In his concluding words of this letter, Paul asked Timothy to come quickly to visit him in prison because he was well aware that his days were few (4:9). Paul provided Timothy with a couple updates on people who were working alongside him in the ministry. He wrote that Demas had forsaken him “having loved this present world.” Demas had apparently abandoned Paul as the pressure mounted and forsook his friend. Paul had sent Crescens and Titus to minister in different places and only Luke remained with him (4:10-11a). Paul did request that Timothy bring Mark with him “for he is useful to me for ministry.” This is an amazing statement because according to Acts 15:36-41 Paul and Barnabas had a falling out over John Mark. It appears that John Mark had abandoned them earlier and Paul felt Mark was not ready to minister. But in this letter to Timothy, Paul’s heart had changed toward John Mark and he felt that Mark had matured in his faith. Paul gives some other final instructions in his letter to Timothy (4:12-16) and Paul closes his letter with some powerful words. “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!” Paul had a life of hardship and persecution, but the Lord sustained Him so that he might be able to spread the gospel to the Gentiles. He was faithful to complete the work entrusted to him by God because he knew he would soon enter into His heavenly kingdom. In essence, Paul was giving testimony of God’s faithfulness to him during his ministry so that Timothy would know that God would also sustain him through much adversity. I guess if there is one overriding message of Paul’s second letter to Timothy it is this – Be faithful to God until the end! We must closely examine our hearts and daily commit to carrying out God’s work. We must never give up. We must never quit. We must be faithful because the glories which await us pale in comparison to what God has in store for those who love Him.
Dear God, help me to be faithful to the end and look forward to eternity with You.