Paul wrote this second letter to Timothy in
the knowledge that he (Paul) was soon to die. It is the last
of his letters to be recorded in the New Testament.
This second letter is one of both encouragement
and warning. Paul had "fought a good fight" (4:7)
and he urges Timothy to continue the same faith - like his
mother and grandmother before him (1:5) - and encourages him
to "hold fast to the true gospel message" and to
"guard it like a good soldier of Jesus Christ".
Paul also warns Timothy to "watch out for those who will
turn away from the truth and will follow myths"
Dangers for the followers of Christ would not
be confined to the 1st Century, however. Great perils would
come: false teachers arose within the Christian community
in those days, but the "last days" before the return
of Christ would also be perilous (3:1-7). We need these warnings
more than ever today. We, too, need to keep to Scriptural
teachings and practices (3:14-17). Those who do can hope to
receive the "crown of righteousness" to be given
by Jesus when he returns (4:8).