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Lessons from the Second Epistle of
Paul the Apostle to Timothy

2 Timothy

By Ken Raggio

Praying For My Dearly Beloved Son In The Faith

Young Timothy, son of Eunice and grandson of Lois, both highly-esteemed and godly women, became Paul's faithful disciple at Lystra. Paul called him "my own son in the faith," and revealed that "from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures." He was ordained "by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery," and entered the ministry as Paul's missionary companion to Phrygia, Galatia, Mysia, Troas, Philippi, Veria, and Corinth. Paul prayed continuously for Timothy.

2 Timothy 1:2-3 - "My dearly beloved son: ...without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day."

Unfeigned Faith

Some people "profess" their faith in God, but great trials expose them. They wilt. They doubt. They panic. Real faith is unfeigned - not fake. People with real faith stand the test of time. Timothy's grandmother Lois had unfeigned faith. His mother Eunice had unfeigned faith. And Timothy had it. If your faith is real, your children know it. Your faith will inspire their faith. Have faith. Never doubt.

2 Timothy 1:5 - "I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also."

The Gift That Is In Thee By The Laying On Of Hands

Paul was as a father to his son, and a spiritual mentor to his protege. He and Timothy were connected at the heart in matters pertaining to the Kingdom of God. He told Timothy that he was "greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears" and of "the unfeigned faith that is in thee." He reminded Timothy to use the gift he had received when Paul layed hands on him. Both were greatly anointed men of tears and prayer.

2 Timothy 1:6 - "Stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands."

Do Not Be Afraid To Exercise The Gifts God Has Given

"Stir up the gift of God, which is in thee," Paul told Timothy, "...for God hath not given us the spirit of fear." Paul must have felt that Timothy was afraid to use his gifts. Are your gifts dormant and fruitless because you are afraid to use them? Jesus condemned those who do not invest their talents to return a profit to the Master.

2 Timothy 1:6-8 - "Stir up the gift of God, ...For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed..."

The Gospel Brought Life And Immortality To Light

Mohammed was not the first to speak of rewards in heaven. Hindus do not believe in God or heaven. No one ever spoke more clearly of heaven and hell than Jesus Christ. That is because He is the incarnation of God, our Creator. You would never know of Heaven and Hell, nor have hope of eternal life, except for the Gospel.

2 Timothy 1:9-10 - "Who hath saved us, ...according to his own purpose and grace, made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel."

He Is Able To Keep That Which I Have Committed Unto Him

The great Apostle admonished Timothy that God "hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, ...Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles." The call of God will require much suffering of you, but He will never betray you. You need never be ashamed of your commitment.

2 Timothy 1:12 - "For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."

Hold Fast The Form Of Sound Words

The essence of our lives consists of words. Right words construct. Wrong words destroy. God's words enliven. Satan's words kill. Choose your words carefully, both those you speak and those you listen to. Choose only true words. Reject all false words. The Holy Ghost in you will help you hold to sound words.

2 Timothy 1:13 - "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee [the Gospel message] keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us."

Pray For Those Who Stand With You In Your Trial

Every saint will eventually be betrayed. Paul said, "All they which are in Asia be turned away from me." Only God knew his heartbreak. But Onesiphorus stood with him. Those who stand with you deserve your best prayers.

2 Timothy 1:16-18 - "The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: ...many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus."

Faithful Men Who Shall Be Able To Teach Others

"Faithful men" are the key to the propagation of the Gospel around the world. Paul instructed Timothy to commit the message he had heard to faithful men, "who shall be able to teach others also." Jesus commanded His disciples to "Go ye therefore, and teach [Gr. matheteuo: disciple, enroll as a scholar or student] all nations, ...Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you," Matthew 28:19-20. Teach teachers.

2 Timothy 2:2 - "The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."

A Good Soldier

Paul said, "Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." You are a soldier in the army of God, fighting against the world, the flesh and the devil. All of hell is against you. There will be many conflicts, and many attempts to subvert or destroy you. Fight as best you can. Do not be distracted. Fight to win.

2 Timothy 2:3-4 - "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."

Un-Crowned Masters

The world is full of Christian entrepreneurs - men and women who have overtaken the pulpits and platforms of every kind of Church. They use every new social strategy, the finest technologies, award-winning entertainment, lavish production facilities, studios, publications, ad infinitum. Unfortunately, they are virtually devoid of the greatest and core doctrines of the Apostolic Church. Theirs are the works of the flesh, and the flesh profiteth nothing. We absolutely must return to Biblical preaching and holy living.

2 Timothy 2:5 - "And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully."

The Laborer Must Be First Partaker Of The Fruits

"The LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat," Genesis 2:15-16. God created the fruit of the earth as a reward for man's labors. In the work of the Church, the same maxim is true. Those who work in the ministry should be the first to benefit from the income of the ministry.

2 Timothy 2:6 - "The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits."

The Lord Give Thee Understanding In All Things

A popular worship chorus says, "Open the eyes of my heart, Lord." Paul taught some very difficult themes to Timothy. Enduring hardness as a good soldier. Remaining unentangled with the affairs of this life. Suffering trouble as an evildoer, even unto bonds (imprisonment). "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus." Very few people ever understand the high price that is required to do the work of God. Pray for understanding.

2 Timothy 2:7 - "Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things."

The Messenger Must Be Willing To Die For The Message

Preaching the Gospel is one of the most hazardous occupations on earth. People will kill preachers because they do not want to be convinced of the Truth. Paul realized that, but did not care what people did to him.

2 Timothy 2:9 - "I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus ...if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him."

If We Suffer With Him, We Shall Reign With Him

God ordains our trials. Paul itemized his in 2 Corinthians 11. "Labours, ...stripes, ...prisons, ...deaths, ...beaten, ...stoned, ...shipwreck, ...journeyings, ...perils of waters, ...robbers, ...countrymen, ...heathen, ...perils in the city, ...the wilderness, ...the sea, ...false brethren, ...weariness, ...painfulness, ...watchings, ...hunger, ...thirst, ...fastings, ...cold, ...nakedness, of all the churches."

2 Timothy 2:10 - "I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus ...For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us."

Even When We Do Not Believe, He Never Changes

Your unbelief and disobedience does nothing to diminish the nature of God. Despite our unfaithfulness, God remains faithful. Doubts, fears, unbelief, rebellion, skepticism and atheism never change who God is, or what He does. "Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?" Romans 9:21-22. Go ahead. Believe Him. Trust Him. He is trustworthy.

2 Timothy 2:13 - "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."

Eliminate All Unprofitable, Profane, And Vain Words

Good words. Bad words. Good words build, edify, heal and save. Bad words tear down, sicken and destroy. Every single word you utter has a positive or a negative effect. Some people think that they have to run their mouths about everything. If you can't say something good (something that is totally acceptable to God), STOP TALKING!

2 Timothy 2:14,16-17 - "Strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker [gangrene]."

Study To Show Yourself Approved Unto God

A person who studies God's word builds a reservoir of wisdom. Do not discount the potential of amassed wisdom. One who knows more can be magnificently resourceful, while the unlearned person may painfully discover that ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is a handicap. I first read the entire New Testament when I was about ten years old, and was rewarded with a new Bible. But more than the new Bible, I have drawn immeasurable and priceless wisdom from that study for half a century. Start now. Don't delay.

2 Timothy 2:15 - "Study to shew thyself approved unto God."

Unholy Babblings Overthrow The Faith Of Some

Many people have strong, albeit uneducated and uninformed opinions about Bible prophecies. Having taught prophecy studies for more than forty years, I have seen and heard countless bizarre, outrageous theories. Great harm can be done when people recklessly promote viewpoints for which there is little or no biblical basis. Use painstaking caution.

2 Timothy 2:16-18 - "Shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some."

Vessels Of Honor, Vessels Of Dishonor

Paul spoke of people whose words were unprofitable, subversive, vain and "babbling." He instructed Timothy to SHUN them "for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker." "Depart from iniquity," is a command to separate from those who are unholy.

2 Timothy 2:20-21 - "In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use."

Follow Them That Call On The Lord Out Of A Pure Heart

After contrasting vessels of honor with vessels of dishonor, Paul admonished Timothy, "If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." A man must "purge himself" from vessels of dishonor. We must stop following bad examples. Then he added, "follow... with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart." Find a pure-hearted PRAYING person.

2 Timothy 2:22 - "...follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

The Servant Of The Lord

"The servant [minister] of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men." Remember that we are not wrestling with flesh and blood, but against devilish spiritual forces who only come to steal, kill, and destroy the souls of men. Gentleness, patience, and meekness are Christ-like, redemptive virtues. Use them. And be apt to teach those who need help, "if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth."

2 Timothy 2:26 - "And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."

In The Last Days, Perilous Times Shall Come

Perilous times (difficult, dangerous, furious, fierce) will come in the last days. Paul was specifically referring to the way people will be. "Lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God." The world is a dangerous, perilous place because ungodly men are spinning out of control! Even the religious crowd will deny the power of God.

2 Timothy 3:1 - "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come."

Men Shall Be Unthankful

When God-fearing people first begin to be unthankful for His bountiful blessings, their demise has begun. "When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, ...Wherefore God also gave them up..." Romans 1:21-24. Henry Ward Beecher said, "An unthankful heart discovers no mercies." Unthankfulness is the first stage of forgetting God. Thankfulness is the grateful acknowledgment of His mercies.

2 Timothy 3:1 - "In the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be ...unthankful..."

A Most Evil Generation

This prophecy is extraordinary, inasmuch as it identifies so many human evils that we see destroying society today. Self-love. Covetousness. Pride. Blasphemy. Disobedience to parents. Unthankfulness. Unholiness. Unnatural affections. Trucebreakers. False accusers. Out-of-control. Fierce. Despisers of good men. Traitors. Rash. Conceited. Sensual. God-haters. Can anybody deny that our generation is mortally diseased with these godless vices, perhaps more than any previous generation? Paul's prophecy was pin-point accurate about the condition that society would be in before Jesus returns.

2 Timothy 3:4 - "Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God."

Having A Form Of Godliness, But Denying Its Power

The hypocrisy and sexual immorality which now profanes Christianity was clearly prophesied. For decades, the world has stood mocking as Christianity has been repeatedly defaced by high-profile sex scandals among Catholics and Evangelicals. Such has never been acceptable to God. "Fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints," Ephesians 5:3. Flee!

2 Timothy 3:5-6 - "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts."

Never Able To Come To The Knowledge Of The Truth

Almighty God knew - and announced - the end from the beginning. He warned us that evil men and seducers would come in the last days, "having a form of godliness," who "resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith." They call good evil, and evil good. They are grievous wolves, whose teachings are reprobate (carnal, worldly and demonic), yet they consider themselves to be learned, even as they teach false doctrines and deception. They are proud, knowing nothing. Deceiving, and being deceived.

2 Timothy 3:7 - "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

As Jannes, Jambres Withstood Moses, They Will You

As Pharaoh's magicians duplicated Moses' miracle of turning the rod into a snake, Paul said that evil men will resist the Gospel with demonic powers and miracles. There are many miracle workers preaching false doctrines. You must be unrelenting and uncompromising. Preach the Truth. Moses' snake devoured the deceivers' snakes! Truth will always triumph.

2 Timothy 3:8-9 - "As Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was."

Beware Of Evil Men, Seducers, Deceivers and Deception

Paul had prophetic foresight about the future of the Church. "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." When you take God's side, you inherit all of God's enemies. That means that every man and devil who fights against God will now fight against you. Paul also knew that Truth itself has many adversaries. Lies and liars, deception and deceivers will assault the saints with ever-increasing frequency and hostility as the end draws near. Beware of seducers with enticing false doctrines.

2 Timothy 3:13 - "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."

Continue In The Things You Learned From Faithful Elders

Paul's track record spoke for itself. He was exemplary in doctrine, manner of life, in purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, and especially in enduring persecutions and afflictions. "You have known all about me... what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me." Paul's faithful godliness substantiated his admonition, "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." Your trials are divinely foreordained. Endure them without faltering, as your godly elders did.

2 Timothy 3:14 - "Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them."

The Holy Scriptures

Paul was a Bible scholar, trained by Gamaliel, the legendary Bible scholar. Timothy was also a master of scriptures. "From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation." Every minister and ministry is, above all else, an agent of the Word of God, completely and absolutely accountable to its divine authority.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 - "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 perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

Jesus Will Judge Living And Dead At His Appearing

The wicked dead will not be raised until the Second Resurrection, AFTER the 1000-year kingdom of Christ. Sinners will be judged at the White Throne and sent to Hell (Revelation 20:11-15). However, all the Saints of God, dead and living, will be INSTANTLY judged when Jesus returns to earth. The righteous dead will be raised immortal, and living saints will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52).

2 Timothy 4:1 - "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing..."

Preach The Word

God will not save the world by dramas, by singers, choirs, bands or orchestras. God did not deliver the plan of salvation to executive administrators, psychologist-counselors, public relations gurus, or marketing strategists. "It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe," 1 Corinthians 1:21. Get a Bible and PREACH IT!

2 Timothy 4:1-2 - "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."

They Will Not Endure Sound Doctrine

Paul urged the man of God to "PREACH THE WORD! Be instant, in season, out of season..." We must preach only the true, unadulterated Word of God - nothing modified, revised or twisted. This prophecy is very troubling: "They will not endure sound doctrine." Our generation is intolerant of real doctrine. Preach the Truth anyway.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 - "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

They Will Turn Their Itching Ears From Truth To Fables

Paul prophesied that men will have "itching" ears. The Greek "knetho" also means "tickle." People want preachers to tickle their ears, by preaching things that make them feel good, happy, pleasurable, or funny. Truth is too sober for them. They like fables: "myths," "fiction," and "teaching for tuition." Men of God must not backslide to story-telling, entertaining, humor, comedy, cultural commentary, or even intellectual academics. PREACH THE WORD!

2 Timothy 4:3-4 - "After their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

Reprove, Rebuke, Exhort

Many Christian adults denounce any kind of disciplinary figure in their lives. But Paul told the Romans that the minister of God is "a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject," (13:5). Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. The preacher has a divine mandate to discipline the Church. "Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation." Reproof is light shining in darkness. (See Ephesians 5:11-13)

2 Timothy 4:4 - "...reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."

Do The Work Of An Evangelist

In the five-fold ministry are Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers (Ephesians 4:11). The evangelist is the consummate preacher. Apostles and Pastors have supervisory responsibilities in addition to their preaching. Prophets deal in supernatural revelations. Teachers focus on educating the people. But evangelists are, more than anything else, the great preachers among us. All five are preachers, but the evangelist is the proclaimer, the street-preacher, the soul-winner, the harvester. Preach the Word!

2 Timothy 4:5 - "But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."

A Crown For Those Who Love His Appearing

Paul was about to be brought before the Roman Emperor Nero for the second time, and would shortly be put to death. His famous last words were, "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."

2 Timothy 4:8 - "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."

Partners In The Ministry

Paul was not a lone force in his time, because he seldom traveled alone. Many of the great ministers of his day began under his tutelage. Crescens left Paul to go to Galatia, Titus went to Dalmatia, Thychicus to Ephesus, Erastus stayed at Corinth, Trophimus at Miletum. Luke, Barnabas, Silas, Mark and others traveled extensively with Paul. Onesiphorus and Tychicus both traveled with and penned many of Paul's epistles. Only Demas failed. Don't let your love for this present world remove you from the roll-call of God.

2 Timothy 4:10 - "Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world."

Paul's Books And Parchments

Although his ministry was legendary, trivial matters like a tonic for his stomach, or "the cloke I left at Troas," remind us that Paul was a man like the rest of us. He called for "the books, but especially the parchments," to be brought unto him. Without an office, headquarters, or permanent staff, the man of God supervised a vast network of ministers and saints by letter-writing. Books and parchments (letters) were vital tools of his trade.

2 Timothy 4:13 - "The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments."

Lord, Reward The Adversary According To His Works

We are required to endure hardship as a good soldier, suffer ourselves to be defrauded, and turn the other cheek. When Alexander the coppersmith "greatly withstood" Paul's words, Paul reported that he "did me much evil." Paul called on God to tend to the matter. "The Lord reward him according to his works." When Alexander opposed Paul, "no man stood with me, but all men forsook me."

2 Timothy 4:16-17 - "I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known."

The Lord Will Deliver Me And Preserve Me

Demas forsook Paul. Titus, Crescens and Tychicus left to preach in other cities. Alexander the coppersmith did much evil to him, and greatly withstood him. Nobody stood with Paul. "Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear." God will stand with you and fulfill your divine destiny. When all men forsake or oppose you, God will preserve you, all the way from here to Heaven.

2 Timothy 4:18 - "The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom."

The Lord Jesus Christ Be With Thy Spirit

When the Holy Ghost fell on the Day of Pentecost, Peter said, "This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh..." Acts 2:16-17. Jesus had said, "...he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you," John 14:17. We do not have the physical body of Jesus with us, but saints have His Spirit. The Holy Ghost is Jesus in the believer.

2 Timothy 4:22 - "The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit."

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