II Tim. 4:1-22
In view of the many admonitions that Paul had given Timothy in his letter, he began to conclude by giving him a charge to be strong and bold in his preaching. Paul realized that his time as an apostle was nearing its end. Timothy would have more responsibility and must be ready for all opportunities to proclaim God’s word preparing lost sinners for the judgment that is coming.
Paul warned Timothy that even his time as an effective preacher was limited. There was a time coming when people’s ears would itch for words that sounded good to them. Instead of listening to the pure gospel, they would seek false teachers to tell them what they wanted to hear. He was admonished to remain true to his work as an evangelist even if it caused him to become unpopular.
As the time for Paul’s departure (death) or release from this world came near, he reflected upon a life of service to God and the ultimate reward for such a life. He wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” These were words to encourage young Timothy to follow in his footsteps and to disregard the persecutions that he would endure as a Christian.
Paul followed his spiritual admonitions with instructions regarding personal items that he needed Timothy to bring with him to Rome. He stated that he was alone except for his long-time co-worker, Luke. Demas had forsaken him but he had sent Titus and others to assignments in other places. He asked Timothy to bring Mark to help him.
Many people had helped Paul during his ministry. Others had been great hindrances. He warned Timothy of a coppersmith named Alexander who had done him much harm.
Even though Paul stood alone as he was first arraigned before Nero, he was not alone! The Lord stood by him and gave him strength to proclaim the gospel even to those who witnessed his trial.
According to historians, Paul soon suffered a brutal physical death, but those who could kill the body could not destroy the soul that was protected by our loving God.
Since winter was near, Paul urged Timothy to come as quickly as possible. He needed the items that he had requested and he would probably be dead by spring.
As he closed his letter, Paul sent greetings to some of his friends in Ephesus. He also sent greetings from Roman brethren along with a prayer for the well-being of Timothy.