Survey of II Timothy
The second book to the young preacher Timothy was written just before the end of Paul's life. In it Paul shares some of the best of his wisdom as an apostle, minister, and Christian.
Chapter One echoes with Paul's several exhortations to be of courage and not be timid (1: 7, 8, 11-14. Indeed, Heaven waits for those who are not fearful (Revelation 21: 8). His admonitions are reminiscent of those of Joshua to the people to "be strong, and of good courage."
Perseverence is the theme of the second chapter through verse 13. The Christian life is compared to that of a soldier or an athlete. 2: 15 is the classic directive to study the scriptures: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. " When churches flounder, it is almost always because they are not studying the word of God. Psalms 111: 105-"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Timothy is to shun youthful passions and aim for righteousness.
Most of the third chapter traces the downward plunge of man as times go from bad to worse. Men will become lovers of self and full of every evil. Those who attempt to lead Godly lives will be persecuted-count on it. If we are not being persecuted, there is a distinct possibility that we are not living Godly lives. The classic passage of authenticity for the scriptures is in II Timothy 3: 16, 17-"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
Chapter four begins with the charge given to all who preach. And it is not easy sometimes to preach when people around want preachers that preach an easy life. The world will be full of preachers who preach a cheap Christianity. They may have greater numbers of followers than those who preach both the goodness and the severity of God. But preach we must.
Paul had the ending to his life that Christians can hope for and emulate: "4: 6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
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