“Final Instructions” is a message taken from Second Timothy chapters 3 and 4 and is thought to be Paul’s last letter. It is written to his spiritual son, Timothy. As his final instructions, it represents Paul’s primary concerns and what he wants to pass on both to Timothy and to us (2 Timothy 2:1,2). Chapter 3 describes the perilous times that are coming. The underlying reason that times will be perilous is self love and self gratification . He reminds Timothy to be different from the culture and warns that it will bring persecution, as it had to Paul. Chapter 4 instructs Timothy to preach the Word in all seasons, to convince, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering.
This is a charge, a legal term, a charge for which he would give an account to God and to Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing. The Apostle is giving to Timothy a kind of “last will and testament”. Paul instructs that it must be passed on intact, in the original form. A ” trust” is held sacred even in civil society. Trustees can go to prison for misuse or use for personal gain. The “trust” was to be faithfully maintained in all seasons and circumstance, as Paul had ( 1Cor 4:1,2).
Paul further warns that some would, according to their own desires turn away from the truth to fables and follow after other teachers because the will have “itching ears.” Timothy is reminded to be different from the self serving culture, to be watchful, endure afflictions and do the work of an evangelist. The apostle closes by stating that he is about to be “poured out as a drink offering.” He would soon be a martyr but he had kept “the faith” (Jude 3). The implications of this message were sobering to Timothy and to us. We hold the same “trust” and the same instructions. This message reminds us of the attitude, devotion, and sacrifice of early Christians and those today who are giving their lives. It reminds us to keep those final instructions.
Charles Simpson is an internationally-known author, Bible teacher, and pastor, serving in ministry since 1955. He is also Editor-in-Chief of One-to-One Magazine and ministers extensively throughout the United States and the nations.