2 Timothy 3:10—4:8
Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, and my suffering the things that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.
As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
- - - - - - -
These are Paul’s “last words” to his son-in-the-faith.
What were the last things Paul wanted to stress before he died? First, he said suffering is inevitable for “everyone who wants to live a godly life” (3.12). But God can use it to help us grow (James 1.2-4; 1 Peter 1.6, 7). Second, Paul stressed that Scripture expresses the words of God (“God-breathed”) and has at least three purposes. to explain God’s plan of salvation, to train us for godly living and to motivate us for good works (3.15, 16). Finally, Paul challenged Timothy to continue preaching the word (4.1, 2).
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR LAST WORDS TO BE?