Timothy must continue to do his work for God
1Timothy, I tell you this seriously, as God and Christ Jesus know everything that we do. When Christ Jesus comes to rule as king, he will judge everyone. He will judge the people who are alive and also those who have already died. When he appears, he will decide what should happen to them all. So, I tell you this now: 2Tell God's message to people. Always be ready to speak God's message clearly to people, whether they want to listen to you or not. Warn people when they are doing something wrong. Tell them to stop doing wrong things, and explain to them what they ought to do. But be very patient while you teach them what is true.
3Do this, because a time will come when people will not listen to God's true message. Instead, they will want to hear all kinds of new messages that will make them happy. So they will find many teachers for themselves who will tell them what they want to hear. 4People will refuse to listen to God's true message. Instead, they will want to listen to silly stories that are false. 5But you yourself must continue to think seriously and clearly. Be patient and brave when troubles come. Continue to tell the good news about Christ to people. Do all the work that God has given you to do as his servant.
6As for me, it is nearly time for me to die. My death will be like a drink offering that they pour out to God. My life as God's servant will end. #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 worked to serve Christ well. I have finished everything that God wanted me to do, like a runner who has run to the end of the race. I have continued to believe God's true message. 8So now a gift is waiting for me. The Lord will make me completely right and happy. That will be like a crown which the Lord will give me on that great day when he judges people. He is the judge who is fair and right. He will not give that gift to me only, but to all these people also. He will give it to those people who love him and want to see him when he comes again. #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 for ever.
Paul's last words to Timothy
9Timothy, please come to see me as soon as you can. 10Demas has left me and he has gone to Thessalonica city. He wanted to enjoy the things of this world too much. #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 region. #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 region.#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 now. #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. Bring Mark with you when you come. He can help me very much with the work for God. 12I have now sent Tychicus to Ephesus city. #4:12 Paul may have sent Tychicus to Ephesus city to help with Timothy's work there.
13I left a coat with Carpus at Troas city. Bring it when you come. Also bring the books for me. If you cannot bring all of them, then at least bring my special papers. #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 explain to a judge that I had not done anything wrong. The first time I did that, nobody helped me. All my friends stayed away. I pray that God will forgive them for that. 17But the Lord was there to help me. He made me strong so that I could tell his message clearly. Gentile people from many countries could hear what I said. In that way, the Lord saved me from the danger of death. 18Yes, the Lord will continue to save me from every bad thing. And he will bring me safely to heaven, where he rules. He is great and we should praise him for ever! Amen! This is true!
19Say ‘hello’ for me to Priscilla and Aquila, and to the family of Onesiphorus. #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 ill. #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).
21Please try 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.