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Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Read 2 Timothy 4

Questions to Consider

1. Recalling that 2 Timothy was written as a letter, no chapter and verse markings, notice how chapter three flows into chapter four. Read 3:15-4:2a. What is the focal point of these verses?

2. We’ve seen charges in previous chapters, and chapter 4 starts off with a charge. Break down the charge in verses 1-2,5 into three sections:

1. The seriousness and grave responsibility of the charge– Describe the gravity and weightiness of this charge to Timothy and all other pastors. How does this type of charge compare to others you’re familiar with, such as the swearing in of a witness in court or the President taking the oath of office?

2a. What are pastors being charged to do?– Think about some of the shenanigans you may have seen in the church- pastors preaching about movies, conducting interviews with Christian (or not) celebrities during the sermon time instead of preaching, pastors who preach “God told me” extra-biblical revelation, sermons that consist mainly of jokes and personal stories, etc. Considering the seriousness of the charge to “preach the Word” do pastors have the leeway – before God – to do such things?

2b,5. In what manner are pastors to carry out this charge?- What does it mean to “be ready in season and out of season”? What do the words reprove, rebuke, and exhort mean? What would that look like in your church, from your pastor? Why would a pastor need to exercise “complete patience”? If a pastor shies away from preaching about certain biblical issues, is he correctly carrying out the charge to give “complete teaching”? What do each of the points in verse 5 mean, and how should pastors carry them out as they preach the Word?

3. Keeping this serious charge to pastors in mind, examine 3-4 light of 1-2,5. Notice that verse 3 starts with a pivot point, “for,” which, in this context, means “because.” Why does the Holy Spirit, via Paul, hammer so hard on preaching the Word in 1-2? Because 3-4. Explain what verses 3-4 mean.

If “people will not endure sound teaching” (3) and will “turn away from listening to the truth” (4), what is the point of pastors preaching the Word (2)? If people are just going to turn away anyway, why bother? Think about this in light of these passages. Who is the church for? How does preaching the Word benefit the sheep (Believers) a) by nourishing them with Scripture and b) by drawing a line of distinction between true Believers and false converts who only want their itching ears scratched? How does this line of distinction help us with evangelism? How does it help the spiritual health of the church?

4. Examine verses 6-8. Notice that verse 6 starts with “for” (because). Why (6-8) is Paul passing down all these instructions in 1-2 Timothy to Timothy especially, and to all pastors?

5. Put yourself in Paul’s shoes as you read 6-22. Recall where Paul is as he’s writing this (go back to the introduction in lesson 8 {link above} if necessary), and what is transpiring (16). Notice the theme of being deserted by others. How many times does Paul mention others deserting him? Does he seem to want revenge for this? Who is Paul’s comfort when deserted by others? (17-18) Do you get the impression Paul feels sorry for himself? Does he focus on His circumstances or does he choose to focus on spiritual truths? Make a list of the spiritual truths he focuses on in these verses. How could you apply and focus on these comforting spiritual truths the next time you’re in a difficult or lonely situation?

Compare the “faithful to the finish” life of Paul to other Bible characters (Solomon, Uzziah, etc.) you’re familiar with who started the race well, but turned from God later in life. Ask God to help you run the race well and finish faithful.


Homework

Do you think the “time has come” (3)? What is one way you have personally seen verses 3-4 fleshed out in the church today? How would this situation have been helped or changed if the pastor had taken seriously his charge in verses 1-2? Take some time to pray for those involved in that situation.

Have you ever seen a “verse 3-4 situation” in which the pastor did take seriously his charge to preach the Word, reprove, rebuke, etc., and the story had a happy ending with repentance and restoration to the truth of the gospel? Consider dropping a note to the pastor thanking him for obeying God in that situation.


Suggested Memory Verse