The Book of 2 TIMOTHY
James J. Barker


Lesson 12
PAUL'S DEPARTURE

Text: 2 TIMOTHY 4:6-22


INTRODUCTION:


  1. My message this evening is entitled, "Paul's Departure," and as we consider Paul's departure we should note that verse 6 is present, verse 7 is past, and verse 8 is future.
  2. D. Edmond Hiebert said, "Verses 6-8 constitute one of the grandest testimonies in all ages to Christian victory in the face of impending death" (Second Timothy).
  3. Strong's Concordance says, "For I am now ready to be offered" (4:6) literally means to be "poured out as a drink offering." Paul uses similar language in Philippians 2:17, "Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all."
  4. Paul was about to be beheaded by the Romans, and he describes his impending death as an "offering" to God.
  5. His life was a "living sacrifice." "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice..." (Romans 12:1).

 

I. PAUL'S HOPE (4:6-8)

  1. Paul's fighting days were just about over. Now others would have to carry on the battle. Paul told Timothy in I Timothy 6:12, "Fight the good fight of faith."
  2. Paul had finished his "course" (4:7). Paul's race was now over. He had stayed on track and he had "kept the faith" (4:7).
  3. Verse 8 describes the judgment seat of Christ (cf. Romans 14:10-12; II Cor. 5:10), which will take place after the rapture. "That day" (4:8) refers to the day our Lord returns.

                    Jesus may come today
                    Glad day, glad day!
                    And I would see my Friend;
                    Dangers and troubles would end
                    If Jesus should come today.

                    Glad day, glad day!
                    Is it the crowning day?
                    Iíll live for today, nor anxious be;
                    Jesus, my Lord I soon shall see.
                    Glad day, glad day!
                    Is it the crowning day?
-- Henry Ostrom

  1. At the judgment seat, our works will be judged, not our sins. Rewards will be given (cf. I Cor. 3:11-15).
  2. Salvation is based on grace; rewards are based on works.
  3. Various crowns will be given:
  • Incorruptible crown (I Cor. 9:24-27)
  • Crown of rejoicing (I Thess. 2:19)
  • Crown of life (James 1:12; Rev. 2:10)
  • Crown of glory (I Peter 5:4)
  • Crown of righteousness (II Tim. 4:8)
  1. The "crown of righteousness" is for all them "that love his appearing" (4:8).
  2. There is a contrast here between them "that love his appearing" and Demas who "loved this present world" (4:10).
  3. The blessed hope of the imminent return of our Lord is a motivation for godly living (cf. I John 3:2, 3).

 

II. PAUL'S FRIENDS (4:9-18)

  1. Paul was eager to see Timothy before his execution (4:9; cf. 4:21). Perhaps Paul was lonely in jail.
  2. At one time Demas (4:10) was a faithful co-laborer with Paul (Col. 4:14; Philemon 24), but now had abandoned him.
  3. This is the only reference to Crescens. He and Titus were engaged in ministry elsewhere.
  4. "Only Luke is with me" (4:11). In Colossians 4:14, Paul refers to Luke as "the beloved physician."
  5. John Mark was now "profitable" to Paul for the ministry (4:11). Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey but he quit and returned home to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13).
  6. Mark was a nephew of Barnabas, and Barnabas wanted to bring him along for Paul's second missionary journey.
  7. Acts 15:37-40 says, "And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God."
  8. However, Mark eventually proved himself faithful and dependable and he was reconciled to Paul. Paul mentions him in his epistle to the Colossians (Col. 4:10).
  9. Mark wrote the Gospel of Mark, probably before Paul wrote I & II Timothy.
  10. Tychicus (4:12) may have been the pastor of the church at Ephesus, or perhaps he was sent there to replace Timothy. Tychicus is referred to in Acts 20:4.
  11. Tychicus was the bearer of Paul's letters to the Ephesians and the Colossians (Eph. 6:21; Col. 4:7) during Paul's Roman imprisonment.
  12. We know nothing about Carpus (4:13).
  13. The "cloak" refers to a heavy mantle used by travelers to protect themselves against stormy weather. Paul was probably cold in his damp prison cell, and he mentioned that winter was coming (4:13, 21).
  14. "The books" and "the parchments" (4:13) were very important to Paul as he was a great reader and scholar.
  15. Webster's 1828 Dictionary says parchment was "The skin of a sheep or goat dressed or prepared and rendered fit for writing on. This is done by separating all the flesh and hair, rubbing the skin with pumice stone, and reducing its thickness with a sharp instrument."
  16. The Latin word is pergamena, because this work was first done in Pergamum (Pergamos).
  17. By "the parchments," Paul was probably referring to the Old Testament Scriptures, but we cannot be certain about that.
  18. Various conjectures have been made regarding "the parchments." Perhaps Paul was simply referring to blank writing paper.
  19. Paul warned about a certain Alexander, the coppersmith, who did him "much evil" (4:14). There is no personal vindictiveness here; Paul is simply stating the facts.
  20. King David made a similar statement in II Samuel 3:39, after Joab, and Abishai his brother slew Abner -- "And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for me: the LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness."
  21. And David wrote in Psalm 62:12, "Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work."
  22. In II Timothy 4:14, Paul clearly identified the troublemaker -- "Alexander, the coppersmith." There were many men with the name of Alexander so Paul was specific (cf. I Tim. 1:20; Acts 19:33).
  23. Some say it is wrong to publicly identify trouble-makers, heretics, false teachers, and compromisers, but we have a responsibility to warn others. Paul says in II Timothy 4:15, "Of whom be thou ware also..." In other words, "you must beware of him."
  24. We need to beware, and we need to warn others because troublemakers make the rounds, from home to home, and from church to church, sowing discord and teaching error.
  25. Paul had to stand alone at his "first answer" (4:16), that is an earlier trial when no one stood with him.
  26. All men forsook him at this earlier hearing.
  27. But the Lord stood with him, and strengthened him (4:17). Paul "was delivered out of the mouth of the lion" (4:17b).
  28. There is much speculation of the identity of the lion. Some say it was a literal lion because in Paul's day Christians were put in the amphitheater with lions. Some think Paul was referring to Nero.
  29. In any event, Paul's trial and execution were delayed, and the Lord delivered him "from every evil work" (4:18), that is, from the evil designs of his enemies.
  30. Paul was ready for heaven (4:18b). They say a man is not ready to live until he is ready to die.

 

III. PAUL'S FINAL SALUTATIONS (4:19-22)

  1. Prisca (Priscilla) and Aquila (4:19) were a married couple that worked with Paul and were at this time helping Timothy. We are first introduced to them in Acts 18 where we are told they were tentmakers who worked alongside Paul in Corinth (Acts 18:1-3).
  2. Later on they met Apollos when he was preaching in a synagogue in Ephesus (Acts 18:26).
  3. In II Timothy 4:19, Paul also mentions "the household of Onesiphorus" (cf. 1:16).
  4. Erastus (4:20) could be either the chamberlain (steward or manager or treasurer) of the city of Corinth (Rome 16:23), or the man who ministered to Paul and Timothy in Macedonia (Acts 19:22).
  5. Erastus abode at Corinth (4:20); but Paul left Trophimus at Miletus sick. Trophimus is mentioned twice in the book of Acts (20:4; 21:29).
  6. Paul left Trophimus sick at Miletus, reminding us that it is not always God's will to heal the sick. Timothy himself was often sick. Paul referred to Timothy's "often infirmities" in I Timothy 5:23.
  7. Paul also suffered from a bad infirmity and he prayed three times, but God chose not to heal him (II Cor. 12:7-10).
  8. The Bible says God will always answer our prayers, if our requests are according to His will. First John 5:14 and 15 says, "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."
  9. Therefore since there are several examples of Christians praying for healing who were not healed, we can conclude that it is not always God's will to heal.
  10. Eubulus, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia are unknown to us but were dear to Paul and to God (4:21).

 

CONCLUSION:

As far as we know these are the apostle Paul's last recorded words.



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