Timothy must continue to do his work for God
1When Christ Jesus comes to rule as king, he will decide about all the people. He will decide about the people who are alive. He will decide also about the people who have died. He will decide what should happen to them. He will decide that because of what each person has done during their life. Because of this, I am speaking very seriously to you. God and Christ know that I am telling you this. So, I tell you to do this, which is your duty. 2You must tell God's message to people. Always be ready to tell it. Continue to tell it, whether people want to listen to you or not. Tell people when they are doing something wrong. Tell them that they must stop doing wrong things. Explain to them what they ought to do. Be very patient while you teach them.
3A time will come when people will not listen to the true message about Christ. Instead, they will want to hear all kinds of different messages. So they will find more and more teachers for themselves. And those teachers will tell the people what they want to hear. 4People will refuse to listen to the things that are true. Instead, they will want to listen to false stories. 5But you yourself must continue to think seriously and clearly. Be patient and brave during troubles. Continue to tell the good news about Christ to people. As God's servant, do all the work that he has given you to do.
Paul says that he will die soon
6Do this, because it is nearly time for me to die. It is time for me to be like an offering to God, like the drink offering that they pour out. Very soon, I will go to God. #4:6 Israel's people worshipped God in a special house. They offered gifts to him there, and these gifts included wine. They poured out the wine when they offered it to God. See Numbers 15:5,7,10; 28:7. Paul is saying that this drink is like a picture of himself. His life on earth will soon end. He has lived for God, and now he is ready to die for God.
7I have served Christ properly, like someone who does athletics to win. I have finished everything that God wanted me to do. I have done everything, like a runner who has run to the end of the path. I have continued to believe God and I have obeyed him. 8So now a gift is waiting for me, like the crown that a winner gets. The Lord will make me completely right and happy. This will be like a crown that the Lord will give me. The Lord is completely right when he decides about people. And he will give me the crown on that great day when he does decide. He will not give a crown to me only. He will give crowns also to all the people who want him to come very much. #4:8 At that time, people often gave a crown (a special hat) to somebody who had won a race. So Paul is using the crown as a picture of what God will give his people. God will give a gift to everyone who really belongs to Christ. That gift is that we will always be completely right and happy. And we will live with him always.
Paul's last words to Timothy
9Try very much to come to me soon. 10Demas has left me. He wanted very much the things that he can enjoy now, in this world. He has gone to Thessalonica city. #4:10 Paul writes about a man called Demas in Colossians 4:14 and Philemon 24 also. We do not know if this Demas was the same person. Thessalonica was a city in the north part of the country that we call Greece. Crescens has gone to Galatia. #4:10 We do not know who Crescens was. Galatia was the east part of the country that we call Turkey. Titus has gone to Dalmatia.#4:10 Titus was a man who had worked with Paul to teach the Christian message. See Galatians 2:1; 2 Corinthians 2:13; 7:6; Titus 1:4-5. Dalmatia was where the country called Albania is now, north and west from Greece.
11Only Luke is with me. #4:11 Luke had travelled and worked with Paul. He wrote the books in the Bible called Luke and Acts. See Acts 16:10-13; Colossians 4:14; Philemon 24. Fetch Mark and bring him with you. He can be a help to me with the work for God. #4:11 Mark (also called John) was perhaps the same person who had travelled with Paul earlier. See Acts 13:5,13. 12But I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus city. #4:12 Paul may have sent the man called Tychicus to Ephesus city to continue Timothy's work there.
13I left my coat with Carpus at Troas city. Bring it when you come. Also bring the books. If you cannot bring all of them, then bring my special books only. #4:13 Troas was a city on the west coast of the country that we call Turkey.
14Alexander, the man who makes things from metal, caused a lot of trouble for me. The Lord will punish him because of the wrong things that he did. 15You must also be careful that he does not cause trouble for you. He argued very strongly against our message.
16I had to speak to the people with authority who put me in prison. I had to explain to them why I had done nothing wrong. And the first time that I had to speak to them, nobody came with me to help me. Everybody left me. I hope that God will not be angry with them because of that. 17But the Lord stayed with me. He made me strong so that I could tell all his message. Then all the people from many countries could hear it. So the Lord saved me from great danger. 18The Lord will save me from every bad thing. And he will bring me safely to his home above the earth, where he rules. Everyone should always say how very great he is! Everyone should do that always. This is true.
19Say ‘hello’ to Priscilla and Aquila, and to Onesiphorus's family. #4:19 Priscilla and her husband, Aquila, had met Paul at Corinth city. See Acts 18:1-3. Then they went with Paul to Ephesus and they stayed there for some time. See Acts 18:18-26 and 1 Corinthians 16:19. Later they went to Rome See Romans 16:3-4. They must have been in Ephesus again when Paul wrote this letter. #4:19 Paul writes about Onesiphorus in 2 Timothy 1:16. 20Erastus remained at Corinth city. #4:20 The Bible includes the name ‘Erastus’ in Acts 19:22 and Romans 16:23. We do not know whether this Erastus was the same person. Corinth was a city in the south part of the country that we call Greece. I left Trophimus at Miletus city because he was sick. #4:20 See Acts 20:4-5; 21:29, which include the name ‘Trophimus’. We do not know whether this Trophimus was the same person. Miletus was an important city on the coast, south from Ephesus (in the country now called Turkey).
21Try very much to come before the winter. Eubulus, Pudens, Linus and Claudia say ‘hello’ to you. All the other believers here also say ‘hello’.
22I pray that the Lord will continue to make you strong in your spirit. I pray that he will be kind to all of you.