1 This is what I instruct you to do before God and Christ Jesus who will judge the living and the dead when he comes to establish his kingdom. 2 Speak God's word whether it is convenient or not, tell people where they're going wrong, warn them, encourage them. Do this with a great deal of patient teaching.
3 For the time is coming when people won't bother to listen to true teaching. Instead they will be curious to listen to something different,* Literally, “having itching ears.” and will surround themselves with teachers who'll tell them what they want to hear. 4 They will stop listening to the truth and wander off following myths. 5 You need to keep your wits about you at all times. Put up with troubles, do the work of sharing the good news, fulfill your ministry.
6 For I'm about to be sacrificed—the time of my death is approaching. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept my trust in God. 8 Now there's a prize reserved for me—the crown for a life lived according to what is good and right. The Lord, (who is the judge that always does what's right), will give that to me on that Day.† See note on 1:12. And not just to me, but to everyone who longs for his coming.
9 Please try to come to me as soon as you can. 10 Demas has abandoned me because he loves the things of this world more, and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is here with me. Bring Mark with you, because he can help me with my work. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come please bring the cloak I left behind with Carpus in Troas—and the books, especially the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith caused me a lot of trouble—may God judge him for what he did. 15 You watch out for him too, because he was very much against what we were saying.
16 When it came to my first defense,‡ Referring to a judicial trial. no-one stood up for me—everyone abandoned me. May they not be blamed for this. 17 But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength so that I could declare the whole of the message so that all the foreigners§ Literally, “Gentiles.” could hear it. I was rescued out of the lion's mouth! 18 The Lord will rescue me from all the evil things done against me, and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. His is the glory forever and ever. Amen. 19 My greetings to Prisca* Called Priscilla in Acts 18:2. and Aquila, and to Onesiphorus's family. 20 Erastus stayed on in Corinth. I left Trophimus behind in Miletus because he was sick. 21 Please try to come before winter. Eubulus sends his best wishes—and Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers and sisters too. 22 The Lord be with you.† Literally, “be with your spirit.” May his grace be with you all.
*4:3 Literally, “having itching ears.”
‡4:16 Referring to a judicial trial.
§4:17 Literally, “Gentiles.”
†4:22 Literally, “be with your spirit.”