Paul instructs Timothy to pass down what was taught to him about Jesus Christ to “faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” It is crucial, as disciple makers, that we aren’t seeking to entertain the crowds and build our own platforms. Disciple making is intentionally pouring into others who will reproduce by teaching others the word of God and how to walk with the Lord. If you are pouring into others, deep bonds will form like Paul and Timothy’s, but the goal of disciple making is multiplication. That’s why Paul says we are called to be diligent like soldiers for Christ spreading the gospel – “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
Paul exhorts Timothy, who has followed in his footsteps, to continue growing in the things that he has learned, beginning when he was a boy and was taught by his mom and grandmother – “from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
Paul speaks of the importance of understanding the Bible, the power of God’s word, and our call to share truth from Scriptures – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
Paul ends his letter encouraging Timothy to finish well as Paul has done – “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing… At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!”
We live in a world where many have turned their backs on the word of God. As Christ followers, we are called to endure and continue teaching sound doctrine from the Bible, until God takes us to our eternal home.
Tomorrow we begin reading a letter written to the Hebrews (it is debated whether or not Paul is the author of this letter). Keep reading.
(2 Timothy 2:1-4:18)