2 Timothy 4

* The apostle solemnly charges Timothy to be diligent, though

many will not bear sound doctrine. (1-5) Enforces the charge

from his own martyrdom, then at hand. (6-8) Desires him to come

speedily. (9-13) He cautions, and complains of such as had

deserted him; and expresses his faith as to his own preservation

to the heavenly kingdom. (14-18) Friendly greetings and his

usual blessing. (19-22)

1-5 People will turn away from the truth, they will grow weary

of the plain gospel of Christ, they will be greedy of fables,

and take pleasure in them. People do so when they will not

endure that preaching which is searching, plain, and to the

purpose. Those who love souls must be ever watchful, must

venture and bear all the painful effects of their faithfulness,

and take all opportunities of making known the pure gospel.
6-8 The blood of the martyrs, though not a sacrifice of

atonement, yet was a sacrifice of acknowledgment to the grace of

God and his truth. Death to a good man, is his release from the

imprisonment of this world, and his departure to the enjoyments

of another world. As a Christian, and a minister, Paul had kept

the faith, kept the doctrines of the gospel. What comfort will

it afford, to be able to speak in this manner toward the end of

our days! The crown of believers is a crown of righteousness,

purchased by the righteousness of Christ. Believers have it not

at present, yet it is sure, for it is laid up for them. The

believer, amidst poverty, pain, sickness, and the agonies of

death, may rejoice; but if the duties of a man's place and

station are neglected, his evidence of interest in Christ will

be darkened, and uncertainty and distress may be expected to

cloud and harass his last hours.
9-13 The love of this world, is often the cause of turning back

from the truths and ways of Jesus Christ. Paul was guided by

Divine inspiration, yet he would have his books. As long as we

live, we must still learn. The apostles did not neglect human

means, in seeking the necessaries of life, or their own

instruction. Let us thank the Divine goodness in having given us

so many writings of wise and pious men in all ages; and let us

seek that by reading them our profiting may appear to all.
14-18 There is as much danger from false brethren, as from open

enemies. It is dangerous having to do with those who would be

enemies to such a man as Paul. The Christians at Rome were

forward to meet him, #Ac 28|, but when there seemed to be a

danger of suffering with him, then all forsook him. God might

justly be angry with them, but he prays God to forgive them. The

apostle was delivered out of the mouth of the lion, that is, of

Nero, or some of his judges. If the Lord stands by us, he will

strengthen us in difficulties and dangers, and his presence will

more than supply every one's absence.
19-22 We need no more to make us happy, than to have the Lord

Jesus Christ with our spirits; for in him all spiritual

blessings are summed up. It is the best prayer we can offer for

our friends, that the Lord Jesus Christ may be with their

spirits, to sanctify and save them, and at last to receive them

to himself. Many who believed as Paul, are now before the

throne, giving glory to their Lord: may we be followers of them.

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