Chapter four is a template for leaving this Earth well. First, Paul charged Timothy with his critical work – “Preach the message…whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort…be self-controlled…endure hardship, do an evangelist’s work, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:1-8). Paul knew that Timothy’s struggle would seem impossible, because many are not interested in hearing the truth, only myths and things that satisfy their own curiosity but do not lead to growth and maturity. Paul could do no more. Challenging Timothy to continue to “fight the good fight” (1 Timothy 1:18), Paul believed that he had, and his most cherished thought was his soon meeting with the Savior.
Paul’s final wish on this Earth was to see his friend once more before he died (2 Timothy 4:9-22). Whether or not Timothy ever made it to Rome we do not know. Paul asked for his cloak, as it was approaching winter. He also asked for his “scrolls, especially the parchments.” Although we cannot be sure, it seems possible that these may have been some of his personal copies of the Scriptures. Paul must have felt lonely, as so many others were busy in ministry or doing other things. He sent his warmest greetings to a few friends that Timothy would see on his way to Paul. He also asked that Timothy would bring Mark with him, another wonderful friend that time and maturity, on both sides, had developed. Above all, the old apostle was “confident of this very thing” (Philippians 1:6, NASB):
“The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed
and will bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom.
To him be glory for ever and ever! Amen.”