2 My child, find your source of strength in the kindness[a] of Christ Jesus. 2 You’ve heard my message, and it’s been confirmed by many witnesses. Entrust this message to faithful individuals who will be competent to teach others.
3 Join me in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 Whoever serves in the military doesn’t get mixed up in non-military activities. This pleases his commanding officer. 5 Whoever enters an athletic competition wins the prize only when playing by the rules. 6 A hard-working farmer should have the first share of the crops. 7 Understand what I’m saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things.
8 Always think about Jesus Christ. He was brought back to life and is a descendant of David. This is the Good News that I tell others. 9 I’m suffering disgrace for spreading this Good News. I have even been put into prison like a criminal. However, God’s word is not imprisoned. 10 For that reason, I endure everything for the sake of those who have been chosen so that they, too, may receive salvation from Christ Jesus with glory that lasts forever. 11 This is a statement that can be trusted:
If we have died with him, we will live with him. 12 If we endure, we will rule with him. If we disown him, he will disown us. 13 If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful because he cannot be untrue to himself.
14 Remind believers about these things, and warn them in the sight of God not to quarrel over words. Quarreling doesn’t do any good but only destroys those who are listening.
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as a tried-and-true worker who isn’t ashamed to teach the word of truth correctly. 16 Avoid pointless discussions. People who pay attention to these pointless discussions will become more ungodly, 17 and what they say will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are like that. 18 They have abandoned the truth. They are destroying the faith of others by saying that people who have died have already come back to life.
19 In spite of all that, God’s people have a solid foundation. These words are engraved on it: “The Lord knows those who belong to him,” and “Whoever worships the Lord must give up doing wrong.”
20 In a large house there are not only objects made of gold and silver, but also those made of wood and clay. Some objects are honored when they are used; others aren’t. 21 Those who stop associating with dishonorable people will be honored. They will be set apart for the master’s use, prepared to do good things.
22 Stay away from lusts which tempt young people. Pursue what has God’s approval. Pursue faith, love, and peace together with those who worship the Lord with a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments. You know they cause quarrels. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel. Instead, he must be kind to everyone. He must be a good teacher. He must be willing to suffer wrong. 25 He must be gentle in correcting those who oppose the Good News. Maybe God will allow them to change the way they think and act and lead them to know the truth. 26 Then they might come back to their senses and God will free them from the devil’s snare so that they can do his will.
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