2 Timothy 4:1-8

Timothy must continue to do his work for God

1 Timothy, I tell you this seriously, as God and Christ Jesus see everything that we do. When Christ Jesus comes to rule as king, he will judge everyone. He will judge the people who are alive and also those who have already died. When he appears, he will decide what should happen to them all. So I tell you this now: 2 Tell God's message to people. Always be ready to speak God's message clearly to people, whether they want to listen to you or not. Warn people when they are doing something wrong. Tell them to stop doing wrong things, and explain to them what they ought to do. But be very patient while you teach them what is true.

3 Do this, because a time will come when people will not listen to God's true message. Instead, they will want to hear all kinds of new messages that will make them happy. So they will find many teachers for themselves who will tell them what they want to hear. 4 People will refuse to listen to God's true message. Instead, they will want to listen to silly stories that are false. 5 But you yourself must continue to think seriously and clearly. Be patient and brave when troubles come. Continue to tell the good news about Christ to people. Do all the work that God has given you to do as his servant.

6 As for me, it is nearly time for me to die. My death will be like a drink offering that they pour out to God. My life as God's servant will end. 7 I have worked to serve Christ well. I have finished everything that God wanted me to do. I am like a runner who has run to the end of the race. I have continued to believe God's true message. 8 So now a gift is waiting for me. The Lord will make me completely right with him. That will be like a crown which the Lord will give me on that great day when he judges people. He is the judge who is fair and right. He will not only give that gift to me. He will give it to all those people who love him. They will be happy to see him when he comes again.

4:6When the Israelites worshipped God, they offered gifts to him. These gifts included wine. They poured out the wine as a drink offering to God. See Numbers 15:5-10; 28:7. Paul is saying that he himself is like the drink offering. His life on earth will soon end. He has lived to serve God, and now he is ready to die for God.
4:8At that time, people often gave a crown to somebody who had won a race. So Paul is using the crown as a picture of what God will give his people. God will give a gift to everyone who really belongs to Christ. That gift is that we will be completely right and happy as we will live with him for ever.