It’s often said that the last words someone might speak are the most important things that need to be said. Here we come to the end of 2 Timothy with some of the final words that Paul has chosen to communicate to his pupil Timothy. I can’t help but think that Paul held these lessons in high regard and they’re precepts that of which he wanted to ensure Timothy could live out and carry on.
2 Timothy 3 points to one of the concepts that Paul had lived his entire life. It’s speaks not only to what God has chosen to communicate but maybe more so out of Paul’s firsthand experience. He’s ensuring that Timothy thoroughly understands the path chosen by a true man of God. He speaks of a life not surrounded by roses and puppy dogs, but instead of a world bent on taking the feet out from under him. He embraces the reality that there is a lifestyle that ignores the truth bestowed upon those who believe. He acknowledges that we must choose the path not offered by the world and instead find foundation in truth.
Paul came from a life of persecuting others and chose a life of persecution. Few in the scriptures were persecuted as strongly as Paul for what he believed in, but Paul was able to supernaturally utilized those persecutions to preach Jesus to the world.
“Now you have followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings……I endured, and out of them the Lord rescued me!” v. 10 & 11
He is pronouncing…”please look at my life!”. Not because he raises his ministry up in pride…but because of the obvious work of Christ for rescuing him through it and from it. He’s pronouncing…”please look at my life…and see Christ!”
He then goes and boldly makes two promises if you choose to follow Christ…
1) You will be persecuted!
“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” v. 12
He makes no mistake in telling us that this journey we are choosing will be difficult and will come with it those who desire to see you fall and fail.
2) With Christ, the persecution can be overcome!
“You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is Christ Jesus.” v. 14 & 15
God provides us the tools and the power to stand up against and endure persecution. If we choose to follow the teaching we have been given and stand true…those who stand against us will have no power.
These are the final words of Paul to Timothy…and words I think we all need to heed. When I get beat up, discouraged, and persecuted…I can know that I have a God that stands to hold me up and strengthens me to endure.