2 Timothy 4:1–5
We arrive at the last chapter written by Paul the apostle. Death awaited him. It would not be long before Paul was pulled by Roman soldiers from the dark and dismal underground Mamertine dungeon. He would then be led, bound in shackles as a criminal, along the Ostian Way toward the sea where his executioner’s axe would fall across Paul’s neck.
These are, literally, the man’s concluding words to his much-younger colleague in the work of ministry, Timothy, who served as the pastor of the church at Ephesus. Not surprisingly, Paul delivered a solemn, never-to-be-forgotten charge to Timothy that provides a timely (and timeless) message to all pastors, regardless of age, era, personal temperament, geographical location, or cultural setting. There cannot be found in all of Scripture—or all of literature for that matter—a more necessary or relevant statement setting forth every pastor’s job profile than these first five verses of 2 Timothy 4.
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