By Joseph Ametepe
The late Dr. McGee writes: "The deathbed statement of any individual has an importance which is not attached to other remarks. This is what lends significance to 2nd Timothy. It is the final communication of Paul. It has a note of sadness which is not detected in his other epistles. Nevertheless, there is the overtone of triumph. "I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith," written by Paul as his own epitaph (2 Timothy 4:7). Also because this was his last letter, Paul was very personal. In these four chapters, there are approximately twenty-five references to individuals. In this little book of 2nd Timothy an ominous dark cloud is seen on the horizon. It is the coming of apostasy." Also Bible teacher and minister Dr. Gary W. Demarest shares this personal insight about 2nd Timothy. He writes: "It's reasonable to believe that this is the last letter Paul wrote. It could have been written within a few days of his martyrdom. In studying and teaching this letter, I've come to a new appreciation for it as perhaps the most intimate and moving of all Paul's letters." Bible Teacher, Pastor, and author Chuck Swindoll also shares this poignant insight. "It's doubtful that we could find a more nostalgic, emotional letter written by the apostle Paul. Facing death, alone in a dungeon, lonely, surrounded by memories and exposed to the elements, this grand old man writes by candlelight a letter to his dear friend, Timothy. Paul had no assurance that it would reach the young man, but nevertheless, he wrote it and we are so grateful he did...It is often true that a person's final words are among his or her best words. By then life has been distilled into its most significant thoughts, and wisdom has tempered knowledge. As a result we seem to listen more closely when a person is about to leave this earth. When you know you have received a letter written by a man only days from death, living in a dungeon, the letter carries with it a great deal of impact that perhaps it wouldn't otherwise possess."
Clearly, these three quotations show how relevant the message of Second Timothy is for our times. It is a letter worth listening to. It was written to equip Timothy to carry on with the Great Commission. It was also written to encourage Timothy to stand firm in the face of opposition and apostasy. Furthermore, it was written to educate Timothy about the necessity of enduring hardship in the service of the gospel. It was also written to exhort Timothy to entrust the truths of Scripture to faithful believers who will in turn pass them on to other believers. Just as Timothy was equipped to carry on with the mission of the church, so also, God is equipping believers today to fulfill the Great Commission.. Also, just as Timothy was encouraged to stand firm in the face of opposition, so also the Holy Spirit, the Great Encourager, is at work today, encouraging believers to standfast in the face of opposition. 2nd Timothy minces no words about suffering hardship in the service of the gospel. Believers today are not exempted from suffering hardship in the service of the gospel. They, like Timothy, must suffer hardship in the power of God. As Timothy was exhorted to pass on the truths of Scripture to faithful believers who will in turn pass them on to faithful believers, so also it is God's purpose for true believers today to pass on the truths they have been taught to faithful believing men and women who will in turn pass them on to the younger generation of Christians.
The prominent doctrines taught in Second Timothy include: the person of God, the people of God, the peace of God, the power of God, the purpose of God, the promise of God, the presence of God, the prophecy of God, the preservation of God, persecution of believers, perseverance of believers, patience of believers, the profitability of the scriptures, and the preaching of the word..
Although Second Timothy comprises of only eighty three verses, yet it contains several major spiritual lessons for God's believing people today. It is therefore our prayer that the Holy Spirit will enable us to pay very close attention to its timeless teachings truths for our own spiritual growth and good. And that, in doing so, He will transform us more into the glorious likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ in such a time as this. May our Lord and Savior richly bless you as you watch or listen to the verse by verse exposition of the remarkable and relevant book of Second Timothy!
2nd Timothy indicates that Paul was in prison in Rome (2 Timothy 1:8, 17) while it is presumed that Timothy was still at Ephesus (modern Turkey), where Paul instructed him to stay to care for the church at Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3). The map below illustrates that.