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II Timothy

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The Second Epistle to Timothy, perhaps the last letter the Apostle Paul wrote, was written shortly before Paul's death. He encourages Timothy to remain strong in the faith and to keep shepherding the churches, "be[ing] gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves... that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil." Paul reminds Timothy that "in the last days perilous times will come" as sin increases, and Christians will be opposed and persecuted, but the Bible - being inspired by God - is sufficient to enable him to bear up under it.

At the end, Paul refers to his approaching death:

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.



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