1 You know, Jesus Christ will come back and he will judge everyone, no matter whether they are alive or whether they are already dead at that time. Listen, I’m telling you this with God and Jesus Christ listening.
2 You’ve got to tell people God’s word. You have to be ready to tell it at any time, no matter whether it seems to be the right time or not. As you teach people, be ready to wait for them to understand. If they are doing wrong, show them the right way to live and help them to live that way.
3 You see, people are getting less interested in true stories. One day they will not listen to good people that teach the true message, but instead they will listen to somebody that says strange things. And they will find teachers that will just say whatever those people want to hear.
4 Those people will stop listening to the true story and instead they will listen to stories that are all lies.
5 But you have to control yourself all the time, no matter what happens to you. If they get tough on you don’t get upset but keep going. You have to keep on telling people the good news about Jesus and finish all the work that he gave you to do.
6 As for me, I will die very soon. I will give my life to God.
7 I did my job properly and finished all the work God gave me to do. I always told the true message about Jesus. I’m like a man that runs a long race and keeps going hard right up to the finish line, and wins the race.
8 I followed Jesus all the way, and very soon he will give me the prize, like a sportsman gets a medal after he wins. Jesus, our leader, is a fair judge, and he has got that prize ready to give me on the day that he comes back. And he will not give a prize just to me, but he will give one to everybody that wants him to come back again.
Paul wanted Timothy to come to him
9 Timothy, please come and see me as soon as you can.
10-12 Almost all my friends went away to somewhere else. Demas just likes to have fun with the things that are around these days so he left me and went to Thessalonica. Crescens went to Galatia country, and Titus went to Dalmatia country. And I told Tychicus to go to Ephesus. Only Luke is here with me now. If Mark was here he could help me a lot in my work, so get him and bring him with you.
13 You will probably travel through Troas as you come to me here. When I was there I left a coat with Carpus in Troas. So I want you to get that coat and bring it with you. And bring my books too. I especially want those leather ones.
14 Do you remember that man called Alexander, that makes things out of metal? He gave me a lot of trouble and really hurt me but I will leave it to our leader, Jesus, to punish him for that.
15 You look out for him too. He doesn’t like the message we tell people about God and he will try to do anything to stop us.
16 And here at this place, they took me to court that first time and I tried to tell the judge my story, but nobody else said anything to back me up, but they all left me. I hope God will not punish them for that.
17 But God stood there beside me anyway and he made me strong, so that I could tell his message properly to all those people there. They were not Jewish people, so they didn’t know anything about God. In the end the judge didn’t sentence me to death and they didn’t give me to the lions to eat.
18 And God will always look after me, no matter what bad things people do to try to hurt me. One day he will take me up into heaven to be with him and his family. Everybody has to praise him for ever and ever. That’s right.
The last words Paul wrote
19 Now I want you to say hello from me to that good couple there, Aquila and Priscilla. And say hello also to Onesiphorus and everyone at his place.
20 If you want to know about Erastus, he stayed in Corinth. And I’ll tell you about Trophimus. A while ago he was with me at Miletus and he got sick, so I had to leave him there till he gets better.
21 By the way, I want you to try to get here before the cold weather time comes.
The people here that follow Jesus all say hello to you, especially Eubulus, Pudens, Linus and Claudia.
22 Now that’s all. I pray that our leader, Jesus, will be with you and be really good to you.