2 Timothy Survey
Pr Edi Giudetti
Our 2 Timothy Survey identifies the foundational encouragement for the work of the Gospel for the salvation of the world. Paul encourages young Timothy as a soldier of Christ, to live and endure the hardness that will be required to live the Gospel. He warns of the state of the Church in the latter days and brings understanding of what it will take to live distinct from the world and that latter-day Church.
During the first and second world wars the call had gone out to all men of age to join the forces of their nations against a frightening enemy. To protect their own families and loved ones against invaders that would take away not only their way of life, but the very freedoms they have enjoyed. The risk they were asked to pledge was their lives, the reward they would receive was the preservation of their freedom, for themselves and for their families.
The risk was real, their courage needed to be great, they needed to quit themselves like men, setting aside all other plans for the benefit of loved onesand their nation. It was a call to duty, to honour and potentially to death.
It was the great war of 1914 to 1918 that opened the eyes to the seriousness of the call, 41 million people diedduring these four horrific years of the Great War, AKA World War 1 (They had only began to number World Wars when the second world war broke out in 1939). Up until then the 1stWorld War was called The War to End all Wars.
Twenty-one years later the deadliest war in history broke out and cost the world 3% of its entire population. Some nations like Poland and Lithuania lost over 15% of their people, most were civilians.
Available records indicate that 60 to 80 million people died in WW2.
100 million people between those two wars.
But those who were called stepped up to the plate, willing to sacrifice their lives for the temporal benefit of the free world. You and I are recipients of that sacrifice.You and I live today in a free country because people knew that there was an enemy to fight in the world.
Timothy was called to be a minister to wield the Gospel against an enemy that is UNSEEN, who is taking the vast majority of the people of the world captive and to death. The risk for man is not temporal but eternal, it’s not about a loss of freedom but an ABSOLUTE AND PERMANENT Loss of HOPE.
Above the gates of Hell in classic Novel of Dante’s inferno is a sign which reads “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here”
There are two weapons the enemy uses to great effect, Deception and Death.
The weapons of the ministry are also two, The Gospel and the Spirit of God.
In this letter, Timothy was Called for the ministry and given instruction by the man who suffered Greatly for the Gospel; Paul uses the Title Soldier when speaking of the work Timothy is called to undertake. And that title is more fitting that we might readily understand.
THE CALL TO COURAGE
This is Paul’s second letter to Timothy, and is believed by most teachers that it was the last letter he ever wrote. Paul was now in Prison for the last time. Unlike the first Roman captivity Paul was not under house arrest, this time he was without some of the most basic things;
Toward the end of Chapter 4 Paul asks Timothy “The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bringwith thee, and the books,butespecially the parchments.” (2 Tim 4:13).
Paul tells Timothy in verse 6 of Chapter 4 that his “…departure is at hand 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finishedmycourse, I have kept the faith: 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.” (2 Tim 4:6-7)
It is believed Paul was caught up in the Christian persecution under Emperor Nero, one of the most vile and evil emperors of Rome; it was said of Nero that;
It was safer to be a Dog in the house of Nero than a family member.
Christians were blamed by Nero for the burning of Rome in 64AD, tradition tells us that Paul was decapitated from prison between 66-68AD.
Timothy being a young man by comparison, and was called by Paul not to be fearful as we begin our study;
6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Paul was mindful of the tears of Timothy (v4), he remembered Timothy in his own prayers night and day (v3), and he knows that Timothy has an unfeigned faith, just like that of his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois.
OF this faith Paul concludes, that within him cannot exist a spirit of fear, this fear is incompatible with the gift of God, it does not come from God, it is a foreign entityand we do well to rebuke its existence in our lives because God hath not given usthe spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
If there are times in you that fear rises up to prevent you from doing that which is of the Lord, know that fear is not of the Lord at all. If your trust is in the word of God than you must know that “Perfect Love casteth out fear” “There is no fear in love” (1 John 4:18).
Within every born-again believer of God resides the Spirit of God, Perfect Love, who has cast out fear. This is our present reality and if we feel fearful, be reminded that this is coming upon you and does not stem from within you.
God has given us the spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind.
BE NOT ASHAMED
1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
To think that the entire purpose of the Church is to preach the Gospel and to make disciples of men and to find in these days so many churches doing anything but that, you must conclude that most are Ashamed of the testimony of our Lord.
Partakers of the afflictions of the gospel they are not, but Timothy is. He is to understand, like Paul that he is called with an holy calling, not according their own works, but according to Christs own purpose and grace. Paul is teaching Timothy that his entire purpose, the very underpinning of his life and the highest calling he has, it to live for that which Christ died. To live for the Gospel.
All of us have desires at times to do a noble deed, to bless and benefit others selflessly. The disciple of Christ lives for the benefit of others, he/she lives that others may have eternal life. Personally, I cannot think of a higher calling than this. We share the hope of Christ while we work, while we play, while we undertake our day-to-day chores. What we do for a living is not separated from the Gospel of Christ but used to witness Christ.
Most incredibly, we know it will succeed always, how? Because the end of verse 9 says that this purpose which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
“10But is now 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:
The Lord being raised from the dead made manifest that this purpose is real, Life and immortality has been brought to light through the gospel.
This the disciples witness. What was their disposition when Christ hung on that Cross, what was their manner and sorrow when Jesus laid dead in the tomb? What now of the change in their lives when the Saviour Jesus Christ appeared to them three days later?
Now, what of the change that has occurred in you when you were born anew, forgiven, saved, the inheritor of eternal life?
This is why Pauls confirms in verse 12
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.
If you were to truly understand that your life as his child is completely in his hands, and if you have committed your soul to him, then it is this same Lord who is able to keep it against that day. Your salvation is secure, and you have nothing to lose by sharing the hope that is in you.
If this is so, then trust the Lord and hold fast to him;
13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
THE CALL TO ENDURANCE
1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And 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.
Paul is speaking here of the essence of discipleship, what Timothy has learned of the grace of Christ and the doctrines of the Lord from Paul, commit to others that they too may teach. What you have learned of the Gospel, teach. Certain that you will not teach unless you have learned it, but the purpose of learning is not to keep what you have learned, but to tell others.
You have just discovered the truth of eternal life and how it is gained, tell it to others.
I have read of a man who was not saved, not born again who, as a witness at the scene of a severe accident when an injured man was dying before him, told him to call out for Jesus and he will be saved. The witness relates that almost immediately the fear of death disappeared from the dying mans face and he was overwhelmed with peace before he died.
The man who shared what he had been taught while growing up and attending church as a child, was so overcome by what he witnessed that that night he bent his knee in his bedroom and asked Jesus to save him.
Never underestimate the long-term impact of the Gospel, they are the words of eternal life.
3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
I love the choice of words used in this passage, “Endure hardness”, toughen up, be willing to take adversity and afflictions knowing in whom you have believed.
Mild steel is hardened through a processof enduring intense and concentrated heat and then rapid cooling. It just can’t get harder without having to endure that which would almost reduce it to liquid again.
Only good soldiers will endure hardness.
If being called names for the sake of Christ offends you, toughen up.
If being spoken about behind your back hurts your feelings, get over it quickly they are not trying to put a bullet in you.
If you are physically assaulted for the sake of Christ, Count it all joy that you were found worthy to suffer with Christ.
4 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.
Another wonderful use of words “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life”. Today we have so many diverse affairs in which we can become embroiled.
The School system
Freedom of Speech
Gender Identity politics
The Banking system
A new clubhouse for junior footy
If these noble endeavors “entangle” you or you risk being entangled in them to the cost of the Gospel of Christ, then you cannot please him who has chosen you to the focus of his work. Note please; all of these things are noble, temporal efforts; but if they take away from the preaching or sharing of the everlasting Gospel of Christ, you are being entangled in the affairs of a world that will pass away.
Beloved there are two extremes we can take when our desire is to do good in this world;
- We, as Christians, take on a noble cause in the hope of making a difference in the world that is anti-Christian.
- We do nothing.
If we are confused as to what we are to do for the Lord, think about why he came. Why did Jesus suffer?
What was the purpose for which he gave his life?
What was his last command to those who believed him?
“GO ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” Mrk 16:15
Do you want to undertake the highest calling of all? This is it.
To those called to be Pastors and Teachers, Charles Spurgeon gives a wonderful piece of advice to his students saying,
“If you are called to be a preacher, do not stop along the way to be kings”.
Not only Spurgeon, but scripture itself calls this the highest calling of any person to undertake.
Perhaps it would not be if we did not live in a fallen world, but we do. Beloved saving souls is infinitely more valuable than saving lives. Prov 11:30 says “he that wineth souls is wise”.
The calling to preach the Gospel is given to all his disciples, if you are born again you are a disciple of Christ. You will have a more specific callingbased on the gifts the Lord has given, but it all culminates and has its purpose in the greatest difference you can make for any individual, the eternal salvation of his/her soul.
Please, be not entangled with the affairs of this life.
Slavery, infanticide, homosexuality, dictatorial government etc, was all rife during the time of Jesus and then Paul, but both knew what the highest purpose was. It was not to change the nation, but the change the hearts of the people of the nation through the Gospel.
Paul gave Timothy an example as to the commitment he is to endure for the sake of others;
2 Tim 2:8
8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: 9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
Paul knows very clearly the purpose of his work and endeavors, he KNOWS its value.
The soldiers that fought and died in Vietnam for their governments were part of a questionable motivation on behalf of their political leaders. Testimonies were given that the effort should have, and could have, been done and dealt with in a very short time. It was known as the first war America had lost. It was a war of mixed motives and questionable ethics.
Not so the war for the souls of men.
Our Saviour led the charge and opened the way, the motive is love, the ethic is pure and the desire of God that all men would be saved is unquestioned.
Paul knew this and he “Suffered trouble. Paul’s imprisonment was due to false claims of himself having done evil.
The Romans and their superstitions even believed Christians were ritually performing cannibalism in “eating the Lords body and drinking his blood” during their private communion services.
Paul, who turned the world upside down, with the Gospel may have been charged as the lead conspirator in this endeavor, as an evil doer, even unto bonds.
Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
Our soldiers sacrifice their lives in War that we may obtain and retain temporal freedoms, Paul encourages that we sacrifice and endured all things that the lost may obtain eternal freedom, that is salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
SO MUCH MORE
There is so much more to talk about with respect to that which we are to endure;
Verse 15 Paul instructs Timothy to;
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Deleted in the lazy modern versions is the word “Study” and replaced with the pacifying phrase “Do your best”.
No! Study to shew thyself approved
We need to be workmen that needeth not to be ashamed This can only come about if we are rightly dividing the word of truth.
Consider verse 16
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
Here we have introduced a look at what things will appear in the future, “vain babblings: … will increase unto more ungodliness”.
Now Paul gives us an example;
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
A “Canker” is a Cancer that eats away all that is good. Look at the error being taught in verse 18, that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
We have people today saying similar things, believing that all the prophecies of the Bible have already passed by the end of the 1st century. This position is known as the Preterist, the word comes from the Latin word Praeter, which means Past or Beyond. But all this does is set up that which the Apostle Peter spoke of concerning the last days saying;
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
So watch for the error;
Paul gives to Timothy instruction on the things he needs to care for within himself, to mind his own walk and to be useful to the Lord;
19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20 But 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.21 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.
Flee youthful lusts he tells him also in verse 22;
The Lord does know who are indeed his, but Paul charges Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
It grieves me greatly when I see so many who are called by the name of Christ standing in both private and public iniquity,living like the world, indulging youthful lusts and stupidity. With their tongues they use both vile language and confess Christ.
James tells us “this ought not so to be”, out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing!
He tells us in James 3:11 “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweetwaterand bitter?”
If you name the name of Christ, depart iniquity. Do your due diligence to be faithful, not only for your own benefit that you might be a “vessel unto honor”, but also that you do not blaspheme Christ to those who might otherwise inherit eternal life!
Beloved the entire world watches Christians, they don’t watch Buddhists, they don’t watch Hindus, they don’t watch pagans or Muslims, there is no expectation on them to be anything more than what the world is, but upon Christians they do watch.
Some watch that they may have cause to blaspheme Christ and feel justified in rejecting the Gospel.
But some watch that they may find true hope in Christ. They long for that which is DISTINCT from the world, its confusion and anxiety. They long for a secured hope.
We don’t know which is which, but we are commanded to preach to all.
but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
CALL TO DISTINCTION
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
It almost brings me to tears to see this occurring before my eyes today.
Paul speaks to Timothy about that which he foretells as yet future, but I am looking at it in the present in large measure.
First, I want you to know that the context of this passage is in the Church not in the world.
Those of the world have always been lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, etc.
But this is the Church before the coming of the Lord again.
Do you see it?
Have you watched the early morning programs which show a form of godliness but denying the power thereof?
Have you been to Churches where self-love is evident? This is usually those who care little of the Gospel and much for themselves. They are usually evidenced by the raising of their phones in front of their faces followed by a click sound.
Narcissists are Lovers of their own selves, and our culture is filled with them. Like small children they believe the entire world revolves around them. Their actual ages can range from fifteen to fifty and even above.
They are also;
covetous, (These run greedily after the error of Balaam and Cain) boasters, (these think higher of themselves than they ought to think), proud (These forget that all they have and are has been given to them), blasphemers (These are children of the devil), disobedient to parents, (These negate the promise of a lengthened life) unthankful (These think themselves deserving), unholy (these believe themselves pure),3 Without natural affection (These cast off their young), trucebreakers (These belittle their own name), false accusers (These are owned by the father of lies), incontinent (These are in the bond of iniquity), fierce (These know not what spirit they are of), despisers of those that are good (These are without law),4 Traitors (These despise their own selves), heady (These are reckless and unstable) , high-minded (These are the self-righteous), lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (These are given over to youthful lusts); 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: (These are vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart is darkened) from such turn away.
If these, or some of these, are the sort of people that are comfortable coming to the Church you attend, turn away!
For Paul says in verse 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
Beloved this is the direction of the Church and I am convinced it is not far from being fulfilled.
In verse 7 Paul says that these are;
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
“Jannes and Jambres”; Tradition tells us that these where the two magicians in Egypt who tried to withstand and copy the plagues of God that Moses delivered.
Signs and Wonders seem to be that which will overrun the word of God in those days, resisting the truth. All this done by men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
Beloved as we come to these sections of the New testament you are going to notice that the language concerning false teachers and teachings will become more and more explicit.
The condemnation of heresy will stand out and it is for your benefit to know and be aware that “many false prophets have gone out into the world, deceiving and being deceived”.
Three times we see recorded Jesus being asked “What shall be the sign of thy coming”, (Mrk 13, Mt 24 and Lk 21), each time Jesus is recorded as his first warning to them, “Be not deceived”.
Twenty-Two years ago I was deceived and remained under that illusion for some seven or eight years. It seemed to coincide well with my reluctance to read the Bible!
Hence the perfect remedy given us from verse 14;
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
If you will not read your Bibles regularly, you are setting yourself up for the last days deception.
But if you give yourself to the diligence of reading that wonderful book, know that its potential is to make a man perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Unlikely to make that goal this side of eternity, but that is the potential of Scripture to change a person. Recall that you may have already been saved by it, your eternity already sealed through it, how much more if you trust it all.
George Muller, that great man of faith, said in relation to his discovery of the word of God to replace his other reading habits, said:
Before I leave this subject I would only add: If the reader understands very littleof the word of God, he ought to read it very much; for the Spirit explains the word by the word. And if he enjoys the reading of the word little, that is just the reason why he should read it much; for the frequent reading of the Scriptures creates a delight in them, so that the more we read them, the more we desire to do so.
I cannot agree more, and I know there are many who share this wonderful truth.
THE CALL TO MINISTRY
1 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; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 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; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 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.
The passage that is the usual send off to every man who has desired the office of a Bishop, each man desiring to preach has been given this same charge that was given to Timothy, and what a wonderful charge. Both the command to preach is given and the understanding that the time will come when they will not desire the preaching.
This time of “itching ears” is today. What an incredible prophecy we are living witnesses of as it comes to pass.
No longer is the bulk of the Church willing to endure sound doctrine but will heap to themselves teachers that will turn their ears from the truth and turn them to fables.
Jeremiah relates exactly this respecting the time just before the taking away of the nation.
30 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
Isaiah relates the same
That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: 10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
We are living in a time when lies are accepted and truth is rejected.
Nevertheless the faithful minister of Christ is still charged to Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
We do not war after the flesh, the battle is not ours but the Lords. He has given the amour, he has blessed us with the weapon of war and the sword of the spirit.
The greatest weapon you can use today and the days to come is The Word of God, your love for it and trust in it.
From this will stem your faithfulness to the Lord, your love for others, and your purpose through the Gospel.
Fight the good fight and take hold also of that Crown of Righteousness, recall that it is not only for Paul, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
God bless you.