2 Timothy 4:1-5 Transcript
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
2 Timothy 4:1-
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Paul starts this final chapter of his 2nd letter to Timothy with a final charge, an urging for Timothy to fulfill his role in the ministry the God has appointed him to.
Paul writes, “I charge you” I Paul solemnly urge you, me the older, wiser, aged warrior of Christ, urge you my younger, more timid lieutenant, and I do this in the presence and power and authority of God and Jesus Christ, the righteous judge who will come again to judge the living and dead.
Paul starts this final chapter of his 2nd letter to Timothy with a final charge, an urging for Timothy to
Wow, that’s heavy, the weight behind Paul’s urging is not only himself, but God, Jesus, and the fact that Jesus is coming back and He will judge all things.
, “but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.”
Chuck Swindoll writes, “Timothy, you will eventually stand before this One to give account for your work. He will judge your motives. He will assess your public ministry, evaluate your private life, and sift through the secrets of your soul. Therefore, heed the counsel I am about to give.” Swindoll’s Living Insights
Then Paul follows this up with 5 commands to Timothy for his public ministry as pastor.
Why give Timothy these 5 commands?
Timothy is at a tipping point, he must make a definite resolve towards positive actions. He needs a push, and sometimes, when we are stuck, it’s nice to be told what to do.
Preach the Word, to announce, to proclaim, to make known the truths from God, His special revelation to humanity.
Be ready in season and out of season, there is no off-season, stand by, be at hand, in essence, be ready always, when it’s convenient and when it’s not, early or late, to anyone and everyone, always be ready to preach the word in word and also in deed.
Reprove-to prove, convince, refute, persuade, correct. The idea of replacing incorrect idea with correct ones. The correct ones come from the Bible, the incorrect ideas must be recognized, pointed out and replaced with correct ones. This comes by effective preaching of the Word by our pastors, and also by us relationally as we know the Word and share it with others.
Rebuke-to call attention to wrongdoing and to assign responsibility. Close to reprove, but the desired outcome is humility and not conviction, part of this is to make aware consequences of the actions with a hope of repentance and change.
Exhort-like a coach encouraging an athlete-in-training. Comes from parakaleō, and is where we get Paraclete or Paracletos which is the word for Holy Spirt, The Encourager. If only reproving and rebuking the individual or congregation will be beat up and worn down, and discouraged, that is why exhortation is crucial, healthy encouragement to spur on to godliness.
All of these to be done with “complete patience and teaching”. Great- long-tempered, have a long fuse, not to take personal offense but be long-suffering with those He’s preaching to, reproving, rebuking and exhorting with patience for the process, as slow as it might be for some.
Paul then in verses 3-5 gives a second reason why Timothy should do these things, because of the people around him.
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
Timothy is a herald for the king called to announce the kings message, it’s how Paul viewed himself
In :11Paul wrote , for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher,
So now Paul gives us 5 future tense verbs describing Timothy’s congregation.
They will not endure sound teaching, the truth of the Word of God will be so offensive and torturous to their sinful desires they will refuse to patiently endure and hear it, so…
They will have itching ears to hear what they want to hear, not the truth, but what is good for them, so...
They will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, to tell them what they want to hear, not conviction of error, but encouragement to keep pursuing ungodliness, so...
They will turn away from listening to the truth, no longer hearing but ignoring, now they are not even exposing themselves to hear anything contrary to what they think is best, so...
They will wander off into myths, things that to the one who knows truth seems obvious and ridiculous, but not to them.
Paul writes in Philippians 3:18-19,
For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
Paul then continues with a present directive for Timothy in verse 5, As for you,
Always be sober-minded, keep your head, moral alertness, cool, calm and collected, clear, , watchful and alert attitude. Also, Timothy be aware of the descriptors listed above, make sure you aren’t falling into any of them and being deceived and led away.
Endure suffering, Paul already wrote in if we endure, we will also reign with him; endurance is the mark of true salvation, enduring hardship as Christ and Paul have done. There will be opposition from many sources, endure and persevere.
Do the work of an evangelist, a person who brings good news, the gospel of Jesus is the good news of Jesus, therefore, preach the gospel. What is the gospel? Is it just words or also actions? Care for peoples needs so they know you care then they will listen to what you say. Meet needs, share the work of Jesus who lived the perfect sinless life we couldn’t live and died the sinners death we deserved.
Fulfill your ministry, bring to complete fullness or satisfaction, all of your ministry as a pastor, shepherd, teacher, evangelist, teacher, example, etc.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
Why would Paul shift from writing to Timothy to now writing about himself?
Paul is passing the torch, he knows he’s done and it’s time for Timothy to run with it, but he’s reminding Timothy of his life and his hope.
I am already being poured out, a figure of speech, meaning what? A drink offering poured out was a form of sacrifice, to God, implying of his impending death. This was the final form of sacrifice in the OT system, implying that Paul’s death was his final offering. His life was a sacrifice offering and now finally fully in his death. And the time of my departure has come. Clearly from this world.
But the word translated departure (analysis in Greek) triumphantly expresses the apostle’s view of the end; it is a ‘loosing, e.g. of a vessel from its moorings or of a soldier striking his tent’ (Abbott-Smith). What might seem the end to Timothy appears to the apostle as a glorious new era when he will be released from all his present restrictions.