2 Timothy 2Living Bible (TLB)
2 O Timothy, my son, be strong with the strength Christ Jesus gives you. 2 For you must teach others those things you and many others have heard me speak about. Teach these great truths to trustworthy men who will, in turn, pass them on to others.
3 Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, just as I do; 4 and as Christ’s soldier, do not let yourself become tied up in worldly affairs, for then you cannot satisfy the one who has enlisted you in his army. 5 Follow the Lord’s rules for doing his work, just as an athlete either follows the rules or is disqualified and wins no prize. 6 Work hard like a farmer who gets paid well if he raises a large crop. 7 Think over these three illustrations, and may the Lord help you to understand how they apply to you.
8 Don’t ever forget the wonderful fact that Jesus Christ was a man, born into King David’s family; and that he was God, as shown by the fact that he rose again from the dead. 9 It is because I have preached these great truths that I am in trouble here and have been put in jail like a criminal. But the Word of God is not chained, even though I am. 10 I am more than willing to suffer if that will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.
11 I am comforted by this truth, that when we suffer and die for Christ it only means that we will begin living with him in heaven. 12 And if we think that our present service for him is hard, just remember that some day we are going to sit with him and rule with him. But if we give up when we suffer, and turn against Christ, then he must turn against us. 13 Even when we are too weak to have any faith left, he remains faithful to us and will help us, for he cannot disown us who are part of himself, and he will always carry out his promises to us.
14 Remind your people of these great facts, and command them in the name of the Lord not to argue over unimportant things. Such arguments are confusing and useless and even harmful. 15 Work hard so God can say to you, “Well done.” Be a good workman, one who does not need to be ashamed when God examines your work. Know what his Word says and means. 16 Steer clear of foolish discussions that lead people into the sin of anger with each other. 17 Things will be said that will burn and hurt for a long time to come. Hymenaeus and Philetus, in their love of argument, are men like that. 18 They have left the path of truth, preaching the lie that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred; and they have weakened the faith of some who believe them.
19 But God’s truth stands firm like a great rock, and nothing can shake it. It is a foundation stone with these words written on it: “The Lord knows those who are really his,” and “A person who calls himself a Christian should not be doing things that are wrong.”
20 In a wealthy home there are dishes made of gold and silver as well as some made from wood and clay. The expensive dishes are used for guests, and the cheap ones are used in the kitchen or to put garbage in. 21 If you stay away from sin you will be like one of these dishes made of purest gold—the very best in the house—so that Christ himself can use you for his highest purposes.
22 Run from anything that gives you the evil thoughts that young men often have, but stay close to anything that makes you want to do right. Have faith and love, and enjoy the companionship of those who love the Lord and have pure hearts.
23 Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish arguments, which only upset people and make them angry. 24 God’s people must not be quarrelsome; they must be gentle, patient teachers of those who are wrong. 25 Be humble when you are trying to teach those who are mixed up concerning the truth. For if you talk meekly and courteously to them, they are more likely, with God’s help, to turn away from their wrong ideas and believe what is true. 26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from Satan’s trap of slavery to sin, which he uses to catch them whenever he likes, and then they can begin doing the will of God.