2 Timothy 2:14-26

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 make God happy. 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.