The End of Paul’s Ministry II Tim. 4: 6-13 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
At the end of Paul’s ministry he addressed his present circumstance, his past accomplishments and his future reward [2 Tim 4:6-8]. Then he asked Timothy to come to him since he was alone with Luke [2 Tim 4:9-12]. He wanted Timothy to bring some of his things to him [2 Tim 4:13]. At the end of Paul’s ministry we see:
His present circumstance – 2 Tim 4:6 – he was ready to be offered. Paul lived his life as a living sacrifice [Rom 12:1-2] but now he was ready to be martyred. The postscript of this letter says that it was written “when Paul was brought before Nero the second time.” His departure was at hand. Paul was ready “to depart, and to be with Christ,” [Phil 1:23]. Evidently, Paul was beheaded like the tribulation saints will be [Rev 20:4].
His past accomplishments – 2 Tim 4:7 – he fought a good fight. This is what Paul called the “good fight of faith,” [1 Tim 6:12]. It was a fight against the devil [Eph 6:11-12] and his ministers [2 Cor 11:13-15; 1 Cor 15:32]. He finished his course. His course had been laid out for him from the time of his salvation [Acts 9:15-16; 22:14-15; 26:15-18]. His desire was to finish his course with joy [Acts 20:24]. He kept the faith. This is not just faith, in general, but the specific faith of Jesus Christ [Gal 2:16; Phil 3:9], by which we are saved through the gospel [Phil 1:27] and by which we live [Gal 2:20].
His future reward – 2 Tim 4:8 – a crown of righteousness. There are five crowns available at the judgment seat of Christ. This crown is for loving the Lord’s appearing. The other four crowns are the crown of glory [1 Pet 5:1-4] for feeding the flock, the crown of life [Jas 1:12] for enduring temptation, the incorruptible crown [1 Cor 9:25] for keeping your body in subjection, and the crown of rejoicing [1 The 2:19-20] for winning souls to Christ.
His request for Timothy – 2 Tim 4:9-12 – Paul wanted to see Timothy. Since Paul was at the end of his ministry he wanted Timothy “to come shortly unto” him. Timothy was to bring Mark and some of Paul’s possessions when he came.
His departed companions – 2 Tim 4:10, 12 – others who had been with Paul before this letter was written were:
- Demas – 2 Tim 4:10 – in Thessalonica. Demas left because he loved “this present world.” There are very specific commands against this [1 Jn 2:15-17; Jas 4:4]. Demas had been a faithful servant of the Lord before his departure [Col 4:14, Phile 24].
- Crescens – 2 Tim 4:10 – in Galatia. According to Paul’s epistle to the Galatians, they needed help.
- Titus – 2 Tim 4:10 – in Damaltia. Dalmatia is a region of Croatia on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea. It is just north of Nicopolis, where Titus was ordained the first bishop of the church of the Cretians [Titus postscript].
- Tychicus – 2 Tim 4:12 – in Ephesus. Tychicus had been sent to Ephesus [Eph 6:21] and was the man to whom Paul dictated his letter to the Ephesians [Eph postscript].
His remaining companion – 2 Tim 4:11 – Luke, the beloved physician [Col 4:14]. Luke became Paul’s traveling companion during Paul’s second missionary journey. Notice the switch in Acts 16:6-10 from “they” to “we.” See “we” again in Acts 20:6, and throughout Acts 20, 21, 27, and 28, indicating that Luke was traveling with him.
His request for Mark – 2 Tim 4:11 – when Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem they brought Mark with them to Antioch [Acts 12:25]. When they left on their first missionary journey, Mark was with them but departed to return to Jerusalem [Acts 13:13]. When Barnabas and Saul prepared to go on their second journey, Barnabas wanted Mark to go with them but Paul refused [Acts 15:36-41]. The decision was contentious. Nevertheless, by the end of Paul’s ministry, he had found Mark to be profitable to him for the ministry and wanted Timothy to bring him.
His last possessions – 2 Tim 4:13 – Paul had few possessions at the end of his ministry. He wanted his cloke which he had left at Troas, because winter was approaching [2 Tim 4:21]. He wanted his books, because he was still faithful to study. And he especially wanted his parchments, so he could continue writing.
Conclusion: when you consider what the Lord has given you to do for him, remember Paul’s testimony. Fight the good fight of faith, finish your course and keep the faith. Keep working for the Lord right up to the end. And, above all, always be ready for the Lord’s appearing