TODAY’S READING: II TIMOTHY 1-4
Important reminders regarding faith, fear, and holding fast sound words in the last days (chapter 1); responsibilities of believers in the last days (chapter 2); the realities of living in the apostasy of the last days (chapter 3); the Apostle Paul’s final charge to preach the Word in the last days (chapter 4).
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
This letter to Timothy records the last words of Paul that were inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. It was written from a prison in Rome (Mamertine Prison) where Paul was being held as he awaited execution for preaching Christ during Nero’s reign, the cruel Roman Emperor who hated Christians and Christianity! Paul obviously had been arrested again since writing his first epistle to Timothy in 65 A.D. The Bible gives little detail as to Paul’s ministry between his two imprisonments, but we can conclude from scripture that he went to Nicopolis (Titus 3:12 - written in 65 A.D.) and then to Troas (4:13), where he had left his cloak, some books, and the parchments (i.e. the scripture) because of an apparent need for a quick exit. At the time of the writing of this final letter to Timothy, Paul is lonely, but he is not in despair (II Cor. 4:8-10, II Tim. 4:17). This is in spite of the fact that every one of his trusted companions had left him (except Luke - II Tim. 4:11), jus!
t as they did the Lord (except John, the beloved disciple) as the time of his execution drew near. Paul, longing to see his beloved son in the faith one last time, writes to Timothy asking him to come to Rome as soon as he possibly could (4:9, 21). Amazingly, the thrust of this letter deals with Paul encouraging Timothy not to be afraid of taking his place in the ministry of the gospel and discipleship (1:7-8; 2:2) once Paul is executed! We should all have at least one person to whom we could write a letter like this when we are on our death bed!
Additional highlights from Paul’s second letter to Timothy:
If you are experiencing fear doing the work of the Lord, you can be certain that its source is not God! It is either our own foolish insecurities and lack of faith and/or the work of our adversary Satan! (1:7)
True believers are eternally secure because they know whom they have believed (Jesus Christ), and it is He who keeps them saved until that day, not themselves! (1:12, 4:18)
We are commanded to study the Word of God to make sure that we “rightly divide it.” Without diligent “study”, it is possible wrongly divide the scripture, and end up twisting it to our own destruction (2:15. See also II Pet. 3:16).
We must not allow ourselves to become discouraged in the mission of reaching people with the gospel, realizing that the lost have been taken captive by Satan himself and are held in his snare. Their only hope is that God would give them “repentance to the acknowledging of the truth” through the message of the gospel that has been committed to our trust (2:24-26. See also I Thess. 2:4).
Paul clearly calls the scriptures that Timothy had as a child (the Old Testament) holy, and says that they were the same scriptures inspired by God which can perfect man!
Note: These scriptures Timothy had in his possession were not the original manuscripts (they had long since perished from the earth). What he did have were copies that God had persevered that were just as inspired as the so-called originals, just like we have today in our Authorized Version! (3:15-17)
We have many TEACHERS of the Bible today (on radio, television, and in many churches) just as the Bible has predicted, but not many PREACHERS of the Book! WE MUST PREACH THE WORD! (4:2-4)