4 I give you a command in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, the One who will judge the living and the dead, and by his coming and his kingdom: 2 Preach the Good News. Be ready at all times, and tell people what they need to do. Tell them when they are wrong. Encourage them with great patience and careful teaching, 3 because the time will come when people will not listen to the true teaching but will find many more teachers who please them by saying the things they want to hear. 4 They will stop listening to the truth and will begin to follow false stories. 5 But you should control yourself at all times, accept troubles, do the work of telling the Good News, and complete all the duties of a servant of God.
6 My life is being given as an offering to God, and the time has come for me to leave this life. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now, a crown is being held for me—a crown for being right with God. The Lord, the judge who judges rightly, will give the crown to me on that day[a]—not only to me but to all those who have waited with love for him to come again.
9 Do your best to come to me as soon as you can, 10 because Demas, who loved this world, left me and went to Thessalonica. Crescens went to Galatia, and Titus went to Dalmatia. 11 Luke is the only one still with me. Get Mark and bring him with you when you come, because he can help me in my work here. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When I was in Troas, I left my coat there with Carpus. So when you come, bring it to me, along with my books, particularly the ones written on parchment.[b]
14 Alexander the metalworker did many harmful things against me. The Lord will punish him for what he did. 15 You also should be careful that he does not hurt you, because he fought strongly against our teaching.
16 The first time I defended myself, no one helped me; everyone left me. May they be forgiven. 17 But the Lord stayed with me and gave me strength so I could fully tell the Good News to all those who are not Jews. So I was saved from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will save me when anyone tries to hurt me, and he will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. Glory forever and ever be the Lord’s. Amen.
19 Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the family of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21 Try as hard as you can to come to me before winter.
Eubulus sends greetings to you. Also Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers and sisters in Christ greet you.
22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
- 4:8 day The day Christ will come to judge all people and take his people to live with him.
- 4:13 parchment A writing paper made from the skins of sheep.