The New Testament | The Letters of Paul

2 Timothy

Things to know
Where does the book begin?

Paul told Timothy how much he cared for him.

Where does the book end?

Paul asked Timothy to come for a visit.

People to know


Places to go

Do not be ashamed to suffer
2 Timothy 1:8-12

Remember Jesus
2 Timothy 2:8-13

The last days are coming
2 Timothy 3:1-9

The scripture* comes from God
2 Timothy 3:10-17

Preach* the word
2 Timothy 4:1-5

The Story of 2 Timothy

This is the second letter that Paul wrote to Timothy. It may be the last letter Paul wrote. Paul was in prison. He knew he was going to die soon. So he wrote his friend to say goodbye. At the end of his letter, he hoped that Timothy could come to visit him. And he wrote to encourage him to be strong. He said that a man of God must be like a soldier, like a farmer, and like a runner. He must not be afraid. He must be patient. He must keep on going.

Timothy was a leader in the churches in Asia. There were already many false teachers in the world. These men and women were causing people to be confused. They were leading them away from the truth. And things would get worse before they got better. So Paul told Timothy to avoid foolish arguments. He must be patient. He must study to be a good teacher. He must teach them the truths that he learned from the scriptures*. He must remember the example that Paul showed him. If he did these things, God would reward him for his work.

There were many problems among God’s people in those days. False teachers were more and more bold. They taught things that were not true. They were jealous. They were selfish. So Paul wrote to encourage Timothy. He must not be uneasy. He must trust* God’s Spirit*. God’s Spirit* would not make him weak and afraid.[1] God had given him the gifts he needed. And God’s Spirit* would give him power and love and help Timothy control himself.

Timothy must be loyal to God.[2] He must be true to the good news God gave him. This ‘gospel*’ was God’s plan ‘before the beginning of time‘.[3] There would always be people who opposed it. There would always be people who tried to change it. So Timothy needed to be careful to teach it just the way that he had learned from Paul.

This would not be easy. Paul was in prison because of the gospel*. Many of his friends left him.[4] So he warned Timothy to bear the hard things that may come.

It was the good news about Jesus that would help him. God had kept his promises. Jesus was the Messiah*.[5] He was risen from the dead. He had chosen a people.[6] And he would save them by his gospel*. Timothy must remember these things.

Timothy must remind people in the church* of the teachings of God’s Word. He should study it well. He must be able to answer questions when people asked them. When people opposed him, he must ‘be gentle when he teaches’ them.

‘Maybe God will give a change of heart to those who are against you. That will lead them to know the truth.’[7]

But some people would refuse to learn. Paul said that there would be more and more people like this as the Lord’s return approached. They would not love other people. They would not forgive* people. They would tell lies about people. They would hate what was good. They would turn against their friends. They would think they were better than other people. They would love what pleased them instead of loving God. Paul told Timothy to have nothing to do with these people.

But Timothy must follow the words Paul taught him. He must always continue to hold on to them. He must ‘preach* the Word’ at all times.[8] He must be patient. He must teach carefully. People may leave him and follow teachers who said what they wanted to hear. But Timothy must never desert the scriptures*. Then he would be prepared to do every good work.[9]

  • [1] 2 Timothy 1:7
  • [2] 2 Timothy 2:1-2
  • [3] 2 Timothy 1:9
  • [4] 2 Timothy 1:15-18
  • [5] 2 Timothy 2:8
  • [6] 2 Timothy 2:10
  • [7] 2 Timothy 2:25
  • [8] 2 Timothy 4:2
  • [9] 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The New Testament | The Letters of Paul