II Timothy - Exhortations to Sound Doctrine

  • This was Paul’s last letter to Timothy. It was written as a farewell, urging Timothy to come to him. He longed to see his young son in the faith once more before he died.
  • It is referred to as a “prison epistle” because it was written while Paul was a prisoner in a Roman dungeon.
  • Not long after he wrote this, he was beheaded.
  • It was written to encourage Timothy in his ministry at Ephesus. Knowing Timothy’s natural timidity, Paul was concerned that the threatening prospects should not overwhelm him.
  • He instructed Timothy in how to carry on after he was gone.
  • In A.D. 64, a great fire destroyed a large part of the city of Rome. Rumors circulated that the fire had been ordered by Nero himself.
  • In a desperate effort to clear himself, Nero blamed the Christians for starting the fire, and hundreds of Christians were put to death.
  • II Timothy was probably written following the edict of Nero against the Christians.
  • The primary theme of this letter is being “a good soldier” (2:3). This can be accomplished only through faithfulness in the face of hardship.
  • Paul elaborated on the coming apostasy and sought to prepare the Lord’s servants for times of testing to come.
  • At the time of this writing, Paul was held in a damp, cold prison cell, under the sentence of death, or at least was expecting that sentence any day.
  • No other book in the Bible has so many instructions concerning pastoral care.

A suggested outline for the book is:

  1. The call of a good soldier (chapter 1).
  2. The character of a good soldier (chapter 2).
  3. The caution of a good soldier (chapter 3:1-13).
  4. The conditioning of a good soldier (chapter 3:14-17).
  5. The commands of a good soldier (chapter 4:1-5).
  6. The comfort of a good soldier (chapter 4:6-22).