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Bible Commentaries

Derickson's Notes on Selected Books

2 Timothy 4

Verse 1

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;"

I charge - sounds like a call to action - something that Timothy should listen to - react to.

This term relates, not only to command, but heavily is related to giving of testimony - God and Christ deserve your attention, might be the thought of it - not just Paul - your friend, your spiritual father, your mentor, but almighty God and His Son Jesus Christ charge you!

Let God and Christ be my witness – I am charging you with this duty.

Not something to be taken lightly would be my suggestion. Listen up is another line of thought - DO IT might even relate - not because I told you to do it, but because God desires it.

Not that Timothy didn’t know who Paul was talking about, but just a reminder - this is God the one that is going to judge ALL at his coming. An added emphasis of authority in case Paul’s authority wasn’t enough.

Now, since we know Timothy surely knew all this and since we know that Timothy would do as he was expected - why would Paul use such emphatic wording?

Might it be that Paul was in need of establishing Timothy’s authority as well as his own - authority to teach, to preach to seek change in people’s lives?

The “quick” relates to being alive and dead is simply dead - without life, the lost if you will. Literally I think it relates to the general thought of God judging all peoples, both dead and alive in the final day.

Now, not to get theological but the judging will happen at His appearing and His kingdom. This could relate well to either the beginning of the Millennial kingdom or at the end of the Millennium.

Which might be the question? I suspect it is at the end of the earthly kingdom and the beginning of the eternal kingdom - the Great White Throne if you will.

There may be a judging of sorts at the beginning of the Millennium as many believe that only regenerate Jews will enter into this kingdom. However, this is not necessarily done as a judging session - it could well be that the unregenerate lose their lives in the terrible days of the tribulation rather in a judgment.

Verses 1-2

APPLICATION:

1. I would like to read the passage we have just covered. “14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them]; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 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 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

Does this sound like the pastors you have been under over the years? Does this sound like the teachers you have been under over the years? I trust that it does.

2. Verse sixteen is probably about the only distinguishable difference between what we call evangelicalism and neo-evangelicalism. Neo-evangelicalism for the most part rejects the normal thought of inspiration and its meaning/significance.

Where we believe that all of the Word is inspired, the neo-evangelical would believe that parts of the Word are inspired. They normally hold to anything relating to salvation as valid and inspired, but other parts of the Word might not be inspired.

There are other differences, but many of the evangelical camp have taken on most of the neo-evangelical camps trappings. Only inspiration holds many evangelical people in the evangelical camp.

For the most part Billy Graham is seen as the prime mover in the neo movement and there are a number of theologians that follow as well - Edward Carnell, Carl Henry, and Bernard Ramm.

Some list Christianity Today and Moody monthly as the movement’s publications, but I am not so sure. Moody was more moderate than the neo camp for many years – having been closed the discussion is kind of a waste of time. Christianity Today is quite evangelical and may lap over into the neo camp, though I have not seen personally, any articles that would show this. (I haven’t read any issues for a number of years.)

I will include one paragraph from a website that gives detail to the thought of inspiration and the neo-evangelical. “(1) Espousal of, or toleration toward, questionable views of Scripture; e.g., most neo-evangelicals, to one degree or another, have scuttled the doctrine of total, complete inerrancy of the Bible (regardless of the lip-service given to it); there is evidence of the acceptance of a conceptual theory of inspiration, but the neo-evangelical hesitates to accept the total verbal inspiration of the Bible. The issue becomes: "Is the Bible inerrant in all its pronouncements [the conservative fundamental view], or is it merely an inerrant record of some inspired truth [the neo-evangelical view]?" A "popular view of the Bible now promoted" among neo-evangelicals is that "the Bible is inerrant when it is teaching us about God and His redemptive works (that is, when instructing in important doctrinal matters [revelational]), but it may contain errors in other areas about which it speaks [non-revelational matters]" (Lightner, pp. 80-81, 84; Pickering, pp. 132-133).”

From: http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/neoe.htm

NEO-EVANGELICALISM

1. THE END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS

2. EMPHASIS ON SOCIAL/ECUMENICAL GOSPEL

3. FREEDOM TO ASSOCIATE/DIALOG WITH LIBERALISM

4. BOWS TO SCIENCE WHEN IT QUESTIONS SCRIPTURE

5. CHRIST WILL RETURN, BUT THE WHEN IS NOT IMPORTANT

6. SEEK APPROVAL OF WORLDS INTELLECTUALS (TEND TOWARD INTELLECTUALISM)

7. TOLERANCE OF AND/OR PARTICIPATION WITH ALL TO FURTHER THE GOSPEL

8. TOLERANCE OF A WIDE RANGE OF THEOLOGICAL POSITIONS

9. UNITY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN PURITY IN THE CHURCH

10. INTOLERANCE FOR THOSE THAT DISAGREE

11. PUSH FOR POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT

12. VIEW SCRIPTURE AS RELEVANT TO MORE THAN BELIEVERS

Verse 2

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

Preach the word: This is a simple charge to do the work listed in the following phrases.

It is also a direct order to preach only the Word of God. There is no need to preach other information from the pulpit of the church. No need for philosophy, no need for travel-logs, no need for the many and varied side tracks of our day.

We attended a church years ago and the morning service was made up of a woman telling of her trip to China - no real reason for her going to China – such as missions or visiting a church, just went to China and the pastor thought she should report to the congregation.

Preaching the Word will take up every available moment of time and there still will never be enough time to cover the depth and riches of the Word.

"be instant in season, out of season" gives further emphasis to the order - do it in and out of season - all the time, there is no right or wrong time to preach the Word - all the time, preach the Word.

And while you are doing it there are some items that you should use it to do - "reprove" those that have need of it. This word can mean a number of things relating to proving another wrong. It can relate to just reproof, or it can relate to severe confrontation as in cases of outward sin that needs to be confronted outwardly.

There are many that condemn a negative message as being negative and inappropriate - Paul was often negative, Christ was also very negative at times. When sin is involved, you need to get negative and get rid of it.

Purity of the church seems to be a lost concept. Some churches have as much outward sin as secular organizations - what a dishonor to our Lord.

"Rebuke" relates to "censure severely" - tell it like it is - you know - be like your deacons don’t want you to be - make waves over sin, tell people what sin is, censure wrong doing - that seems to be the thought of the word.

The next phrase seems to tell you how to do the above - "exhort with all longsuffering" - do it with longsuffering - or patience - or steadfastly - keep up doing it as long as it takes.

The term exhort is the thought of one called along side to council - to help - give guidance might be the idea of it.

This would relate to sin that is not outward, but yet sin must be cared for if the shepherd knows of it. When he finds that a lamb is straying, his duty is to go along side and attempt to guide the sheep back to the flock.

One sin in the life can take a person off track, and usually leads to other sin that will further derail the believer. The sooner someone comes along side to assist the better.

And we see that nasty word "doctrine" that many hate to hear. Oh, how often I hear pastors knocking theology - theology is doctrine, doctrine is simply teaching - they knock that which they are supposed to do.

It also is the basis for any exhortation - exhortation based on less than the Word is not true exhortation and should be avoided.

Verse 3

Week 11

2 Timothy 4:3-8

A FAITHFUL SERVANT IS REWARDED

“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; 4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith: 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.”

"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;"

Ah, where the church in general lives today. The congregations do not like to be told of sin lest they know what they do is wrong - ya - right as if they don’t know it is wrong - they just don’t like to hear it verbalized.

Many leave churches because they don’t like what they are hearing - the truth - they find some place where the preacher finds new and interesting ways to skirt the issues of sin and righteousness.

Years ago I knew a man that was totally against divorce - until he met a lady that proved that God wouldn’t put that kind of restriction on his happiness - he began teaching many reasons for divorce.

The sad part is that the church did not call him on his error - they most likely liked his way of thinking. He continued on as their pastor. Another pastor had an affair with one of the church women, divorced his wife and married the adulteress that had by then also divorced.

The term “heap” could be translated "accumulate in piles" - stack up that false teaching so you can dig through it and find rationalization for your sin.

“Itching” is a word that means to scratch - to relieve discomfort - to hear something pleasant. Now isn’t that a most descriptive word for today’s drivel in so many pulpits.

Scratching that makes your discomfort of sin go away. I wonder if the word wasn’t chosen by Paul to relate to the fact that many itches return almost immediately and need more scratching - might relate to why false teaching gains such a large audience.

Two Problems: On the one hand we have congregations that call this sort of man to pastor their church, and then there are this sort of man out there waiting to be called.

There is a congregational responsibility to reject such, and there is a school responsibility not to turn out such men. The school has a double responsibility. Their training should never produce this sort of man, yet if they do crank out one, they should take responsibility to declare him for what he is if anyone comes looking for references.

They should never give good reference to a seeker of information, and they should consider not granting a diploma/degree.

When teaching we had a very nice student that was way off in the area of eschatology. It was of great concern to the faculty and ultimately led us to refrain from granting him his diploma. He knew this was coming as the school bylaws required general assent to the school doctrinal statement.

Schools have a responsibility in this area whether they like it or not. We might speak briefly to the idea of ordination as we have it today. This is another process by which this type of man should be weeded out.

Most ordination councils are scheduled the same day as the ordination service - that is wrong - there should be a viewing of the man with time given to consider his worth and value to the church universal. Today it is very nearly a rubber stamp process - if they ask for ordination - make him sweat but give it to him, seems to be the practice.

Verses 3-8

APPLICATION:

1. Paul downs false teaching – just what makes up false teaching?

a. Things that are directly against the Word of God. This would include items like teaching that Christ was not God, or that the trinity is false.

b. Things that are not Christ-like. It is perfectly okay to drive like a maniac on the road – the Bible doesn’t say, “don’t drive like a maniac” but it is clear that Christ would not condone someone being obnoxious and dangerous to other drivers.

To teach anything that would move a person to act in anything but a Christ-like manner would be false teaching.

c. The teaching of a system of theology which is not Biblical. Someone teaching Amillennialism for example – a system that really ignores some of the Scripture while contradicting logic totally. Teaching that the whole Word is not inspired would be false doctrine.

d. Anything that would allow a person to feel good about his sin or make him comfortable going into sin would be false teaching as well.

2. “I have fought a good fight” just screams for some further thought!

“Fought” is the Greek word we gain agonize from.

“Good” according to Thayer is “beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable”

The term “fight” is a general term that is translated conflict or fight normally in the Bible – it relates to the assembly for the games.

Paul saw life as a struggle for victory for His Lord, possibly a struggle for mastery of his life. At any rate he classed it as “good” even though he agonized his way through it.

Possibly we ought to be teaching this concept to our students going into the ministry – they need to know that it isn’t designed to be a bed of roses – there will be ruff spots.

Possibly we ought to teach this in our churches – even before seminary – seminary and Bible College itself can be a terrible challenge for some.

We need to prepare all our children/teens that life is hard! Most today go forth looking for complete peace and all they want or desire, but find out there are some brick walls that they need to climb over.

I think that warning youth would keep them from the pitfalls that can lead to real mental distress and disappointment. I have talked with many that are just totally frustrated with the boredom of everyday life.

Life is hard – deal with it – hopefully someone has taught you how to deal!

3. Verse three uses the term lust – they will heap because of their lust. This is the same word that is used in two other important passages.

2 Peter 1:4 “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Note that corruption is in the world through lust. It was man’s lust for what he wanted rather than what God wanted that caused this whole mess!

Note that lust of Adam’s was there BEFORE Adam fell. It wasn’t his lost nature that made him do it.

Romans 6:11-13 “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yields ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.”

Now, it looks to me that we have a choice relating to our lust – we either serve it or serve God. Seems simple enough to me. Now let us add in James 1:14-15 “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”

It was Adam that was tempted then lusted and brought sin/corruption into the world, we are not to yield ourselves to our lusts, and here we see why – if we allow lust, then we will be tempted, and sin is the result if we continue the decision making process in the same direction! Seems like a simple formula to me, because we decide mentally to lust then we will be tempted, then we may decide mentally to sin.

If you agree with this then where does the “sin nature come into this picture?” It seems like there are conscious decisions of the mind to allow this process to occur and it is clear that we have the ability not to allow it to occur – so is it really the sin nature that makes us sin as everyone wants us to believe? I don’t think so – it is our desire mentally to have what we want rather than what God wants.

Verse 4

"And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

How sad - to leave that which is true for that which is false, though that is what believers do every day. Isn’t that what theistic evolution is – progressive evolution? Fables.

Believers fall into the lies of the cults, of the liberal/false religions and never think about it - the obvious fact might be that they did not realize truth when they held it. Otherwise why would they leave it?

It is significant that they leave sound doctrine for things that satisfy their lust - leaving Godly truth for sensual falsehood.

Might I suggest one further thought - leaving sound doctrine for things that make them feel good? Hate to keep knocking the church, but this is right where many churches are today.

They put in “feel good” programs so that the folks like to come to church to get their feel good for the week fix, no matter whether truth is beheld while they are there or not.

Recently I heard a pastor decrying the current worship climate by mentioning that we often concentrate on people and things rather than the Lord. This right after the get up and greet people time - a PEOPLE oriented THING!

We are in the middle of it and don’t even realize it - we want to feel good rather than hear good doctrine that will cleanse our souls. Indeed, many pastors put out drivel thinking it is meat and their people starve.

The next time you hear someone knocking sound doctrine or theology or anything relating to the study of truth, please think of this passage and be sure you find someone with ears that don’t itch!

Verse 5

"But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."

Watch in all things - to be calm and collected - to be temperate, dispassionate, and circumspect. What a mouthful for the believer to put into his/her life! I am not sure this describes many believers, especially when they come under pressure or are facing trials and tribulations. Circumspect alone is a challenge to most - keeping oneself from hint of wrong - being a shining light in a dark world without putting a shade on your light.

Endure afflictions seems to be part of the believers everyday life - we will suffer persecution if we walk with the Lord. We are told to endure it - put up with it - go on with your life/ministry in a normal manner. Don’t let the affliction sway you from your designated ministry.

Not that this is easy to do! Affliction naturally distracts so to not allow it to distract will be a good trick of the conscious decision making skills. We can however if we choose to walk with Christ rather than ourselves - when we lapse into self pity/doubt, we are walking with ourselves.

Some suggest that Timothy was a pastor - he may have been but this verse tells us that Paul saw him as an evangelist. I personally see Timothy as an apostolic emissary - someone that was carrying out the wishes of an apostle. While he was evangelizing, he was setting the church in order.

Make full proof of thy ministry has the thought of carrying through to the end. It has the thought of fully done. Don’t do half a job, but do it all.

I personally feel this may relate not only to longevity in time, but also in age. Do it for as long as you are capable/able to do the ministry. Many of the older missionaries have this concept – no retirement, or if they retire some are staying on the field to finish the work. One dear couple we know bought a home on their field so they could stay there all their lives.

They did a survey of time spent in a pastorate by pastors in the 90’s and the average was eighteen months. This is not the thought of Paul in this case - there is no way a man can even get to know the people properly in eighteen months - they haven’t even settled into the neighborhood in that time.

Most small communities take at least a couple years before the residents will think about accepting you as belonging. We were in one small town four years and the townsfolk were just beginning to accept us as present and breathing. Nothing against them, they were just slow to accept outsiders.

If you are a pastor, please allow five years for a ministry to develop before considering moving on. (I have heard more than one deacon board joking about how short a time pastors spend in a church.)

Verse 6

"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand."

Paul sensed the end of his life was nearing. I don’t think this was any sixth sense, but just a looking at the facts/situation that he was in and realizing the chances of change were slim and that unless God intervened he was going to be executed. He may have had physical problems that he was aware of that weren’t looking that good as well.

Since he seems so definite, I would guess that he may have been under sentence of execution, but we don’t know for sure.

It is of interest that Paul chose a perfect tense here - he was sure of this in his mind and he was assuming it was coming to pass. He may even have had a revelation from the Lord concerning this, though I would have thought he would have mentioned it.

He uses the term offered, which has the thought of pouring forth of blood - as in martyrdom or sacrifice for God.

I sense a complete calmness of heart in this passage - he is at peace with God and ready to move onto the next part of his life - eternity.

I don’t claim to be an expert on this but I have noticed in my own life that the older I get the more at peace I am with moving onto eternity. There are times when the move seems to be quite a good prospect.

At the point when I had a heart attack I was even moved by the thought that the medical team that pulled me through caused me to miss eternity. A fresh realization that God was not ready for this move was received and continuing on in this life was continued.

On the other hand I am not sure how a young person would come to this realization that His time to go is the best - we want to be so involved in this life - I suspect that we - when younger - should work on the concept of being at peace with moving onto the next stage of life - eternity.

How can we help young people prepare – how can we help them understand God’s timing for their home-going is best? When they want to live, to gain fortune, to be married, to have children – how can we help them understand God’s timing is best.

Just some thoughts:

1. Teach the sovereignty of God.

2. Teach the wisdom, love, and compassion of God.

3. Teach of eternity – help them know that it is better than anything in this life.

4. Teach servanthood – the master is in control.

5. Take time with youth when people die to remind them, indeed, teach them of their own mortality.

This will assist in having this peace and calmness that we are to have as believers - to patiently move through our ministries toward God’s end.

Verse 7

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith:"

What a joy to know you have fought a good fight. Many I have talked to can only hope - wish - that they have done a good job for their Lord. In fact I don’t know that I’ve ever talked to anyone that was confident that they had done all they could for their Lord in this life.

Paul might be our example here - do all that you can do and do it as best you can, then rely on the knowledge that you have done what God has desired of you.

“I have kept the faith” is one that we all should be able to evaluate. We know when we have failed the Lord, so we can know if we have done well.

Again, in this verse, he uses tenses that would indicate he had more than a premonition of his coming death - a knowledge of its coming is highly indicated.

I have included an appendix which contains a further study relating to this text and the believers’ feelings toward death – see appendix one.

Verse 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."

It already exists and is awaiting “that day” – what a thought, God has everything ready for us as we approach our transition to eternity!

There are some crowns which the Lord may give to those that serve in a particular manner in this life. We will just take a brief look at these rewards and allow you to do your own study on the subject.

Philippians 4:1 mentions what is usually called the soul winner’s crown.

1 Thessalonians 2:19 mentions the crown of rejoicing.

2 Timothy 4:8 mentions the crown of righteousness.

James 1:12 mentions the crown of life.

1 Peter 5:4 mentions the crown of glory.

Why wouldn’t the rewards be given when we arrive in His presence? God awaits the time when we are in our glorified bodies and all is ready for eternity. Then He will reward His faithful servants in the presence of ALL His people.

With the way believers stack up material blessings upon themselves one must wonder just how much they even look for Christ’s appearing, much less "love His appearing" - our minds are to be set on things above, not on things here below.

Actually anticipating death may relate to loving His appearing – He will receive us when we arrive. We should anticipate our home going.

Verse 9

Week 12

2 Timothy 4:9-15

A FAITHFUL SERVANT IS EDUCATED

“9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: 10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. 12 And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. 13 The cloke that I left at Troaswith Carpus, when thou comest, bring [with thee], and the books, [but] especially the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: 15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.”

"Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:"

Paul enters a personal section here though there is content that is of interest to our lives here as well. Paul requests that Timothy come to him as soon as he can. There seems to be urgency in his request. This urgency may be related to his focus on the end of his race. He evidently wanted Timothy to do something or he wanted to see him for some purpose.

“Diligence” is also translated “endeavor” and it seems to have a thought of haste built in according to Thayer.

“Shortly” can be translated “suddenly” or “quickly,” thus indicating the urgency in Paul’s mind.

I think of the times when I have been terribly busy with ministry and work and an urgent plea came from someone for assistance – there is an immediate note of total frustration, but always you find that you can work it all in and still be there for a friend to assist.

The point – know that these little emergencies do happen and that they always work out so don’t go through the frustration section that does no good except raise your blood pressure.

Verses 9-13

Appendix

TITLE: A THEOLOGIANS LAST WISH

Copyright by Rev. Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D.

SCRIPTURE: 2 Timothy 4:9-13

An ancestor of David Livingstone named David Livingstone said in Power magazine in Sept. of 1996 that his philosophy at one time was to live fast, die early and be a good-looking corpse.

"A young news reporter once visited an elderly man on his 99th birthday to interview him about his longevity. The interview over, the reporter said to the elderly man, as he was about to leave ’I hope to see you again, sir, on your 100th birthday.’ The old gentleman carefully looked the young reporter over and then said, ’I can’t see any reason why you shouldn’t, young man, you look healthy enough to me.’" (Pulpit Helps Magazine/may 89)

The widow of the man that started the Winchester rifle company became concerned about dying. She became so concerned that she contacted a spiritist to see what he could tell her. The spiritualist told her that as long as she was working on the house she was in the process of building, she would not die.

She proceeded to build a mansion containing 13 bathrooms, 2000 doors, 47 fireplaces and 10, 000 windows. She spent over 5 million dollars on her house in a day when laborers worked for 50 cents a day.

This information came from a devotional I read many years ago. The devotional was to encourage the believer as they face death as opposed to this futile attempt to avoid death on the part of a non believer.

Dr. Grounds ends his devotional with this paragraph. "Because Jesus died for us and rose from the grave, our fear of death can be changed to hope. That happens when we receive Him as our personal Savior. That’s the best way to face our inevitable appointment with death."

Even in this paragraph designed to encourage the reader, I am not sure that the author has really done a good job of dispelling the fear of the onslaught of death.

I would like to consider the saint that must look forward to eventual death. Yes, I realize that the Lord may well come before that time in our lives, but as a person ages, that hope becomes more of a hope, but less of a probability.

In this study we will be concentrating on the person that knows death is coming, yet we need to realize that we may not have this privilege. Death can come at anytime. This was seared into my mind one day years ago when I read an account in the newspaper. In 1992 ( Oklahoma ) a funeral procession was proceeding to the cemetery to bury a man. The car in which the widow and other relatives were riding was hit by a pickup. The widow of the man and other relatives were killed in the crash. Now, who would expect to be killed on the way to a cemetery in a funeral procession? There doesn’t seem to be a less likely place to die than that. We know not when we will be called upon to breathe our last.

This study is for the person that has time to contemplate his coming death. Even young people can gain insight into death and how older people react to it from this study.

SETTING OF THE TEXT:

Paul is in prison in Rome for the second time. Most agree that he felt his death was coming in the near future. He mentions in 4:6, "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand." He could have sensed impending death from the government, or He may have had physical problems that he was knowledgeable of (Dr. Luke was with him). The term offered would indicate he may have been under sentence of death from the Roman government.

From the Daily Bread: "The apostle Paul sat alone in a Roman prison facing his final weeks on earth. The wet cold of the dungeon must have pierced his bones as he penned a letter to his young friend Timothy, urging him to come before winter. (4:21)"

The urging to come before winter probably relates to his feeling that he was soon to die. Winter would probably have meant delay in travel. The fact that the prison was probably cold may relate to the urgency as well. I suspect that the Romans weren’t supplying many electric blankets to their prisoners.

The Peoples New Testament states, "Second Timothy, being written after he had again been confined at Rome and shortly before his death. It was somewhere about A.D. 66-68 that his busy career ended, and that he received the crown of martyrdom in Rome .

DETAILS OF THE TEXT:

CLOAK: Paul requests his cloak. The cloak seems to be an outer garment of some sort, surmised by most to be to help him keep warm in the prison.

The specifics of the cloak are not clear. This is the only appearance of this Greek term (phelones). Easton ’s dictionary has some detail relating to the garment. "was the Roman paenula, a thick upper garment used chiefly in traveling as a protection from the weather. Some, however, have supposed that what Paul meant was a traveling-bag. In the Syriac version the word used means a bookcase." This is also mentioned by Chrysostom.

Vine suggests that it is an outer garment for protection against the weather, but he also suggests it may have been a light dust cover or carrying case for the books and parchments.

My thought is that if a man is looking toward death he probably wouldn’t be that concerned about protecting the books. Also if there was a cover for his books and parchments anyone that had known him would know that they were carried that way and would naturally bring it with the books - there would be no need to mention it separately.

CARPUS: Carpus may have been Paul’s host when at Troas . He is mentioned no other time in the Bible. His name means fruit.

TROAS: " Troas a city on the coast of Mysia in the north-west of Asia Minor ," ( Easton ’s dictionary) The city was named after the destroyed city of Troy which was a few miles north of Troas .

Now, I want to take a side trail here for a moment. Here we sit nearing the turn of the millennium, with computers, modems, satellite dishes, automated sewing machines, cars that are being developed to drive themselves and we read of the apostle Paul when he asks for books and parchments.

I don’t think that we really comprehend the differences between Paul and Us.

As I was preparing this sermon, I started my computer, I double clicked on the Bible icon and my Bible opened up. Within a couple of hours I had checked two or three Bible dictionaries, a couple lexicons, two or three commentaries, an illustration database I have developed, a couple of encyclopedias AND I HAVEN’T GOTTEN OUT OF MY CHAIR OR LEFT MY COMPUTER, NOR HAVE I TURNED A PAGE. Not only had I done all of this I had the bare bones and most of the thoughts to fully develop this sermon.

Now, let’s imagine Paul preparing for a sermon. He would see if he could find something to write with, something to write on, then hope that the light was bright enough to see. He would probably have to get up and move around a little to warm up enough to get to work. I do that in the winter myself - some things never change. Then he would sit down and recollect the best he could what Isaiah or Jeremiah had said, then begin to develop thoughts for his message. No Bible dictionaries, no lexicons (of course he knew the original languages so he had one advantage over me), no illustration listings, no encyclopedias, and worst of all he would have to sit there and try to write with those miserable quills or whatever they used. And finally he would only set down the bare elements because he only had two pieces of parchment.

Can you now get the picture of why he wanted his parchments and books? No matter what they were, they were very important to him for his life’s work.

BOOKS: biblion = normally translated book = probably a scroll - written document. What the books were is purely speculation, yet some suggestions might give some idea of their content. Robert’s Word Pictures mentions the possibility that they were his own writings or possibly just books that he liked to read and use. He also mentions the possibilities that they contained the writings of Luke or others relating to the words of Christ (Lu 1:1-4).

PARCHMENTS: membrana = only occurrence = made of dressed skins. The parchment material was more expensive than papyrus, so would have contained something more important probably. The usual thought is that they were copies of portions of the Old Testament.

Easton ’s mentions of pergamum , "Parchment was first made here, and was called by the Greeks pergamene, from the name of the city."

Vine mentions, "The writing material was prepared from the skin of the sheep or goat. The skins were first soaked in lime for the purpose of removing the hair, and then shaved, washed, dried, stretched and ground or smoothed with fine chalk or lime and pumice-stone. The finest kind is called vellum, and is made from the skins of calves or kids."

It has been suggested that the parchments were Old Testament portions. The fact that II Timothy is lacking in Old Testament quotes when compared to Paul’s other writings may suggest that this is true.

In this study I would like to look at the following items:

I. THE DIGNITY OF THE BELIEVER FACING DEATH

II. THE CONSISTENCY OF THE BELIEVER FACING DEATH

III. THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE BELIEVER FACING DEATH

I. THE DIGNITY OF THE BELIEVER FACING DEATH: Attachment to material items at the ending of ones life is not uncommon as we know if we know anything of dying people. This is not unnatural I don’t believe. The material things that we have acquired are things that we like and have been with for many years. Our homes actually depict a little bit about who we are and we feel VERY VERY COMFORTABLE at home. I do not think this is abnormal.

Now, if you are like one of Faith’s relatives that wanted an asbestos coffin so he could take it with him, I think you are a little too attached to your material possessions.

In the apostle Paul it is of great interest to me to see what was important to him. He was a man that took everything that he had in this world with him wherever he went, yet he is interested in a cloak and some writings.

My brother had very little in the last years of his life. He moved a couple of times and did it in a sea bag, duffle bag and two cardboard boxes. HE WAS HAPPY! Basically all he had was clothes, a small tape player, a nice camera with lots of pictures and a Bible.

By way of application from Paul’s desires, can we not suggest that the people we know facing death should be given as much of their familiar - material surroundings as possible? Most people that I have known that were dying wanted to be at home as much as possible. This is normal and we should do what we can to accommodate them. It is not possible in some cases and we should not feel guilty for not doing what was impossible!

I may upset some with the following statement, but I feel that it is true and I feel that many believers are living with a false image of facing death.

The normal opinion is usually that the believer is to face death with poise, confidence, peace and all other items that one can imagine when thinking of a tranquil transition from life to death.

This concept is normally based on the fact that the believer is to be looking forward to being with the Lord, that the believer is to live in the fruit of the Spirit one of which is peace, and that the believer is to submit to the Will of the Father.

NOW! All of these things are true and I accept these, yet there is also a built in aspect to our nature to oppose change, to oppose leaving people we love, oppose leaving responsibilities undone and oppose quitting, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY FACING THINGS WE’VE NEVER FACED BEFORE - YOU KNOW LIKE DYING!

For Paul to have requested books and parchments as well as personal company, one must assume that he was not ready to die. He had things he wanted to do, things he wanted to read and things he wanted to write. The very fact that he wrote II Timothy shows that he was continuing on doing as he always had done.

To die in complete peace is fine for some people, but don’t be entirely surprised if you run across a believer that struggles to hang onto life as hard as they can. It is not that they are unspiritual, it is not that they are refusing God’s will, and it is not that they are inferior.

One other aspect of this is the fact that death is an enemy according to Paul. In 1 Corinthians 15:26 he mentions, "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." This is in the context of Christ putting all things to a final conclusion at the end of this age. Death is an enemy even unto the end of time - God will have to bring it to its knees before the eternal state can begin.

Not all people can face an enemy with peace and tranquility. What soldier would be held in high esteem if he lay down peacefully in front of his enemy to be killed?

II. THE CONSISTENCY OF THE BELIEVER FACING DEATH: A further application is the fact that believers follow through with their beliefs - even unto the end. If those beliefs are real and true to the believer, then the coming death of the person will not change any aspect of the life of belief.

Matthew Henry follows this thought when he states, "As this was a private epistle written to St. Paul’s most intimate friend, under the miseries of imprisonment, and in the near prospect of death, it shows the temper and character of the apostle, and contains convincing proofs that he sincerely believed the doctrines he preached."

A number of years ago when my wife’s father was terminally ill, I was interested in observing his reaction to his situation. In life he had become somewhat cold to spiritual things for many reasons. Upon hearing that he was in serious condition his spiritual eyes were readjusted almost immediately. He talked many times of the different people that he had not taken time to witness to.

He fought death. He tried every option to beat the cancer. His time fighting cancer was also a time of fighting his enemy, the devil. He took every opportunity to talk to people about the spiritual lives. He had opportunity to witness to people as they came to visit him in the hospital.

Faith and I were considering going with a mission in Colorado that he was very interested in. As we discussed it one evening Paul told me, "Stan if you and Faith decide to go with the mission Esther and I will support you X$ per month. He had every intention of continuing to live for some time, even though he knew that wasn’t probable.

His reaction at near death was to hold onto life - personally I think part of that drive was the hope of being able to tell others of His Lord.

As the apostle Paul continued on with the ministry as is shown by his desire for Mark to come and to have the books and parchments to assist him, so we as we face death should desire to continue on serving God in our lives until the end is met.

III. THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE BELIEVER FACING DEATH: There seems a distinct possibility that some of these books were just plain books of interest to Paul - indeed, I would assume from his life they would be theological in nature. The Daily Bread had a quote that I would like to share with you. "A famous French author has written, ’The wise men who have written before our time are travelers who have preceded us in the paths of misfortune, and who reach out to us their hands to invite us to join their society when all others have abandoned us. A good book is a good friend.’"

I personally feel that the men that have written in the past often have a lot to say to us in this time. Yes, they are out of date at times, yet they are right on target at times.

I have been greatly encouraged to see that there were many in the past that felt the same frustrations with their age as I have suffered with mine. They see the worldliness and sin around them and wonder if it can get worse.

Yep, it can and most assuredly has.

Yep, it can and most likely will.

It is most likely that some of these items were copies of the Scriptures as well. The longing of the apostle for these is probably a universal desire of believers as they face the final enemy - death.

When discouraged with situation or life most believers will turn to the Word for some note of encouragement. I personally quite often turn to the Psalms and am encouraged by the positive aspect of what I have read or the knowledge that David or one of the other Psalmists have faced the same trouble I am then facing.

The believer can find encouragement, the believer can find strength and the believer can find guidance in the Word as they face death.

Even when a person is alone, there is a closeness that can be gained by reading the Word. It brings the believer closer to the Lord and supplies spiritual nourishment and encouragement.

Just a bit of a side light - this is one of the purposes of the church - encouraging those that are in need of encouragement.

IIII. SO WHAT?

In my theology classes I often would lecture and then stop, pause, and say SO WHAT? What can we use all that knowledge for.

There is a fourth point this morning that I would like to add by way of application.

When you find you are going to die, know that it is God’s will and that you are satisfying His will in the most complete way.

This quote is from Spurgeon’s devotional Morning and Evening.

The devotional is based on John 17:24 "Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am."

"Death! why dost thou touch the tree beneath whose spreading branches weariness hath rest? Why dost thou snatch away the excellent of the earth, in whom is all our delight? If thou must use thine axe, use it upon the trees which yield no fruit; thou mightst be thanked then. But why wilt thou fell the goodly cedars of Lebanon? O stay thine axe, and spare the righteous. But no, it must not be; death smites the goodliest of our friends; the most generous, the most prayerful, the most holy, the most devoted must die. And why? It is through Jesus’ prevailing prayer -- ’Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.’ It is that which bears them on eagle’s wings to heaven. Every time a believer mounts from this earth to paradise, it is an answer to Christ’s prayer. A good old divine remarks, ’Many times Jesus and His people pull against one another in prayer. You bend your knee in prayer and say, ’Father, I will that Thy saints be with me where I am;’ Christ says,’Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.’’ Thus the disciple is at cross purposes with his Lord. The soul cannot be in both places: the beloved one cannot be with Christ and with you too. Now, which pleader shall win the day? If you had your choice; if the King should step from His throne, and say, ’Here are two supplicants praying in opposition to one another, which shall be answered?’ Oh! I am sure, though it were agony, you would start from your feet, and say, ’Jesus, not my will, but Thine be done.’ You would give up your prayer for your loved one’s life, if you could realize the thought that Christ is praying in the opposite direction -- ’Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.’ Lord, Thou shalt have them. By faith we let them go."

Spurgeon said, "By faith we let them go."

I think we could also say, "By faith be ready to go."

Enjoy your material surrounding, but continue on serving Him as best you can until the end.

Verses 9-15

APPLICATION:

1. There are some that are condescending toward those that read and/or use books in their ministry. It seems from this passage that there must be a balance to the use of books with the Word. Not that they are equal to the Word as traditionalists believe, but that they can assist in the understanding of the Word.

I personally seldom read outside of my Bible study. This is due, in large, to the fact that I don’t like to read (partly due to a learning disability that makes reading difficult and time consuming :-). I also have an aversion to many books cluttering up the mind and getting in the way of the good stuff!

I find commentaries useful AFTER I have studied a text. I use them to gain further information that I might have missed, and also to keep a check on my mind. If I find that I differ greatly with commentaries, I normally go over my information and assure myself that I am right in my conclusions.

2. Some suggest that we should not be negative toward those that do not agree with our view of things. Seems Paul was a little definite in his thinking and his verbalizing of those that disagreed and those that treated him wrongly.

He doesn’t seem to be vindictive, but he certainly is seen as warning others of the falsehood.

Any shepherd that does not keep the sheep from the wolves is no shepherd.

Not only does he warn others, but he gives a certain amount of judging to the situation, even unto calling on the Lord to get him – so to speak – “the Lord reward him according to his works: ” – not your average basic blessing to be sure.

Demas means “governor of the people” according to Thayer.

Crescens means “growing” – Thayer mentions that some think he was one of the seventy disciples but the book that mentions this is not even recognized as valid by the Roman Catholic Church. He is listed by tradition as the bishop of the churches in Galatia. The Greek Orthodox Church observes him on a yearly basis.

Galatia

Titus means “nurse.”

Dalmatia

Luke means “light giving.”

Mark means “a defense.”

Tychicus means “fateful.” Paul in Titus 3:12 mentions that he is going to send Tychicus or Artemas to Crete to replace Titus. “12 When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.” Since he is mentioned in II Timothy as being sent to Ephesus we can assume that Artemas was sent to Crete.

Paul mentions him as “a beloved brother and faithful minister” in Ephesians 6:21. Again in Colossians 4:7-8 he is mentioned as “a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord”

Ephesus

Troas

Carpus means “fruit.”

Alexander means “man defender.” Some identify this man with the Alexander that along with Hymeneus had turned away from the truth in 1 Timothy 1:19-20 “19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.”

Verse 10

"For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia”

Here we see that several had left Paul’s side and it is likely that he had need of someone to assist him in his writing. Demas had forsaken him for the world in some manner. We just mentioned that our focus must be on the heavenlies rather than on earthly concerns. Demas had failed in that portion of his spiritual life.

Colossians 4:4 mentions that Demas was in prison with Paul or present in the area at the writing of Colossians. He evidently had been a profitable aid to the apostle in the past but somewhere along the line taken a side track that left him lacking in the spiritual area. How sad to see someone do this. (Demas is also mentioned as a coworker of Paul’s in Philemon 1:24)

In bible College I had a good friend that purchased a business for all the correct reasons, but became totally sidetracked with the business to the detriment of his studies for the Lord. He finally dropped from school and left the call to the mission field that he had when we first met.

Adam Clarke mentions of Demas "Having preferred Judaism to Christianity; or having loved the Jews, and having sought their welfare in preference to that of the Gentiles." He feels that Demas loved the Jews so much that he became overcome with the need to evangelize them and had left Paul to do this job of evangelism. He calls this his charitable interpretation, and that it would be, if there were any basis for it.

Barnes as well gives a more charitable reason for his leaving than just worldliness. He feels that Demas just wasn’t willing to face the possible martyrdom that may have been his if he had remained with the apostle. He wanted to live rather than die for the faith.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown mention "His motive for forsaking Paul seems to have been love of worldly ease, safety, and comforts at home, and disinclination to brave danger with Paul" This seems more in keeping with the text to me.

The others mentioned, Crescens and Titus are not included in the negative comment about Demas. They were most likely sent on errands by the apostle. There is no further information on Crescens, and we know of Titus from the epistle to him.

Verse 11

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

It is of note that he has sent two away and requests two others. I suspect he wanted Mark, the cloke and books and that he may have sent Timothy onto other labors. If he had only needed man power he could have asked Mark to bring the items.

Paul is alone except for Luke - the doctor - one that was there most likely for physical ministry. I am sure Luke was capable of other things since we know he was a very good writer (Luke and Acts) but there seemed to be needs not being met, otherwise Paul would not have called others to come along side.

Mark is of interest. He was determined to be unprofitable in some manner by Paul in Acts 14:37 “And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. 38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. 39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; 40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.”

However, he is mentioned as being with Paul in Colossians and Philemon and here is “profitable” to the apostle.

It would be of interest to know what changed in Mark’s life to change Paul’s mind. We might find some application in this. Don’t count that “no account” out – he or she may change in life to be of great account.

One of my class mates was run out of our high school by the principal. The principal told him the reform school was the only chance he had to make his life worthwhile. My friend left high school and went into the Marines.

During his enlistment he finished his High school education and upon his discharged applied and was accepted at the University of Nebraska. He went on to gain a doctorate and write some books – not all that worthless in reality of time.

Be careful of those bad apples – they may make a great pie if you get rid of the poor spots.

Verse 12

"And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. 13 The cloke that I left at Troaswith Carpus, when thou comest, bring [with thee], and the books, [but] especially the parchments."

We gather from this that Paul was cold or possibly just had a real desire for his cloak - ever have a coat you just loved to wear? He also requested books and parchments - we don’t know what these were, but they were important to the apostle at this point in life.

Remember, he has just declared that he is about to die or be killed, yet he wants his books – he is still plugging away at his ministry for the benefit of others. He certainly was in the job for the long haul.

Gill and Barnes mention that some older commentators thought that the cloak may have been an outer covering for books or possibly something to put on a table to place books on. One mentions that some thought that it might even have been a lap desk of some sort.

Since the term is only used here in the Bible, we can’t know for sure what the meaning was. Since it is in the same thought with books and parchments it would be logical that it related to the books in some manner but the lexicons only list it as meaning an outer garment which indicates clothing. I would think a personal garment is in mind.

Since he was looking toward his death, I wonder if this relates to his getting his house in order. With Luke present I wonder if the books and parchments might have been for him for future reference as he continued his ministry.

We don’t know what the books and parchments were but there are some good guesses. The books may have related to secular topics or possibly these were writings relating to the Old Testament or maybe even Old Testament Scripture passages. The parchments could have been some of the New Testament books, or possibly some of the letters from the churches to Paul.

At any rate, it seems Paul wanted to put them to use or get them in order for his death.

Tychicus must have been Timothy’s replacement as he was on his way to Ephesus. Timothy was to leave as soon as possible for Rome and pick up the items on the way there.

I would guess this may be the basis some use in large denominations where higher ups make the decisions as to where the lower placed people serve.

Verses 14-15

. "Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: 15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words."

We have another not so “right on” Christian mentioned - one that really turned against the apostle and did him evil. What an arrogant man this must have been, to have withstood the teaching of Paul and then to do other evil to him as well.

False teachers MUST be confronted. You can’t allow them to continue or they will become effective in corrupting the minds of others. To delay will cost in peoples lives.

Verse 16

Week 13

2 Timothy 4:16-22

A FAITHFUL SERVANT IS STRENGTHENED

“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. 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. 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. 19 Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick. 21 Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren. 22 The Lord Jesus Christ [be] with thy spirit. Grace [be] with you. Amen.”

"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."

Evidently there was much disagreement with Paul’s rebuke of Alexander. Isn’t that the way it often turns out - take a stand for God and you stand alone. Not at all uncommon in our own day.

We were in a church were there was a young man living in sin. The pastor approached his board about church discipline and was fought tooth and nail. He finally brought the issue to the congregation and again there was little cooperation. The man’s sister stood in the congregational meeting and pleaded with the church to take steps of discipline – finally after another chance to change they did discipline the man.

Paul’s forgiving spirit is of great note. He may have had some understanding of why others didn’t stand with him even though they should have. We should find forgiveness in our heart for those that wrong us - sometimes seeing the situation from their view point helps.

Verses 16-22

APPLICATION:

1. Have you ever stood alone on an issue in spiritual matters?

How did you feel?

Where did you gain your comfort? Since you are alone, most likely it was the Lord.

How did it affect your later life?

We found ourselves alone in a church situation years ago, and we happened onto a retired pastor and his wife. They became a real strength for me – they encouraged us in the fact that we were very right in our position and that we didn’t need to feel that we had failed. I thank the Lord for having this man available for the assistance that he gave.

2. Paul made the statement in verse seventeen “; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and [that] all the Gentiles might hear:”

This ought to be the main thought of every believer. It is not to say that they personally have to go to every person in the world personally, but it does require a commitment of all of us to attempt to get the Gospel out to every person in the world.

This is not being done in our generation. It was not done in the last generation and since there are fewer missionaries going to the field now than in past years, it most likely is not going to be done in the next generation.

Even with the technology of today we are far behind in the job of getting the gospel out. This is due to lack of preaching about missions, a lack of interest in missions and a great lack of going on missions.

3. Take a moment to think back through the studies involved in II Timothy.

a. Is there some real blessing that you have received from the Word during this study?

b. Is there some new truth that you have gained from this study?

c. Is there some truth gained that has made a change in your life?

4. Is there anything in the study that ought to be considered in relation to your church?

Are there things going on that shouldn’t be?

Are there things not going on that should be?

How can we bring about changes needed?

Verse 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."

Paul gives great honor to God for His care through the whole dissatisfying situation. God made the truth known in the end even though the days may have been dark to begin with.

If you have a pastor or mentor near, take some time to ask them about situations like this that they have lived through. It will make for interesting listening on your part. Many men have faced this situation and you might learn much by listening to how they resolved their difficulties.

It is no wonder Paul called his life a “fight” in verse seven.

His mention of the lion may relate to trouble in general from another person but more likely relates to his view of the devil. Peter uses similar terminology in 1 Peter 5:8 as well. They both may have been thinking of the Romans feeding Christians to lions, or they may have been thinking of the Old Testament where things that are adversarial are related to a lion. Psalms 10:1-10 speaks of wickedness personified as a lion.

There is also a possible link in that the Devil likes to copy the things of the Lord and Christ is the Lion of Judah. One or all of these may relate to their use of the lion.

Verse 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."

It is of note, that even in the nasty situation he found himself in he knew it was from the Lord and he was ready for anything the Lord might desire to bring his way. He knew that God was in total control of his life and death.

Verse 19

"Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus." 20 Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick."

This is a verse which seems to stop those that believe in healing today in their tracks. I have mentioned that Paul could not heal this man, he could not heal himself (thorn in the flesh) and he could not heal Timothy for he told him to drink a little wine for his stomach’s sake. The fact that in the early part of Paul’s life people were being healed by clothes that had been sent out by the apostle yet in his later life it is clear that he no longer had the gift of healing.

On internet boards the Charismatics often cease to post after this thought. One that lived in Washington ventured into the waters and suggested I was quite wrong. He however declined my invitation to come down to the Salem hospital and empty it – I told him I was sure the Statesman Journal would cover the story and I would be proven wrong.

Verse 21

"Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren."

We have four believers mentioned, but we know little about them other than the meaning of their names. Eubulus means prudent, Pudens means modest, Linus means a net, and Claudia means lame.

We don’t know if these are some of those that left him that are re-gathering or possibly these are people that weren’t as close to Paul when the trouble came and decided to gather round.

I assume that there was a hurry involved in Paul’s request, as well as the weather - it was difficult to travel in some areas during the winter.

Verse 22

"The Lord Jesus Christ [be] with thy spirit. Grace [be] with you. Amen.

Barnes brings up a note that is of interest. He suggests that this verse is a prayer directed to Christ rather than to the Father or the Holy Spirit. What think ye? Is this the case or not?

Clarke states “This is a prayer addressed to Christ by one of the most eminent of his apostles; another proof of the untruth of the assertion, that prayer is never offered to Christ in the New Testament. He prays that Christ may be with his spirit, enlightening, strengthening, and confirming it to the end.”

Barnes also mentions that the last phrase shows that the letter was addressed to the whole church rather than to Timothy alone. Verse two of chapter one seems to make it personal. I don’t know that it is relevant either way. I find it hard to think that Timothy would not have shared the letter with all in the first place since many/most believers in the church would have known Paul personally.

I might mention that this is one of the “errors” that the textual critics point out. One text adds the word “all” in the phrase relating to grace while others do not. There is also a subscription that some texts have and others do not. Neither of these really make a lot of difference in the plain understanding of the text.

Gill states “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.”

Paul uses the word Grace differently than we do in some cases. Just what does Grace be with you mean? Yes, it is a part of a closing prayer, but what meaning did it have to Timothy when he read it? What blessing is Paul requesting upon his friend and co-worker?

Grace I find is a very general term that relates to something good – the “something” being the very general area of the word. Receiving of money, receiving of material gain, good received by a visit from Paul etc.

It would seem to be a general connotation of Paul wanting good in general to be upon Timothy. Since this is in the Bible, then good from God might be a little more specific.

Robertson ends his comments on the book with a paragraph that might be appropriate to read. “Let us hope that Timothy and Mark reached Paul before winter, before the end came, with the cloak and with the books. Our hero, we may be sure, met the end nobly. He is already more than conqueror in Christ who is by his side and who will welcome him to heaven and give him his crown. Luke, Timothy, Mark will do all that mortal hands can do to cheer the heart of Paul with human comfort. He already had the comfort of Christ in full measure.”

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Bibliographical Information
Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 4". "Derickson's Notes on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/sdn/2-timothy-4.html.