I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word [as an official messenger]; be ready when the time is right and even when it is not [keep your sense of urgency, whether the opportunity seems favorable or unfavorable, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether welcome or unwelcome]; correct [those who err in doctrine or behavior], warn [those who sin], exhort and encourage [those who are growing toward spiritual maturity], with inexhaustible patience and [faithful] teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold, and will turn their ears away from the truth and will wander off into myths and man-made fictions [and will accept the unacceptable]. But as for you, be clear-headed in every situation [stay calm and cool and steady], endure every hardship [without flinching], do the work of an evangelist, fulfill [the duties of] your ministry.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure [from this world] is at hand and I will soon go free. I have fought the good and worthy and noble fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith [firmly guarding the gospel against error]. In the future there is reserved for me the [victor’s] crown of righteousness [for being right with God and doing right], which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that [great] day—and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and longed for and welcomed His appearing.
Make every effort to come to me soon; for Demas, having loved [the pleasures of] this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very helpful to me for the ministry. But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. When you come bring the coat that I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; [but that is no concern of mine, for] the Lord will repay him according to his actions. Be on guard against him yourself, because he vigorously opposed our message.
At my first trial no one supported me [as an advocate] or stood with me, but they all deserted me. May it not be counted against them [by God]. But the Lord stood by me and strengthened and empowered me, so that through me the [gospel] message might be fully proclaimed, and that all the Gentiles might hear it; and I was rescued from the mouth of the lion. The Lord will rescue me from every evil assault, and He will bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Give my greetings to Prisca and Aquila, and to the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus stayed on at Corinth, but I left Trophimus sick at Miletus. Try your best to come [to me] before winter. Eubulus wishes to be remembered to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers and sisters.
The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.