4 And now I bring you this charge before God and Jesus the Anointed, the one destined to judge the living and the dead, at His glorious appearance and His kingdom: 2 go out and preach the word! Go whether it’s an opportune time or not! Reprove, warn, and encourage; but do so with all the patience and instruction needed to fulfill your calling3 because a time will come when some will no longer tolerate sound teaching. Instead, they will live by their own desires; they’ll scratch their itching ears by surrounding themselves with teachers who approve of their lifestyles and tell them what they want to hear. 4 They will turn away from the real truth you have to offer because they prefer the sound of fables and myths. 5 But you must stay focused and be alert at all times. Tolerate suffering. Accomplish the good work of an evangelist, and complete the ministry to which you have been called.
Paul’s message: stay focused, suffer hardships, be confident, do the work. The church has always progressed by faithfulness of her saints.
6 For I am already being poured out, and the last drops of this drink offering are all that remain; it’s almost time for me to leave. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have stayed on course and finished the race, and through it all, I have kept believing. 8 I look forward to what’s in store for me: a crown of righteousness that the Lord—the always right and just judge—will give me that day (but it is not only for me, but for all those who love and long for His appearing).
9 Come to me, Timothy, as soon as you can. 10 You see, Demas has fallen for this world, abandoned me, and headed off to Thessalonica. Crescens took off for Galatia. Titus has gone to Dalmatia. 11 Luke is the only one left. Bring Mark with you because he is useful in this work and will help look after me. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 On your way here, pick up the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, and bring the scrolls—especially the parchments.
14 Keep your eye out for Alexander the coppersmith! He came against me with all sorts of evil—may the Lord pay him back accordingly—15 so watch your back because he has gone overboard to oppose our message.
16 When it was time for my first defense, no one showed up to support me. Everyone abandoned me (may it not be held against them) 17 except the Lord. He stood by me, strengthened me, and backed the truth I proclaimed with power so it may be heard by all the non-Jews. He rescued me, pried open the lion’s jaw, and snatched me from its teeth. 18 And I know the Lord will continue to rescue me from every trip, trap, snare, and pitfall of evil and carry me safely to His heavenly kingdom. May He be glorified throughout eternity. Amen.
19 Give my regards to Prisca, Aquila, and everyone over at Onesiphorus’s house. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus in Miletus because he was sick. 21 Try your best to come before winter blows in. Eubulus says hello and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers and sisters. 22 May the Lord be with your spirit, and may His grace be with you. [Amen.][a]
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