2 Timothy 4:1-22 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Preach the Word
Comments for Study 5

2 Timothy 4:1-22
Memory Verse: 2


I. In View of His Appearing (1-5)

>1. Why does Paul give the charge in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who will judge the living and the dead?

* 2 Timothy 4:1 "In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:"

* "In the presence of God and Christ Jesus" -Jesus said he would be with his disciples always "even to the very end of the age." (Matt. 28:20) He knows everything we are doing right now and always.

* "who will judge the living and the dead" -At the end of the age, very soon, Jesus will send his angles to collect those who have believed in him whether their bodies are in graves or walking on the earth. This is called the rapture (see previous study). At that time each person who confessed the name of Jesus will need to give a detailed account of what they had done. Jesus will judge his people and had out rewards or punishment. This is very clear in many of Jesus' parables. For more on this read the manuscript The Believer's Future - Hope That Inspires.

* "I give you this charge" -The Lord sets others over and under us to serve and instruct. God's kingdom has a hierarchy, but opposite of the world's hierarchy. Those who give charge must also do so in God's presence with fear of God's judgement to come. Many do not.

* We are all answerable to Jesus. Every word spoken. Every thought entertained.

* Moses charged Israel (Deut. 29:1,10 30:11,16). Moses charged Joshua (Deut. 31:7,8,23). Joshua changed Israel (Josh. 23:2,6; 241,26,27). Samuel charged Israel (1 Sam. 12:1-25). David charged Solomon (1 Kings 21-9; and 1 Chron. 28:2-10,20). Ezra charged Israel (Neh. 8-10). Jesus charged his disciples (John 13:34; 14-17).

* A myth to my youthful imagination had been tales about the ancients in far far away lands that involved mystical creatures and supernatural powers. Sinbad the Sailor, Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Wheel of Time are among them. However, a myth can also be an explanation of natural or social phenomena and widely held but false beliefs or ideas. The former is adventurous, fun, and exciting. The latter is itching, dangerous, and destructive (3).

Several myths concerning the human origin, Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, and human destiny persist in perversion. They compete and weakly challenge the truth and sound doctrine (4). Many myths about God's truth in the Bible. That too has been misinterpreted and used to support myths.

False teachings are not always doctrinal deviations. They sometimes prostitute truth for the need to be popular and say what people want to hear in order to do whatever is needed for self-gratification, power, prestige, and wealth. The exchange of conscience for monetary gain is a myth whispered in wanting ears and played out begging social and program media.

The remedy to myth pandemic is to "preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season, correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction." (2) I need to keep my head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, and continue in all the duties of God's will for me which is my ministry.

>And in view of his appearing and his kingdom?

* "in view of his appearing" -Jesus will suddenly appear one day and send his angles to earth and his people will be caught up (raptured) to him, and as a whole will descend with him. The devil and his workers have been preparing people to believe that Jesus' appearing will be attack from aliens from another planet like Venus or a distant star. He hopes to have them battle Jesus; foolish, foolish, and stupid. Jesus will appear and stand again on the Mount of Olives. Do not be deceived, repent and believe in Jesus and his coming again.

* "his kingdom" -Jesus is the king of his kingdom. Right now he rules in his people's heart. Jesus told us to pray, "they kingdom come, they will be done on earth as it is in heaven". When Jesus comes again he will set up a kingdom. This is at the beginning of the Millennium, God's kingdom in its fullest expression. For more on this read the manuscript The Believer's Future - Hope That Inspires.

* J. Vernon McGee wrote, "Christ's appearing and His kingdom are not the same thing. His appearing is the epiphany, the rapture of the church. His kingdom refers to the revelation of Christ when he returns to earth to establish His kingdom. Twice He will do some judging. He will judge His own when He takes them out of the world. Also, He will judge those who turn to God in the Great Tribulation. All of us who are believers will come before Him for judgement at one time or another. Our lives are going to be tested to see if we are to receive a reward or not." I add, "In view of that what are you and I doing now?"

>2. Why was it necessary for Paul to give an imperative charge to Timothy, "Preach the Word" in light of the circumstances?

* 2 Timothy 4:2 "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction."

* "Preach the word" -The kingdom of God is advanced with the preaching of the gospel and the teaching of the God breathed scriptures. Jesus preached the word, Paul preached the word, Timothy was told to preach the word, and we are to do the same. We are to keep clear priority.

* We are to preach the word not about the word. Now at this point someone can say, "Hey, isn't your comments about the Bible?" Well yes, some of my comments are about the Bible. I comment on the Bible so that we may have an understanding that will enable us to correctly handle the word of God. I am more found of chapter-by-chapter Bible study over topical Bible because of such a lack of basic knowledge of the Bible today. The apostles could teaching spiritual topics because their readers were mostly Jews like Timothy who new the scriptures from birth. Today almost all new converts and people who have gone to a church building for a long time no practically nothing about what the Bible says. I estimate that one percent of church attending people have read the Bible cover to cover let alone study it. So today a speaker can give a topical message with only one or two verses quoted and totally mislead people. I've seen that happen a few weeks ago on a message about "your vision". Nothing was said about the vision being Biblical based and inspired by God. I wondered how many walked about thinking their visions were that day blessed by God when in fact God has nothing to do with their vision.

* "be prepared" -I was in the Boy Scouts. Our motto was "be prepared." To get prepared we were to read the Boy Scout guide and practiced what it taught until we got it right. We learned by study and practice. When we completed a task we received a badge that proclaimed we had mastered that skill to the point of being a good habit. Similarly, now I read and study the Christian guide book, the God breathed Scriptures and I practice what it says until I master the skills. I am not an eagle scout yet. So I keep studying and practicing. When Jesus comes to take me home he will make me an eagle scout.

* "Preach... correct, rebuke and encourage" -the three parts of a good message.

>Why is this the best direction for Timothy to overcome everything?

* With so many false teachers, preachers, and magicians it was all the more important for Timothy to teach the truth. Solving all the problems in the world for mankind is an endless and impossible job. However, through the word of God people can have a personal relationship with God who is in the process of solving all our problems.

>What does it mean, "Be prepared in season and out of season"?

* Be ready at any time to preach and teach and herald the word of God.

* Whether we are ready or not we should preach the word of God.

* Whether we have study the whole Bible or just a few chapters we are to preach the word. If the Samaritan women could lead her whole town to Jesus on just a short conversation with Jesus, we can too.

* The preparation starts on the inside, with the Holy Spirit in us because of the good news we have received. If nothing else we can give the gospel we have received.

* Wherever, whenever, to whomever, how ever we are to give the word.

* I've had people question using the world wide web to distribute the word and Bible lessons. "Can you get in touch with those who receive it?" they've asked me. The same was said for television, radio, the printing press, and even Paul's letters. I say to them, "If the four gospels and all of written scriptures can be used to preach the world, then so can the internet and the world wide web. The gospel placed on the web can save a few flies trapped in the spider's web of death."

* Consider Paul's use of the farmer in the previous chapter. In that study we saw that the farmer does things in the right order. Here Paul says that any season is the season to plant the word of God. we need to be ready no matter what season it is. We need to plant the seed of the word of God even if it doesn't look like the season for planting.

* Ecclesiastes 11:6 states, "Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well."

>What different kinds of methods should the workman of God use in preaching the word?

* "correct" -When they don't know its wrong and what is right convince them.

* "rebuke" -when they do know that is wrong and do it anyway.

* "encourage" -Help when they have fallen and repented. Pick them up in love and send them on the right way in hope. The Comforter is a different form of the word used here.

>With what attitude?

* "with great patience and careful instruction" -Pay attention to the listener. The point is to make a positive impact and advancement.

* Pray and wait for the right time. Patient teaching.

* Don't be afraid about losing control because we aren't the one in control.

* "great" -People often don't understand right away. It takes time and repetition. Jesus repeated teachings, verbal and practical several times until they got what he was teaching.

* "careful" -Know the right words to say at the right time.

* Paul states three ways to use the tool of the word. We need to know which one to use at which time. We may see their problem but not know how to help them and serve them. A quickly rebuke to a person who needed encouragement could ruin and hinder them.

>What does this teach us about the life of the workman of God?

* we need to be full of the Spirit. We need to have the gift of spiritual discernment. We need to have the gift of understanding the word of God.

* Being a man and women of God for the welfare of others takes time.

* The Bible uses the analogy of a shepherd when talking about our mission work with others. A shepherd must be spiritually alert as a real shepherd looks out for bears, lions, and wolves.

* How can we do all this? We need to learn from our shepherd, Jesus.

>3. What are the characteristics of the time Paul describes in verses 3 and 4?

* 2 Timothy 4:3-4 "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths."

* "For the time will come" -Paul is not looking forward in time. The seeds of it was seen in the two men mentioned in the previous chapter. As noted in that study, as the age we are in has progressed what Paul is about to say has increased. Now these are true more than ever before.

* "when men will not put up with sound doctrine" -The two men put up with what Timothy had said; but not for long. Soon they would not only reject it but do all they could to silence it.

* "to suit their desires" -selfish desires which they could not control because they did not have the Holy Spirit.

* "gather around them a great number of teachers" -These are not teachers of the gospel, but teachers of other religions and knowledge. To know is one thing, but a great thing is wisdom.

* Consider the recent best sellers in Christian book stores. There are a great many people more interested in Antichrist than they are in Christ, and they are more interested in those left behind than the current life and resulting future of those taken.

>Why would gospel workers meet increasing opposition?

* "doctrine" -The cross and resurrection of Jesus is the center of all doctrine. The time has come when the gospel does not mean much to the church goer.

* "They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths" -The simple gospel will be called ridiculous and man made stories, even one based on some truth, is not called wise and we are told if we don't follow these God is not pleased.

* Dr. Marvin R. Vincent wrote in his Studies in the New Testament, Volume IV pages 320-321, "(They) shall invite teachers en masse. In periods of unsettled faith, scepticism, and mere curious speculations in matters of religion, teachers of all kinds swarm like the flies in Egypt. The demand creates the supply. The hearers invite and shape their own preachers. If the people desire a calf to worship, a ministerial calf-maker is readily found. Clement of Alexandria describes certain teachers as 'scratching and tickling, in no human way, the ears of those who eagerly desire to be scratched..." Seneca says, 'Some come to hear, not to learn, just as we go to the theatre, for pleasure, to delight our ears with the speaking or the voice or the plays.'"

* Dr. Warren Wiersbe former pastor of Moody Church in Chicago has said, "They want religious entertainment from Christian performers who will tickle their ears. we have a love of novelty in the churches today; emotional movies, pageants, foot-tapping music, colored lights, etc. The man who simply opens the Bible is rejected while the shallow religious entertainer becomes a celebrity. And verse 4 indicates that itching ears soon will become deaf ears as people turn away from the truth and believe man made fables."

* Music is good if we praise and worship God; but music is useless if we receive it as entertainment. Plays and movies are good if they teach a truth of the Bible; but plays and movies are useless if we receive it as entertainment. Remember music, plays, and movies can turn a couch potato into the best of Christians. Just the same as these a pulpit is good if he preacher preaches the word; but a pulpit is useless if we receive it as entertainment. Ask this, "Do I proclaim the gospel or do I use the gospel for selfish gain?" David Baroni sings, "People need more than just great works of art. They need a message from God's heart, the life giving power of God's Spirit."

>Why is it important that Timothy understand the time and the morals of the people in the near future?

* 2 Timothy 4:5 "But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry."

* "keep your head" -Don't loose control of your emotions for letting emotions control us causes our good conscience (our brains) to shut off.

>How should he and other gospel workers face them?

* "endure hardship" -constantly repeated in this letter.

* "do the work of an evangelist" -This is watering the seeds that the apostles planted. Apollos, Timothy and Titus acted as evangelists to those who had excepted the gospel that Paul preached.

* "discharge" -Do. Engage.

* "all the duties of your ministry" -This applies to us too. Ask ourselves, "What ministry has God give me?" Then ask, "Am I discharging all the duties of that ministry?"

>With what attitude?

* Go back to verse 5. Remember the soldier, the farmer, and the athlete.

II. There is in Store for Me (6-8)

>4. What did Paul know about his present condition and the fate of his near future?

* 2 Timothy 4:6 "For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure."

* Referring back to the first study Paul was in a Roman prison and would soon be martyred.

>What was his attitude about it?

* "like a drink offering" -Jesus used these very words to describe is arrest, trial, sufferings, and crucifixion. Paul reflected on Jesus when he thought about his near future.

* "for my departure" -Physical death is not the end, it is a departure of life in this sinful world to the kingdom of heaven.

* When trouble, persecution, trial, and death is threatened look to the future.

* During his first Roman jail time he wrote, "But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me." (Phil. 2:17-18)

* "drink offering" -Jacob is the first recorded as offering a drink offering to the LORD. (Gen. 35:14) Wine poured out (often with burnt grain with it) is used in a drink offering, looking like blood. (Ex. 29:40; Lev. 23:13,18; Num. 6:17, 15:7,10; etc.)

* Matthew Henry wrote, "Death to a good man is his release and his departure to the enjoyments of another world; he does not cease to be, but is only removed from one world to another."

>5. How did Paul describe his life of faith and his ministry? (7)

* 2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

* Paul is referring back to the soldier, farmer, and athlete.

* Just before Jesus dies he said, "It is finished." Now Paul is saying the same thing. There was no pride in making these statement. Gratitude and release were felt.

>What was his own evaluation of it?

* At the end of my life I should be able to say that I did the work that the Lord gave me to do. "I am an unworthy servant. I have only done my duty." (Luke 17:10)

>6. What was his personal conviction about his eternal destiny?

* 2 Timothy 4:8a "Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day"

* "Now" -After doing what the task Jesus gave him to do.

* "there is in store" -In heaven Jesus has stored up our reward.

* "the crown of righteousness" -When we do what is right in this life after he has made us right by cleansing us with his blood, God will give a crown or righteousness. This is a figure of speech for something that will be visible and honorable. I consider the literal interpretation of the post ascension appearances of Jesus. "(This phrase) containing with the same figure of speech, Paul uses the metaphor of the wreath given to the winner of a race (1 Cor. 9:25). He could be referring to 1) a crown given as a reward for a righteous life, 2) a crown consisting of righteousness, or 3) a crown given righteously (justly) by the righteous Judge." (quote from The NIV Study Bible)

* "on that day" -The final Day of Atonement after the rapture and before the wedding feast of the lamb; the Bema seat of Christ. For more information on the future of believers in Jesus read the manuscript The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires.

>In what was is Paul already a true victor of life, a triumphant soldier of Christ and a crowned spiritual soldier of Christ?

* Paul could name those who he had witnessed to that had not only believed the gospel but was preaching it themselves.

>7. How does he encourage Timothy and other Christians through his conviction of faith?

* 2 Timothy 4:8b "and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

* "all who have longed for his appearing" -Yes I do, like a deer pants for water.

III. Personal Remarks and Final Greeting (9-22)

>8. Why did Paul ask Timothy to come to him quickly?

* 2 Timothy 4:9-10 "Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia."

* Prayer support, encouragement, and comfort.

* "Demas" -started good, but not in the end. (Ph. 2:4, Col. 4:14)

* "Do your best" -This was not a command, but a request from a friend and mentor.

* "quickly" -The trail would start soon and Paul was all alone, not wanting to be any more than could be possible.

* "loved this world" -same as fearing death, showing a lack of faith in eternal life.

* Paul's final words that we have are in these verses unless the letter of Hebrews was written by Paul. It is 67 A.D. Nero is Caesar. His hate for Christians is well documented. Nero is credited for starting Rome's 10-day city-wide fire in 64 A.D. He claimed Christians intentionally started the infernal. Christian persecution is kingdom-wide sanctioned.

Paul is in a Roman prison. Alexander the metalworker brought serious charges against Paul (14,15). Alexander hated the Christian message and undoubtedly hated Paul. Paul's life was threatened.

Paul mentions many believers in many cities. Many came to faith through Paul's missionary work and all benefited from his evangelistic ministry. Some had deserted him, others stayed with him and assisted. After giving Timothy many instructions he tells him, "Do your best to come to me quickly before winter." (9,21)

The Lord lead me to talk with several circles of believers in many cities that I have frequented in the last two years of the government-sanctioned pandemic. The cities include Sebring, FL, Vero Beach, FL, Concord, NC, Royal Oak, MI, Ottoville, OH, and LaGrange, GA. I have maintained contact with family and friends all around the world too. Congregations have temporarily closed and opened up only to find the attending numbers have dropped considerably.

My desire is that all may come to saving faith in Jesus and live to the full in Christ. One pastor stated that though the national numbers of Sunday attendance have dropped those who tithe has not. Is that important? God's work was not hindered by Caesar lead persecution; nor will the fear of death by a virus.

>Whose names did he quote as good workers? Why?

* 2 Timothy 4:11-14 "Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments. Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done."

* "Luke" -The writer of the gospel that bearing his name and the Book of Acts. He joined Paul on Paul's second missionary journey.

* "Mark" -The writer of the gospel that bears his name. Mark started his walk of faith poorly, but ended good; meaning that he ran away when Jesus was arrested and during Paul's first missionary journey.

* "Tychicus" -A native of Asia Minor (Acts 20:4), he traveled with the apostle on the third missionary journey. Tychicus and Onesimus carried the Colossian letter from Paul (Col. 4:7-9), and were to relate to the church Paulís condition. Paul also sent Tychicus to Crete on another (Titus 3:12). Tradition holds that he died a martyr.

* All these were known to Timothy. He would have been encouraged to know that they had kept the faith.

>9. How did Paul face his first trial?

* 2 Timothy 4:16 "At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them."

* "At my first defense" -This is not his first Roman imprisonment. This is the one he is now in.

* "Alexander" -There is a possibility that this man had something to do with Paul being arrested. Paul was not interested in vengeance.

>What were his circumstances?

* "no one came to my support" -Paul stood in court all alone. Almost all the Christians in Rome fled when Nero blamed them for the burning of Rome and began to persecute them. (See first study).

* "bring my cloak" -Paul was in a dark cold dungeon. (See first study)

* "bring my scrolls... parchments" -Paul wanted to study the Bible some more even though he was about to die. He is talking about the Old Testament for it was written on scrolls and parchments. Jewish documents including most of the books of the Old Testament dating to this time and earlier were found in the caves in the Dead Sea area.

>What was the outcome of his first defense?

* 2 Timothy 4:17-18 "But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

* "the Lord stood at my side" -Paul was sentence to death but somehow it was postponed so that he would have another trial.

* "I was delivered from the lion's mouth" -At the Roman games criminals were often feed to lions. Similar evil is being shown on television in some countries already.

>What was his personal wish through it?

* "through me the message might be fully proclaimed" -Even in trial he saw a chance for the gospel to spread. Perhaps we saw the court scribes jotting down his words as his defense included proclamation of the gospel. Previous defense before Roman appointed officials are recorded in Acts.

* "all the Gentiles might hear it" -When Jesus called him, he gave Paul the commission to the Gentiles.

* "bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom" -The final rescue isn't from death, but from this world of the ungodly evil doers.

>What other co-workers in Ephesus, Corinth, and Miletus did Paul greet?

* Acts 18, and 1 Cor. 16:19, Rom. 16:3.

>Why were they precious to Paul?

* They were a comfort to him.

>Who were with Paul?

* 2 Timothy 4:20-22 "Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers. The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you."

* "Eubulus" -First bishop of Rome.

>Why were these co-workers so important to Paul?

* They encouraged and prayed for him.


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