The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.2 Timothy 4:18(NASB)
The second book of Timothy was written near the end of Paul's life as he faced certain execution at the hands of Rome. He had received increasing opposition to his ministry from legalists and other enemies of the gospel, who vigorously opposed his teaching. And he sadly reported that all the Christians in Asia had forsaken him, including some of his closest friends.
In this letter to the young pastor, we discover that Paul was suffering greatly for the sake of the gospel of Christ. However, despite his difficult trials and mounting tribulations, Paul was able to rejoice that the Lord had stood by him and strengthened him in his hour of desperate need. But the important message that he wanted to relay to Timothy was faithfulness - to faithfully continue to preach the Word, to be ready in season and out of season, to be prepared to reprove, rebuke, exhort, and encourage other believers with great patience and godly instruction.
Paul knew that his earthly life was soon to end, and he wanted to remind Timothy to remain faithful - to faithfully endure to the end and to preach sound doctrine. But he also wanted to warn him, for the last time, of the fast-approaching spiritual apostasy that was already infiltrating the church. Paul knew that evil men and satanically inspired seducers would wax worse and worse - not only deceiving others but being deceived themselves.
He urged the importance of knowing and studying the God-breathed Scriptures, which are given by inspiration of God and are profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteous living... and the single most important tool to equip and thoroughly furnish the saints of God in all good works.
Warning this young pastor to contend earnestly for the faith was uppermost in his mind as Paul penned his final letter to Timothy. But as Christianity was coming under even greater attack in multiple ways and from numerous sources, he also wanted to be sure that despite the shocking things that were happening both the Christian church and the world at large, Timothy would not be worried or concerned over Paul's safety, but would trust in God, no matter what happened.
Paul wanted to encourage Timothy and assure him that God is faithful to keep His promises, that the Lord would rescue him from every evil deed and every corrupt happening, and that God would bring him safely to his heavenly kingdom, for in Christ is all the power and all the glory forever and ever, amen.
This encouraging comment from the apostle Paul is as relevant today as it was in those early destructive days of the newly formed Christian church. We have the assurance of almighty God that the Lord will rescue us from every evil deed, for He has promised to bring all who trust in the name of Christ to the safety of His heavenly kingdom.
Although we live in a sin-sick world that is at enmity with God and at war with His anointed Son... and although we see the most shocking corruption saturating the highest offices of government, God is faithful to fulfil His many precious promises to those that are His. And although we are witnessing a satanically-inspired hatred for the things of God, an utter contempt and disdain for the glorious gospel of Christ, and a Church that is deceiving and being deceived in so many ways... we need not be afraid, for Christ has won the victory on our behalf and we have this promise, "the Lord will rescue me from every evil deed. He will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom - to Him be the glory forever and ever, Amen."
Heavenly Father, what an inspiration to read this final letter that Paul wrote to Timothy and to realise that despite all the terrible things that he was facing, he encouraged us all to hold fast to the truth of God's Word, which can never be broken. Thank You, Father, that You have promised to rescue all Your children from every evil deed and to bring us safely home into our heavenly inheritance in Christ. To You be all praise and glory forever and ever, AMEN.