4 I solemnly 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:2 preach the word [as an official messenger]; be ready when the time is right and even when it is not [keep your sense of urgency, whether the opportunity seems favorable or unfavorable, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether welcome or unwelcome]; correct [those who err in doctrine or behavior], warn [those who sin], exhort and encourage [those who are growing toward spiritual maturity], with inexhaustible patience and [faithful] teaching.3 For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold,4 and will turn their ears away from the truth and will wander off into myths and man-made fictions [and will accept the unacceptable].5 But as for you, be clear-headed in every situation [stay calm and cool and steady], endure every hardship [without flinching], do the work of an evangelist, fulfill [the duties of] your ministry.
6 For I am already being [a]poured out as a drink offering, and the time of [b]my departure [from this world] is at hand and I will soon go free.7 I have fought the good and worthy and noble fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith [firmly guarding the gospel against error].8 In the future there is reserved for me the [victor’s] crown of righteousness [for being right with God and doing right], which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that [great] day—and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and longed for and welcomed His appearing.
2 Timothy 4:6The drink offering (wine) was required as part of the sacrificial system of the old covenant.
2 Timothy 4:6This is Paul’s last inspired letter and was written toward the end of his second Roman imprisonment. During his first imprisonment he was under house arrest, but this time (about five years later) it is believed that he was held in chains in the Tullianum, the lower chamber of the Mamertine dungeon. The Roman historian, Sallust, described the Tullianum as a horrible dungeon “...repulsive and terrible.” It was originally excavated as a cistern for a natural spring. It would have been cold, damp, and incredibly filthy. Both lower and upper chambers served as places of torture and as holding places for those awaiting execution. Paul would have known that there was no hope of release and that his execution was imminent. Nero ruled Rome during both imprisonments.
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