The Book of 2 Timothy Bible Study Chapter 4 Part 1

Next up is 2 Timothy 4:1-5

Paul knows that he is coming to the end of his life. He is, therefore, imparting to Timothy a type of legacy – giving him a will, so to speak. These things that Paul has written are important instructions that he wants to leave for and instil in the life of Timothy. Paul was encouraging Timothy to live a G-d-centred life (a life centred on the Kingdom of G-d) so that he could be found faithful in that Day of Judgment. 

v1: I charge you: Literally: I testify thoroughlyThe word used here is not the word for ‘charge’. Paul is bearing witness; he is testifying to the fact that he is telling the truth in the presence of G-d and the L-rd Yeshua. 

  • Therefore: Paul is drawing a conclusion based upon what he has said up until now.
  • Before G-d and the L-rd Messiah Yeshua: Paul is not only speaking these words to Timothy. Paul is conscious that he is also speaking these words before G-d – G-d is his witness and the One who is going to call him to account. 
  • Judge: Paul never loses sight of the fact that Messiah is judge (John 5:22-23). This is a very important fact that we need to keep at the forefront of our minds as we make decisions and do what we have been called to do. 
  • Judge the living: We are ALL going to be judged. If we are a believer (the “living”), that judgment has nothing to do with where we are going to spend eternity but is a judgment of rewards (whether we receive or lose rewards – 1 Cor 3:12-15). Have we lived effectively in this world, completing the good deeds that G-d created for us, specifically and individually, to do? We receive reward for those things which we, through faith, have done; we lose the reward we could have got for those things left undone. “The living” could also be referring to those who are still alive when Yeshua returns. 
  • Judge…the dead: The dead are those who have not accepted Yeshua as their L-rd and Saviour (Rev 20:11-15). “The dead” could also possibly be referring to those who are no longer physically alive when Yeshua returns. 
  • At His appearing and His kingdom: The appearing of Messiah is linked to His Kingdom. It is at Messiah’s second coming that He will establish His Kingdom (this appearing is not referring to the rapture – those who have been raptured, previous to the second coming, will accompany Messiah for His second coming – 1 Thess 3:13). 

v2: Preach (proclaim) the word: While we are alive, waiting for the manifestation of Messiah and His Kingdom, we are to be testifying, revealing or bearing witness to the Word, to the gospel message. We are supposed to be people who share the Word of G-d with others (the gospel as well as Biblical truth – Isaiah 55:11). Sharing the Word is part of the good (work) that we are called to do. Sharing it is going to pay dividends for us in eternity. 

  • Be ready in season: Share the Word when it is easy to share it. 
  • Be ready … out of season: Share the Word when it is difficult to share it. Opposition should not stop us from sharing the Word of G-d with others. 
  • Convince (literally: convict): Bring an awareness to others of sin – the sin surrounding them as well as the sin of the world. This means that we need to show people the distinction between that which is good and that which is evil – that which belongs to G-d and that which G-d rejects, that which G-d will bless and that which He will condemn. We need to first reveal to people (in a general sense) what is appropriate or inappropriate in the eyes of G-d, what is G-dly or ungodly. 
  • Rebuke: This is more personal and confrontational. We need to be willing to rebuke others when we are sharing G-d’s Word with them. Conviction brings an awareness of sin in general (John 16:8-11), rebuke brings an awareness of personal sin (Rev 3:19) and, hopefully, repentance. 
  • Exhort (encourage): Once people have fallen under conviction and have repented then we need to encourage them to faithfulness in serving the L-rd and walking in His ways. Encouragement is not about placating others and trying to make them feel good about themselves. We are not there to please those who are listening to us, we are there to please G-d. We need to encourage them to be servants who also have an attitude, which leads to a behaviour, of wanting to please G-d. 
  • With all longsuffering: Patience is a prerequisite for those who are servants of G-d. We are going to encounter opposition. Many things are going to work against us as servants of G-d. We need to have patience to be able to endure, to continue on despite these things. Fruit is never instantly on a tree. We wait patiently for natural fruit. Likewise, we need to wait patiently to see spiritual fruits becoming evident in our lives. 
  • Teaching: Doctrine. We cannot be effective in serving G-d without the proper teaching.

v3: The time (season): A reference to the last days. 

  • They will not endure sound doctrine: People will not want to hear the truth from the Word of G-d. They will not tolerate it. 
  • According to their own desires… they will heap up for themselves teachers: They are going to appear religious. They are going to listen to teachers who will only speak about the things that they enjoy listening to – not words of conviction or of rebuke. 
  • Heap up: Gathering up in abundance. 
  • Itching ears: These (false and compromising) teachers will speak pleasing words – words that are comforting, words that their hearers desire to hear, words that are not according to the desires or will of G-d. They are going to present the Word of G-d in an unhealthy way – not based on the full truth of G-d. 

v4: Turn… away from the truth: They will depart from truth. At one time they may have listened to and embraced the teachings of truth, but a time will come when they will depart from it (this has the same root as the word used for the apostasy or the falling away found in 2 Thess 2:3). Truth will become intolerable to people in the last days. They will not allow the truth to be heard. People who tell the truth will be labelled as ‘bigots’ or as those who promote hate speech. People who speak the truth will be ridiculed, marginalised and suffer persecution – their freedoms and rights being stripped away. We are going to need to faithfully stand up for truth at all times but even more so at this time. 

  • Fables: Myths. False narratives. These are ancient stories or current testimony that are not based in truth. They are like fairytales that always have a happy ending – written to make us feel good, but not based on reality. The enemy is moving in this world in falsehood. He is saying the things that make us feel good, that encourage us but not in the right direction – he encourages us in our own fleshly desires. 

v5: But you: In contrast to those who are turning away from the truth. 

  • Watchful: Literally: Sober minded. No matter what is going on in this world we need to be people who have the right perspective – a Kingdom perspective, which comes from the Word of G-d. 
  • Endure afflictions: If we want to be faithful servants of G-d we need to get ready to suffer. 
  • Do the work of an evangelist: Proclaim the good news of the gospel to others. Have a testimony of behaving in a righteous way. 
  • Fulfil: Bring into completion. Carry or bring into its fullness.
  • Your ministry: What G-d has called us to do. 

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