The words of this epistle were written to Timothy, but their application to all Christians is evident. All are called to the service of Christ, to endure hardship, and to remain true to their calling in Christ even unto death. This charge is not just for those in the offices of ordained ministry, it is for all Christians.
In 2:8, the epistle turns to the historical reality on which our hope is based; "Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead." We do not hope in feelings or experiences. We hope in a historical fact; that God came to earth, died for our sins, and rose from the dead. Paul would not suffer and die for a feeling or an emotional experience. He would not die for a theory, or even a religion, and neither should we. We live for, hope in, and serve a real, living God who has made Himself known in history and in flesh and blood. For Him alone we will suffer, knowing that if we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us" (2:12).
Let none try to comfort himself with delusions that such people only exist in the Church right before the Lord's Return. The "last days" are those days from Pentecost to the Return of Christ, and such people have been, and will continue in the Church throughout this era. Paul's point is that we must not be those people. Like Timothy, we know the doctrine and life of Paul (3:10-12). Timothy knew them by knowing Paul personally; we know them through the pages of Scripture. But knowing them is not enough. It is "continuing" in them (3:14) that matters. The beautiful words of 2 Timothy 3:16-17, make no difference to a person unless he continues in the Bible's teachings. To "continue" is to live in, to dwell in, to abide in the Bible in such a way that it shapes our thoughts and actions. It molds us. It changes who and what we are, right down to our very essence.
Crescens and Titus have been sent to Galatia and Dalmatia by Paul, and Tychicus has been sent to Ephesus, probably carrying the letter of 2 Timothy with him (4:12). Unlike Demas they have not deserted Paul, and Christ; they continue to serve. Timothy also remains true, and will come to Paul, though being in
Paul closes with a few words to those who have worked and prayed and suffered with him in the service of Christ. "The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit" is a prayer for Timothy himself. "Grace be with you" is for all the people, and clergy of