Summary: The final words from Paul’s pen proclaim a challenging charge and a personal testimony. These are for guiding Timothy through the perils before him to the prize laid up for him in glory.

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From the Charge to the Crown

2 Timothy 4

1 I solemnly 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: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

3 For the time will come when THEY will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have THEIR ears tickled, THEY will accumulate for THEMSELVES teachers in accordance to THEIR own desires; 4 and will turn away THEIR ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.

5 But YOU, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill YOUR ministry.

6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of MY departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future 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.

9 Make every effort to come to me soon; 10 for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service. 12 But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Be on guard against him yourself, for he vigorously opposed our teaching.

16 At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. 17 But the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me, in order that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus. 21 Make every effort to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, also Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brethren. 22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

The final chapter of 2 Timothy may have been the last lines to come from the pen of Paul. What do you say when you know the end of your life is near and so much hangs in the balance for those you love? Paul speaks with parental persuasion as he presents his final charge to Timothy. Listen to his passion… This is it! This is what you must do! This is what you can expect. This is where your duty lies. Let my confidence spill over into your heart!

Even a casual look at verses 1-8 reveals a list of personal pronouns that are grouped in such a way as to lead to victory with the risen Christ. Note the progression from the first verse where Paul, Timothy and Christ are featured and Timothy is given his charge in verse two (read), to the “They” references in verses 3-4 (read), to the “You” references in verse 5 (read), and finally the “I/me” references in verses 6-8 (read). What do you see? Where is he leading Timothy? From the charge to the crown!

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