2 Timothy 2

A good soldier for Christ

1 Timothy, you are like my own child. Let God make you strong. He is kind, so trust him to help you, because you belong to Christ Jesus. 2 You have heard the message that I have taught. Many other people also heard it and they agree that it is true. Now you must tell the same message to other people who will be able to teach it to even more people. They should be people that you can trust as honest people and who can teach well.

3 Be patient through the troubles that we Christians have. Be brave and strong, like a good soldier for Christ Jesus. 4 Any soldier who fights in a war does not become busy with other things. He only wants to fight well to make his captain happy. 5 It is the same with an athlete who runs a race. He cannot win the race unless he obeys the rules. 6 A farmer works hard to grow plants for food. So he should be the first person to receive some of that food. 7 Think carefully about what I am saying to you. The Lord will help you to understand all these things.

2:5An athlete is a strong person who runs in games and races.

8 Jesus Christ is a descendant of King David. God caused him to become alive again after his death. Remember that! These facts are part of the good news that I tell people. 9 And I have many troubles because I tell that good news to people. They have even put me in a prison, like someone who has done something bad. But nobody can keep God's message in a prison!

2:8David was a great king of Israel's people, about 1,000 years before Christ came to the earth. See 1 Samuel 16:1-13; 2 Samuel 7:8-9; 8:15.

10 So I continue to be patient and brave during all these troubles. I do that so that I can help the people that God has chosen to belong to him. I want God to save them too, because of what Christ Jesus has done for them. As a result, they will live with God for ever, in the beautiful place where he lives.

11 We all know that this is true:

‘If we have died with Christ in this world,

we will also live with him in the future world.

2:11‘We have died with Christ’ means that we belong to Christ and we know that he died on our behalf. When he died on the cross to save us from our sins, it is like we also died with him. God has forgiven us for our sins and we have become like new people. Our old lives have finished and we have started to live new lives.

12 If we continue to be strong during troubles here,

we will also rule with him there in heaven.

But if we say that we do not know Christ,

he will also say that he does not know us.

13 Even if we no longer trust him,

he will still be someone that people can trust.

He will always remain true to his nature.’

2:13These words may be part of a song that the Christians knew.

A good worker for God

14 Continue to tell these things to God's people there, so that they remember them. Use God's authority and warn them not to quarrel about words. To quarrel about little things does not help anyone. Instead, it destroys those people who listen.

15 Always try very much to serve God in a way that makes him happy. Then he will accept you as a good worker that he can trust. You must teach God's true message correctly. Then you will have no reason to be ashamed of your work. 16 But stay away from people who talk about silly things that are not important to God. A message like that causes people to live more and more in a way that does not please God. 17 It causes people to become sick in their spirits. More and more people become sick as a result. Hymenaeus and Philetus are two of the people who teach that kind of false message. 18 They no longer teach God's true message. They say that God will not raise dead people any more, because he has already given life to dead people. In this way they have confused the minds of some people, so that they no longer believe in Christ.

19 But the group of true believers remains strong, like the foundation under a building. God has written his message there. It says, ‘The Lord knows who his own people are.’ It also says, ‘Everyone who says that he belongs to the Lord must stop doing bad things.’

2:19See Numbers 16:5.

20 In a big house, there are different kinds of dishes. There are some dishes that people have made from gold or from silver. They see those dishes as valuable things. There are also dishes that people have made from wood or from clay. Those dishes are not special things and they may get dirty. 21 It is like that with people who serve God as their Master. People who keep themselves clean from those bad things will be like valuable dishes. Their master can use them for a special purpose. They will be ready for him to use them for every kind of good work.

22 Be careful not to do the kind of bad things that young people often want to do. Instead, always try to do what is right and fair. Continue to trust God. Love other people and live in peace with them. Join with people who are clean inside and who pray to the Lord.

23 Do not join with people who want to argue about silly things that do not mean anything. You know that silly things like that only cause people to quarrel. 24 As the Lord's servant, you must not quarrel. Instead, you must be kind to everyone. You must be able to teach them well. And you must be patient when people cause you to have trouble. 25 When people speak against God's true message, teach them carefully. Help them to understand what is right. Maybe God will change how they think so that they believe the true message. 26 Their minds will start to think clearly. It is the Devil who has made them believe wrong things. He has made them do what he wants. Now they can get free from his power.