the final things the Lord spoke on the Cross when Christ asked the Heavenly Father to not hold it against them because they did not know what they were doing.  From man’s view, Paul appeared to be standing a lone.  But Paul was not alone.  The Lord Jesus Christ stood with him and strengthened him.   God had chosen that by Paul the preaching might be fully known unto the Gentiles.  By faith Paul knew that God would deliver him and he looked forward to the heavenly kingdom.

V.  Paul’s Last Request

2 Tim 4:19  Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.

2 Tim 4:20  Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.

2 Tim 4:21  Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren.

2 Tim 4:22  The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.

Paul makes some last requests to young Timothy.  He asks for him to salute Prisca and Aquilla and the household of Onesiphorus.  We studied in the first chapter how many things Onesiphorus did for Paul in visiting at the prison.   He urges Timothy to come before the winter when it no doubt would be colder.   Several are mentioned that send their greetings to Timothy.    And the final line could be spoken to any of us at a parting… “The Lord Jesus Christ be with they spirit and grace be with you.”   We all need the closeness of the Lord in our daily lives and His grace to make it through each day.


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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[i]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.