The
Kraig Josiah Rice
Devotional Bible Commentary On

 
written by
Kraig J. Rice
www.7-star-admiral.com

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

   An Introduction to this Bible book of Second Timothy
 1) A Look At Chapter One         3) A Look At Chapter Three
 2) A Look At Chapter Two         4) A Look At Chapter Four

NLT stands for New Living Translation.   MKJV stands for Modern King James Version.
Many words on this web page are color coded:

The words of God are in red that symbolize His shed blood.
The words of Scripture are in purple that symbolize royalty.
A devotional commentary is different from an exegetical commentary. In a devotional commentary like this one I can give the application of a verse rather than just the interpretation of a verse.






An Introduction

Who wrote this book?
The bible book of Second Timothy was written as a letter to Timothy from the Apostle Paul.

What is in this bible book?
This letter contains the last recorded words of the Apostle Paul. It is one of the Pastoral letters (epistles) that Paul wrote besides First Timothy and Titus. There is much sermon material in this book as well as many nuggets of truth for teaching and learning. I list a few sermon ideas towards the bottom of this webpage if you are interested.

When and where was this book written?
It was written about 64-67 A.D. in Rome. Why the wide range of time? If Paul was put in prison in Rome only once then this letter was written about 64 A.D. However, if Paul was put in prison a second time in Rome then it was written about 67 A.D. According to church tradition, Paul was placed in the Mamertine Prison. That prison is still there in Rome and you can go and see it if you want to.

Why was this letter written?
I believe that Paul was worried about Timothy. He was afraid that his martyrdom might discourage Timothy in his faith and in his duties. He wanted to see him in person to tell him that everything was going to be alright and to encourage him. Everything was going to be alright because Paul was ready to die in Christ and go to Heaven. He had no regrets- he had accomplished his destiny that the Lord called him to fulfill. Paul did not want his death to be interpreted in any other way- it was no cause for Timothy to abandon his faith or his work.

This letter is a call to action for you and I to fight for the purity and holiness of Christian living in our personal lives and in our churches. Our weapons are our love, the truth of the Gospel, and the power of God the Holy Spirit. We are not to live our lives in constant fear
(Romans 8:15; 1 John 4:18) and Paul did not want any individual or any church to believe false doctrine and choose to go into apostasy.

What was the historical setting in those days when this book was written?
I like what Henry H. Halley wrote in his book, Halley's Bible Handbook:

"The book of Acts closes with Paul in prison in Rome about the year 63 A.D. The common belief is that he was acquitted, returned to Greece and Asia Minor, was later re-arrested, taken back to Rome, and executed about 66 or 67 A.D. This letter (epistle) was written while he was awaiting martyrdom."

There was persecution under the Emperor Nero.
Henry Halley continues: "The great fire in Rome occurred in 64 A.D. Nero himself burned the city. Though an inhuman brute, he was a great builder. It was in order to build a new and grander Rome that he set fire to the city, and fiddled in glee at the sight of it. The people suspected him; and historians have commonly regarded it as a fact that he was the perpetrator of the crime. In order to divert suspicion from himself he accused the Christians of burning Rome.

The Bible makes no mention of Nero's persecution of Christians, though it happened in Bible times, and is the direct background of at least two New Testament books,
1 Peter and 2 Timothy, and was the persecution that brought Paul to his martyrdom, and, according to some traditions, Peter also. Our source of information is the Roman historian Tacitus. He knew that the Christians did not burn Rome. But somebody had to be made the scapegoat for the Emperor's crime. Here was a new and despised sect of people, mostly from the humbler walks of life, without prestige or influence, many of them slaves. Nero accused them of burning Rome, and ordered their punishment.

In and around Rome multitudes of Christians were arrested and put to death in the most cruel ways. Crucified. Or tied in skins of animals, and thrown into the arena to be torn to pieces by mad dogs, for the entertainment of the people. Or thrown to the wild beasts. Or tied to stakes in Nero's gardens, pitch poured over their bodies, and their burning bodies used as torches to light Nero's gardens at night, while he drove around in his chariot, naked, indulging himself in his midnight revels, gloating over the dying agonies of his victims.

It was in the wake of this persecution that Paul was re-arrested, in Greece or Asia Minor, possibly at Troas
(2 Timothy 4:13), and brought back to Rome. This time by the agents of Rome, not as at first by the Jews. This time as a criminal
(2 Timothy 2:9), not as at first on some technical violation of Jewish law. For all we know, it may have been in connection with the burning of Rome. For was not Paul the world leader of the people who were being punished for that crime? And had not Paul been in Rome for two years just preceding the fire? Very easy to lay this crime at Paul's door. But whether that was the charge we do not know. His trial had proceeded far enough that he knew there was no hope of escape. While waiting in the Roman dungeon for the "time of his departure" he wrote this last Letter to Timothy, his bosom friend and trusted co-worker, begging him to be faithful, in spite of everything, to his trust as a minister of Christ, and to hurry on to Rome before winter
(2 Timothy 4:21)."

John Fox in his book, Fox's Book of Martyrs, had this to say:
"Paul, the apostle, who before was called Saul, after his great travail and unspeakable labors in promoting the Gospel of Christ, suffered also in this first persecution under Nero. Abdias, declareth that under his execution Nero sent two of his esquires, Ferega and Parthemius, to bring him word of his death. They, coming to Paul instructing the people, desired him to pray for them, that they might believe; who told them that shortly after they should believe and be baptised at His sepulcher. This done, the soldiers came and led him out of the city to the place of execution, where he, after his prayers made, gave his neck to the sword."

There was much persecution and it appeared that the church was being defeated. Those were tough times and the faith of many were put to the supreme test. But the church survived those times and came out victorious.

The theme of this book: Jesus Christ is our example.






The chapters of this Bible book:

The Bible book of 2 Timothy has four chapters:
1) Chapter 1- Paul's encouragement to Timothy and us
2) Chapter 2- Christians should be performing our Master's duties
3) Chapter 3- Some tough times are ahead of us
4) Chapter 4- Put God first in your life and look to Him daily






Taking A Look At Chapter One

"This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God's will, sent out to tell others about the life He has promised through faith in Christ Jesus"
(2 Timothy 1:1). NLT

The Apostle Peter also testified about our Lord:
"And we apostles are witnesses of all He did throughout Israel and in Jerusalem. They put Him to death by crucifying Him, but God raised Him to life three days later. Then God allowed Him to appear, not to the general public, but to us whom God had chosen beforehand to be His witnesses. We were those who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. And He ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is ordained of God to be the judge of all- the living and the dead. He is the One all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in Him will have their sins forgiven through His name"
(Acts 10:39-43).

Paul's letter is a gospel tract in letter form. In the face of death, the Apostle Paul writes about the promise of life.

Your life and my life should be centered in Christ. He should reside on the throne of our hearts
(Galatians 2:20).



"It is written to Timothy, my dear son..."
(2 Timothy 1:2).

Timothy was like a son to Paul in the Christian faith- much trusted and much loved. Some relationships on this earth are God ordained.



"Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers..."
(2 Timothy 1:3).

Paul prayed night and day- he was a prayer intercessor. The prophets, Samuel and Daniel, were also prayer intercessors. And there are more "prayer warriors" mentioned in the Word of God.



"...your mother, Eunice, and your grandmother, Lois..."
(2 Timothy 1:5).

On his 2nd missionary journey Paul met Timothy's folks in Lystra
(Acts 16:1-3). Timothy's father was a Greek- he may not have been a Christian. However, Timothy's mother and grandmother were Christians. They used their influence in turning Timothy to Christ.

I think it is wonderful when one influences his or her family members for Christ. When I came home from the Navy in 1967, my family members were not in church nor reading the Word of God. I influenced them for Christ. It was not long before my mother, sister, and brother were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. It took another 16 years or so before my father finally bowed the knee to Christ. I give Christ the glory for this. I encourage you to use your influence to win your family members (as well as your friends and neighbors and others) to Christ.



"This is why I remind you to stir up (or fan into flames) the spiritual gift God gave you..."
(2 Timothy 1:6).

Stir up the gift of God that is within you. Catch fire for Christ. Burn brightly for Christ. It might have been that Paul wanted Timothy to increase his evangelism efforts. Timothy might have slacked off somewhat due to the persecution but Paul encouraged him to start marching forward again.

Have you ever gone camping and had a campfire that started to burn down? It usually does that because it has been neglected. Someone has forgotten to put more wood on it. Sometimes you have to stir up the coals to make them burn bright and hot again. What does that mean to you and I? Is it possible for us to neglect our salvation
(Hebrews 2:3)? Is it possible for us to grow spiritually cold in our souls? Is it possible for us to leave our first love- to become spiritually lukewarm? Does it work that way in regards to spiritual gifts also
(1 Timothy 4:14)? Let us stir up the coals of our heart. Let us fall in love with Jesus every day. Let each of us place Him on the throne of our heart. Let us win souls for Him and do His will. Let us fan into flame God's inner power inside of us.

Did the Apostle Paul ever see a campfire? Yes. On the Island of Malta the islanders made a large campfire for the shipwrecked survivors
(Acts 28:2). Paul draws a good analogy here from his own personal experience with a campfire. Let us keep the uplook!

"...when I laid my hands on you..."

The laying on of hands is like a wonderful conduit of power and blessing flowing like electricity from one person to another. It is also a transfer of blessing and anointing. The laying on of hands is a common experience in many of today's Pentecostal churches throughout the world. Paul laid his hands on the heads or shoulders of those he was praying for. What did he pray for? He prayed for their salvation, for their healing, for them to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
(Acts 2:4), for God's guidance for them, for them to receive spiritual gifts or anointing, for them to receive God's blessing in a church office or a call to the ministry or mission field, for God's anointing on them for their ministry, and more.



"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline"
(2 Timothy 1:7).

Should we be fearful and timid? I think not. A servant of Christ must have the strength of character to be bold in the exercise of spiritual authority.

1) Paul mentions the power of God the Holy Spirit. You and I need this power from God to help thrust God's gospel into heathen darkness. When we do that we have a fight on our hands against the spiritual rulers in high places (the devil and his helpers). We have to be prepared for a fight as a true soldier of the cross.

  • A link to articles on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4)

    2) Love for God and love for others is the mark of a true and faithful servant of Christ.

    3) Self-control over one's own self is absolute because one cannot have mastery over others unless he or she has first subdued themself.

    God the Holy Spirit helps us in each of these areas of our life so that each of us can be an overcomer.



    "So you must never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don't be ashamed of me, either, even though I'm in prison for Christ. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the proclamation of the Good News. It is God who saved us and chose us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was His plan long before the world began- to show His love and kindness to us through Christ Jesus"
    (2 Timothy 1:8). NLT

    Paul was a prisoner in Rome because of his faith in Christ. He believed the full declaration of the gospel pertaining to Christ's person and saving work. Paul was imprisoned for his faithfulness to Christ. The Romans could imprison his body but they could never imprison his spirit. They could stop him preaching the gospel by executing him, but others, like Timothy, would continue the work that Christ had called them to do. And each of us needs to stand ready, if need be, to share the same afflictions today that others have endured for the sake of the gospel in the past. When that happens, Christ will give each of special grace (or extra grace) to meet the circumstances so that we can rise to the occasion.

    The persecution of Christian leaders may hamper the progress of the gospel, but it cannot imprison the Word of God nor prevent its spread.



    "And now He has made all of this plain to us by the coming of Christ Jesus, our Savior, who abolished death and showed us the way to everlasting life through the Good News"
    (2 Timothy 1:10).

    How did Christ abolish death or break the power of death? The first death is when one dies physically but our soul or spirit will live on. The second death is when one's soul or spirit is thrown into hell fire. This is also known as spiritual death or eternal death that is separation from God throughout eternity. This death will have no effect for a true Christian believer. Why? Because we won't die a second time since Christ is our Savior. What does He save us from that we call Him Savior? The one who is in Christ will NOT be thrown alive into the lake of fire called hell. He saves us from hell. No saved sinner needs to go to hell because Christ is our Mediator between God and mankind. God is satisfied with what Christ did for us on the cross. It is through the blood of Christ that He sees us white and pure even though we are black with sin. In theology, this is called propitiation.

    In Paul's previous letter to Timothy, he had stated:
    "...for He (God) wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and people. He is the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message that God gave to the world at the proper time. And I have been chosen- this is the absolute truth- as a preacher and apostle to teach the Gentiles about faith and truth"
    (1 Timothy 2:4-7).



    "...for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day"
    (2 Timothy 1:12).

    King David, the psalmist, indicated that you and I should know the One who is able to keep us if we trust Him on a daily basis as we walk through this life. It is a joint effort- God does His part and you and I do our part
    (Psalm 37:3-7).

    What have you and I committed to Him? Have we committed our lives, our fortunes, our talents, our works, our loyalty, and our sacred honor to Him? Let us hope so.

    "...against that day..." refers to the day when Christ will reward all of His faithful servants of the cross and give each one the crown of eternal life and other rewards.

    There is a Christian song in the "Melodies of Praise" song book titled: "I Know Whom I Have Believed". It was written by James McGranahan. It is one of my favorite songs and the words were taken from this passage of scripture.

    Note: if you need a sermon reference, you might want to preach or teach on the I KNOW statements of the Apostle Paul:
    Acts 20:25 & 29, 26:27; Romans 7:18, 14:14
    1 Corinthians 1:16, 4:4, 13:12; Philippians 1:19, 1:25, 4:12



    "Hold on to the pattern of right teaching you learned from me..."
    (2 Timothy 1:13). The Apostle Paul also wrote:

    "But as for you, promote the kind of living that reflects right teaching. Let your teaching be so correct that it can't be criticized. Then those who want to argue will be ashamed because they won't have anything bad to say about us"
    (Titus 2:1 & 8). NLT



    "With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard what has been entrusted to you"
    (2 Timothy 1:14).

    Most of the early Christians were baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4) and they used this power to live the Christian life and win other folks to Christ. The Greek word for "spiritual gifts" is charismata. This is where the term "charismatics" comes from that is used in connection with many of today's Pentecostals.



    "May the Lord show special kindness to Onesiphorus and all his family because he often visited and encouraged me. He was never ashamed of me because I was in prison. When he came to Rome, he searched everywhere until he found me. May the Lord show him special kindness on the day of Christ's return. And you know how much he helped me at Ephesus"
    (2 Timothy 1:16-18). NLT

    When someone is down in a ditch and trying to get out, there are two ways that you can treat them. You can kick them in their face to keep them down, or, you can lend them a hand to help them get out of their ditch. Paul was down and Onesiphorus helped him.

    Who was Onesiphorus? He was a convert of Paul who gave Paul material blessings, encouragement, friendship, and shared spiritual blessings with him. He was from Ephesus. Did Paul appreciate a person like him? You betcha he did:
    "Give my greetings to...those living at the household of Onesiphorus"
    (2 Timothy 4:19).






    Taking A Look At Chapter Two

    "Timothy, my dear son..."
    (2 Timothy 2:1).

    A child of God is born into God's family by means of his or her faith in Christ. This is a spiritual birth
    (John 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:22-23; John 1:12-13).



    "Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. And as Christ's soldier, do not let yourself become tied up in the affairs of this life, for then you cannot satisfy the One who has enlisted you in His army"
    (2 Timothy 2:3-4). NLT

    A good soldier needs the spirit of courage to win the victory. As soldiers of the cross we need the spirit of fearless courage to win the victory over Satan, sin, and depravity (over the devil, the evil world system, and the flesh). To do this we need to rely on the dynamic power of an omnipotent God who lives inside of us. We have to use His power to stand for truth and righteousness. We cannot do this in our own strength or in our own power.

    Paul mentions something similar in 2 Corinthians 5:9-10

    The "afflictions of the gospel" are to be expected due to Satanic opposition. A preacher once said: "The train of opposition should always roll down the track against you. When it doesn't, there must be something wrong. Maybe we are not working hard enough for Jesus to make the devil mad." When you and I endure persecution for the sake of God's truth, the power of God will help us endure it.

    As a soldier of the cross, how do you love someone who you do not like? You love them with your will. You may not feel like loving them with your emotions. But you can love them with your will. How? You do good to them, you pray for them, and you ask God to bless them. We have to practice this- it does not come easy.

    Each of us is to put on the soldier's spiritual armor of God
    (Ephesians 6:12-13). You and I should not get so entangled in the affairs of this world (worldliness) that we have difficulty in letting God live the Christian life through us.

    The Apostle John had this to say:
    "Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world. And this world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever"
    (1 John 2:15-17).

    If you are trying to get God's word into the harvest field, you will find that you are fighting on a spiritual battlefield. Satan is our primary enemy. Sometimes we may win a battle and sometimes we may lose a battle. Even if you lose a battle it does not mean that you lose the war. If you get knocked down, get back up again. You might be tempted to stay down and give up- to hoist the white flag of surrender to Satan. Do not do it. Get back up and keep fighting. As the old expression goes: "no guts no glory!"

    For example, one time Satan stopped my missionary bottles from floating in the Pacific Ocean to win the lost souls of Asia to Christ. He used some of his servants in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to do his bidding. These officials said that my missionary bottles were dredging material and subject to dredging regulations- my missionary bottles had to sink to the bottom of the ocean. They sent the Coast Guard to blow us out of the water if we tried to sail our boat out of San Francisco into International waters without a dredging permit. And, in my opinion, they are responsible for the surveillance that I am under today. I had to unload our boat. I may have lost a battle but I intend to win the war. Since I think in a military way, I awarded a literal medal to each of my major co-workers for fighting with me in that spiritual warfare campaign of 1985-1986.

  • A History of the Bread On The Waters (BOW) ministry

    I lost that battle. Paul lost his battle against Alexander the coppersmith. And maybe you have lost a battle or two against Satan as you have tried to win souls or share God's word with others. If you have, do not feel alone. I encourage you to keep on trying one way or another.

  • Do not stone the devil's dogs tract

    Jesus never gave up in His spiritual warfare against Satan. Paul never gave up in His fight to win souls for Christ. And I did not give up either. I just attacked in a different direction. What direction? I am writing this devotional bible commentary and using the internet to share God's word with the world. My intentions are the same but my methods have changed. And I am still a threat to Satan. The point is to keep fighting regardless of what Satan throws at you to stop you.

    Be tough. Be a good soldier of the cross. Accept your losses and keep attacking. This is what Jesus did and this is what Paul did.

    Once upon a time there was an old Christian lady who had a house on main street. Her open window faced the street and was next to the side walk. She was poor and hungry and was praying out loud to God to give her a loaf of bread. An atheist walked by several times and heard her prayer each time. He thought that he would play a practical joke on her so he went to the store and bought a loaf of bread. He came back to the woman's open window and threw the loaf of bread through the window and hit her in the head with it. He thought that would shut her up but now she was praising the Lord instead of praying. Finally, he couldn't stand it any more and knocked on her door. She answered the door and he said to her: "Listen, lady, I am the one who threw that loaf of bread through your window, not God!" And she began praising the Lord even more. He asked her why she was praising the Lord even more and she told him: "I praise the Lord for giving me that loaf of bread- and He even had the devil deliver it!"



    "Follow the Lord's rules for doing His work, just as an athlete either follows the rules or is disqualified and wins no prize. Hardworking farmers are the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will give you understanding in all these things"
    (2 Timothy 2:5-7).

    It is an enduring, patient, and self-sacrificing life that is rewarded in this life and also in the next one.

    Paul mentions something similar in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.

    The good Lord grants wisdom and understanding to those who ask for it. Here is what the bible states:
    "For the Lord grants wisdom! From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of good sense to the godly. He is their shield, protecting those who walk with integrity"
    (Proverbs 2:6-7).



    "Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David (His incarnation), was raised from the dead according to my gospel (His bodily resurrection), for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained"
    (2 Timothy 2:8-9).

    As encouragement in the faith, Timothy was to remember and never forget the two great doctrines of the Christian faith:
    1) The virgin birth and incarnation of Jesus Christ, and
    2) The bodily resurrection of Christ from the tomb.

    Neither should we.



    "If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us"
    (2 Timothy 2:12).

    In Fox's Book of Martyrs, John Fox, the author, indicates that 5 million Christians were put to death by a corrupt Roman government. Those Christians did not deny their Lord.

    Neither should we.



    "Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth"
    (2 Timothy 2:15).

    Paul had penned similar words in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15



    "This kind of talk spreads like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are examples of this"
    (2 Timothy 2:17).

    The Greek word for "canker or cancer" is gaggraina meaning an ulcer or "gangrene". Gangrene can cause an infection in the blood that can be fatal. Paul is saying that the false teaching of these men are an infection in the life blood of Christianity that may prove spiritually fatal to those infected.

    Paul also mentions Hymenaeus in 1 Timothy 1:20. His name in Greek is Humenaios meaning "the god of weddings." But instead of his name being associated with love and weddings, it came to be associated with an enemy of the cross.

    Philetus is spelled Philetos in Greek. This name is associated with phileo or friendship love from the root word in Greek. There are 3 words for love in the early Greek language:
    agape love (for God),
    phileo love (for friends), and
    eros love (for physical lovers).
    It is an irony that each of these men had names associated with love, yet they denied the source of true love for their souls, the Lord Jesus Christ.



    "They have left the path of truth, preaching the lie that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred; and they have undermined the faith of some"
    (2 Timothy 2:18).

    Some false teachers denied the bodily resurrection of Christ. Paul addressed this matter in his letter to the Corinthian church
    (1 Corinthians 15:12-20). Also, the cultic teachers were saying that His resurrection was only spiritual- it was not physical. Why? Because they totally denied His resurrection to do away with it. By doing away with it or saying that it had already happened, could "overthrow the faith of some" Christian believers. In other words, the false teachers would cause some to backslide from the faith. What difference does it make? Without a bodily resurrection, Christianity ceases to be a living faith and becomes only another religion. It is not God's will for Christian believers to go backwards rather than forward. It is not God's will for Christian believers to be trapped again in their sins and to die in their sins.

    God must have strong leaders in His church to prevent this from happening. If you are a pastor or Christian leader, I encourage you to recognize the fact that God may have placed you at a specific location or in a specific position where He needed you to be at a certain time for such a purpose. God is the General and He can move His soldiers of the cross where He wants them to be (even temporarily)- to do what needs to be done.

    The church has a long history of fighting against the cults. For instance, the cult of the Gnostics denied the bodily resurrection of Christ- especially in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. And there were many more before and after that time.



    "But God's truth stands firm like a foundation stone..."
    (2 Timothy 2:19).

    Christ is our sure foundation. We need to build the house of our life on Him, the Rock of Ages
    (Matthew 7:24-25).



    "...Pursue faith and love and peace..."
    (2 Timothy 2:22).

    We should always try to act like Christ did. We should love people and not criticize them without cause. We should live a life that is true to our convictions- one that is gentle towards others. Maybe this way they can see Jesus in us. This might be the only Jesus that some folks ever see.






    Taking A Look At Chapter Three

    "You should also know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times..."
    (2 Timothy 3:1).

    Most Christians agree that we are in the last days of time. However, we just do not know how close to the end of time that we are. It is possible that if the good Lord tarries for another 800 years or so- this would put His cross at the very center of God's time line for the entire human race.

    All eyes are on Israel now to see when the temple of God will be built. Why? Because, according to prophecy, the future world dictator, the antichrist, will enter therein. Israel is God's time clock and much prophecy is centered in that land. Nevertheless, all of the signs that Jesus gave us for His returning have been fulfilled and Jesus can come in the rapture at any time now.

    The Apostle John had this to say:
    "Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the end of the world has come. These people left our churches because they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left us, it proved that they do not belong with us"
    (1 John 2:18-19). NLT



    "For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control; they will be cruel and have no interest in what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that"
    (2 Timothy 3:2-5). NLT

    I think that one could call this a list of last day symptoms of sin:
    1) Selfishness- it is the me first, me second, and me third syndrome.
    2) Blasphemers- scoffing at God and all that is sacred.
    3) Without natural affection- same sex attraction, and/or no family love or loyalty.
    4) Incontinent- having no control over one's passions.
    5) Traitors- betraying their friends and family members in treatury that is despicable.
    6) "...having a form of godliness..."
    What does that mean? One can go through the rituals of religion in churchanity without being born again or converted to Christ. These kinds of individuals can cause many problems in our modern seminaries and churches. Because they are not converted to Christ, they dishonor His name with sinful living because the gospel has no influence in their hearts or on their lives. A general rendering of the English word for hypocrite in Greek means pretender. Many of the Pharisees in Jesus' day were like that
    (Matthew 23:23-28).

    Paul adds a little more to these "symptoms of sin" in (his book of)
    Romans 1:29-32.



    ""Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was"
    (2 Timothy 3:8-9).

    Jannes and Jambres were enemies of God and servants of Satan
    (Exodus chapter 7).

    Many pastors are in love with Jesus and are faithful in preaching His word. However, I met a pastor one time- he was ordained with his own ministry. One time I drove to his place to see him. When I arrived there, I felt the very strong presence of a demon. Others may not have picked up on this but God granted me the gift of "discerning of spirits." It is one of the 9 gifts of God the Holy Spirit. At that moment I knew that something was not right. This individual was a "closet Satanist" because he was worshipping that demon. Demons hang around where they get worship. I cut off fellowship with him and later, he left town. We have to always beware of wolves in sheeps clothing and the false doctrine they try to spread and the lives they try to ruin. They can wreck a church and try to spiritually destroy you and me if we are gullible and let our guard down. This is why there are so many warnings against false teachers in the Word of God.

    Jude makes mention of some false believers in his letter:
    (Jude verses 4 & 19).



    "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness..."
    (2 Timothy 3:16). NLT

    The Word of God is good for:
    inspiration; doctrine (teaching); reproof (conviction); correction (of error);
    instruction (discipline); and obedience in doing God's will.

    The Apostle Paul believed in the inspiration of the scriptures. I believe in the verbal plenary inspiration of the word of God. Inspiration means "God breathed." What does that mean? That simply means that God said it. The Apostle Peter also believed in the inspiration of the scriptures:
    "...knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit"
    (2 Peter 1:20-21). MKJV

    I also believe in the inspiration of the scriptures. God allowed me to write one time "under inspiration" when I was in bible college. It was for a research paper and in no way on a par with the holy bible. It was a teaching experience from God the Holy Spirit and one of the ways that He helps to impart truth to others.

    I only have one thing to say to those folks who want to argue over the inspiration of the holy scriptures:
    "God said it, I believe it, and that settles it."






    Taking A Look At Chapter Four

    "For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear"
    (2 Timothy 4:3).

    Some folks believe that the neglect and ignorance of many for the Word of God may help to bring on the time of the great apostasy.



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

    This is a memory verse and one of my favorites.

    Paul's ministry was coming to an end. He had preached and done the work of an apostle and missionary for over 25 years. His life and work had been a real blessing to God and also to those he had shared the gospel with.

    Paul was referring to the Olympic race-course in the Roman stadium. He compared that race with the one he was running spiritually in his Christian life. It is also the same one that we are running. And what is the prize for winning? The prize for winning this spiritual race is the victor's crown of life.

    Here is more of what he said about it in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27:
    "Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified."

    What about dying for Christ? One time that question was brought up in one of my bible classes by one of the students. Rev. Norman Arnesen asked the class in response: "Is it harder to die for Christ or is it harder to live for Christ?" He made a good point of logic. God gives extra grace for martyrdom. This kind of persecution helps spread the faith. Why? Because others can see what you have is real and that it is worth dying for. If something is valuable and worth dying for, it is worth possessing.

    According to church tradition, the Apostle Paul was brought before the Praefectus (judge) Urbi, a cronie of Emperor Nero. This was at the Forum in Rome. Paul was (in the minds of the Romans) already condemned and his trial as a Roman citizen was but a formality to his execution. None of his friends stood with him then. Any of his friends who stood with him at that time in court would also have been condemned to death.



    "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"
    (2 Timothy 4:8).

    Paul is to get a crown of righteousness. There are also more crowns mentioned in the Word of God:
    Peter mentions a crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4).
    James and John mention a crown of life (James 1:2; Revelation 2:10).



    "Be diligent to come to me quickly"
    (2 Timothy 4:9).

    Paul was lonely. He was a "people person" and probably did not like a solitary life of aloneness.

  • How to handle loneliness



    "Only Luke is with me..."
    (2 Timothy 4:11).

    Luke was Paul's beloved doctor (Colossians 4:14). He wrote the Gospel of Luke and also the bible book of Acts. Luke was with Paul on his 2nd and 3rd missionary journies. He was with him in Turkey (Asia) and then in Jerusalem. He was also with Paul at Rome. What ever happened to Doctor Luke after Paul was executed? We are really not sure. We know he was martyred but there are different accounts:
    One account from church tradition tells us that he preached in France (Gaul), and, sometime later, was executed by the Romans because of his faith in Christ. Another account, according to John Fox, states:
    "The evangelist, was the author of the Gospel which goes under his name. He travelled with Paul through various countries, and is supposed to have been hanged on an olive tree, by the idolatrous priests of Greece."

    "...Bring Mark with you when you come, for he will be helpful to me..."

    He asked that Mark be brought to him. Why was Mark profitable to Paul in the ministry? Apparently, he could read and write in the Greek and Latin languages. Paul trusted Mark and he was a good assistant. A good assistant doing what? I am sure that the Apostle Paul wanted the gospel translated into these languages to reach more people with the gospel. Paul was active in God's harvest field to the end.

    Mark was Barnabas's cousin. Mark had changed a lot over a period of 2 1/2 decades since Paul and Barnabas had argued and separated because of him in Pamphylia
    (Acts 15:37-40). He now held a special place in Paul's heart
    (Colossians 4:10; Philemon verse 24). He also held a special place in Peter's heart because the Apostle Peter refers to him as "my son"
    (1 Peter 5:13). Why? Because he was Peter's secretary for awhile. He wrote the gospel of Mark.

    What ever happened to Mark? Church tradition tells us that he eventually went to Alexandria and served as a church bishop there. John Fox had this to report: "Mark was born of Jewish parents of the tribe of Levi. He is supposed to have been converted to Christianity by Peter, whom he served as an amanuensis, and under whose inspection he wrote his Gospel in the Greek language. Mark was dragged to pieces by the people of Alexandria, at the great solemnity of Serapis, their idol, ending his life under their merciless hands."



    "And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus"
    (2 Timothy 4:12).

    Tychicus was sent to Ephesus (Titus 3:12). Who was Tychicus? He was a trusted companion of Paul. He had traveled with Paul on his 3rd missionary journey
    (Acts 20:4). Paul had previously sent him to Ephesus
    (Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7). Now, Paul sent him to Ephesus again. Why? Timothy was the pastor of the church there and Paul had probably sent him a letter to be delivered by Tychicus. The letter was probably First Timothy.



    "Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come- and the books, especially the parchments"
    (2 Timothy 4:13).

    Paul asked for his coat or cloak. Why did he need it? He was old, alone, poor, and cold. Roman prisons were cold and damp and he wanted to stay warm. It was the fall of the year and winter was coming on. His books were among his most cherished items. Among them was his bible (biblia or scrolls) and commentaries. These were written on parchment in scrolls. He had a lot of time to read and pray.

    Maybe there was another reason that he wanted his cloak or his mantle. Paul was passing on his cloak to Timothy as Elijah passed on his cloak to Elisha
    (2 Kings 2:13). Why? Because as Elijah left the scene, Paul was leaving the scene. There needed to be a replacement to carry on the work of the Lord. If Paul did this, it might have been acted out physically or symbolically with Timothy in Paul's prison cell. Many tears might have been shed that day.



    "Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words"
    (2 Timothy 4:14-15).

    I believe that Alexander the coppersmith was a demon possessed enemy of Pauls. Timothy is warned to beware of him also.

    God and Satan, many times, choose to work through individuals. As such, we are God's legs to carry His gospel to others. We are God's mouthpiece to preach and teach His word. We are God's hands to place His word into hands that don't have it.

    Satan does not like our activities for Christ. Therefore, he may use one or more of his servants to try to stop us.



    "But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion"
    (2 Timothy 4:17).

    What does "...delivered out of the mouth of the lion..." mean? Many Christians were fed to the lions in the Roman arena (the amphitheater). Paul knew this. Many folks believe that this is only an expression that he used for extreme danger. Others believe that the Romans were actually wanting to throw him into the arena full of hungry lions. Either way, he wasn't meant to die that way. He was spared execution for a short time. And then, later, because he was a Roman citizen, he had his head cut off.



    "...deliver me from every evil work..."
    (2 Timothy 4:18).

    Remember what Satan said: "Skin for skin, yea, all that a man has he will give for his life"
    (Job 2:4). I can just imagine that Satan was tempting Paul to deny the Christian faith and save his own physical life. If Satan could bring Paul to deny Christ, then the faith and the gospel that Paul preached would be wrecked. Christianity might disappear from the face of the earth and our Lord would be forgotten about. I imagine that the Roman judge asked Paul if he would deny Christ. He might have given Paul time to think about it. Maybe that is why his trial was prolonged. Paul knew what his answer was going to be and he knew what his sentence was going to bring. That is why there is a sense of urgency in the tone of this letter.

    At his last judicial hearing, I can imagine the judge talking to the Apostle Paul: "If you get on your knees right now and worship Emperor Nero as your one and only god and forsake your Christ, I will spare your life." Satan would have loved to have had Paul as a traitor to Paul's own cause. This was not an unheard of temptation. Adam and Eve betrayed Christ in the Garden of Eden. Judas Iscariot betrayed Christ for 30 pieces of silver. And Satan tempted Christ Himself in the wilderness to betray His own cause. This was an evil work from Satan. And there might have been other temptations that Satan used on Paul, as well, but Paul went to the death for what he believed. This was the last letter that he ever wrote.

    What can we learn from Paul's testing? You and I must keep our eyes on Jesus (the Mountain Mover) and not on our problem (the mountain in our way). Paul learned to do that and that is what he did. He set a good example for us to follow.

  • Click here if you want to learn more about the devil



    "Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila and those living at the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus stayed at Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick at Miletus. Hurry so you can get here before winter. Eubulus sends you greetings, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers and sisters. May the Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all"
    (2 Timothy 4:19-22).

    We read about:
    Priscilla and Aquila from Ephesus (Acts 18:2-3; Romans 16:3-5).
    Erastus (Acts 19:22).
    Trophimus (Acts 21:29).
    Paul mentions these individuals, who he trusts, to carry on the work of the gospel after his death.






    Some Sermon and Teaching Ideas:

    Here is some sermon material you might find interesting:

    Some reminders for the faithful:
    1) Watch- keep a close watch over yourself. Stay in the faith and live a holy life.
    2) Endure afflictions- be willing to suffer for righteousness.
    3) Do the work of an evangelist- share God's word and win souls for Christ.
    4) Make your ministry count- serve God fully.



    From the example of a soldier we must learn endurance.
    From the example of an athlete we must learn discipline.
    From the example of a laborer we must learn perseverance.
    Any soldier is under the authority of his superior officer
    (Matthew 8:9; Luke 7:8).

    Many athletes participated in the Olympic games as runners. There was an absolute necessity for self-discipline. There is a value in self-discipline for every Christian today. Why? Because the best witness for Christ is one who lives the truth of the gospel. Since a true Christian is the living embodiment of truth, this shows God's approval on him or her and others are more apt to believe that person because they can trust him to tell them the truth. It is important that the truth of the gospel be preached so that false doctrine can be refuted.

    When any businessman or worker today does inferior work, he or she may be accused of being incompetent. They may feel shame and disgrace. This is NOT the way it is supposed to be in the Christian ministry. We must submit our work to God for His approval. We don't have to feel ashamed when we rightly divide the Word of Truth and preach it in love. In the Christian ministry, we should live a life that pleases the Lord.

    The bible teaches that a laborer is worthy of his hire. That means that God's servants have a right to get paid by the people whom they serve. A pastor of a church should get paid a generous salary for faithfully performing his or her duties.



    "...who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel"
    (2 Timothy 1:9-10).

    A brief outline of the good qualities of a faithful pastor and/or Christian:
    1) Called us (a divine apointment)- every pastor and dedicated layman should be called by God to service.
    2) With a holy calling (sanctify)- every pastor and dedicated layman should be holy and sanctified (set apart to God and separated from evil).
    3) Grace- grace is God's unmerited favor. He or she should accept His grace and also show it.
    4) According to His own purpose- God has a job for every one of His chosen children.
    5) Before time began- Each of His children has a destiny to fulfill in the plan and program of God. Always remember that God has it all under control.
    6) Has now been revealed- The life and work of Christ has been fully revealed to us. This must be shared with the world by every Christian leader.



    Some sermon topics? You decide:
    Rightly diving the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15).
    God spiritually seals His children (2 Timothy 2:19).
    Are we clean vessels? (2 Timothy 2:20-21).
    19 different descriptions of the last days (2 Timothy 3:2-4).
    3 tenses of salvation: have been, present, and future (2 Timothy 3:14-15). Also see
    (Romans 8:1; 1 John 3:2).
    Some sin symptoms of the 21st Century: these are listed for you to preach on in
    2 Timothy 3:1-5



    A couple of more memory verses:

    "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching"
    (2 Timothy 4:2).

    "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth"
    (2 Timothy 2:15).



    56. Titus Commentary






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    54. First Timothy Commentary
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